Frank Turley (FT), Director of Professional Development at PMI Belgium Chapter interviewed 

Juan Raemdonck , Study for the CAPM Exam, November 2018

Introduction

Juan recently took the CAPM exam and passed. He is, therefore, the perfect person to give us an overview on how this went for him.

Why did you decide on doing the CAPM exam?

After graduating, I received a free online course on project management from my professor. I decided to take this course and it surprised me how interesting it was. After taking this online class, I understood the basics of project management. This was really nice, but I wanted something that recognized this knowledge. Then, I read about PMI and the different certifications. I read about the PMP certification and it looked interesting. Unfortunately, this required experience in project management, which I didn’t had at the moment. But there was an alternative, the CAPM! This certification would recognize my basic knowledge on project management and on top of that, I could take the exam online at home.

What was your PM experience?

One of the reasons I chose CAPM was because it did not require any professional experience in project management. My only knowledge on PM was theoretical at the time.

Which material did you use to study?

I was really lucky on the online course I got. The course included a resume and this proved to be useful to study the basic principles. Furthermore, I also used sample exams that I found for free on the Internet.

Which concepts did you find the hardest?

Having no professional PM experience, it was hard for me to study the domains of project procurement management and project scope management. Although these domains where the most difficult for me to study, I found great help in reading/studying the PMBOK on these topics.

Do you think a CAPM study group would have helped you?

Certainly! I think the main advantage is that the complete study process could have been much shorter. I think that I would have benefited also from the experience of other people to compensate for my lack of experience.

How much of the PMBOK did you read?

Surprisingly, I did read the whole PMBOK. Looking back it wasn’t maybe the most efficient use of time but it allowed me to have a good general picture of what was in the PMBOK .
Was it easy to fill in all the documentation to take the exam? (how long did this take)
I must say the authorization process is not really fast. In total, it took me a few hours, I think.

How did you prepare for all the exam questions?

Firstly, I did the online course, then I read the PMBOK , studied the summary and finally, I tried some online exams.

What would you do different if you had to repeat the whole exercise again?

I would definitely do the exam again but I would not read the PMBOK again.