Episode 232: How to Prepare for and Pass your PMI-ACP® Exam (Free)
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
More and more people are preparing for their PMI Agile-Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam. And you may have noticed that in the past 2 years the topics here on The PM Podcast have seen more and more Agile influences. This is partly because of my personal interest in Agile and partly because as a company we decided to develop and launch The Agile PrepCast (www.agileprepcast.com) that helps you prepare for this exam.
In today’s episode we interview Allen Matheson (http://www.linkedin.com/in/allenmatheson) who recently passed his PMI-ACP exam. What I liked about his experience on the exam was the fact that his exam application got audited, which is something that so many people dread. But you will hear from Allen that if you are truthful in your application and approach it right, then being audited is a simple and straightforward process.
As you know, the rules of all PMI® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss his overall experience, general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.
Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #232. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. Nice to have you with us.
More and more people are preparing for their PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner, that’s the PMI-ACP exam. And you may have noticed that in the last 2 years, the topics here on The Project Management Podcast have seen more and more Agile influences. This is partly because of my personal interest in Agile and having worked on Agile teams and partly because as a company, we decided to develop and launch the Agile PrepCast at www.agileprepcast.com that helps you prepare for this exam.
So in today’s episode, we interview Allen Matheson who recently passed his PMI-ACP exam. What I liked about his experience with the exam in particular is the fact that his exam application got audited which is something that many people dread. But you will hear from Allen himself that if you are truthful in your application and approach it right, then being audited is simple and straightforward process.
As you know, the rules of all PMI® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Allen’s overall experience, general thought on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip-filled interview on how to prepare and pass for your PMI-ACP exam.
And now, let’s get together for our daily standup meeting. Enjoy the interview.
Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Allen Matheson, Project Manager and Agile Consultant.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Allen and welcome to the program.
Allen Matheson: Hello, Cornelius. Thanks for having me.
Cornelius Fichtner: Well first of all congratulations on passing the PMI-ACP exam. What a great milestone!
Allen Matheson: Well thank you. I appreciate it. It was an exciting challenge for me.
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright, when did you exactly pass?
Allen Matheson: It was January 19th so about 3 months ago.
Cornelius Fichtner: Okay, right, excellent. So first things first because something happened to you that everyone is “afraid off”. You got audited.
Allen Matheson: Yes.
Cornelius Fichtner: Tell us all about it. How was it? Was it a miserable experience? Was it a good experience? How did it go?
Allen Matheson: Well, for me it wasn’t so bad because I was prepared for it. I approached the application process with complete confidence in the information I was providing. There were no real concerns on my part.
So I submitted the application online to PMI on a Monday and received an email stating that they were reviewing my application and that I’m being notified to make payment once it has been reviewed and approved. That’s their standard process. So 2 days later, on Wednesday, I received an email from PMI informing me that the application had been approved and asking me to make payment. So after I logged on to the PMI website, make payment for the exam, I immediately received the message that I was randomly selected for an audit.
Cornelius Fichtner: When you say immediately, was that on screen? Did you get an email, both?
Allen Matheson: Both. Yes. I had a popup on the screen that told me I was randomly selected and they ask that I give them more detailed evidence of two things within the next 90 days so they wanted proof of my attendance from the Agile training I had taken and proof of my 1500 hours experience working on an Agile project.
Cornelius Fichtner: Yup!
Allen Matheson: And I am Project Management Professional certified so if had not been a PMP, well Project Management Professionals are waived from providing…
Cornelius Fichtner: The 2000 extra hours.
Allen Matheson: That’s exactly right, the 2000 hours. So that was waived but I can only assume they would have asked me for that as well if I had not been a PMP. The data was pretty easy to gather. I had copies of my Certified Scrum Master certificate and signed letters of attendance for other Agile training. I was fully prepared for the audit.
Cornelius Fichtner: Okay. The fourth criteria that you need to fulfill for the PMI-ACP is I believe the minimum is a high school diploma, isn’t it? They didn’t want to see that?
Allen Matheson: They didn’t ask that from me, that’s right.
Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! Oh yeah, of course, you’ve already been a PMP since you’ve passed the PMP exam, they already have that.
Allen Matheson: That’s probably why.
Cornelius Fichtner: Yes, that makes sense.
Allen Matheson: So the next thing they did, they gave me access to an Agile experience report on their website and it was pretty filled with Agile experience data I previously entered on the application and this had to be signed by someone from that project to verify my experience.
So in my case, this happened to be the project I was working on at that time so it was pretty easy to track down that person. You just really keep that in mind when you fill up the experience and contact person on your application. If you’re selected for an audit, you going to need to track down that person and have them vouch for you.
So PMI requested that I put this signed form in an envelope, seal the envelope and have that contact person from that project sign the back of the envelope over the seal. So I followed their instruction exactly as requested.
Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, I know. It sounds kind of weird, but I do understand what they want to make sure. They want to make sure that the person who is actually your contact person signs the envelope on the outside making sure that nobody tampered.
Allen Matheson: That’s exactly right so I did exactly what they asked me to do: Mail the audit materials to the PMI and they sent me an email a couple of days later letting me know…
Cornelius Fichtner: By mail, we’re talking physical mail.
Allen Matheson: That’s right.
Cornelius Fichtner: Right. We’re not talking photocopy and email.
Allen Matheson: That’s exactly right.
Cornelius Fichtner: Put it in an envelope. Take it to the Post Office.
Allen Matheson: Right. That’s what I did. And so they sent me an email a couple of days later letting me know they have received that. I got an email a day after that letting me know that it had been approved. So it was a pretty fast process and at that point, I was permitted to schedule the exam.
Cornelius Fichtner: Excellent. What I always recommend to my students is as you are preparing your application, go ahead and actually your contact your contact person, you know, get in touch with them. Tell them: “Hey, I’m taking this exam. This is what I’m going to put into my application. Are you already okay with this?” Did you go to that length and actually tell them ahead of time?
Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.