A few weeks ago, I passed the CAPM after studying for it for 2 months of studying time. I found quite a few others online that have been able to do that, but I can attest that it is a tough task to do it in that time frame. The complication for me lied in the fact, that I had no one to bounce ideas off, no teacher, no peers, which might have helped.
Read through the PMBOK once.
This is just to get a broad overview of the material. Don’t worry about really understanding everything, and how it all comes together.
– It took me 2 weeks (not studying on the weekends), 4-6 hours a day. I planned it first, and then measured against it. I ended up being faster than expected (I had planned for almost 3 weeks).
Tested myself with the tests at the end of each chapter of the CAPM Exam Prep book by Rita Mulcahy. This gave me a mark to measure my progress before and after reading her book. (I photocopied the tests, so that would be able to go through them multiple times.)
Read through CAPM Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy. This is a great book. Nicely lays out the general structure of project management (according to PMI). The author also uses a great sense of humor, which makes it much more fun to read, as the subject is pretty dry. I made sure to read through this book very thoroughly on the first go, and I made sure to understand absolutely everything: how everything connects, all the terms, every single comment that Rita Mulcahy makes on what you need to know for the exam.
– This took me three weeks, roughly one chapter per day (first day two chapters).
Tested myself again with the tests at the end of each chapter. At this point I’d gotten from 60% to 80%, but this test does not really represent your big three hour CAPM exam.
I also took a full three hour exam from a website online, that offered one for free. I scored only 64%, which would have been a failing grade on the real exam. But at this point, I still had not really done some of the heavy lifting of learning yet, so this was a real kick in the donkey for me.