You can buy flashcards; there are many training companies that produce them and try to sell them to you, and you may find that your CAPM materials come with a bundle of cards for self-study included.
However, there is really no need to spend a lot of money on that kind of resource, and it could be more beneficial to your studies to make them yourself. One of the CAPM exam prep tips we regularly share with our students is that it’s actually easy to make your own.
The act of creating your own study materials helps you absorb and remember the concepts, and then you can test your knowledge using them as part of your exam preparation.
Plus, you can tailor how you create them and what goes on them to fit your personal approach to studying and planning for your test. They are also handy to have with you to look at in your downtime or short revision periods, say, for example, while you are waiting in line.
Convinced? Great! But before you get started making your own cards to support your goal of passing the CAPM exam, let’s share some tips from students who have already successfully done it.
Brittany S., who passed her CAPM exam in October 2020, suggests that you use flashcards to focus on the relationships between tools, techniques and processes.
“I got serious about focusing on the very unique inputs and outputs of note that only occur as an input or output for one process,” she says. “I made little flashcards to drill this into my head.”
Do it yourself: List out the key project management processes and prepare a set of flashcards that explain what goes into a process, what happens during the process, and what the outcome is.
Extra tip: Don’t cut out your CAPM flashcards too small. They should be large enough to hold a fair amount of text but small enough to carry comfortably in your hand. Check out different sizes of cardstock or index cards and select a size that works for you.
S. Bryant, who passed the exam with a score of Above Target in all areas, recommends practicing every day.
“I made flashcards of all key terms and all processes and drilled every day,” they say.
Do it yourself: Use index cards to create your own flashcards. Write the term or process on one side, and the description on the other. Test yourself both ways: read the description and match it to the process or key term. Then on another exam prep day, read the key term or process name and think of the description. Use them as another component to the resources you are using to prepare, and come back to them often.
If you are using this approach to review formulas, write the formula itself on one side and then on the reverse write an explanation of what the formula is and when you would use it.
S. Bryant studied for a minimum of two hours every day for three weeks, which is quite intensive preparation. It obviously worked!
Extra tip: Punch a hole in the corner of each card and string them together with a treasury tag (one of those little strings with a metal bar on each end). A piece of string looped through will work as well. This will keep your entire ‘deck’ together and make sure you can easily flip through the pack when you have some spare time.
Linda De Boer decided against paper flashcards and went with a tech option.
“I put a flashcard application on my phone that lets you create flashcards using the desktop and export them to the Android version of the application,” she explains. “I created cards for the ITTOs and anything else that I wanted to review and then was able to study while waiting for an appointment, or any other “spare time” that came up.”
The great thing about having your study notes on your phone is that you will never lose them and they will always be handy when you have a few minutes to spare! It’s also fun to make your own tech solution and typing in the details can help you remember the concepts in the same way that writing them down does.
Do it yourself: Find a flashcard app in your mobile app store and download it. You may need to use the desktop version of the app to create each card, and then access or export them into your mobile app. Call up the electronic pack, read the text and then tap each one to flip it over and reveal the answer. Add new terms to your deck as you come across new concepts during your studies and be sure to set the order to random so you see the words in a different order each time!
Extra tip: Choose a readable font when you make your digital cards, because you may be reading them on a small screen. Check out the different apps available and look at what options they have for different colored text, backgrounds and font choices.
Flashcards are a simple, practical study resource that you can produce yourself and use over and over again during your CAPM exam prep. They help you drill topics and concepts before you move on to the next step: a CAPM practice exam to put your knowledge to the test in a realistic test environment.
When you’re ready to test yourself, take a look at our comprehensive and top-rated CAPM exam simulator which has helped thousands of students just like you achieve their goal and earn their certification.
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