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  PMI-ACP Exam Lessons Learned - Do NOT Underestimate it!

PMI-ACP Lessons Learned: I'm pleased to inform you that I PASSED the PMI-ACP exam yesterday (Oct 28, 2013), couple weeks earlier than my original estimate. Passing any exam is a matter of satisfaction and relief, but more so when you have invested big dollars and time into it. I’m relieved that it’s done and over with, and I can reclaim my life now.

I had some real nerve-wracking moments during the exam yesterday. Five minutes into it, I had 6 out of the first 10 questions marked. I had to almost look up at the exam title just to confirm that I wasn't taking the wrong exam. At that point, my mind had already started developing excuses for failing the exam, and thinking about the next attempt. Negative thoughts were making things even more difficult.

Though I had spent a reasonable number of hours in preparation for the exam, I went into it with a wrong mindset. Most PMI-ACP lessons learned post that I had read gave me an impression that this exam was not that hard, at least not when compared to the PMP exam. That message instilled a sense of complacency and overconfidence in me. I thought that having an IT background, and both PMP and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certifications under my belt, I should be able to sail through this thing without breaking a sweat. Obviously, I got a reality check early in the exam. I felt somewhat under-prepared primarily because of 'fast-tracking' the schedule by 2 weeks. I was particularly short on practice with sample questions.

How it started

It feels weird to say that I wasn't particularly keen on getting PMI-ACP certification. It just happened to me by chance. I took Certified Scrum Master (CSM) class in April 2012 and got my certification right after the class. Since then, I have been using Agile practices on my projects. Therefore, I fulfilled the 1 year experience requirement for PMI-ACP. My CSM class also provided me 19.5 PDUs, which was just 1.5 PDUs short of the 21 PDU requirement for PMI-ACP. Nevertheless, the PMI-ACP wasn't on my hit-list until much later.

In June this year (2013), I came to know that Cornelius Fichtner had developed a new Agile Prepcast program for the PMI-ACP certification. I was interested in reviewing that program for this blog and requested him for a free copy. I received my free copy the very next day. However, due to my busy schedule, I didn't get around to looking at it until September. When I started to look at the program I thought "Hey, while I'm reviewing the program, why don't I use the opportunity to go for the PMI-ACP certification?" Wouldn't it be like killing one bird with two stones or rather the other way around :-), I thought. I considered this certification to be a low-hanging fruit (another example of under-estimation and over confidence). So, I decided to go for it and hence my journey began ...

Exam Preparation

I started my preparation with the Agile Prepcast in the first week of September. I thought that the Agile Prepcast would be sufficient to pass the exam. But to be honest, I found the material dry compared to my Scrum Master class, which was absolutely top-notch (in fact, the best training I had ever attended). There's simply no way for a distant learning program to better that classroom experience. I'm strongly of the opinion that a real classroom based training by an experienced instructor is the best way to "learn" Agile. So I don't really blame Prepcast on that aspect. However, my main concern was with the overall length of the Prepcast program. The exam required 21 PDUs, but the Agile Prepcast had more than 40 hours of podcasts, and offered 37 PDUs. It's focus was way too broad. You can read the full review of The Agile Prepcast here.

A week later, I realized that while the Prepcast medium was good to get a general understanding of the concepts, I had to complement it with a proper study guide to assimilate the material. After a brief research, I ordered a copy of Mike Griffith's PMI-ACP Exam Prep Guide through Amazon. For those who don't know, Mike Griffith is one of the Steering Committee members for the PMI-ACP certification.

For the entire month of September, I only watched the Agile Prepcast videos. I spent about 1-2 hours on it in every sitting. I somehow managed to watch most of the podcasts by September-end. On Oct 1, 2013, I took the 25 question final exam for Agile Prepcast and got a score of 23. That was good enough for me to get my 37 PDUs certificate.

On the same day, immediately after getting my PDUs certificate, I went to the PMI website and submitted my PMI-ACP exam application. While my application was being processed by PMI, I received my PMI-ACP Exam Prep study guide from Amazon. It turned out (somewhat surprisingly) to be a fantastic book - well-written, nicely organized, and concise. I read it cover to cover in just 4 (extended) sittings over 2 consecutive weekends. You can read Book Review - PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths for my full review of the book.

After finishing the study guide, I started to feel confident about my preparation (perhaps a tad over confident). About the same time (Oct 12) my exam application also got approved. Immediately, without any hesitation, I paid for the exam (though I didn't book the exam slot). My application was not selected for an audit, though I wanted it to be (so that I could experience the audit process first hand).

In the next couple days, I read some lessons learned posts of successful PMI-ACPs candidates. Through those posts, I came across a wonderful resource - @ScrumDan's PMI-ACP Study Guide. This guide is basically a collection of 200-odd important topics for the exam with reference links for each topic. I followed most of those links and read through all the material thoroughly. I spent about a week on this.

In the last week before the exam, I found that PMI eReads and Reference provides free access to 1000+ PMI-ACP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions. Since I had not attempted many practice questions until then, I decided to give it a try. I spent about 10-12 hours attempting about 750 (out of 1000+) questions. Again, I'll post my review of this book separately. I also did the second pass of Mike Griffith's book in the same week.

I booked the exam on Oct 27, just one day in advance. That day I went through a few free PMI-ACP mock exams online. I did a 3rd pass of important topics from Mike Griffith's book, and reviewed all the study notes that I had prepared in the past 8 weeks.

Finally, I took the exam on Oct 28 and passed!

Exam Experience

PMI-ACP exam is mainly focused on Scrum, XP, Lean and Kanban. None of the other methodologies/frameworks found a mention on my exam. About 50% of the questions had Scrum or XP mentioned on them. About 10% were on Lean or Kanban. The exam also gives emphasis on Agile values and principles (about 5% questions). I also remember seeing lots of questions on Estimation. I saw a few questions on Agile Earned Value Management, a topic that was not covered well in most study material that I used. Overall, I felt under-prepared on important topics and over-prepared on topics, which were not even touched in my exam.

The 3 hours of allotted time is more than sufficient. Anybody who has taken the exam would tell you the same thing. I could have finished the exam in 90 minutes and saved the remaining 90 minutes to blog about it, but I chose to utilize it all by reading, re-reading and re-re-reading the tricky questions. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I had some really tricky questions in the beginning of the exam that put me into a defensive frame of mind early. I read the questions very thoroughly (almost memorizing them) and answering them very carefully in the first pass.

I completed the first pass in about 1 hour and 50 minutes and had 38 questions marked. That's a lot of marked questions for a 120-question exam - almost 1/3rd of the entire exam. Still I was relatively confident to pass the exam. I took a restroom break for about 5 mins (mainly because the rest room was on a different floor of the building and I had to walk a considerable distance), came back and went through all the marked questions, which took me another 35 minutes. I could have ended the exam at that point, but I decided to go over all the 120 questions again in the final 30 minutes (about 15 secs per question). To my surprise, I changed about 4-5 answers in the final pass.

Exam Result

At the end, I was confident of scoring Proficient in both the domains - Tools and Techniques (T&T), and Knowledge and Skills (K&S). Finally, I pressed the End Exam button just about 1 minute before the end of allotted time, performed the other rituals (exam survey and my secret prayer), and got the result on the screen. It does take a good 30-60 seconds for the result to appear. That's enough to make your pulse rate shoot above 100. Though I didn't set any record books on fire with my score, I was relieved that I passed comfortably. I got Proficient in T&T, and Moderately Proficient in K&S.

Exam Difficulty Level

I felt that the exam questions were very intelligently designed and required thorough understanding of the subject to answer correctly. Most questions were just one-liners, but the answer choices were superbly well-crafted (and super tricky). My breakup of the questions based on their difficulty level was:
  • 20 questions - straight forward questions, which anybody with reasonable preparation could bag easily.
  • 20 questions - could be answered by eliminating 3 wrong answer choices.
  • 60 questions - 2 correct answer choices and required some reasoning or logic to determine the better of the 2 choices.
  • 10 questions - tough questions with 3 very close answer choices.
  • 10 questions - I was not familiar with the topic.
PMI-ACP exam has 20 pre-test questions. I could only hope that most of those last 20 were in the pre-test category. I also saw about 2-3 questions that I thought were poorly worded or had incongruent question and answer choices.

Overall, the exam is of moderate difficulty. I know that the PMPs out there must be itching to know the relative difficulty compared to the PMP exam. So, let me just say it straight. PMI-ACP exam is not as hard as the PMP exam mainly because there are no dumb ITTOs (618 of 'em) to learn or memorize. Having said that - do NOT underestimate PMI-ACP!

Prometric Test Center Experience

My overall experience with Prometric examination center was good. The staff was professional, the lockers and other facilities were adequate, and everything was processed efficiently (pretty much expected in Singapore). They even had free tea/coffee in the cafeteria. The examination hall was relatively quite with no more than 2 other test takers at any point. It was however somewhat cold. I'm not the one who usually wears a jacket around the office, so I did fine. But those who are more sensitive might want to take along a sweater or jacket.

Another small, and perhaps irrelevant niggle - I was shocked to see that the test center had those old ball-type mice. Mine was somewhat old and made a cranky sound, loud enough to distract the neighbors, each time I used the scroll wheel on the mouse. For a moment, I wondered whether it was 2013 or 2003. I put that feedback in the survey.

Study material used

The difficult part about this exam is that the content is very broad and there's no reference standard like the PMBOK Guide for the PMP exam. The exam is based on 12 books (it used to be 11 when I took the exam), but there are not many good study guides in the market that distill those 12 guides keeping the focus required for the exam. There is a lot of good and free material available online on Agile, but not a whole lot for PMI-ACP. So finding the right study material is somewhat of a challenge.

I did not read any of those 12 books simply because I was on a fast-track schedule. I made up by reading lot of free content online. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I took a 3-day Scrum Master class last year (and got my CSM certification) that helped me immensely in understanding the Agile values, principles and concepts, and of course he Scrum framework. I used the following study material for my preparation: Please refer to PMI-ACP Exam Study Material for a comprehensive list of study resources that I compiled during my preparation.

Things I would do differently

If I had to prepare again, I would have done a few things differently such as:
  • Spend less time (no more than 21 hours) on the Agile Prepcast and focus more on the important topics (see the next section).
  • Purchase How To Pass On Your First Try - by Andy Crowe as my second study guide. This book includes 2 sample exams at the end, and also provides free 1-week online access to another sample exam on Velociteach. I would use this just for the sample questions.
  • Skip 1000+ Questions by Chris Scordo. This turned out to be a colossal waste of time. I've posted my review of this book separately. But in short, the questions in this book are off-track and do not resemble the real PMI-ACP questions. There is way too much repetition and those 1000 questions are more like 250 questions for all practical purposes. But to get those 250 questions, you need to actually go through a pile of 1000 questions. I literally spent 12 hours on this book and the return was only worth about 2 hours.

Important topics

Based on my own experience and that of others who have taken the exam, I recommend that your learn and understand the following topics very thoroughly:
  • Agile values (in the Agile manifesto) and principles
  • Scrum, its Roles, artifacts, ceremonies and particularly all the scenarios around Daily Scrums
  • XP practices and roles
  • Lean principles
  • Basic concepts of Kanban
  • User stories (understand them in and out)
  • Agile estimation
  • Conflict resolution

Study Tips

I have the following tips for those who are preparing for this exam:
  • Take a good Scrum Master (or similar) classroom-based training to learn Agile, and get the 21 PDUs. Note, I said Scrum Master class, not a PMI-ACP class. I believe that Agile is something to be learned by doing, not by reading. For PMP, self-paced online courses are fine, but for Agile, real classroom based setting is the way to go.
  • Don't spend too much time on methodologies/frameworks such as Crystal, DSDM, ASD, and AUP. Focus more on Scrum, XP, Lean and Kanban instead. The only important concept from Crystal is Osmotic Communication.
  • If you are a PMP, then be extremely cautious about some situational questions. The right answer on a PMP exam question, can be a wrong answer on a PMI-ACP exam question for a similar situation. PMI-ACP requires a different mindset (servant leadership as opposed to command-and-control).
  • Know the role of a Scrum Master very well and how he/she should act in different situations.
  • When faced with 2 seemingly correct answer choices, look at them through the filter of Agile values and principles. It may help you eliminate the less correct answer.
  • The PMI-ACP exam had lots of situational questions. Invest in some good sample questions to learn about different types of situations that can be arise in an Agile project environment.
  • Read the @ScrumDan's PMI-ACP Study Guide thoroughly. You can get at least 5 more questions correct if you just read this guide even without following any of the links mentioned in the guide.
  • I would not purchase PMI membership if it's only to save on the exam fee. Membership costs $139 and saves only $60 on the exam fee. Moreover, I didn't find any useful book on Agile in their members-only eReads and Reference section except for Chris Scordo's 1000+ PMI-ACP sample questions book, which I didn't find useful anyway. Refer to 10 Benefits of PMI Membership to learn about other benefits.

Final thoughts

Personally for someone with an IT background, I found this certification very useful. I feel that I learned a lot of things during the course of my preparation that I can actually apply on the job. Compared to PMP, PMI-ACP is more relevant to my job. Had this certification been around 6 years ago, I would have skipped PMP in favor of PMI-ACP. Currently, there are only about 4000 PMI-ACPs in the world, but I'm confident that this certification will grow in popularity rapidly. If you are on the borderline and considering this certification, I would say "Go for it!"

This is probably the longest post ever on this blog. I apologize for it. I considered splitting it into multiple posts, but in the end decided against it. I think keeping it together makes it easier for the readers. I sincerely hope it is helpful to folks aspiring to achieve PMI-ACP. Please post your comments and feedback below and let me know your thoughts. If you have any question, I'll be happy to answer them.

Thanks for reading and your support.

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64 comments:

  1. Harwinder, CONGRATS!!!! you passed it and yes I think one should not underestimate tests especially both PMI-ACP and PMP., Looking forward to your lessions learned

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, techiekitty! I just updated part 2 of the post.

      Delete
  2. CONGRATS Harwinder on passing and I agree do not underestimate tests. Good thinking of getting out of the negative thought of not passing. Thanks again for posting and keeping the community informed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats Harwinder! Thanks for such detailed information on your experience. I also had this feeling that PMI-ACP would be easy and not really challenging. As ACP is really supposed test on basic level understanding on agile concepts unlike PMP which is more management oriented. The difficulty must be with respect to questions being analytical reasoning and twisting kinds that PMI usually have in every exams. I even was wondering whether is it even worth going for this ceritifcation. And may be PMI may bring in some advanced certification on agile? Looking forward to your updates and tips. I hope to take this exam in Jan. Your comments are very valuable. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ramesh.

      I have just updated the other sections of the post. The exam questions were actually one-liners, but the answer choices were very tricky (twisting kinds like you said). Almost every other question seemed to have 2 correct answers. About 10 questions had even 3 very close answer choices. Still I think this exam is better designed than the PMP, which is heavily based on ITTOs, though both have a fair share of situational questions.

      Good luck for your exam.

      Delete
  4. Thanks Harwinder. I have re-read your post :) I will be checking regularly for your useful posts. Great work! I would suggest everyone to read Mike Cohn "Agile estimation and planning", "User stores applied"" and Lyssa Adkins - Coaching agile teams. These are wonderful books, not just for preparing for ACP but to learn a lot of useful stuff. Servant leader is covered by her. Its more important i think, to keep the 12 principles of agile in mind all the time. Yes, there is a good chance of applying pmp mindset here fr the questions. But as you said this is nothing to do with management at all, so it should be applied. Even the accountability is by the entire team, self-organized one. My only worry is in finding really good mock exams. Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your insightful comments, Ramesh. I'm sure your comments will add value to anyone reading this post. I have Mike Cohn's book that I received during my Scrum Master class. I didn't really read the book, but I have been following his blog. He shares really good information on his blog.

      If you come across good quality mock exams (or even other resources) during the course of your preparation, do let me know and I'll share them with the readers.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Harwinder,
    I have one question on ACP exam for application ie, is it similar to PMP application? since for people who hold pmp credential, can they skip providing those details for work hours? how is this done? sorry, if this is silly question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ramesh,

      The PMI-ACP application process is really simple. You just need to mention the Project Names (which used Agile methods) and the number of hours spent on those projects. Since I worked on just one large project for the past 15 months, I just mentioned that one project. That's it.

      Even PMP application process has been simplified a lot of late, but PMI-ACP application process is simpler.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on your success! I have to agree that underestimating PMI-ACP in comparison to PMP can be a disaster. Both have their strengths and weaknesses - while one has 600+ ITTO's, the other gives you 11 reference books to prepare! Not only that, unless you use carefully prepared question banks, your investment of time in practicing will be just worthless. We understand that pain (we created some of the best PMI-ACP question banks at ProplanX.com); it is time intensive and requires great commitment to bring it up to mark.

    Also, as you rightly said, practicing 1000s of questions is no guarantee for learning, it is in the quality. So, I suggest PMI-ACP aspirants to look around before investing time and money. Good luck to all!

    Vedananda Venkata

    ReplyDelete
  7. Harwinder,

    Kindly check the last line under Exam difficulty level section. This is not to critize but i think i meant something and by mistake typed something entirely different. "Do not understand PMI-ACP" is certainly not the intent, i read it as " Do not underestimate PMI-ACP" i believe. If that is so, correction may be necessary so that others dont take it as such. Absolutely dont mean to offend.

    Thanks
    Ramesh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ramesh,

      Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I've corrected it now. There's absolutely no question of getting offended.

      Best regards.

      Delete
  8. Hi Harwinder,

    There is new site offering free ACP training among others. If its possible, kindly do review the content for quality and share your valuable feedback. And its absolute free content for now. www.APNAcourse.com

    Regards
    Ramesh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ramesh,

      I'm aware of it but haven't had a chance to review it yet. Recently I had some discussion with their team and tried to understand if there's any catch. It seems that at least for now they are offering the course for free. I'll take a look and share my comments. Thanks for bringing it up.

      Best regards,

      Delete
    2. Hi Ramesh,

      I strongly do NOT recommend apnacourse.com. I have purchased the PMI-ACP course there just to get their add-ons like flash cards and question bank. I have gone through some of their video modules, all flash cards, and some of their questions. I was mightliy disappointed with the content. I don't think that those who prepared and delivered the content have anything to do with agile or PMI-ACP certified. They did not undertand the agile very well. Interacting with question bank is a nightmare. They are just images with 2-3 questions and their choices in a page. There's no exam that you can click and score online. Also the questions are of more PMP exam oriented. Must have been prepared by someone with PMP background but no agile background. Flash cards are real stupid and of very poor quality. For e.g. the below comparison is very much wrongly presented.

      Agile : iterative Traditional : waterfall
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      1. Envision Initiate
      2. Speculate Plan
      3. Explore Define
      4. Adapt Design
      5. Close Build
      6. Repeat 3-5 as necessary Test

      I pity those folks who are taking this course and chosen to go in a wrong direction unknowingly.

      By the way, I have passed PMI-ACP yesterday (28-Nov-2013) with T&T Moderately Proficient and K&S Proficient

      Delete
    3. Hello Chandra,

      Congratulations on passing the exam.

      I appreciate your feedback about apnacourse. Your first hand experience with the course "as a student" is more useful than any review.

      I did look at the course today but could not bear it for more than 10 minutes. The audio quality was extremely poor and straining to listen to. I could hardly understand the instructor even on full volume. The lectures were extremely monotonous and boring.

      I could not figure out the layout or order of the course sessions. They seemed to be randomly laid out. The questions seemed to be poorly worded and off-track.

      On the positive side, the interface itself isn't too bad. It has a way to track your course progress and show the progress on each lecture which I think is nice feature.

      Overall, I don't think you can really learn Agile from this course. Moreover, they are not issuing the course completion certificate just yet. So, what's the point!

      I do NOT recommend it either.

      A better alternative is Agile Prepcast, but that's a mixed bag too. I'll post a detailed review of that program in near future.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    4. @ Chandra,

      ApnaCourse Congratulates you on passing the exam.

      Thank you for the valuable feedback. But related to the Content, it was prepared by the subject expert who has 22 years of experience in handling various projects and has gained several certifications related to project management. Your statement "Comparison is very much wrongly presented", is a well-known concept in Agile Project Management.

      Project Life Cycle

      Agile: Iterative Traditional: Waterfall
      1. Envision 1. Initiate
      2. Speculate 2. Plan
      3. Explore 3. Define
      4. Adapt 4. Design
      5. Close 5. Build
      6. Repeat 3-5 as 6. Test
      necessary

      Trust this would answer your comment. On the Question Banks and Flash Cards, they are designed to act as supplements to a hard bound question bank set and ready reckon-er cards. Hence the look and feel of an e-book format. The free sample of the add-on before purchase would also depict this clearly. These are not meant to be simulator exams. On the other hand, practice tests for every session act as notable simulators wherein participants can answer questions online and get the answers with details immediately. We understand that you have attempted these tests.

      @Harwinder:
      We have launched the Course Completion Certificate of late whereby the participants get access to a 120 set online mock exam with detailed solutions on completion. Only when they complete all the 30 hours of lectures, 4 practice tests and the mock exam, will they be entitled to the 30 PDU certificate.

      We appreciate your comments and will strive to improve upon them.

      Delete
    5. @ApnaCourse,

      Thanks for the update on the course completion certificate. I also appreciate that you took the comments positively.

      My main feedback is that the course delivery needs to be improved considerably for it to become really usable. Even if your content is good, it won't really be effective unless the course organization and delivery are good as well (COD - Content, Organization and Delivery).

      BTW, what Chandra was referring to (Envision -> Initiate, Speculate -> Plan, etc.) is better known as "APM Delivery Framework".

      Best regards.

      Delete
    6. @Harwinder: We have taken stock of your inputs and truly appreciate your efforts in pinning them down. We are reworking the Organization and Delivery and would bring out an effective content very soon. You may expect a marked change in this as early as end of this month itself.

      Delete
  9. Hi Harwinder,

    Congratulations ! I am scheduled to take ACP exam in two more days. I have been reading only one book 'PMI-ACP Exam prep by Mike Griffiths'. I know its too late to ask, but do you think this book covers all the content for the exam. I have been assuming that there will be no questions out of context of this book. Please advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Madhuri,

      There were a few topics outside of Mike's book on the exam, but I can't tell whether those were counted or not (pretest). The exam seemed very heavily focused on Scrum and XP. So focus more on those in the last 2 days. Attempt as many sample questions online as possible. Understand the Agile Values and Principles were very. You'll need to apply them on many questions on the exam.

      Let me know how your exam goes.

      Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Finally its over, I passed the exam. Focusing more on Scrum and XP on the last two days before the exam helped alot. Thank you for suggesting ScrumDan's document, i got atleast 10 questions correct just because i read it. I got 'Moderately proficient' in both Techniques and K&S.

      Delete
    3. Congratulations, Madhuri!

      I'm glad to hear that some of the tips helped you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing the good news. If you have other tips, please feel free to add them.

      Good luck for future.

      Best regards.

      Delete
    4. Congrats Madhuri. Considering youe study plan, i think i may have overdone it. I have been through nearly 9 of 11 reference books mentioned by PMI.
      Other than that i read Lean agile software development - an agile toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck (it was very good)
      For XP - art of agile development
      For Scrum - APM with scrum by ken schwaber
      I hope this should be sufficient. Yet to book exam date.
      I have done some exams as mentioned by Harwinder.
      Unable to find that good mock exams.

      Delete
    5. Hello Ramesh,

      I kind of agree with you on the point of mock exams. There are not many good mock exams available for PMI-ACP, at least not the free ones. You may want to look at Velociteach (by Andy Crowe). Though I have not tried them personally, I heard some good comments.

      If you find other good sources, do let me know.

      Good luck.

      Delete
    6. Hi Madhuri,
      Any other tips for me, apart from reading Mike Griffiths and ScrunDans ? From where did you read SCRUM & XP in the last two days ? Which exams did you buy ? My exam is in less than a month, so I am a bit hyper. Thank You.

      Delete
  10. Hi Harwinder!,

    I'm also currently working here in Singapore. Would you recommend the best place to get Scrum Master Class room base training here in Singapore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi jON,

      I recommend the one conducted by Good Agile (Pete Deemer) at NUS. I have a review of that class on this blog.

      Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. I saw the price for non-PR and it was quite expensive. I'm looking for some good but cheaper alternative. Maybe when I go to Syndey for holiday next year i could find a CSM training there, could be much cheaper

      Delete
    3. You can check on Good Agile's website for other locations where they conduct their training programs. I know that the same training in India is substantially cheaper.

      There are several other companies in Singapore conducting similar courses, but I've no personal experience with them. The good ones usually are quite expensive.

      Delete
  11. Harwinder - Thanks for all your excellent posts as they were immensely helpful for me to start the preparation. Right now I have started my second round of Mike Griffiths and also going through the scrumdan notes. I have the following questions for you:
    - Apart from scrumdan and mike griffith, what else should I read ?
    - Is there any notes for XP, apart from MG and scrumdan ?
    - Should I memorize the practice/tool/K&S mappings from MG book ? (similar to ITTO)
    - Among StarPMO, Simplilearn which one should I buy ?

    Initially I took the exam very lightly, but right now I am getting the feeling that this will become more difficult than PMP. The main reason because the scarcity of good quality books and exams :( ...Planning to take the exam in a month... Looking forward for your advice. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sugata,

      I'm glad that you found the posts useful. I have listed all the material that I used on the PMI-ACP Study Resources post. You may want to read up more on XP and Lean online. I had some questions on these topics that I was not very confident about.

      You do not need to memorize anything except for maybe the Agile values and principles.

      StarPMO guys are big time spammers and I would not recommend them. I have not reviewed Simplilearn's PMI-ACP material, but based on my experience with their PMP exam content, I'm neutral on them. Whatever source you try, please share your feedback on it. It will help
      other folks.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  12. Thanks Harwinder, I will definitely share my experience....Can you please also advise me on the following ?
    - What kind of calculation problems should I practice(EVM, Cost etc) for the exam ? Is there any particular website for that ?
    - How many questions can I expect from PMI code of ethics ?
    - Is there any 'download sheet' that I can prepare in the first 15 mins? (e.g. the formulas and processes for PMP)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sugata,

      - I didn't get any question requiring calculation.
      - Questions on ethics would not be explicit. They will be blended in other questions. So, it's hard to say how many such questions were there.
      - I didn't prepare any download sheet. But if you want, you can write the values and principles and then refer to them in the exam. But in my case, I received a thick-tipped marker pen and an A4 size erasable board. How much could I have written on it? So, I didn't bother.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  13. Thank for your lesson learn. I'm preparing to sit PMI-ACP exam. I hope I will pass in next two months.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can anyone please tell me the password of the following book.

    ScrumDans Pmi acp study guide.


    ReplyDelete
  15. Which one is best? Learning online or at classroom. I had planned to do a an online course as I don't have the classroom in my city. So what would you say. Thought of taking the course pmi-acp in edureka.co Please share your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a personal preference. Some people learn better in a classroom setting, and some do better with self-study. I'm not familiar with the course that you mentioned, but I hope others can chime in.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  16. Hi harwinder

    Thanks for maintaining such useful website.

    I need your advice
    i am a CSM and was awarded 17 PDUs. Can i use this pdu and other PDUs from my PMP to claim the necessary learning hours for ACP? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice article, below link has my exam experience
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pmi-acp-exam-experience-dawawala-mba-pmp-acp-prince-2-itil-?trk=object-title

    ReplyDelete
  18. Reading your experience some 2+ years later 3 days before taking my own exam. I come from a similar background, am a CSM and an PMP and hoping to pass my ACP exam, however am a little nervous now that I read your post :& I am wondering if I should reschedule with 1 day remaining for such decision Oooouch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say go ahead with it and do your best.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  19. Hi Harwinder:
    Thanks again for mentioning my study guide in your article. Just to let everyone know, I have updated it based upon the new exam content outlined launched July 15, 2015.
    http://www.bostonagiletraining.com/pmi-acp_study_guide.html

    Also, I would love to hear feedback from anyone that has taken the new exam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dan. I've updated the links in my post as well.

      I appreciate your work!

      Delete
  20. hi .. is it needed to practice the rita mulachy practice exams available for 200 USD ?

    i already practiced 1200 questions from a reputed local acp trainer in india and also completed andy crowe 2 practice exams ..

    i just want to see if spending additional 200 USD on rita mulach is worth it ?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Does anyone know when the results will be released? I took my exam in September 2015; but due to pilot, the results are not available.

    ReplyDelete
  22. hi
    can you tell us how was the exam? were the questions direct or situational? also the questions were small or long??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Snehamayee,

      Apologies for the late response. I've already addressed some of these questions in the post above under the heading "Exam Difficulty Level". There's a mix of direct and situational questions. Most questions were concise.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  23. You
    hi
    Nick has joined the chat
    Nick
    Thank you for contacting Simplilearn!
    Nick
    Hi Anamika.
    Nick
    How may I assist you?
    You
    I want information about PMI ACP course
    Nick
    I will certainly help you with that.
    You
    What are the changes in the Exam?
    Nick
    May I know whether you are looking for self-paced online training or instructor led online classroom training?
    You
    and how do I make sure that I am eligible for taking the exam?
    Nick
    I will help you with that.
    You
    ok
    Nick
    Exam fee will cost you $445 for non members.
    Nick
    Once you go through and complete our content you will be able to clear the exam. Our pass rate is 98.6➚ %.
    Nick
    Also you will get 1 Industry Case studies and 61 Real life examples and 102 End-of-Chapter Quizzes & 4 Simulation Exams which will help you clear the exam.
    You
    is all this included in this course? Also, is this material available if I dont have access to internet?
    Nick
    Yes, it is included with the course, you need to have interned to access course.
    Nick
    *Internet.
    You
    I am not convinced with this course. So if I am travelling in flight and I want to study, do I have any way to keep doing it?
    Nick
    I am sorry, you can only access the course if you have internet.
    You
    no material is downloadable?
    Nick
    Unfortunately with this course there is no downloadable material.
    You
    the problem I see is I have to pay around 7-8k for the course + Internet Bills everytime I have learn it.. So, its not worth to spend 15-20k on it and then again spend another 30-35k for the exam.
    Nick
    I am sorry on website there is no E-book.
    You
    I would rather prefer other vendors. Thankyou
    Nick
    As I check I I have information that downloadable E-book is available with this course.
    Nick
    You will get downloadable e book with this course.
    You
    I dont trust you, you saidd in your last statement that "Nick: Unfortunately with this course there is no downloadable material."
    You
    "Nick: I am sorry on website there is no E-book."
    Nick
    I am sorry I double check that information and have update that we do provide downloadable E-book.
    You
    If you guys put cost to something make sure it is economical for the end user.
    You
    I cannot trust in the course material and I dont find ease in enhancing my learning experience in this. Thankyou for providing me with your support

    ReplyDelete
  24. Any reviews forr the PMI-ACP simplilearn course?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Pratod,

      I have not evaluated the Simplilearn course. But I hope other readers can chime in and share their experience.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  25. Just starting to prepare for exam and found this blog. Thanks for all the advice and will follow closely. Has the job outlook improved once earning the credential?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. Compared to PMP, PMI-ACP is relatively in its infancy. I see jobs asking for Agile / Scrum experience but I don't see PMI-ACP mentioned particularly. I could be wrong because I'm not an active job seeker in the market. But Agile practices are influencing traditional project management especially in IT. I see value in having this certification, but certification alone (without experience) won't get you a job.

      Delete
  26. Thanks for the great post Harwinder!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi All,
    I applied for the PMP my application has been approved. I mentioned my 4500 hours from March 2013 to may 2016. I haven’t scheduled my PMP exam as of yet.

    Now, I want to apply for PMI-ACP exam. Can I use the 8 months from the above 3 years for 1500 hours of Agile methodology. I am still working on Agile and PROJECT management simultaneously.

    Please help.

    Regards,

    Asif.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congrats and thanks for sharing your experience! Do you know what the pass rate is for the exam?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Liz. I don't think PMI discloses the pass rate for any of their exams. There may be some guesstimates available online but I don't have any specific numbers. All I can say is that it should be higher than that of PMP.

      Delete
  29. Hello Harwinder,

    I am SAP consultant and now looking for entry into project management.I don't have any PM experience but Agile has been introduced in my current project after some online Training on Agile Methodology.

    I am Team Leader and doing daily Stand Up in the team.

    Do you have any suggestion for me to enter into Project Management...

    Shall I do PMI-CAPM ?

    or CSM or something else to start with.

    Thanks in advance...

    Regards,
    Pankaj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Pankaj,

      If you are using Scrum methodology, then I would suggest going for CSM first. I found my CSM training to be very useful in understanding and appreciating Agile principles, and applying them in projects. PMI-ACP certifies that you are proficient in Agile principles and methodologies, but it doesn't do much in helping you get better at the practical side of things.

      CSM training is far more fun and useful than PMI-ACP or PMP training, provided you select the right coach / training provider. See my posts on Scrum for more details.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Delete
  30. Thanks Harwinder for your suggestion.

    Since I am new to CSM so do you suggest any reading before joining any training in CSM.

    Regards,
    Pankaj

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Harwinder, Please can you recommend the best place in NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK? to get Scrum Master Class room base training. Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete

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