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TOPIC: PMI-ACP passed with 'Above Target' in all domains in First Attempt

PMI-ACP passed with 'Above Target' in all domains in First Attempt 1 month 13 hours ago #24112

  • Padmanabh Jahagirdar
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I passed my PMI-ACP Exam in First Attempt with 'Above Target' score Overall as well as 'Above Target' in all 7 domains.

Exam Experience:
I took online exam by PearsonVue. I checked in 30 min prior as per their instruction. It took 10 minutes to complete all the formalities. I received prompt that exam would be launched in 15 minutes. Instead, after 15 min there was an automatic prompt saying your exam couldn't be launched with instruction for rescheduling. Naturally, I was confused as I had complied with all the requirements. I opened a chat session requesting launch of my exam. I had to wait for 30 long minutes before proctor responded. It turned out there were no issues. He asked me to again show my desk and launched the exam. The reason I share this is because it is important to not close the check-in session even if you think there is no response. Always remain in front of the webcam once you finish check-in, DO NOT LEAVE THE CAMERA. Even if there is no response from the proctor, do not panic.
Once exam started there was no glitch from PearsonVUE. Overall, not happy with PearsonVUE on check-in experience.
Exam itself was surprisingly tough for me. As I have noted below, I was scoring very well in practice exams and had a very high confidence going into the exam. But it started with very confusingly worded questions, at times I felt the question and answers did not truly reflect the real word situations. But I kept telling myself to stay calm and that more 'normal' questions will be coming soon. However, throughout the entire length of exam it did not ease out. I started falling behind my usual pace. But one thing I felt I did well was to keep calm and try to focus on the best answer (even though the confidence level of correctness of answer was not the same I had during practice exams). During practice I used to flag about 10 questions for review. In actual exam, I ended up flagging about 25 questions. It took me 2 hrs 40 min to finish 120 questions. In the remaining time I could only review 10 to 12 questions. As time expired, I was hoping to just see 'Pass'. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see 'AT' in all domains. To me this underscores the value of good preparation. If you have prepared well; you are more likely to choose correct answer even in the stressful situation.

About my preparation:
Books: 'PMI-ACP Exam Prep by RMC Learning Solutions (by Mike Griffiths)', 'PMI-ACP Exam Prep Workbook by Mike Griffiths', 'Agile Estimation and Planning by Mike Cohn', 'Head-First Agile' by A. Stellman and J. Greene.
Lessons: Exam prep by Joseph Phillips on udemy; Agile PrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner
Simulator: PrepCast Simulator; Agile FasTrack by RMC Learning Solutions.

While not everything I used is necessary to prepare well; I got value from each of these sources. Of course it comes down what you can afford.

My recommendation:
MUST HAVE: 'PMI-ACP Exam Prep by RMC Learning Solutions (by Mike Griffiths); PrepCast Simulator
SHOULD HAVE: 'Agile Estimation and Planning by Mike Cohn'

My feedback on each source of material I used in my preparation:
'PMI-ACP Exam Prep by RMC Learning Solutions (by Mike Griffiths)': This is a fantastic book for well rounded preparation for exam. Hence it's a MUST if you ask me.
'Agile Estimation and Planning by Mike Cohn': I bought this just 3 weeks before my exam. This is a fantastic book to reinforce agile thinking for planning and estimation and makes a lot of concepts clear that you may not fully understand just by reading an exam prep book. I highly recommend it. It is well worth the price.
'PMI-ACP Exam Prep Workbook by Mike Griffiths': I bought this because I did not have to buy exam prep book (I borrowed it from a friend). This book consolidated 50 key concepts and serves as a fantastic source for revising the concepts. However what stands out is the questions at the end of each chapter. There are 3 questions for each topic; thus total 150 questions. These are by far the best quality questions I found anywhere. Additionally there are some activities that are helpful to reinforce the concepts. I 'Recommend' this book if you can afford.
'Head-First Agile' by A. Stellman and J. Greene: This book was refreshingly good. If you don't have time to read anything else; just read a chapter on Lean-Kanban. It is by far the best coverage of these topics. A lot of exam questions on Lean-Kanban are based on concepts of lean. This book prepares you the best on these topics. I found the entire book very useful. I completed all the activities (crosswords, join the arrows,...). Overall, a very good book. I 'recommend' it if you have access to it from library.

Exam prep by Joseph Phillips on udemy: This is a good value for money to get your 21 hours required for exam application. The video quality is good. The content & the structure is very similar to Mike Griffith's book. I suggest you read the chapter from the book first before viewing the video lessons.
Agile PrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner: This covers almost 40+ hours. While they cover a lot of material from various sources and their hard work in consolidating the material comes through; to me it felt like spread all over the place rather than focusing on concepts and the exam. It was useful to learn additional concepts that were not covered in the books I read. If you just need 21 hours, go with Joseph Phillips' videos.

Exam Simulator: I found PrepCast Simulator questions lot more challenging than Agile FasTrack. PrepCast questions made me think a lot more whereas Agile FasTrack was at times too easy. You can see it from my scores below:

My Scores in PrepCast Simulator: 82%, 79%, 79%, 85% (Durations: My range for answering 120 questions not including time for review was: 2h 5 min to 2 h 30 min)
My Scores in Agile FasTrack: 86%, 93%. I stopped taking full length exam after two and took Focused tests to go over the test bank. (Duration: 2 h).

If you are buying only one simulator - I highly recommend PrepCast Simulator.

My total preparation duration: 8 to 10 weeks

I was thinking of suggesting best way to prepare and sequence in which to cover the material as looking back my preparation could have been more efficient if I sequenced them better. But my post is already very long, so as Cornelius says 'until next time..'..

PMI-ACP passed with 'Above Target' in all domains in First Attempt 4 weeks 2 days ago #24137

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Congratulations, Padmanabh! Thanks for coming back and sharing your experiences with us.
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