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TOPIC: Cleared PMI-ACP Exam (7 ATs on First attempt - Took exam from home)

Cleared PMI-ACP Exam (7 ATs on First attempt - Took exam from home) 4 months 2 weeks ago #27802

  • Sameer M
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I DID IT FINALLY!!! After a long procrastination, I gave my PMI-ACP exam this week and cleared with Above Target in all the 7 domains.

With the success of PMP in March 2020, I decided to take up PMI-ACP certification. I had free access to Linkedin Learning from which I took the initial courses to get a flavor of what PMI-ACP is and earn the required contact hours for submitting the PMI-ACP application. My application was approved and I had to clear the exam before mid April 2021. Due to changing priorities and stressful times because of COVID, I couldn't prepare for the entire year and hence requested PMI for an extension. They approved with a 3 month extension (which they normally do) with my deadline ending in mid July 2021.

Below are the resources used for my actual prep:
• Mike Griffiths PMI-ACP Exam Prep Book (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) - Read it twice and prepared my own hand written notes
• Agile Prepcast Simulator (My scores were 82%, 79% and 74% for 3 mock exams. I did review the answers which helped me in filling the knowledge gaps and strengthening my concepts).

Below are my lessons learned for PMI-ACP :
• Among all the agile certifications I earned (PSM I, PSM II & PMI-ACP) , I felt ACP to be the toughest.
• When compared with PMP, I felt ACP to be much simpler and lighweight. (If you have a prior PMP certification, then you can go for ACP with complete confidence).
• I felt Prepcast simulator questions to be much tougher than the actual exam ones (take multiple tests and if you consistently score 75% or higher, then you are good to go for the final exam).
• The exam questions are scenario based with majority of them being short (mostly one to two liners & few 3 liners).
• The exam tests your understanding of the agile mindset. It does not serve any purpose if you try to memorize the agile values and principles without understanding why they are there.
• Some key concepts: Understand different agile roles and responsibilities; agile methodologies (with more focus on Scrum, XP, Lean and Kanban), burndown and burnup charts, Cumulative Flow diagrams, Release vs Iteration planning, estimation tools & techniques etc.


Online Proctored Exam Experience:
Initially, I wanted to take my exam at a centre. But having read the centre rules which required the candidate to wear a mask (because of COVID restrictions) during the exam, I felt that to be very inconvenient. Hence, I decided to take the exam from home and booked a slot at midnight so that I can be free from any noise and unexpected distractions. While I was an hour into the exam, I received a warning from the exam proctor that I'm frequently staring outside of monitor and if they find me repeating this, they might end the exam. This added an additional pressure on to me. So, for the next 2 hours I was either continuously staring at the monitor or closing my eyes to relax and analyze the options displayed. I did complete the exam in 2.5 hours and used the remaining time to review the flagged questions. Before clicking on 'End Exam' button, I was quite confident of clearing the exam but still tensed until I see the final result. As soon as I saw the Congratulations Screen, I jumped in joy. I checked my exam report later and was very happy to see 'Above Target' in all the 7 domains.

Note that you CANNOT take a break and move away from screen during the entire exam. However, with prior proctor's permission you can carry a water bottle and use it when required during the exam.

Final Words:
With organizations moving towards agile delivery, this certification holds very much value in today's context. I hope that you find the resources and tips mentioned above to be useful in your preparation. Wishing you all the very best.

Cleared PMI-ACP Exam (7 ATs on First attempt - Took exam from home) 4 months 2 weeks ago #27827

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Congratulations, Sameer!

Thank you for sharing your Lessons Learned. They are very helpful, and that's a useful tip about scheduling late at night.

When you are ready to start earning PDU’s for PMP recertification, check out the PM PrepCast’s offerings, The PM Podcast and the The PDU Podcast which will help you keep up with PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR’s) and maintain your new certification.
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Elizabeth Harrin
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