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Cornelius Fichtner help you with your PMP Exam Prep ( as well as earn free PDUs ( Passing the PMP Exam is tough, but keeping your PMP Certification alive is just as challenging. Preparing for the exam requires an in-depth study of the PMBOK Guide and dedicated study discipline. And once you are PMP certified, then you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification alive. Let me help you make this journey easier with tips and tricks on how to prepare for and pass the exam as well as efficiently earning your PDUs once you are certified.

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7 Lessons Learned from the PMI-ACP® Exam

Categories: Agile, PMI-ACP Eligibility

PMI ACP Exam Lessons Learned

Everyone has their own method for studying for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam. You might carry the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline or some Project Management Institute (PMI)® recommended study material around with you. You might join your local PMI® Chapter to study with others who also have the goal of passing the PMI-ACP® Exam. No matter what study method or methods you choose, someone has been there before you.

While everyone may have a slightly different story to tell, there are some things that can make a big difference in your success with passing the PMI-ACP Exam. Luckily, exam candidates are more than happy to share their personal stories and lessons learned with you. We have reviewed and analyzed a number of lessons learned from the PMI-ACP Exam that successful exam takers have posted on our website. Below is a summary of 7 lessons learned.

1: Learn the exam topics

“The exam covers most of what is in that outline,” according to one of the students on our forum. PMI published the PMI-ACP Examination Content Outline which covers topics, tools & techniques, as well as knowledge & skills for the exam. If you ever feel lost in all of the possible study material, return to this outline to make sure you are studying the right topics.

2: Read a variety of PMI-ACP Exam material

Unlike the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, the PMI-ACP Exam does not have a single guide or book of consolidated knowledge. PMI suggests a variety of reading material that can be used to study for the PMI-ACP Exam. A list of the current suggested reading material, the PMI-ACP Examination Reference List, can be found on the PMI website. According to one forum commenters “you have to read information from several sources and study more methods” compared to the PMP Exam.

One method for learning is to highlight important information as you read through the material the first time. On the second read through, create flashcards of the highlighted areas that you can use on the go to study important points. While reading the study material, pay particular attention to definitions and terminology as they may not be the same as those you use for Agile projects in your organization.

3: Take sample exams

The best method for practicing for an exam is to take sample exams. And sample exams can be your best indicator of readiness for the PMI-ACP Exam as well. You can take one before you start studying for the PMI-ACP Exam to gauge the areas in which you should focus. You can also take one when you think you are ready to take the PMI-ACP Exam to ensure you are actually ready.

Whichever way you plan to use sample exams is up to what best fits your study style, just make sure to use this valuable tool. Being familiar with how the exam works and the types of questions that will be asked can greatly increase your chances of passing.

4: Make the most of your study time

It can be difficult to find time to study, but there are ways to take advantage of even a few moments of time. If you have a long commute to work you can listen to The Agile PrepCast. This program offers more than 40 hours of PMI-ACP Exam preparation videos that can be downloaded to you smart phone, computer, tablet, or other portable media device. These videos can be viewed or just listened to while doing house work, working out, waiting in line, or even during your lunch break.

Passing the PMI-ACP Exam requires a lot of study time – possibly even more than you first thought. Seek out extra time in your day where you can increase your study time.

5: Be confident

Believe in yourself. If you are scoring well during the sample exams then you can feel confident about your ability to pass the PMI-ACP Exam. One key strategy to building confidence is taking practice exams to both identify what you need to focus on, and where you have improved as a result of studying.

6: Time yourself

Three hours may seem like a lot of time, but as many PMI-ACP certification holders know that time can go by quickly. The best way you can ensure you will not run out of time while taking the PMI-ACP Exam is to take at least one full length practice exam in a similar environment. Find a quiet location without distractions, set a timer, and start a full length 120 question exam. If you finish with plenty of time to spare, and pass, then you will probably do well during the exam. If you can barely get through all 120 questions in three hours or run out of time then you may need to look at what you can do to speed up your test taking or evaluate if you simply don’t know the material and need to study more.

7: Listen to others

Lessons learned by others can be a great asset in your own PMI-ACP Exam preparation. Talk to previous students, discuss your study plans with members of your local PMI Chapter, and listen to those who have already successfully completed their journey to PMI-ACP certification, chances are they will have some very valuable advice for you.

Do you want more PMI-ACP lessons learned? Go to our PMI-ACP Exam discussion forum to read more advice from previous PMI-ACP candidates. There are always great ideas and suggestion that people have for other exam takers. And when you’ve completed your own PMI-ACP journey, don’t forget to come back and share your experiences on the forum as well!

Posted on: April 28, 2014 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

The 7 Things You Need to Pass the PMI-ACP® Exam

Categories: Agile, PMI-ACP Eligibility

7 Things You Need to Pass the PMI-ACP® Exam

The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has developed a set of criteria and credentials for recognizing project management professionals who use Agile methodologies in their project, the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification. The credentialing process is fairly rigorous, including: 2,000 hours or twelve months of general project management work experience, 1,500 hours or eight months of Agile specific project experience, and 21 hours of training in Agile specific practices. The amount of material that is covered by the PMI-ACP Exam is extensive and can seem overwhelming, but don’t be intimidated! Having and using the 7 items in this article will ensure you are prepared to meet the exam head-on and achieve optimal results both on exam day and in your future career.

1: PMI-ACP Handbook

The PMI-ACP Handbook gives you all the details of the PMI-ACP Exam process including exam policies and procedures. The first two sections are a must read for anyone considering PMI-ACP certification. These sections cover the must know basics such as exam eligibility requirements, how to complete the online application, the payment policy, and the PMI-ACP Exam blueprint. Knowing and understanding this information will go a long way to reducing your exam day stress.

The PMI-ACP Handbook is available for free online at:

2: Time

The material covered by the PMI-ACP Exam is extensive, detailed, and spread throughout many sources of reference material. This is not an examination you can “cram” for in a couple of weekends or simply rely upon your experience and pass. Plan to take the exam after spending 10-12 solid weeks of studying for an hour or two just about every day. Of course you will need to develop a schedule that is flexible enough to fit in with the rest of your responsibilities and commitments.

3: Study Plan and Schedule

As a project manager, you are aware of the importance of planning and scheduling. Take those valuable skills and create a study schedule for 10-12 week period that fits well with the rest of your responsibilities. Depending on your job and household commitments, you may need to schedule more or less time. Take a practice exam to identify the areas that you need to spend more time focusing on during this 10-12 week period. Make sure your schedule is realistic and set weekly goals to track your progress. Don’t forget you also need to include time in your schedule to take breaks and participate in activities you enjoy.

4: Study Materials

The PMI-ACP Exam, unlike the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, does not have a primary publication for examinees to study. Instead, PMI provides a list of reference
materials. You can download this list for free at:

A second source is the PMI-ACP Examination Content Outline. This document covers information about the Agile tools and techniques as well as the Agile knowledge and skills that will be covered in the PMI-ACP Exam. I recommend that you ensure that any PMI-ACP courses or books you purchase cover all the items listed in here. Download it at:

5: Self Study Course

With the great number of material covered by the PMI-ACP Exam another option is to enroll in a self-study course. The latest generation of self-study comes to you in the form of Agile Podcasts / Videocasts. These can be downloaded to your smartphone, laptop, tablet, computer, or other portable media device. This makes your PMI-ACP Exam training portable, allowing you to listen or view whenever you have some free time.
Self-study Agile Podcasts cover agile frameworks, tools and techniques, knowledge and skills, and methods required for the exam in everyday English. As an added bonus, taking your lessons in this way can count toward the required 21 contact hours of Agile specific training.

6: PMI-ACP Exam Prep Book

There are a wide variety of PMI-ACP Exam prep books available, which are also sometimes called “study guides”. They explain the concepts covered in the PMI-ACP Exam and can be a great addition to the reference materials suggested by PMI. Go to your local bookstore and select one that fits with your style of learning and covers a variety of high- and low-yield topics.

7: Questions, Questions, Questions

A large number of free PMI-ACP Exam sample questions are available from a variety of resources on the internet. Free questions are a good place to start, but will only go so far for you. You will also want to subscribe to an online PMI-ACP Exam Simulator in order to access the highest quality of sample questions.

Your study plan must include answering as many practice questions as possible and taking several complete 120-question practice exams. This type of preparation will allow you to evaluate your study progress and prepare you for the format of the real thing. You will be nervous on exam day, but being familiar with types and formats of questions will help reduce anxiety and prepare you for success.

In conclusion: preparing to pass the PMI-ACP Exam can be a stressful process, but it does not have to be. Include these seven items in your studies and you will reduce anxiety and exam day stress. Study hard and good luck!

Posted on: April 02, 2014 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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