Join Oliver Yarbrough for an in-depth discussion in this video Key success factors, part of Exam Tips: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®.
- Do you know what a key success factor is? It's something you must do in order to accomplish your goal. If you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn't show up on the day of the event and just start running. You'd do what's necessary to properly prepare for it. Well, the same thing applies to the CAPM exam. You need a steady regimen that's backed up by accountability. This is the real benefit of having key success factors. Let's look at some of the more important ones. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, success factor is creating a study plan.
Similar to a project plan, you need a study plan that will guide you through the preparation process. This can be as simple as documenting your daily and weekly study routine in a spreadsheet, or treating it like a full-on project and building it into your project management system. Either way, you have to set, execute, and track your progress towards your goals, because whatever isn't monitored doesn't get done. Next, and this goes without saying, but you should read the Project Management Body of Knowledge, also known as the PMBOK.
Did I say this is a must? The PMBOK has its own language and vocabulary. This terminology may not match what you've become accustomed to in your job. In fact, it will probably be very different. If you haven't thoroughly read the PMBOK, make it a priority before you sit for the exam. There's nothing worse than reading through a bunch of questions that you have no clue how to answer because you skipped around while reading. For example, what's a WBS dictionary? Who's Tuckman and why is a ladder named after him? Hopefully you get my drift.
All of the information on your exam will come from the PMBOK. So it only makes sense to read it and study it. Also, pay close attention to the glossary at the back of the book. It will help reinforce what you read in the earlier chapters. After you read, you need to memorize some important information. Don't worry, you won't have to memorize everything. Start by fully immersing yourself in the PMBOK map. It has all the process groups and knowledge areas you'll need to know.
Your memorization will be incomplete if you don't include the necessary formulas. You know, the ones that help you answer questions such as how many communication channels are there and is your project over budget? And as they say, practice makes perfect. So you want to take enough practice exams in order to test your knowledge and get comfortable with the kinds of questions you'll see on the exam. You'll know if you're really ready to sit for the exam based on the scores you're getting on the practice exams. Practice exams will also help you identify your blind spots.
Seeing how you score allows you to gauge your study progress. Finally, take the exam preparation process seriously. The CAPM exam isn't the hardest exam in the world, but it certainly isn't the easiest one either. You should plan to set aside as much as 75 hours to properly prepare. Once you start scoring in the 85 to 90% range on the practice exams, you'll know you're ready to move forward. Follow these key success factors and you'll be positioned to pass. It just takes dedication and commitment to bring home the gold.
- What to expect on exam day
- Reviewing the fundamental aspects of project management
- Key success factors
- Navigating the CAPM® exam
- Managing your time on the exam
- Reviewing practice questions
- Establishing a solid study routine
- Reading for understanding