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TOPIC: Passed 3/31/2016. - First Try!

Passed 3/31/2016. - First Try! 8 months 2 days ago #7211

  • Christina McDermott
  • Christina McDermott's Avatar
I passed my PMI-ACP exam on March 31, 2016. This was my first try.
Application:
- I was not audited in case anyone wants to have an idea of how often it happens. It did not happen to me.
How I studied:
- Back in October of 2014 I attended a PMI-ACP bootcamp class. It was a few days and cost around $1,000. I didn't run off and take the exam right away. I procrastinated like crazy in addition to also having some family issues.
-I signed up for Agile Prep Cast in April of 2015.
- I didn't get back to studying for my exam really diligently until January of 2016 where I made the goal of taking my test on March 31st. I only had until April 15th to get it done else I'd have to re apply. I spoke with someone from PMI who confirmed that I would not have to produce new information on my application IF for any reason it lapsed. But I went ahead and scheduled my test like I should have done to begin with.
- (S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Boxed) Schedule your test!!!! MAKE IT REAL!!!
- I went through all of the videos and a few of the audios that was on the Agile Prep Cast. I did not listen to all of the audio pieces. I did all of the exercises in the study guide. (BTW-- that crossword puzzle is a hot mess. Someone needs to correct that or remove it from the guide. I may be working off of an older print-out though since I printed it back in April of 2015.) The link to the Exam outline is incorrect too. It takes you to the 2011 version. This needs fixed in the online study guide.
- I studied in the evenings and basically my entire weekends.
- Once I made it through all of the Agile Prep Cast videos it was time to do some more practice tests.
- I did the practice test with the Agile Prep Cast book and got an 85%. I passed it. It seemed kind of easy though.
- When you see above the mention of that boot camp class I attended in person? Well it came with a study guide with quizzes after each section, binder of our class materials, study flashcards and a written exam. I passed that exam too.
- I visited many lessons learned sites (including this one) for people who took the exam.
- On Sunday (March 27) before the I paid $50 for 90 days of agile exams at agilexams.com Super tough exams, but I felt ultra prepared after finally passing those tests.

Day of the Exam!
The Testing Center:
- You'll show them your id.
-There is a locker for your items. You cannot wear a watch in. You'll hold onto your id and a key to that locker.
- You'll sign in. All breaks you'll need to sign out for. (I didn't take any breaks.)
- The exam room was chilly. I wore long sleeves and was prepared to take a jacket into the room. The test lab coordinator told me that I would have to keep it on the entire time or leave the exam to give it to her. I was not allowed to put it on the back of my chair. So, I just opted to wing it in the room with my long sleeves.
- They had headphones I could put on to lessen the noise. I'm glad they did because my testing center was along a busy interstate.
- They also provided you with paper, pencils and a calculator.
- My exam time was 11:30am but they allow you to go in early if you're ready and they have space. I went in a few minutes early.

THE EXAM:
- My brain dump sheet included Agile Principles, Lean Info , XP Info, Crystal Info, DSDM Info, formulas, etc. I actually went over my 15 minutes just putting this all together.
- I didn't use one formula. All of the questions were situational. Only like 3 that I can remember were straight forwards questions. Keep in mind that your experience may vary.
- Tricky Tricky - I knew my roles well. I feel the names got switched up a bit of the roles at times. One time 'Customer' was used and I wasn't sure if it was the Product Owner or a customer who the Product Owner supported. I also had some questions where it didn't specify which backlog (Product or Sprint) so I wasn't sure which we were talking about. In both cases I had to very carefully try and figure out where we were in the process by looking at other details in the question or even looking at the available answers to come to a conclusion.
- My exam had lots of questions about things going 'bad' or negative situations. Make sure you know about that.
- I personally didn't do that great on the 'adaptive planning' area. I recommend you know it well. Everything else for me was 'moderately proficient'.
- Topics: I had scrum questions, conflict questions, Lean process questions, communication questions, Agile Manifesto principle questions, scheduling questions, root cause analysis questions, xp associated questions, etc. I will not tell you what was on the exam. Your exam will vary. SITUATIONAL HEAVY appears to be the standard from others postings too. (I've taken the CAPM before and it's pretty common for PMI to do tons of situational. That CAPM was probably the least situational.)
- I did a lot of marking of my questions. I finished with 30 minutes remaining. I went back and reviewed quite a few questions. Then I decided.. it was time. I personally had enough. I was really ready for this to be over.
- With 19 minutes left on the clock I had decided I was done. Enough already!
The End of the Exam:
- It put me through an optional questionnaire. Asked me what I thought of the exam, how I learned bout PMI-ACP, etc. Asked my gender, age and how long I'd been working with Agile methodologies... THEN... it was time for the results. I was just about green. I really didn't feel super confident that I'd passed.
- a big splash screen appears. PMI 'Congratulations!' I just about screamed with joy!
Leaving the testing lab:
- I had to sign out.
- They congratulated me. Gave me my piece of paper that was embossed.
- I was still shaking with nerves for probably 15 minutes after I'd finished.

Released into the world:
- Pulled out my phone and alerted the whole world I am PMI-ACP certified.
- Celebrated!!!

Today (1 day past the exam):
- I've been congratulated many times.
- I've printed out my soft copy of my certificate and hung it proudly in my cubicle.
- Co-workers who are interested in this certification want me to perform a lessons learned and how I got to success. Set up that meeting for next Tuesday.

Passed 3/31/2016. - First Try! 7 months 4 weeks ago #7215

  • Scott Gillard
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Great point on Scheduling your exam. It forces you to stay on track and have an end goal in mind. Congrats!
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Passed 3/31/2016. - First Try! 7 months 4 weeks ago #7216

  • Dinesh Advani
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Hi... Congratulations!!

A couple of questions about your experience:
1. So from a 'studying' perspective - was the Agile Prepcast the only thing you studied? (in addition to the boot camp and sample questions of course)
2. Which of the sample questions websites/packages did you feel were the closest to the real exam?

Thanks...
Moderators: Yolanda Mabutas, Kevin Reilly, Mary Kathrine Padua

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