CAPM vs PMP Exam: Which is Better?

Project management is a lucrative career option for those who are interested in leading and managing projects. Now, there are two well-known project management certifications- CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) and PMP (Project management Professional) offered under the umbrella of PMI. You can opt for any or both of these certifications to accelerate your career growth in the project management domain. 

In this guide, let us take a look at what both CAPM and PMP certifications cover in their exam and how they are different. 

CAPM vs PMP Examination

There are many differences between both the Project management certifications, but what differentiates the CAPM and PMP examination is that the CAPM certification focuses on a knowledge-based exam, and PMP focuses more on the experience-based exam. 

The questions on the CAPM revolve around the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide and test your understanding of fundamental knowledge, terminology, and processes of project management. Moreover, it is an entry-level certification with not so diverse eligibility criteria compared to the PMP certification. The CAPM certification is ideal for those candidates with little or no experience in project management

The questions on the PMP examination are based on real-life scenarios and test your existing experience as a project manager. The questions of the PMP exam are not only based on the PMBOK guide but several other reference study guides as mentioned by the PMI. 

CAPM Exam Format and Syllabus

The exam format of the CAPM exam is as follows:

  • 150 multiple-choice questions 
  • Duration of 3 hours.  

The CAPM exam revolves around the 13 chapters of the PMBOK guide, the weightage for each chapter is as follows:

Chapter Percentage of questions
Introduction to Project Management:  6%
Project Environment 6%
Role of the Project Manager 7%
Project Integration 9%
Project Scope 9%
Project Schedule 9%
Project Cost 8%
Project Quality 7%
Project Resource 8%
Project Communication 10%
Project Risk 8%
Project Procurement 4%
Project Stakeholder 9%


PMP Exam Format and Syllabus

The PMP exam format is as follows:

  • 180 multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of 230 minutes. 

The PMP exam revolves around 3 domains of project management and the weightage for each domain is as follows:

Domain Percentage of questions
People 42%
Process 50%
Business environment  8%


CAPM vs PMP Eligibility Requirements 

PMI has set eligibility criteria to apply for the CAPM or PMP examinations. Here is what you need to know about the eligibility criteria for both certifications. 

CAPM Eligibility Criteria 

The CAPM certification is an entry-level credential and asks for the following eligibility requirements before you can apply for the exam:

  • A secondary degree
  • 23 hours of project management training/education

PMP Eligibility Criteria

The PMP certification is a credential offered to experienced professionals with existing project management experience. Here are two eligibility criteria options that you have to meet to apply for the PMP exam.

Criteria 1 Criteria 2
  • Secondary degree 
  • 7,500 hours of directing and leading projects.
  • 35 hours of project management education. 
  • Minimum requirement 5 years of professional project management experience.
  • Four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours of directing and leading projects. 
  • 35 hours of project management education/training.
  • Minimum requirement of 3 years of professional project management experience. 



If you are planning to pursue your career in the project management domain, then you can opt for the CAPM Course, and if you are someone who meets the eligibility requirements for the PMP certification, then you must go for the PMP credential. 

About the Author:

Chetan Sharma is a professional digital marketer and blogger at heart. He owns multiple educational blogs like HSSLIVE and many others.

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