Project Management Institute-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® is a certification awarded by Project Management Institute to agile practitioners who exhibit their knowledge of agile methodology. One needs to demonstrate high-level knowledge of agile in project management to earn a PMI-ACP® Certification. Here are a few useful PMI-ACP tips and tricks for those, preparing or are planning to prepare for the certification.
Understand Eligibility Requirements
Go through the eligibility guidelines given on the PMI® website, or you can go through our previous post, Introduction to PMI-ACP® Exam, which speaks on the same. The key requirements to be fulfilled to qualify for the PMI-ACP® exam are:
- High school degree/diploma or global equivalent
- 21 contact hours training in agile methodology
- 2000 hours/12 months of prior experience in working on project teams earned in the last 5 years or active PMP® or PgMP® Certification
- 1500 hours experience in working on projects using agile methodologies earned within the last 3 years
- Taking the PMI-ACP® examination
Know what is covered in the exam
Before starting your preparation, list the topics that are likely to be covered in the exam. This will help you identify your strong and weak areas and help you focus on each of the topics covered in the PMI-ACP® exam.
Pick the right books and resources for study
If you don’t pick up the right sources, you will end up wasting a lot of time in exploring the topics over the internet or finding them in books. Instead of jamming your brain with irrelevant stuff, get just the right ones and identify a few good internet resources, where you will find ample information on different agile topics. There are several certified bloggers who keep updating their blogs with latest agile developments and specifically on the PMI-ACP® exam-related materials. On the website of PMI® you can find a list of books recommended by them. Moreover, if you have taken up some training course for the preparation of your PMI-ACP® exam, most of the curriculum is likely to be covered in the same.
Join a Support Community
There are many people preparing for the PMI-ACP® like you. They might be facing similar issues like you in seeking answers. Today, there are different online support communities, which are ready to help you. PMI-ACP® Support Group on LinkedIn is a good example of such a support community. Similarly, there are several preparatory study groups, where you can find people collaborating for discussions and sharing resources with others. This way you can also network with agile professionals in your area.
Attend Practice Sessions
PMI-ACP® exam is not just about your knowledge in agile. It’s about your reading and comprehension skills as well. You really need to practice before you take the real exam. It is advisable to take at least 2-3 practice tests before appearing for your exam. If you are joining some training course for preparation, they would certainly provide you with adequate practice material besides conducting mock exams. Form a clear strategy to approach the exam and try correcting your mistakes with every practice test.
Create a Study Plan in Advance
While preparing your exam plan keep the following points in mind:
- Keep 10-12 weeks of study to prepare fully, while scheduling the exam.
- Manage your work and personal commitments such that you get good amount of uninterrupted study time every day.
- Allow adequate time with enough breaks to understand all the key points
- Take up an online PMI-ACP® exam preparation course, which can:
- Provide the required 21 contact hours training.
- Guide you through every step of the examination process.
- Avoid cramming on a lot of books when there is limited amount of time to study.
- Take as many practice exams as possible.
- Identify your weak areas and work on them seeking help from your instructor.
- Take at least one full mock exam to practice attempting 120 questions in 3 hours.
Write the Exam Wisely
- Agreed, this is a prestigious exam and is highly valuable for your career, but do not let this make you feel nervous.
- Have a good, healthy meal before leaving for the examination center as it’s going to be a 3 hours long exam with no breaks.
- Stop your revision well before your exam. ACP is about deep understanding of agile principles. You can’t get into anything at the last moment.
- Avoid a lot of discussions at the last moment.
- Remember you have prepared and practiced enough.
- Maintain your calm while writing the exam.
- Read the questions carefully. Many people fail to clear the PMI-ACP® exam just because they do not comprehend the questions properly.
- Use the scratch paper sensibly without messing it. Make a habit of using the technique of brain dumping while you practice for the PMI-ACP®. If you fail the exam, the scratch paper can serve as notes for you to identify questions in which you struggled. These notes will guide you while preparing for the next attempt.
- Allocate your time wisely, first attempting the questions you are confident on and revisiting the difficult ones with adequate time in hand.
All the Best for your exam!!
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