6 Steps You Need to Take to Pass the ACP Exam in 2020

Feb 13, 2020 | Project Management

The Agile Certified Practitioner is a high-level professional qualification that validates your knowledge and expertise in the Agile methodology. The Project Management Institute has carefully crafted the program to recognize competent project managers from others and improve their chances of career growth.

Candidates need to have at least twelve months (2000 hours) of experience managing general projects, as well as, eight months (1,500 hours) of experience in managing Agile-specific projects. Besides that, these candidates need to go through 21 hours of training for implementing Agile-specific practices.

With so many requirements and a considerably lengthy syllabus to cover, many candidates may find preparing for the PMI-ACP exam overwhelming and daunting. In this article, we cover how to pass the ACP Exam in 2020.

Download the PMI-ACP Handbook

The PMI-ACP Handbook is a guideline that contains necessary information about the PMI-ACP Exam. You can download the handbook from the Project Management Institute’s website.

The first two sections reveal all the basic requirements for the exam, including the eligibility criteria. It also explains how to address common issues related to payment, the online application process, etc. Furthermore, you can get the blueprint for the PMI-ACP Exam from this section.

Dedicate Time to Prepare for the Exam

The syllabus for the PMI-ACP Exam is extensive and comprises a number of resources. You cannot expect to memorize and understand everything over a couple of weeks. Therefore, you need to dedicate at least 10 to 12 weeks to study and review the entire syllabus. However, to make the most of your prep time, you need to develop a comprehensive schedule that fits your professional and personal responsibilities.

Create a Study Plan

Project managers are aware of the importance of breaking down tasks, planning them and executing them incrementally. To prepare for the exam smartly, you will need to improve your planning skills and create a comprehensive study schedule for a 10-12 week period.

Depending on the nature of your job and the responsibilities you have at home, your studying schedule may vary. However, it’s a good idea to take a practice exam, in the beginning, to know where you stand.

Two open books
Photographer: Aaron Burden | Source: Unsplash

When setting up your schedule, make sure that it is realistic and establish weekly milestones to track your progress. Also, remember to take short breaks throughout the day to relax your mind.

If you have been studying for long, you should consider dedicating a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of studying. Not only will it help you recover from exhaustion, but it will also increase your focus and let you concentrate on the study material more effectively. Research shows that giving yourself small breaks while studying can help you learn new things comprehensively.

Compile the Study Material

Unlike the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam, the PMI-ACP exam does not have a single study resource you can refer to. Instead, the PMI offers candidates a list of online resources they can use to study for the exam. These resources are available for free on the PMI website and you can check them out on this link.

Alternatively, you can use the PMI ACP exam prep books to learn all the necessary methods. These study guides explain all the foundational concepts of the Agile Methodology in detail. You can also learn related concepts and develop a firm understanding of Agile for project management.

Instead of wandering from reference to reference, you can learn everything you need from a single source to fill the knowledge gaps in your mind. However, you need to enroll in a reliable PMI-ACP training course to avail the study preps and reference books needed for the ACP exam, which brings us to our next point.

Attend a PMI-ACP Training

Attending at least 21 hours of training in Agile Project Management is necessary to be eligible for the PMI ACP exam.  However, PMI has enforced this requirement for good reason and the training course can help you revisit the core foundations of the Agile methodology.

You will have the opportunity to relearn the key principles, techniques, tools, and practices required for Agile project management. But for that, you need to give your energy, focus and attention to these training lectures.

At the same time, since you are pursuing ACP training in a classroom environment, you will get to prepare for the exam in an interactive manner. Not only will it help you prepare for the ACP exam in a defined timeframe, but it will also set the pace for your preparation.

Practice, Practice, and Practice

For the PMI-AC exam, you cannot rely on your experience as a project manager alone to succeed. Similarly, only reading the study material over and over again will not be sufficient to prepare you for the real thing. You need to assess the depth of knowledge with the help of practice tests for PMI-ACP.

Designer sketching Wireframes
Photographer: Green Chameleon | Source: Unsplash

You can search the internet for practice questions for the PMI-ACP exam. The PMI website has several questions you can use for practice. However, it’s better to refer to other sources to answer a diverse set of questions and test all your concepts effectively.

Make sure that all your practice questions are updated and question your knowledge of the core concepts in the Agile methodology. Remember to attempt at least 50 questions during each practice test attempt.

Each time you have learned a new topic, take a practice test. With the help of this technique, you will be able to learn every core concept and cover the entire Agile syllabus comprehensively.

The PMI-ACP exam may seem overwhelming, especially if you are taking it for the first time. However, relying on an accomplished Agile training course in San Antonio can help you pass the exam with ease.

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