CAPM Journey

First of all, I thank my wife who is pregnant and doesn’t take much help during my exam preparation.Without her support, I must have not achieved this certification.

I need to thank my friend Soumen Saha, PMP, who is my inspiration to do this certification.Thanks to yahoo groups and friends.

I have decided to write PMP in June 2010, became a PMI member and fortunately changed the company. I thought of going for CAPM even though I can write PMP. I have gotten my 35 contact hours from Proxalt.com.

Review on ProXalt: This is the cheapest way to get 35 contact hours. First you need to go thru their chapter wise presentation and try to understand and then there is an exam after each chapter with an approximately 15 questions. They will give you 3 chances to clear each chapter.

They give you on the fly explanation on the each chapter, and that explanation doesn’t help you pass the exam. Before, you attempt chapter wise exam; you need to study respective chapter from PMBOK and then attempt. There are fare chances that you can clear an exam very easily.

I got my 35 contact hrs in Aug and immediately I submitted my CAPM application to PMI and got approved after 4th day. I have selected my exam date in Nov and postponed to December, Jan, and finally to Feb 21st. On Friday, 18th I got a confirmation mail from Prometric said that my exam is confirmed on 23rd. I really got so much angry on PMI for changing my date from 21st to 24th.

I spoke to customer care and did not work well. They told that the center is closed due to president day, and other people said that due to systems up-gradation. I don’t like 24th because I need to apply for 2 day leave one before the exam and one on exam day and at the same time I don’t want to tell my managers that I am writing exam and want to keep it as surprise. Finally, I decided to give my exam on Feb 24th because there are no more dates until March.

Books and other reference:

1. PMBOK – 2 times and studies some of the chapters more than twice.
2. Rita – 1 time just like that and skipped 2 or 3 lessons because Rita was not covered well and before one month I have gone thru only Rita, and gone thru page by page and answered all questions from HFP and Rita.
3. Head First PMP, Once and was referring whenever I need to understand with examples.
4. I have taken Printout of all Knowledge Area wise ITTO printout and started understanding how I can understand and remember ITTO. I was able to remember some of the ITTOs, but not all. It is very difficult to remember all ITTO.
5. Printed out Page 43 which was prepared in Proxalt.com with colors and pinned at my study table.
6. Wherever I get a chance to solve a question, I did it.
7. I used to read at least 1 or 2 hours every day (Definitely not continuously on everyday, I did it only after Aug) and used to read on the weekends if it works. I am a family person and I was for long weekends.

I have used www.brainbok.com and it is helpful.

8. I convert my ITTOs understanding into short script on each chapter and used to explain to my wife. This helped me to remember most of the ITTOs.

5 days before:

1. I bought “http://www.pmexampreparation.com/” CAPM 5 day license cost $30.

Pros:

This is very good product, and my CAPM exam looks like “www.pmexampreparation.com” exam simulation. They have 700 + question. I was writing Process Group, chapter wise exams, they have 3 full exams with difficult, medium and easy.

I bought this simulation because I don’t know how are CAPM questions, but solved so many PMP questions, and I know the difficultly. This simulation really helped a lot before my exam.

Cons:

1. I saw some of the questions are wrongly framed.
2. Some of the questions are not having reference Answers.
3. There are just providing PMBOK page number for explanation as Answer. This really doesn’t help me much as per my understanding. I would expect they need to explain why the answer is correct like “PM FASTrack”.
4. I thought that I can write Full Exams day before my exam. Website was working fine until Feb 22nd midnight. I woke up on Feb 23rd, and I thought let’s start the Full exam.

DAM ! Website was down, and it said that domain was sold to some other person. I thought that I am done and definitely I would fail CAPM exam. I called their customer care and no response. Luckily, Ihad mail reply to one my feedbacks, and sent a mail and the problem was resolved in 1 hr time. I was very happy that movement.

We really should not worry about small mistakes. I have provided my feedback with them whenever I come across these types of questions. Hope they will correct it.

2. Pmstudy.com, CAPM free exam ( http://www.pmstudy.com/enroll.asp#CAPM )
3. http://www.pm-abc.com/Free_Simulated_Test.asp
4. I have answered all 150 + questions from PMFasTrack “Framework and PM Processes”.

One day before:

1. I have written difficult and medium from http://www.pmexampreparation.com and got 80 + % and 70 % respectively, reviewed my answers and learned new things.
2. ITTOs understanding.
3. Slept at 1 AM. Most People told that we needed to go to bed early day before the exam. Somehow, I was reviewing some of the topics.

On the Exam day:

My exam is at 1 PM and it is just 5 mins drive from my Home.

Woke up at 8 AM, and glanced at ITTOs, reviewed my notes and gone thru http://www.brainbok.com at least for 1 – 2 hrs.

I had my lunch and reached prometric center at 12: 30 PM and prometric center has only 4 seats and has a glass wall and can be seen from both sides.

I have shown my Driving License, Credit Card and my passport. She took my sign on Exam terms and conditions.

I was inside the room before 1 PM. She said BEST OF LUCK and left my place. Everyone was telling that we would get 3 papers and pencils. Unfortunately, I got one erasable pad, issue paper and erasable marker. I was disappointed how I can enter all Formulas and Page 43. Somehow, I have written Page 43 and Formulas. Entering Page 43 will really help you during answering some of the questions. I never used other side of the erasable sheet before if I turn whatever written will be erased. Whenever I was solving MATH exams, I used only 2 “ x 3 “ space.

Exam:

1. Exam was not really touch. After writing a couple of question, I thought that I would definitely pass. After 100th question, I was thinking 50 – 50 %, and I took a break at 2 hrs for 5 mins.
2. When I was writing last 30 questions, I thought that would pass.
3. Completed exam in 2: 30 mins (I know that I was not really very fast), and I was taking my own time answering some of the questions. I reviewed all my marked and answered my unanswered questions and changed answers and realized that I made the mistake after I came home.

I clicked on END EXAM when time was 2 mins 40 sec left. I answered their survey, SCREEN WENT blank, finally; I saw “congratulations”.

I checked my chapter wise proficient, and I was very happy that I am proficient in some of the tough area like COST, TIME, Quality, Procurement, HR, and Risk etc.

Hooray ! I am CAPM certified. I turned my head and said, I did it with  exam in-charge.

Suggestion:

1. If you are writing CAPM, try to understand ITTOs, remember and you should be strong in basics.
2. Read Head First PMP first and then PMBOK and solve the question from HFP and Rita questions.
3. Learn from Lessons/Failures. Whenever you write exam / answer any question and prepare notes on important points.I have created for some of the chapters and used it day before an exam and before going to exam.
4. If you are writing CAPM, you don’t really require reading Rita more than once.
5. Join in Yahoo groups like PMPExamForum,pmpbest and PMHub etc.
6. Register for Question In Inbox “http://www.effectivepmc.com“.

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15 Responses to CAPM Journey

  1. Mr WordPress says:

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    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Shilpa Ashwin says:

    hi Srikanth, I am planning to write CAPM. Can u explain to me what is this 35 contact hours. I checked the proxalt.com and it has courses for PMP exam. Do i need to do this for CAPM as well? Right now i started studying CAPM – in Depth by Paul Sanghera. Should i go ahead with this or should i start reading the PMBOK guide?
    Thanks in Advance
    Shilpa Ashwin

    • Shilpa, you need to read PMBOK. When you access http://proxalt.com/, you can see Promotions. If you do this , you will 35 contact hours. You require only 23 contact hrs to do CAPM, this 35 contact hrs will help you to do PMP exam also. Or you can prepare 1500 hrs project management experience or simple do this proxalt 35 hrs and submit to PMI, they will approve your application.

      • Shilpa Ashwin says:

        Thank you Srikant for an immediate and appropriate response. Even the proxalt customer care people did not give me the info i was looking for. Your blog is just amazing and so is your effort in helping people who are looking out for answers related to these certifications. One more thing, what does it mean when u say “prepare 1500 hours of project management experience”. I have around 5+ years of experience in IT industry. Does that hold good? Anyways i needed to know this just as an info. I’ll take your advise and go for the promotions section for 23 contact hours.
        Thanks in Advance
        Shilpa Ashwin

      • If you want to apply for CAPM, either you should show
        At least 1,500 hours project management experience OR 23 hours of project management education.Better you can get 35 Hrs from proxalt.com, which is cheapest.

  3. SampathNatarajan says:

    Hi Srikanth, Congratulations. I am planning to write CAPM next month. I did the free PMStudy test and scored 71% . Rita’s chapter end questions- scoring between 70-75 most of the time. Headfirst 80%. But, when i tried CertGear demo version i got only 50%. Am i in the right track of preparation?.
    Also, is pmexampreparation.com better than pmstudy?. You’ve mentined about PMFastrack. Is that Rita’s. (That seem to be expensive!).
    Do i need to get above 80% in my first try to make sure i am ready for the exam.
    Thanks.

    • Hi sampath, Rita chapter questions are tough . CAPM exam question are basic level. if you are writing CAPM, you have to concentrate CAPM type questions. U may be good in solving tough questions, that doesn;t mean you know some basic area. It is very difficult to get CAPM sample questions from websites. But we can get 1000s of PMP exams. pmexampreparation.com is one cheap and best website which I learn many things before exam. Try to give CAPM full test exams rather than PMP full test.Let me know if need anything more.

  4. HP says:

    Hi Srikanth,
    Thanks for replying to my post on Google Groups. Ive bookmarked this site for later reference, I first need to stick to a book and start studying.
    I read reviews on Headfirst book which you had suggested, turns out the book has quite a few errors and some of the answers/explanations to the questions are incorrect.
    Im very much inclined to purchase the CAPM version of Rita’s book – http://www.amazon.com/CAPM-Exam-Prep-Mulcahys-Passing/dp/1932735208/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325823618&sr=8-1
    Looks like there is no Indian version of this book printed and the imported version is very expensive.
    Did you buy the PMP version of Rita’s book or the CAPM? I did find the PMP version of Rita’s book online and I like the way she has written the book, but Im not able to find the CAPM version of this book.

    • I did not read Rita CAPM version. I have used PMP version. I know Head First has some mistakes. But you will get some idea about all concepts. Head First helped . me to understand. I used to read Head First and them PMBOK in the first round and I was reading Rita and PMBOK in 2nd round. I don’t think CAPM require Rita PMP version. Questions are strait forward, hence PMBOK and Head First is fine and http://www.brainbok.com/ and http://www.pmexampreparation.com/ can help you more and try to complete all free CAPM exams online.Most of the question directly from PMBOK, if you know concepts, you can answer in 10 secs. Best of Luck, please let me know if you need any info from my side. sorry for the late reply.

  5. Chaitanya says:

    Congratulations Srikanth! Great blog!

  6. Former ProXalt User says:

    Congrats on your CAPM! And thanks for sharing your journey. You’ve shared a number of resources and an insightful review of these resources and exam.

    Glad that you found ProXalt to have helped you on your project management journey. But I did not find it as helpful and I wouldn’t recommend it to people. I’d like to share my own experience. This is my own review of ProXalt:

    Not very satisfied with the service. Very little training material was provided, the given training material was not at all sufficient to even complete the end of module exams required for the 35 hour Project Management (PM) education certificate, and the requirements for obtaining the certificate are not so easy to complete. ProXalt discloses some, but not all, details of how the course is run before purchase.
    ProXalt does tell you up front that you are required to obtain your own copy of the PMBOK from the Project Management Institute (PMI), as this is required for the course but not provided by ProXalt. At the time of writing (and of attempting the course) ProXalt was using PMBOK 4, however this was some months after PMI had already been using PMBOK 5 for its exams and so the material was already somewhat out of date. PMI did not sell copies of previous versions of the PMBOK through its official sales channels.
    ProXalt does not tell you prior to purchase that you have only three attempts to pass each brief end of module exam, and failure to do so could result in having to pay for additional re-test opportunities. There are brief exams for each module, covering nearly all of the PMBOK version used, as well as a longer final exam, all of which are timed. The exam questions are challenging and often beyond the scope of the training material provided by ProXalt.
    Nor does ProXalt alert you beforehand that the only training material you will receive upon purchase is a single set of presentation slides for each module with a brief voice-over that covers a basic overview of each section to be covered in the end of module and final exams. While this may provide a simple outline of the material, it does not cover the material in the depth required to have a full understanding of the material, or even to pass the brief end of module exams. The PMBOK is required for that.
    There is no option to download the presentations. The training materials are delivered through an e-learning platform that did not work properly in Google Chrome, and as it is Flash-based, also cannot be opened on many mobile devices. One is also not permitted by ProXalt to save or copy the content provided. After the 30 days of access is complete, the account expires and the training materials are not accessible without paying $35 again.
    The ProXalt service is certainly one of the more low cost and affordable PM education options available, and ProXalt is indeed listed (at this time) as a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP). For one simply looking for a certificate to fulfill the requirements of the PMP or CAPM exams, who has studied the PMBOK thoroughly and understands the material prior to taking the course, ProXalt may be a viable and inexpensive option. But there are a number of more comprehensive, and flexible, yet still affordable options available.

  7. Sri says:

    As you said , it is inexpensive option to get 35 hrs certificate to write CAPM or PMP exam. When I was talking ProXalt course, I was already started reading PMBOK and Head First. I have chosen this site only to get certificate. Both my CAPM and PMP exams were based on PMBOK 4. Their material is very very basic. I will update my lesson and write more details about Proxalt.

  8. Sam says:

    I’m thinking of getting my CAPM certificate and ProXalt is an option. If I read the PMBOK 5 before doing their lessons and have one other reference book (you mention Rita, is that Rita Mulcahy?) do you think I should be able to get through the ProXalt lessons?
    Thanks!

    • Sri says:

      Yes, If you want to go with ProXalt, you can . It is cheaper to get 35 Hrs, but their material may be not good. So, it is better to study PMBOK 5 or Head First and then start their course. They have exam for every chapter and you also need to complete the course in 30 days. But they will give you 3 attempt to pass every chapter exam. hence, it might not be a big problem to pass. Final exam will be with 50 Questions . Yes Rita = is that Rita Mulcahy. Rita is not required as of now. CAPM exam is not tough. I might have followed Rita since I was thinking to write PMP , end up writing CAPM.If you have questions, please let me know.

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