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Thoughts After Taking the PMI-ACP Exam
Last Post 07 Jul 2013 08:27 AM by Aleem Khan. 24 Replies.
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Matt Anderson New Member New Member Posts:2

19 Sep 2011 10:52 AM
    I ran across this post the other day from a fellow practitioner on their experience with the test:

    I took the test this morning and had may of the same observations. The test is pretty standard PMI fare in that it has many of the same false positives and divisions between "good" and "best" answers.

    I read all of the books and would recommend that the list be pared down for those that should be experienced agile practitioners. While each of the books had some interesting ways of presenting the material and I learned from each of them, the list is overkill for test prep. I am fairly certain that the training vendors out there will be getting their "Pass the PMI-ACP" books out quickly that will be better sources than the books if your interest is only to pass the test. I am more interesting in continuous improvement and growing my toolbox, so am not disappointed that I read them all.

    The best books for test prep in my mind were:
    "Succeeding with Agile" by Mike Cohn (not on the list)
    "User Stories Applied" by Mike Cohn
    "Art of Agile Development" by James Shore
    "The Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility" by Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick

    I am a big proponent of appropriate application of Lean and tend to like the Poppendieck's presentation format (particularly their 2nd and 3rd books) over the "Lean-Agile Software Development" book by Shalloway, but that is personal preference.

    All in all, the test was well done and mostly straightforward. I disagreed with some of the subjective nature of a few questions, but it is a pilot and some of the rough edges should be resolved based on the pilot group feedback.

    I applaud the effort and results and think the certification will serve a similar purpose to the PMP. It does not mean you are a great project manager or agile practitioner, only that you are fluent in the language. How you use that fluency to attain results is still up to the individual application.
    hwaigand New Member New Member Posts:3

    19 Sep 2011 10:40 PM
    Took the exam Sept. 15 and had similar experiences. Too many ambiguos questions asking for the opinion of one author of agile community.
    I found a few question that would have two right answers depending on what "Guru" you are following. Hope I picked the right one in the eyes of PMI.

    Other than that, my compliments for the first try and all the work that goes into a exam. It's easy to critisize once you look to the results, but this is the process.
    I'm happy that PMI is embracing the Agile methodology finally. People will realize, that at the end of the day they got another very powerful tool in their tool belt.

    Hugo Waigand, PMP, CSM, CSD
    Daniel Gagnon New Member New Member Posts:4

    21 Sep 2011 04:42 AM
    My exam is booked for October 21st. I'll have read 10 books by then, including most of those on the list. What I remember as being the single most useful tool for preparing for the PMP cert were the multitude of practice tests available in books and from other sources - the only bad part of being part of the PMI-ACP Pilot is that there are no such tools yet for this one ...
    Kim Buchsen New Member New Member Posts:6

    21 Sep 2011 07:26 AM

    I agree about utilizing the practice exams for the PMP. I have found two sites that offer practice exams for the PMI-ACP, but am not certain that either one has reliable material.

    Best of Luck to all taking this exam. I have yet to schedule my date for it.

    Daniel Gagnon New Member New Member Posts:4

    21 Sep 2011 07:38 AM
    Hi Kim

    Think you could share the links you fouund re : practice exams ? We could cycle back with PMI and enquire as to how " legitimate " said material is considered ?
    kenobap New Member New Member Posts:1

    21 Sep 2011 07:20 PM
    Congratulations to all who completed the PMI-ACP exam! Thanks for sharing your high level feedback and name of most useful books helping you to prepare.

    anansewill New Member New Member Posts:17

    26 Sep 2011 06:34 AM
    Here is a practice exam site:
    haggisdog New Member New Member Posts:7

    28 Sep 2011 07:35 PM
    I'm taking my exam tomorrow...I've been immersed in Agile project management as a consultant, mentor and frequent presenter at conferences for ten years. I took one of the practice exams that was on the web and it was so poorly written that I'm nervous about what to expect on this exam. I applaud the effort to get some consistency on agile practices (it gets a little tiring listening to Mike Cohn getting pedantic about his pet peeves and seeing that gets incorporated as agile dogma... point in case.. use the Fibonnaci sequence for relative estimating but wait, don't use it since it suggests a mathematical relationship, so just come up with something that's like the Fibonnaci sequence but not really... how do you test for that?).

    Does this exam not give you immediate pass/fail like the PMP? I was under the impression I would know tomorrow if I had my ACP certification.
    Margaret Motamed New Member New Member Posts:17

    28 Sep 2011 08:46 PM
    The exam - while in pilot - does not give an immediate pass/fail. The FAQ here explains

    Here is a tiny url in case the above one breaks

    For one discussion of the modified Fibonacci sequence used in popular "planning poker cards" see

    In agile estimation with a scrum team - the idea is for the team to talk about the work and the "how" of getting the work to "done" and then the team collaboratively estimates the work. Of course the higher numbers are spaced farther apart because there is likely still a high degree of uncertainty. The smaller numbers have more accuracy since the work is less and therefore easier to estimate with greater certainty.

    Agile CoP co-Community Coach ( volunteer! )
    and sometimes blogger
    haggisdog New Member New Member Posts:7

    29 Sep 2011 09:21 AM
    Thanks for the guidance on where to learn more about these items Margaret, I can see now that the exam is pretty well documented and it makes alot of sense that the PMI would want to analyze results initially before automating the pass/fail process.

    I've been in the agile community for a long time, the comment about Mike is that he has his own brand of 'agile' that really come down to personal opinions he has developed over time. His comment on Fibonnaci is an example, there is no evidence that the technique necessarily helps estimates or that using a modified Fibonnaci sequence is necessary (just his intuition that it's better... somehow). Anyway, after having these debates for ten years with all of the agile thought leaders I don't suspect this will be resolved soon but I do see creating an Agile BOK with some empiral evidence to support these assumptions will make taking the exam alot easier.

    I just wrote a blog posting on my IT Toolbox blog about the exam, I'll offer some more feedback later today/tomorrow.

    If anyone is attending the Central Mississippi Professional Days on Saturday feel free to say Hello if you attend my sessions.

    Bryan Campbell
    MBA, PMP, ITIL, CSM, Innovation Games Trainer
    Margaret Motamed New Member New Member Posts:17

    29 Sep 2011 09:32 AM
    Thank you Bryan - good to meet you - virtually...

    I enjoy all the many voices in the agile community! As long as most people are listening respectfully - it's a great place to be.

    So many ways to Rome so to speak.

    We will enjoy hearing about your exam experience.

    My application was audited :-) and I just passed the audit - so I am looking forward to scheduling the exam now! And I plan to blog about the audit too -to give tips to folks as I felt like quite the pioneer gathering my audit package! Agile community is not quite accustomed to providing the requested paperwork :-) yet

    Joseph Michael Flahiff Basic Member Basic Member Posts:118

    06 Oct 2011 08:51 AM
    I am looking forward to taking the test next week. I have been teaching agile courses and spoke at the last (and the forthcoming) PMI Global Congresses about Agile. I will be sure to share my experience with this group as soon as I take the exam.

    Joseph Flahiff, PMP, CSP, CSM
    Agile Coach
    Arul Pandian PMP, PMI-ACP New Member New Member Posts:17

    13 Nov 2011 04:59 AM
    Hi Group,

    I just completed the PMI ACP exam (Oct 31st 2011). At the outset, it didn't look tough and I was able to finish it off in under 2 hours.

    There were quite a lot of questions on agile manifesto, principles, tools and techniques. Quite a few on Scrum and XP. A few on lean and Kanban (WIP). Not many on Skills but quite a few on Agile Knowledge - particularly on applying them practically. Some on EVMs and their usage, and on Agile estimation.

    For those who aspire to be certified on ACP, I would recommend that you study on the practical application of agile skills, knowledge, tools and techniques, and, principles and manifesto.

    Goood luck, Guys...
    Arul Pandian PMP, PMI-ACP New Member New Member Posts:17

    12 Dec 2011 10:49 PM
    Hi All, Below is the reply from PMI-ACP Product owner Rory on PMI blogs...


    Thank you very much for your questions. At this time, it appears that we will release PMI-ACP test results in early January. Thank you again for your patience.

    Rory McCorkle
    PMI-ACP Product Owner
    Arul Pandian PMP, PMI-ACP New Member New Member Posts:17

    17 Dec 2011 08:10 PM
    Hi Guys,
    I got these numbers from another blog. The official numbers are:

    7654 Applications Opened
    1404 Applications Submitted
    827 Exam Applicants Paid
    557 Exams Taken
    Arul Pandian PMP, PMI-ACP New Member New Member Posts:17

    09 Jan 2012 08:47 AM
    I too received the result and like many of you, I have passed as well. Congratulations to all that have passed and best wishes to those who are still waiting for the good news.
    Daniel Gagnon New Member New Member Posts:4

    09 Jan 2012 03:05 PM
    How were the results communicated to you ? Email ? Snailmail?

    I haven't received anything, but when I logged in to MyPMI today, it said that I was a PMI-ACP in good standing !
    Arul Pandian PMP, PMI-ACP New Member New Member Posts:17

    10 Jan 2012 05:06 AM
    Well tancred31, I received an email from PMI.
    Joseph Michael Flahiff Basic Member Basic Member Posts:118

    11 Jan 2012 11:43 AM
    @tancred41 maybe your spam filter snagged the PMI email.
    Daniel Gagnon New Member New Member Posts:4

    11 Jan 2012 02:04 PM
    Thanks everyone - I wrote to customer care and they resent the official results email. No idea what happened, but all good now. It's out of the Product backlog !
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