CAPM Exam Changes in 2023 New Domains and Formats

CAPM Exam Changes in 2023: What You Need to Know

Project Management Institute (PMI) will launch a new Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM)® exam with new domains, question formats, and application requirements in July 2023.

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CAPM 2023 Exam Changes: What You Need to Know

PMI conducted extensive research to shape its next iteration of the Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) exam scheduled for launch on July 25, 2023.

What is CAPM certification?

PMI administers the CAPM certification, one of their global credential programs designed to verify practitioners’ knowledge of specific project management skills and standards. The current CAPM exam will test your knowledge of the following:

  • project management fundamentals
  • role of project managers
  • project scope, schedule, cost, quality, resource management, procurement, communication, stakeholder management, and risk management

Achieving CAPM certification requires fulfilling the educational and experience requirements and passing the CAPM exam. It is a standalone professional achievement that, for some, is also a step towards formalizing their project management skills today and demonstrating their commitment to the project management profession in the future.

Reasons For the CAPM Exam Update

Project management is a field that evolves; thus, the exam must change to remain relevant. Therefore, PMI uses a standardized process to align the certification exam knowledge areas, methodologies, domains, and frameworks to best practices in the field.

The CAPM exam content reflects the complexity of today’s project management environments. PMI shared that the CAPM exam change in July 2023 resulted from a global practice analysis (GPA), which included extensive market research and a job task analysis (JTA).

The updated CAPM exam will evaluate students’ project management knowledge often found in publications like PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – 7th edition, as well as business analysis processes and Agile principles.

Timeline of the 2023 CAPM Exam Changes

The CAPM exam change schedule from PMI states:

  • July 24 | Final day of the current CAPM certification exam
  • July 25 | First day of the new CAPM certification exam

The CAPM exam update process and knowledge tested is explained in the PMI CAPM Exam Content Outline (EOC).

Studying for the PMP Exam?

Preparing for the 2023 CAPM Exam

Potential CAPM credential holders who have taken training prior to the exam change should focus on preparing for the current exam. Anyone taking the CAPM exam on or after July 25 will need to be prepared to be tested on the four new domains, including business analysis and Agile content.

Reference materials for the new CAPM Exam

As noted in the 2023 CAPM ECO, the content within the new CAPM exam was created through a rigorous review process by those actively applying project management skills, methodologies, and frameworks. Though not required, reviewing the sources used to create exam questions for the CAPM exam is beneficial.

  • PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition, Process Groups: A Practice Guide (2022)
  • The PMI Guide to Business Analysis (2017)
  • Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide (2015)
  • Agile Practice Guide (2017)
  • The Project Management Answer Book (Second Edition)
  • Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid (8th Edition)

Question Types for the New CAPM Exam

For CAPM or any certification, practice test questions help you understand the knowledge areas you need to study further and what to expect on exam day. The new CAPM exam will have different question types, including:

  • multiple-choice,
  • drag-and-drop,
  • hot-spot,
  • animation video
  • comic strip
  • enhanced matching, and
  • multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers.

The new CAPM exam will have 150 questions, of which there will be 15 randomly placed pretest (unscored) questions for the ongoing refinement of the exam that do not count against your final score.  

Exam format for the new CAPM Exam

The new CAPM exam experience will be a maximum of three hours long, with one 10-minute break available after you have reviewed your submissions for questions 1 – 75. Post-break, you cannot change any submitted answers.

Understanding the New CAPM Exam Domains

One CAPM exam change is the inclusion of the four new domains.

Domain 1: Project Management Fundamentals and Core Concepts | 36% of CAPM exam

Topics core to understanding project management and apply to any project.

Domain 2: Predictive Plan-Based Methodologies | 17% of CAPM exam

Project managers traditionally refer to Domain 2 topics as “Waterfall or Predictive” project management practices.

Domain 3: Agile Frameworks/Methodologies | 20% of CAPM exam

Agile includes adaptive, iterative, or incremental projects that focus on quickly delivering value to a customer. Companies implement the Agile mindset using frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Disciplined Agile, etc. (although PMI most often refers to Scrum).

Domain 4: Business Analysis Frameworks | 27% of CAPM exam

In Domain 4, PMI is bringing Business Analysis (BA) content into the CAPM certification exam for the first time. Today, professionals seeking or holding entry-level Project Manager roles may start as Business Analysts or be asked to complete business analysis tasks (generally pre-project work to create business cases, elicit and track project requirements, etc.) within their current role.

How Domains Fit into New CAPM Exam

PMI will include all tasks from each domain in every CAPM exam and will follow the percentage of content as stated in the CAPM ECO.

CAPM Exam Application Requirements, Eligibility, and Costs

It is important to know the application requirements and exam costs to prepare accordingly.

CAPM Exam Education Eligibility

To sit for the CAPM exam, you must have verified documentation for the following minimum education and professional experience requirements:

Formal Education| Secondary degree (such as a high school diploma), General Educational Development (GED), or global equivalent

Project Management Education | 23 education contact hours through a qualified provider and in  project management topics completed before you take the CAPM exam

CAPM Exam Cost

Your PMI membership status determines CAPM exam certification costs.

  • Active PMI membership in good standing | discounted exam cost
  • Nonmember or non-active membership | full exam cost

Confirm your PMI membership status before you apply for certification to ensure the best rate, as there are no refunds for the cost difference in membership vs. nonmembership exam rates.

Once you have your CAPM exam date, you are subject to no-show and cancellation fees. However, you are also given a 1-year eligibility period to achieve a passing score on the CAPM exam successfully. You may attempt the test three times.

Deciding to Take the CAPM Exam Before or After the Update

A CAPM certification is an excellent addition to your professional standing at any time!

Pros and cons of taking the exam before the July 25 update

The current CAPM exam is a test of knowledge found in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth edition. Providers have been training students on this exam since it was released in 2018 and know what knowledge students need to pass the current exam. However, if you seek certification before the CAPM changes, you may not have the opportunity to dig into some of the post-pandemic ways of working addressed in PMBOK® Guide Seventh edition.  

Pros and cons of taking the exam after the update

The CAPM exam update requires a broader knowledge base to pass, including Agile and Business Analysis topics. Additionally, with the new question types, you will be asked to know at least a little about all things project management rather than only memorizing PMBOK Guide concepts. Additionally, the new CAPM ECO is more aligned with concepts found on the PMP Exam Content Outline, so the new CAPM exam will better prepare you to complete the Project Management Professional® (PMP) certification after you gain the 3 years of work experience required to take that exam.  

Conclusion: Embracing the CAPM Exam Changes and Setting Yourself Up for Success

The CAPM certification, especially the new update, demonstrates your value to your organization and your focus on making your skills relevant in any project team role.

Additional Resources and Support

  • Quick links for CAPM Certification and exam preparation
  • Connecting with the project management community
  • Staying informed about CAPM Exam updates and news
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam Official Cert Guide

Reference Study Guide.

Author profile
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Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO
Director of Product Development at
Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO