A Simple Guide to CAPM CertificationThinking of CAPM certification?

It’s a great idea. The CAPM certification is specially designed for people interested in project management or just starting their careers in project management, as well as project team members who want to demonstrate and make official their project management knowledge. As they say right on the PMI website:

“Regardless of your career stage, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is an asset that will distinguish you in the job market and enhance your credibility and effectiveness working on — or with — project teams.”

Pass the CAPM Certification

People who pass the CAPM have demonstrated their knowledge of the principles and terminology in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This may seem like a lot for someone early in their career experience with project management, but while the material may seem overwhelming there are a few simple steps to prepare successfully for your CAPM certificate, and we can help.

Understanding the exam eligibility requirements, learning the project management principles, developing a solid study plan and sticking to it, and practicing exam-taking strategies are key to success on your CAPM exam.

We’re making it sound easy, but we do understand that taking the leap and deciding to tackle your CAPM exam and certification can be intimidating. Like many things, once you break it down, it’s not so bad – and that’s what we’ll do here! A few simple steps and you’re on your way to success!

Earning Your CAPM Certification

The first step in earning your CAPM certification is to complete the application – even before you can take the certification exam. When you apply for the CAPM exam, you need to show the Project Management Institute (PMI) that you’ve met the prerequisites and are ready for the exam. Basically, they’re looking for details about the experience and education you’ve already completed. Let’s dig in and explore this in a little more detail.

Everyone needs at minimum a secondary school degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent) and either 23 hours of project management education or 1,500 hours of professional hours on a project team. On the application, they will be looking for information about where you completed your schooling and start and end dates.

If you select the “professional hours” option, you will need to include details about work on projects within the five project management process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing) summarizing your experience for each project. Each project should be individually recorded no matter how many projects you have worked on.

The training option is pretty straightforward and also a good idea because it’s a great way to prepare for your exam. The PMI also wants to know about project management education that you’ve completed, which they call “contact hours”. There are a few rules about what ‘counts’ and what doesn’t, and when this education occurred.

CAPM Certification Training Parameters

  • One hour of classroom instruction = 1 “contact hour”
  • Topics can vary but must be related to project management, including content on project quality, scope, time, cost, resources, communications, risk, procurement and integration management.
  • Be sure the courses, workshops, and training sessions are offered by one or more of the following types of education providers: PMI Approved Training Partners (ATPs), PMI Chapters, employer or company-sponsored programs, training companies or consultants, distance-Learning Companies (including an end-of-course assessment), university/college academic and continuing education programs. What doesn’t count is attending PMI chapter meetings or completing self-directed learning.

Special Note: The Brain Sensei CAPM course provides the 23 contact hours/PDUs you need to take the exam, and helps you prepare so you will ace the test!

So… hopefully, that didn’t seem too complicated? Once you’ve taken care of these two prerequisites and have the details at your fingertips, you’re ready to start the application process online!

Next Steps

Step 1: Create an account at pmi.org

In this step, you will provide some personal information (name, email address, country, date of birth) and describe your job and a little about your project management experience – this takes a few minutes but should be pretty simple for most people.

Note: You don’t have to be a member of PMI, but most people agree that it’s a good idea. Being a member means you get a discount on the exam. Also, as a member, you get access to free electronic copies of PMI reference documents which you are likely to find helpful. This includes the PMBOK® Guide, Salary Report, and other guides and standards published by PMI. If you decide to also join a local chapter, usually you’ll have to pay an additional small annual fee, but it is absolutely possible to become a PMI global member without joining your local chapter if that isn’t something you’re interested in.

Step 2: Review the PMI CAPM Handbook

To help you along the way, PMI has a handbook on their website, which is required reading – and helpful, too. The handbook includes information about how to apply for the CAPM certification and references both online proctored testing and center-based testing. PMI requires that all CAPM certification applicants read the handbook to gain information about the policies and procedures for obtaining and renewing the CAPM certification.

Step 3: Apply! (aka Complete the Application Form)

Here’s where you enter the details about your education and the training we talked about above. It takes a little while to key in all of the information, and the form goes into great detail, but you can save as you go and it doesn’t have to be all done in one sitting – it does, however, have to be completed within 90 days of when you start.

Here are some of the things they are looking for in this part:

The PMI wants to know about your education. Specifically, the highest level of education achieved, name of institution, the field of study, country of the institution, and which years you attended.

In this section, they also want the details about your 23 hours of training. For every course, they want the course title, provider name, course date/dates, and qualifying hours.

The final section is the ‘Exam Details’. Here you will include your contact information as well as how you want your name to appear on your CAPM certificate once you earn it. You also enter where you intend to take your exam and any accommodations you may require during the exam.

And then you wait …

It takes a mere 24 hours for PMI to complete what they call their “Application Completeness Review” and then you are approved to pay for and schedule your exam. During this time, you may be notified that you were randomly selected to have your details reviewed and that the PMI needs more information or clarification from you about your information, called “being audited” by PMI.

During an audit, you’ll be asked to submit supporting documentation. This can include copies of your diploma or degree, signatures from your supervisors or managers for the projects recorded in the experience section, or copies of certificates or letters from the training courses you recorded on the application. You have 90 days to gather and submit the requested documentation, and PMI will process it in 5-7 days.

Next, you pay your fee online and get ready to take your exam!

How to study for the CAPM exam?

Well, that’s something we can help with! Brain Sensei can help you prepare, and here are some solid reasons to choose Brain Sensei:

  • Brain Sensei offers unique exam prep courses sure to help you succeed, along with a 100% pass money-back guarantee.
  • We have a unique story-telling approach that makes learning both fun and memorable.
  • Our modules feature an exclusive spaced-repetition system that accelerates knowledge acquisition in a way that stands out from other courses.
  • We have a proven track record and have helped project managers at many world-leading companies become certified, including Apple, Microsoft, Disney, and Uber.
  • Our courses are filled with practice questions and assessments, so you can track your progress as you go and identify any gaps or areas where you need a little more focus.
  • Not only will you have access to our learning modules, but you will also have access to a private Facebook group where you can interact with other people and get support, ask questions, and get some help along the way.

Prepare for the CAPM Exam

Our exam prep courses and materials will help you be ready for and ace your exam. Check out the Complete CAPM Exam Prep Course.

Here are a few highlights about the exam itself:

  • 150 questions, in three hours
  • Out of the 150 questions, 15 questions are pretest questions that are randomly spread in the test and are not scored. However, there’s no way to know which ones are the ‘pretest’ questions and which are the ‘real’ questions, so you need to do your best on all of them and not get distracted by this.

For a breakdown of the exam topics and description, check out the PMI CAPM Exam Outline.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.69 out of 5.0 stars based on 72 review(s).

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The content was spot on and I am much more confident in understanding the processes and how everything works together now. (The) course is great; however, the customer service team is Exceptional! Very responsive and thorough, and at all times; and when I had some technical difficulties (or questions) they stuck with me through resolution. Highly recommended program and company.

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Great customer support. Wish more Agile modules were available.

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helpful focus, detailed testing.

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Very thorough training. By taking this course and reviewing some free online study materials, I was able to hit above target in every category.

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Thanks for all the support.

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Good Value.

- brian

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Need to do project planning

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Passed on the first try!

- Tanya

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Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

- Bevin

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It was great!

- Heide

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The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

- Vasily

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I'm very satisfied with the Brain Sensei PMP Exam Preparation Course. All 8 Modules are very well structured and detailed. I believe that practice exams included in the course helped me a lot with the preparation for my PMP Exam. I appreciate Brain Sensei for their amazing course and for the awesome service. They responded to all my requests immediately. Thanks. Highly recommended.

- Helen Borimsky

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The format of the prep-course is great overall and a great alternative to reading the PMBOK. Barring a few minor glitches here and there, the flow of information ensures that concepts are well understood not only from the point of examination but to the point of application in day to day professional activities. Explanations provided in the answers of prep exams (apart from the 1st one) are also a key to understanding the thought process to be applied. With the focus being on Agile approaches from 2021, the information in the course seemed adequate to cover the concepts. All the Best to all aspirants.

- Debraj

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رقص ترانه وشادب5

- محسن گلستانی

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Studied BrainSensei for 11 days and passed. Succinct and highly informational chapters. The 4 practice exams are marginally more difficult then the PMP. Borderline impossible to fail the PMP if you pass this course.

- Sarmad(Sam)

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Great course! They break down all concepts in a very clear and interactive way, that doesn't put you to sleep. Would recommend to anyone who is looking to pass the PMP exam with flying colors.

- Lusine Nazaryan

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شكرا على البرنامج الجميل

- اشحنولي

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اشحنولي

- اريد شدات بدون رصيد

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Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

- Scott Conn

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Liked it. Need access for longer though.

- Jerome

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What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

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Great

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The Brain Sensei PMP program is a wonderful program that condenses the PMBOK into digestible and retainable bites leveraging the power of story telling. If you're looking for a program that will get you your credit hours but also help establish a foundation of PMI knowledge this is the program for you!

- Kenny Dalen

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Passed first attempt

- Lee

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Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

- Minh Vo

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The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

- Jill Finkelstein

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The BrainSensei PMP preparation course provided me with all the material required to be ready for the exam. It is well structured, explains the concepts clearly, and most importantly, provides ample training questions through the four mock exams and assessment questions at the end of each module. I passed the exam with Above Target in all sections on the first attempt.

- Gael Riethmuller

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Overall I really liked this learning course. It was very helpful and allowed me to be well prepared for the exam. The 2nd and 3rd practice exam are great to give you real example questions and help prepare you for what to expect. BrainSensei's customer service was the best. I had to delay taking my test due to COVID and they extended my membership for free. They went above and beyond my expectation which was great. Only changes I would recommend is to add 1 or 2 more practice exams like the 2nd and 3rd exam and get rid of the agile practice exam. This is not a real focus of the test and therefore is not really applicable in my opinion.

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BrainSensei developed a great learning method to prepare for the PMP certification exam. Their customer service is always very professional, fast, spot on and dedicated to your success. I recommend them.

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I've sent several emails to BrainSensei (one of them not so nice, but the rest were okay) and the team has always been so polite in answering the questions. I'm a very straight-forward person and don't like the PMI-ism type questions because they seem like 'gotchas' or traps, and this is not how I manage my team. I took the Master of Project course (which was garbage) then failed the PMP exam. Throughout the PMP exam I felt so out of touch. Even with the first practice exam on BrainSensei I felt out of place, but I am not getting the hang of things. I hope to pass the exam on the second attempt! The brain sensei experience has been *miles* ahead of the Master of Project garbage. Brain Sensei should be proud of both their product and of their team! I love getting replies to my concerns so quickly. Nice work :) !!!

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This course was great. it laid a great foundation for the PMP exam.

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very useful

- Dan

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I was very pleased with the preparation provided for the PMP certification. I went through the materials twice and passed the exam on the first try. A couple of the questions need to be polished up, but very good training overall.

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Very easy to work with and quality product.

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The storyline provides excellent examples that provide context for understanding the core concepts and processes

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Good self paced learning tool

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This is by far the best way to prepare yourself for the PMP exam. The material is presented in a unique and engaging way that makes learning it easy and also fun! The company behind this course is also very professional and responsive. Keep up the great work!

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I have studied with other programs and I didn’t feel prepared. After a short time with Brain Sensei, I had the confidence to succeed on exam day, which I did on the first try after studying with Brain Sensei. It was worth every penny.

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Great program

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Course is made for people who are already grounded in the material, not for someone that needs all the basics. Was budget friendly and OK content.

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Brain Sensei is great tool to have in the study arsenal while preparing for the PMP exam.

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I really enjoyed the modules and content offered by Brain Sensei! I passed the PMP Exam on the first try and would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for a great PMP Exam Prep.

- Delfin Gallegos

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Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

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Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

- Mohammad Ali

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Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

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Absolutely Fantastic learning software. Highly recommend it! Very well thought out and creative. Really enjoyed my study time. Excellent mock tests and mock exams. So so helpful. Thank you Brain Sensei Team for being part of my PMP journey!

- Tracy

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

- Amir

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

- Cameron

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia

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It was good!

- Sergei

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris