The PMI-ACP® Certification, otherwise known as The Agile Certified Practitioner, is one of the premier certifications in the agile industry.
This certification is for professionals leading teams using agile or professionals using agile in their day to day jobs. This exam will test you on real-world scenarios, requiring you to make “hands-on” agile decisions to pass this exam. This is the best certification to learn and apply agile in real life.
This certification is widely recognized by employers as a premier certification in the industry. This exam covers a variety of agile topics including Kanban, extreme programming (XP), Scrum, Lean, and more. To pass this exam, you must understand each of the core agile practices and how to apply these practices in a real-life scenario as a project manager.
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In this blog, I will discuss the PMI-ACP® Certification, how to pass the exam, and why you should pursue this certification.
If you are just getting started studying for your exam, I recommend you download our free PMI-ACP® practice exam and exam tips.
PMI-ACP® Certification Exam
The PMI-ACP® Certification is administered by the Project Management Institute. To earn this certification, you must pass a 120 question multiple-choice exam. The exam can be taken from your home through an online proctor, you will have three hours to complete the exam.
These exam questions are difficult. If you have not previously taken an exam administered by the Project Management Institute, you will be in for quite a surprise. The questions on this exam will be much different than what you may be used to on a typical exam that you took in high school or college. These questions require you to fully understand every aspect of the agile process and require you to actually apply the knowledge in a real-life scenario (rather than just repeating a definition).
To review some sample exam questions, I recommend checking out our PMI-ACP® Practice Exam blog, where we breakdown a few sample questions to showcase how difficult the situational real-life scenario questions can be.
PMI-ACP® Exam Topics
This certification covers a wide range of agile topics. The exam is specifically broken up into seven sections, each section covering a different agile topic.
According to the handbook, the seven sections of the exam are weighted as follows:
- Agile Principles and Mindset – 16% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Value-driven Delivery – 20% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Stakeholder Engagement – 17% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Team Performance – 16% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Adaptive Planning – 12% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Problem Detection and Resolution – 10% of the exam will be based on this topic.
- Continuous Improvement (Product, – 9% of the exam will be based on this topic.
PMI-ACP® Certification Requirements
To pursue the PMI-ACP® and attempt the PMI-ACP® exam, you must meet the eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for this certification, you must meet the prerequisites. You must meet either of the below prerequisites.
PMI-ACP® Prerequisite – Option One
- You must have earned a secondary degree
- You must have 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.
- You must have accumulated at least 16 months of general project experience within the last 5 years.
- You must have accumulated at least 12 months of agile project experience within the last 3 years
PMI-ACP® Prerequisite – Option Two
- You must have a four-year degree (bachelor’s degree)
- You must have at least 12 months of general project experience within the last 5 years.
- You must have at least 8 months of agile project experience within the last 3 years
You must meet one of the two prerequisite options listed above to be eligible for the PMI-ACP® exam. You must apply to take this exam, this proves to the Project Management Institute that you have the necessary credentials to be considered an Agile Certified Practitioner.
PMI-ACP® Professional Development Units
In addition to passing the exam and earning your PMI-ACP® certification, you must also earn 30 professional development units (PDUs) every three years to maintain your PMI-ACP®. These PDU’s must be earned in a topic related to agile and agile practices.
PMI-ACP® Certification Cost
The cost of the PMI-ACP® is $495 for non-members, paid to the Project Management Institute.
The cost of study material ranges from $60 to around $250. I highly recommend you pick up a couple of books and online programs, you should plan to spend about $300 on study material for the PMI-ACP®.
The total PMI-ACP® Cost is typically around $800 per student.
PMI-ACP® Study Material
There is no formal study material for the PMI-ACP® certification. According to the Project Management Institute: Exam candidates should be aware that the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) examination is not written according to any single text or singularly supported by any particular reference. PMI does not endorse specific review courses, resources, references or other materials for certification preparation.
This means, you simply have to know how to apply Agile to pass this exam. This certification is intended to test your practical and learned knowledge of the agile principles, by testing you on real-world scenarios.
Luckily, there are a couple of great resources out there designed by third parties to help you earn your PMI-ACP® certification. These are the study materials and courses that I used to study for my PMI-ACP®:
- Mike Griffiths PMI-ACP® Exam Prep Book (my #1 recommended book)
- Joseph Phillip’s exam prep on Udemy
- Prepcast online exams
PMI-ACP® Certification Salary
The average PMI-ACP® salary for an individual with the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) certification is $108,000.
For more information, check out our PMI-ACP® salary blog where we breakdown the average salary of a PMI-ACP® by position and experience.
Free Practice Exam
Ready to get started studying? We’re here to help (for free). Download one of our free PMI-ACP® practice exams to get a feel for the type of content you will be studying.