Hi! My name is Valeria, and on June 3, 2018, I received a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate from the Project Management Institute (PMI). In this article, I want to share my experience of passing the certification exam.
I already had the certificates of PM STANDARD and Project Administrator, but I always wanted to get a certificate that is recognized worldwide.
This certificate corresponded to my level of experience-a novice specialist, more than 3 years of work.
I was familiar with the PMI standards for a long time and had a good understanding of the PMBOK structure – there was no need to start from scratch when preparing.
It goes very simply. To do this, you need to create a personal account on the site pmi.org and follow the instructions. To complete the application, you could either confirm 1,500 hours of experience in project management, or 23 hours of project management training. I am studying for a master's degree in Project Management, so I attached a transcript to the application confirming the passage of the relevant disciplines.
When filling out an application, it is better to specify reliable data, since some of the applications are subject to audit. In this case, you will need to provide confirmation for all the information.
After the application is approved, a year is given for planning and passing the exam. My application was approved immediately (December 15), then notifications with reminders began to arrive. By February 14, I was ready to pay for the exam and set a date for the exam. Firstly, the scholarship came, and secondly, the special offer ended-participants who passed the pilot exam before the end of March were refunded the cost of $210 (at the cost of the exam of $300 without membership). It's hard to say what to say.
I scheduled the exam for 13.30, on March 27. It was held at the Prometric testing center, Oktyabrskaya metro station. There is only one such center in Moscow, so there were no options.)
That's where the fun started.
Endless tests on the mobile app.
For the exam, I passed 464 tests, of which 335 were successful.
PMBOK before bedtime.
I tried to read one chapter a day/two days. It is a mistake to postpone the most difficult topics to the last moment. It turned out that more attention should have been paid to the management of communications – they account for 10% of all issues. The knowledge gained at the university and on the online course helped with the calculation tasks.
I attended the course "Project planning: meeting the deadline within the budget" three times. Since I was invited to take part in the course as a teacher's assistant. The work of students and their own experience helped to connect many areas of knowledge with practice.
In general, no magic.
You need to come half an hour before the start. This is necessary in order to sign the papers, put things away and pass the metal detector inspection. It is forbidden to use personal belongings during the exam, you can go to the restroom, but you need to sign at the entrance and exit, the exam time does not stop. The exam itself consists of 150 questions with 4 possible answers, and lasts for 3 hours. The exam language is English. You can skip questions and mark them with checkboxes, highlight the text in them, and cross out the answers. Before the exam, they give earplugs and headphones, but there were almost no people (on a weekday), so I was comfortable with only headphones.
After the first review of the entire test, I had about 25 missed questions. There were simple tasks with calculations on the critical path, mastered volume and risks, mini-cases, questions about Agile, trends and emerging practices. The questions on determining the inputs/outputs of processes seemed difficult, since the answers in this type of questions are very similar.
After an hour and a half, my strength began to run out, I only wanted one thing-that it would end soon. However, there was enough time for answers, and I even left a little earlier.
I had to wait quite a long time. First, on April 24, we received a notification about the return of $210, and the results themselves appeared only on June 3. However, this is only due to the fact that the exam was held during the pilot time. Usually, the results appear immediately after testing. In addition to the general level, the results report shows the results by chapter. For me, the most problematic areas were risk and communication. The rest are made perfectly or almost perfectly.
Without reading the PMBOK in any way. There is a lot of theory for understanding processes.
It is necessary to read in English, in extreme cases – in parallel. I did this for a better understanding of difficult moments.
Identify your "weaknesses" and start with them when preparing, for me it was "procurement", for example. (Fortunately, testing in the app can also be configured on a specific topic)
Learn "Communication Management" well! I underestimated them.
Don't be dramatic. The exam should arouse interest and healthy excitement, not fear.
Now you may think that the certificate is a way to amuse your ego or just a waste of money and time. After all, the salary will not immediately increase, they will not increase at work, and in general, you can get it at any time when there is a need.
In fact, obtaining a certificate is a long way of preparation and self-development, and it is not always possible and time to pass it when "the very need" appears.
Don't be afraid to test and confirm your knowledge with professional certificates – one day they will help you become part of the team or project of your dreams.
Thank you for reading to the end :)