If you would prefer to self-study for your exams, here are a few tips to get you started.
Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Exam
There are quite a few books on the bibliography for the CAP exam. However, there is also quite a bit of redundancy across those books. You don't need to buy all the books, but if you are self-studying, you should have a good representation across the various categories of the test. Start with the IAAP HQ official Certification Study Guide first. A new version comes out every year, so make sure you get the latest one. Please note that I may get a commission on the sale of any of these books. It doesn't impact whether I refer them or not (since these are the recommended guides from IAAP) and you won't pay any additional cost for it.
I would recommend picking up this book as a starting point if you intend to self study:
First, you will need to decide if you wish to pursue certification in Office 2010 or Office 2013 or Office 2016. Then you need to decide if you wish to pursue the Master level certification, which has different requirements, depending on which version of Office you are certifying in.
For Office 2010, you will need these books to become a Microsoft Office Specialist - Master.
Regardless of which test you are sitting for, add up all the pages you need to study, divide them out by the number of weeks remaining between now and the exam, and that will tell you how many pages you need to read each week. I would actually subtract two from that number of weeks so you finish all your reading a few weeks prior to the test and have some time for review at the end, rather than just new reading.
You might want to find a study buddy to share the load with. Believe me, it will help!
If you've changed your mind and decided you really do need more help, you can always join my study groups.
Once you are certified as a CAP, you will want to keep those initials after your name. Doing this requires that you recertify with 60 points every five years. You can do this through a variety of options (educational, leadership, certification, etc.). Be sure to sign up for my mailing list to be notified of the ongoing study groups, webinars and other educational offerings I have that are eligible for recertification points!
In addition, there are some resources out there for free recertification points (be sure to read the guidelines from IAAP HQ to ensure they qualify!).