Join Oliver Yarbrough for an in-depth discussion in this video Read for understanding, part of Exam Tips: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®.
- There's a big difference between skimming and reading for understanding. Skimming is useful when you want a general idea of what you're reading. You'll quickly digest the main points, while skipping over the details. While on the other hand, reading is thorough. In the beginning, skimming might help you preview the PMBOK, and get the gist of it. However, the challenge is that you'll have a hard time comprehending and remembering what you read.
When you read the PMBOK, you need to read for detail, and an in-depth understanding. This requires you to actively focus your attention on extracting important information from the text. You don't necessarily have to read every single word, but it's a good idea to slow down, so you don't miss key points. To get the most out of your reading, start by studying the layout of the PMBOK. The first three chapters provide foundational information, such as project management definitions, concepts, tables, and diagrams.
The chapter sections are sequentially numbered, and build on one another. Once you get into the knowledge area chapters, the layout changes. Each chapter begins with an overview of the knowledge area, and is basically the table of contents for that knowledge area. This is followed by key concepts, trends and emerging practices, tailoring considerations, and considerations for agile/adaptive environments. The rest of the chapter is made up of the processes, along with their corresponding inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs.
You need to read every knowledge area and process, in detail. You do not have to memorize all of the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. But it wouldn't hurt if you spent a little more time on the tools and techniques. They tend to change frequently, and you can improve your project management skills, by familiarizing yourself with them. Finally, spend some time reviewing the glossary. The more familiar you are with the terms, the better you'll be able to answer definition questions.
- 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