PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner Exam, Part 2: Taking and Passing the Exam!

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So I took my PMI-ACP exam in April, and I passed! All in all, it was a crazy experience. Last time, I posted about how I prepped for the exam, the books I read, and practice tests I took.

Today, I want to go over my last minute prepping and how the test itself went.

After reading the Mike Griffiths book on the Agile Certified Practitioner exam, I took all the practice tests in that book. Additionally, I made flash cards of all the equations, terms, and other concepts that might come up on the exam for last minute studying. Finally, I took as many tests online as I could!

Studying for the PMI-ACP exam

The day of the test came, and I was frantically going through my flash cards to try to get some last minute cramming in. I went to one of the testing centers here in Austin (since I did the electronic version) with 100 or so of my new friends taking tests on everything from accounting to the GRE. I arrived 30 minutes early for my exam, as instructed, and found that the center had lost power due to some storms early in the morning, so they couldn’t administer any tests. We were advised to wait and I waited about 1 hour past my exam start time (we had to wait two hours to get a reschedule without forfeiting the fee!) to begin.

So by this time, I was very nervous since I had prepped and thought I was ready but then had to wait! I finally got into the test, got a preview of the testing software, and began. The test is two hours and 30 minutes total for 120 questions.

The first thing I can say about the test is that it is nothing like the online tests or the book tests! I felt completely unprepared! The questions were all very situational about things a practitioner might do in agile (which is a good thing, but was not mirrored in most of the practice tests). Some of my pet peeves on the test were things like changing your role in each question and changing which form of agile you had to decide about with very subtle word changes.

Relying on professional experience for the PMI-ACP exam

All in all, my agile experiences in projects helped me more than any book, so make sure you are well versed in working in an agile environment before taking the test.

I finished my test very quickly and went over all my answers again, just to be sure. Then I submitted and waited with bated breath to see if I passed. And I did! So all the hard work paid off, and I am a PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner.

Some last tips for anybody trying to prep for this exam:

  • Rely on your instinct/ prior project experiences. More than any book or online test, I think my thorough grounding in agile and working on agile projects helped me the most.
  • That being said, still do prepare and read the books, especially if you have only worked in Scrum. The books give you a good starting point for the other flavors of agile.
  • Finally, check and double-check your work on the exam. If you are taking the electronic version, you can mark questions for review and that helped me go back and think through my answers.

What have your experiences been when taking the PMI-ACP exam? Did you find your study resources more useful or your real world experience? Comment below!

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