The Project Management Institute (PMI) has set a specific credentials and criteria for distinguishing project management professionals who utilize Agile methodologies in their projects, the PMI-ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) certification. To apply for the credential one requires minimum 2000 hours of general project management experience along with 1,500 hours of Agile specific projects and 21 contact hours certificate of Agile training. Preparing to clear the PMI-ACP exam can be a stressful process, but incorporating below things in your studies will reduce anxiety and exam stress.
1. PMI-ACP® Handbook
The PMI-ACP Handbook has all the information related to the exam process, exam procedures and policies. The first two sections consist of basics like exam eligibility criteria, application process, exam blueprint and payment policy, which reduce exam day stress.
2. PMI-ACP Exam Preparation Time
The material covered by the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Exam is extensive, detailed, and spread throughout many sources of reference material. This is not an examination you can “cram” for in a couple of weekends or simply rely upon your experience and pass. Plan to take the exam after spending 10-12 solid weeks of studying for an hour or two just about every day. Of course you will need to develop a schedule that is flexible enough to fit in with the rest of your responsibilities and commitments.
3. Study Plan and Schedule for the PMI-ACP® Exam
As a project manager, you are aware of the importance of planning and scheduling. Take those valuable skills and create a study schedule for 10-12 week period that fits well with the rest of your responsibilities. Depending on your job and household commitments, you may need to schedule more or less time. Take a practice exam to identify the areas that you need to spend more time focusing on during this 10-12 week period. Make sure your schedule is realistic and set weekly goals to track your progress. Don’t forget you also need to include time in your schedule to take breaks and participate in activities you enjoy.
4. PMI-ACP® Books
The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Exam, unlike the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, does not have a primary publication for examinees to study. Instead, PMI® provides a list of reference materials. You can download this list for free at: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/~/media/Files/PDF/Agile/PMI000-GainInsightsAIGLE418.ashx
A second source is the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline. This document covers information about the Agile tools and techniques as well as the Agile knowledge and skills that will be covered in the Exam. I recommend that you ensure that any PMI-ACP courses or books you purchase cover all the items listed in here. Download it at: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/~/media/Files/PDF/Agile/PMI_Agile_Certification_Content_Outline.ashx
5. PMI-ACP® Training
With the great number of material covered by the Exam, another option is to enroll in a self-study course. The latest generation of self-study comes to you in the form of Agile Podcasts / Videocasts. These can be downloaded to your smartphone, laptop, tablet, computer, or other portable media device. This makes your PMI-ACP Exam training portable, allowing you to listen or view whenever you have some free time.
Self-study Agile Podcasts cover agile frameworks, tools and techniques, knowledge and skills, and methods required for the exam in everyday English. As an added bonus, taking your lessons in this way can count toward the required 21 contact hours of Agile specific training.
6. PMI-ACP® Study Guide
There are a wide variety of Exam prep books available, which are also sometimes called “study guides”. They explain the concepts covered in the Exam and can be a great addition to the reference materials suggested by PMI. Go to your local bookstore and select one that fits with your style of learning and covers a variety of high- and low-yield topics.
7. PMI-ACP® Exam Sample Questions
A large number of free PMI-ACP® sample questions are available from a variety of resources on the internet. Free questions are a good place to start, but will only go so far for you. You will also want to subscribe to an online PMI-ACP® Exam Simulator in order to access the highest quality of sample questions.
Your study plan must include answering as many practice questions as possible and taking several complete 120-question practice exams. This type of preparation will allow you to evaluate your study progress and prepare you for the format of the real thing. You will be nervous on exam day, but being familiar with types and formats of questions will help reduce anxiety and prepare you for success.