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Cracked the PMI-ACP Exam !!!Lesson learned !!

The reason I took agile certification was because my organization is moving towards agile, hence wanted to capitalize on the early opportunities in the area. I started preparing for PMI ACP exam in December-15 after attending couple of internal agile training, got registered for simpliLearn online course for PMI ACP.

Preparation Strategy: - Started with Simplilearn online course and read Mike Griffith book. Spend 2 hours per days initially to begin with and on weekends 2-4 hours. Gave the sample question behind the mike Griffith books chapters. Identify the weak area and worked upon the same. Use some online resources/Blogs as below for more understanding

1) Scrum org Scrum guide.

2) Edward designer notes and sample question

3) Scrum Dan study notes for last 2 weeks.

4) Mike Griffith(3 pass)

Sample Exams: - The sample exams questions available on line are now where close to actual exams, the actual exam is much tougher, lengthier and definitely not a memorization test of ACP material. Hence according to me they are just confidence booster about knowing the material and test your capacity to seat for full 3 hours and concentrate answering 120 questions.

1) Simpli Learn full 4 mock practice test.

2) Question at Mike Griffiths end of chapters.

3) Edward designers Sample question collection.

Exam schedule: - After preparation for almost 3 months, I decided based on the scoring I was getting in mock exam (70% to 80 %) in simpliLearn full mock tests it is now time to schedule the final PMI exam. I filled up my application at PMI website and after confirmation from PMI to proceed ahead with payment, schedule my exam. Decided not to delay the actual exam for too long as I wanted to continue the momentum I gain through studying. Schedule my exam for 18th April-16 Monday at Goregaon ( west) Prometric centre Mumbai in first slot(8:00AM).

Exam Day: - Reached the Prometric centre early morning at 7:00 clock waited for few mins before centre got open and went through the standard routine of biometric record and putting the all the stuff in Locker . Exam started earlier than 8:00 may be @7:45 AM. They had given scratch paper calculator pencil at start, I did not write down any brain dump on the paper instead relied on the understanding of the materials I have studied and keep my finger crossed.

Actual Exam: - I was very nervous at the beginning once exam started and it got almost doubled after initial few questions. Exam started on very bad note for me as almost 20 questions back to back in the start was really tough and options were so rightly placed it was difficult to select correct one. I have to select most appropriate and mark them for review later. Almost 90% of the questions were more than 3 lines and some of them went to 6-7 lines also. There were no calculation based questions only couple of question related to burndown charts. Rest all of question were scenario based(mostly negative scenarios) only and no mentioned of any agile method specific question such as Scrum, XP, Kanban or lean. Almost the entire question used generic terms such as agile only to make the things worse. I completed my first pass of 120 questions at approximately at 1:45 mins. Next 30-45 mins spent on reviewing almost 30 marked questions. I was only able to completed 70 odd questions during second pass and time was over. At end of exam I was not very confident, but somehow manage to clear the exam with MP in all areas. My overall assessment of the exam is that its lengthy, tricky and tough exam, so please do not take it lightly and it test your agile experience, understanding of core agile concepts in practical scenario. All the best for your exams hope it helps in your preparations.