Reply: Passed PMI-ACP Exam on 2/17 | Lessons Learned

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Topic History of : Passed PMI-ACP Exam on 2/17 | Lessons Learned

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2 years 5 months ago #13341

Kirk Carnicom

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I passed the PMI-ACP exam on 2/17 with Above Target in all 7 domains.

Lessons Learned:

This exam was very challenging, as nearly every question was behavioral/situational in nature:

“What should an Agile Practitioner do if…”

I finished answering all the questions with about 30 minutes left. I took a break for a few minutes (the clock keeps counting down, you can’t pause it), then came back to review the questions I marked for review. Most questions had 2 answers that were clearly wrong, with 2 answers that were potentially correct – choosing the best answer is the key. I used the strikeout feature of the exam to eliminate the answers that were clearly wrong, and that was helpful. After completing the exam, I was presented with a 10-question survey about the exam in general, as well as my experience with the testing facility. After completing that, I was presented with my results.

As others have mentioned, this exam is more about the Agile Mindset than simply recalling the definition of key terms or knowing who founded a particular Agile method or practice. Instead of explicitly asking what the values and principles are from the Agile Manifesto, the questions are built in such a way that the answer depends on your understanding of the values and principles. I know this might sound unhelpful in terms of feedback about the exam and its contents, but it’s so much more important than knowing about Snowbird, Utah and February, 2001 (but it’s still good to know that).

Exam Prep:

I started preparing for the exam in early December of 2017. Listening to the Agile PrepCast was a great way to understand the scope of what is on the exam. The depth that the PrepCast has for each component of the exam is appropriate for how difficult the questions are on the exam. One round of the Agile PrepCast was sufficient for me, but it could be worthwhile to revisit any topics that were unclear after a first listen. In addition to understanding the scope of the exam, the key takeaway from the PrepCast was to see the big picture of how Agile teams develop habits/behaviors that best support the Agile Manifesto, in the context of the many Agile methods and practices.

After listening to the Agile PrepCast, I read a couple of books through Safari Books Online – my mileage varied here. Some of the content of the books was not particularly accurate or consistent. This is one of the challenging aspects of the PMI-ACP exam – the content does not come from a single source of truth like other exams – it spans a wide variety of content. I really can’t recommend any books in this case.

I watched several of the PMI-ACP videos by Chuck Cobb on Pluralsight, and those were very good. The content aligned with the Agile PrepCast, so I found it a good way to reinforce the topics. Unlike the books on Safari Books Online, there was no content that was questionable/seemingly inaccurate. I recommend this series as the content is presented in a different way which was beneficial to me.

Exam Simulator:

Excellent. Must have. Confidence builder. The list goes on. Thank you so much, Cornelius and team.

I read through each question across all exams multiple times. That meant reading why each potential answer was either correct or incorrect and why. This is really time intensive, but was essential to my passing the exam.

Exam Simulator Results:
PMI-ACP Exam 1: 75%
PMI-ACP Exam 2: 75.8%
PMI-ACP Exam 3: 77.5%
PMI-ACP Exam 4: 78.3%

I do not think that the exam simulator is more or less difficult than the real PMI-ACP exam. I think it does a great job of portraying the difficulty of the exam, and how the exam focuses on behavioral/situational questions.

Training for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®