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TOPIC: PMI-ACP Exam Lessons Learned from Jonathan Jacobs

PMI-ACP Exam Lessons Learned from Jonathan Jacobs 7 months 2 weeks ago #29088

  • Jonathan Jacobs
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Lots of fine advice in this forum/other posts. I’m going to try and offer something slightly different (possibly more helpful). I passed first time, with 6-out-of-7 topics above-target.

1) It’s all about “mindset,” and by that I mean BOTH “Agile mindset” (which is essential), but also remembering this is a cert. If your goal is simply to pass the exam, I have no advice. If you respect the exam as formal recognition of a solid body of wonderful knowledge, you’ll relate to the process very differently. You’ll review the material with the intent to fully understand, not just memorize. Study to learn, not pass an exam, and you’ll pass the exam just fine.

2) Everyone says use the Griffiths exam prep guide. I used ONLY the PM Prepcast video material, supplementing that with regular Google research for things I felt needed expanding for more complete comprehension. (Does the exam drill on the differences between a methodology and a framework? No. But you ought to know this sort of thing.)

3) I reviewed all the video/material and created my own set of outlined notes (ultimately around 130 pages). I not only found the “absorb, understand, write-back” process very helpful, but ended up with my own reference material/guide integrating answers to my collateral questions when they arose. I’d recommend the “create your own study guide” approach to any/everyone.

4) I found several mistakes in the video material (and reported them). That’s the level of attention you need to bring when you study. I could only do that for an hour or two, in ideal study opportunity/conditions. That’s why it took me over a year.

5) You must use the (or a) simulator; no question about it. Take every test. Read all explanations to all wrong answers.

6) I despise most exams because both questions and answers are worded terribly, and my mind isn’t capable of rank-ordering other peoples’ feeble-minded expression to come up with the “right” answer. Weirdly, this exam is different from any other I’ve taken. Here, you actually have to read – very carefully – the question and, instead of guessing at what-the-hell the test creator was maybe trying to say, you must read specifically and literally, and consider the answers the same way. It’s quite precise! The correct answer is almost always the technically accurate one such that if you had the opportunity to review the question with a super-expert, you’d be likely to agree with their explanation as to which choice is correct (rather than arguing that some other answer is just as good). In short, for both the simulator and exam, there really is only one best answer.

7) PearsonVue is awful. They’re conscientious (the pre-exam check-out nearly had me use my camera for colonic inspection), which is fine, but their software is terrible. I prepared a relatively virgin workstation, installed their check-out software (which I would never do on any production system), and still I had severe technical problems; freezing and the like. Calculator wouldn’t come up. It was nerve-wracking. However, their chat system does work, and eventually I got through it. (No, the problems weren’t “my internet.”)

Good luck! Now let’s all go Agile-the-hell out of everything, and make the world a better place!

PMI-ACP Exam Lessons Learned from Jonathan Jacobs 7 months 2 weeks ago #29089

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Jonathan,

Congratulations on passing your exam!

Thank you for sharing your success and lessons learned. We are glad to hear that our products helped you prepare for and pass your exam.

Good luck in all your future endeavors!
Regards,
Stan Po, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CIPP
Product and Program Manager
OSP International LLC
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