What is the IAAP Exam?

What Can I Expect from the IAAP-CAP Exam?

The International Association of Administrative Professionals, or IAAP, offers a certification examination leading to the designation of Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). Individuals who have earned this credential fulfill roles in administrative and office support and are knowledgeable about best practices in the workplace.

Test Content

The IAAP-CAP exam covers a range of domains that outline skills expected of administrative professionals. The domains are based on surveys given to practicing professionals and business educators. These domains, and the percentage of the exam that will involve them, are as follows.

Administrative Domain Percentage of ExamSample Performance Outcomes
Business Writing and Document Production 22% Demonstrate knowledge of document production terminology, grammar and spelling rules, desktop publishing features, chart and graph formatting
Office and Records Management 15% Explain ARMA guidelines, file retrieval techniques, proper ergonomics, and procedures for maintaining office supplies
Organizational Communication 24% Describe effective interactions, the importance of professional networking, types of team dynamics, and methods for preparing presentations
Technology and Information Distribution 16% Demonstrate knowledge of copyright laws, effective use of the internet, and information security procedures
Operational Functions 11% Identify various hiring practices, onboarding procedures, and budgeting practices
Event and Project Management 12% Explain event management terminology, travel planning elements, and steps for organizing a project

Test Availability and Format

The IAAP-CAP exam is offered twice a year during testing windows in the spring and fall. It is a computer-based test administered at Assessment Systems testing centers, which are found throughout the U.S. and internationally. Test-takers will answer 300 multiple-choice questions, and must finish within three and a half hours. Results are available within 30 days of the test.

What Prerequisites Must I Meet?

Before being qualified to sit for the exam, applicants must meet educational and experiential requirements. An application that demonstrates how they meet the requirements must be submitted to the IAAP. If the application is accepted, candidates are entered onto a roster of eligible test takers. The table below details what is required in terms of work experience, depending on degree level.

DegreeYears of Relevant Work Experience
No degree Four years
Associate's degree Three years
Bachelor's degree Two years

Examples of acceptable work experience include activities ranging from project management and business writing to human resources hiring and records management.

How Can I Prepare for the Exam?

The IAAP provides a list of textbooks that are considered core resources when studying for the exam. Study.com also offers some practical test prep resources. Candidates can use the engaging IAAP CAP Exam Study Guide to review key topics covered on the exam. Chapters include common office software, business communication, and human resources considerations, and information is presented in short, manageable chunks. After working through the study guide, the IAAP CAP practice test can help test-takers be confident that they're ready to sit for their examination.

What Must I Do to Maintain My Certification?

For those who took the exam in 2018 or later, re-certification will be due every three years. Professionals meet recertification requirements by taking continuing education courses, earning CAP specialty certifications, completing industry-specific professional development activities, or holding leadership positions within the IAAP, among other activities.

IAAP CAP Prep Product Comparison

The IAAP's Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) exam is an eligibility requirement for individuals interested in becoming CAP Certified. There are many options available for prepping for this exam. To help you decide which is right for you, we've compiled this list of prep providers.

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