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Thread: 2002 AICP Exam

  1. #1
         
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    2002 AICP Exam

    Well I just took the AICP exam. It really really sucked. More than I could have even imagined. (Bear with me while I vent.) Based on conversations with people who took the exam last year, this test was completely different. I don't recall even a single question about zoning (but who knows, it is all kind of a blur...). The test did not at all follow the format with regard to percentages of questions per subject. I only used my calculator three times. This test was ridiculous and I can't believe I sacrificed my social life to study these last three or four months.

    I would be very interested in hearing everyone else's thoughts on this year's exam.

  2. #2

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    just finished also

    I just finished also- took it in Connecticut at Yale. I thought the exam was fair and but I was also surprised at some stuff. Specifically the lack of history and law questions. I remember alot of ethics and scenario questions. I also remember questions about how technology was influencing land use. I don't know if the exam is the same nationwide.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    It's the same exam

    The exam is the same for everyone that takes it. Scenario questions have become popular the last few years...there were several last year when I took it.

    Relax...it's over, and in a few months you'll know how you did. Remember, the exam is scaled nationwide, so your chances are pretty good that you passed.

    Good luck to all the '02 exam takers!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4

    Exam

    I agree. The exam was totally ridiculous. I just my Exam evaluation form. I can't wait to fill it out. Anyway, I know several people who took the exam last year and they were done within an hour and a half and they are no smarter or have no more expiernce that several people I know who took it this year and it took us the entire 3 hours.

    Not only did the exam not cover the entire field of planning, but the questions were ridicolous and difficult to answer. I think what has me most upset is that the AICP study materials, such as the local chapter guise, Mike Wazcias Exams and study material, and the AICP CD's were basically of no help. I too spent 3-4 months studying and I could have studied for 2 weeks and had just as good of a chance of knowing the answers. I am VERY upset that these study materials did not prepare me better.

    I'd like to hear what others think.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    If you thought the test was ridiculous just wait until you get your pin and placard!

    Jus' kiddin' Best wishes to all for good test results-

    Question:Is it possible to fail the test once you've met the application criteria?

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Jen wrote:
    Question:Is it possible to fail the test once you've met the application criteria?
    Yes. Passing the AICP exam is just one prerequisite for certification; the rest are the AICP qualification criteria (education, relevant employment, etc.)

    The scoring of the test and scaling methods are too complicated to explain in a few hundred thousand bytes. The AICP text has 150 multiple choice questions; you have to get at least 110 to 120 correct (depending on the scaling used that year) to pass.

    BTW, last year's most challenging questions.

    32) Which one of the following applications is LEAST likely to be approved by the Boulder Planning Commission?

    A. A methadone clinic for transsexual Tibetan heroin addicts.
    B. A prototype "Amsterdam-style" coffeehouse.
    C. Design review for the Boulder Womyn's Center Valerie Solanis annex.
    D. A PCS panel mounted inside a church steeple.


    104) A developer wants to build a 20,000 square foot office building on a 10,000 square foot lot. There will be six off street parking spaces, and the first floor will be occupied by a health clinic specializing in pre-natal care. The front door is 300 feet from a bus stop, and 15% landscaping coverage of the lot is required. Sign regulations permit 1.25 square foot of building signage for each linear foot of wall. What is the FAR?

    A. 2.0
    B. 0.5
    C. I'm from Canada, and we use meters, eh?
    D. Radburn, New Jersey.


    54) What's my zoning?

    A. What's your address?
    B. What's your parcel ID number?
    C. What's your legal description?
    D. Uhh, this is the HOUSTON Planning Department ...


    25) What are the typical colors found on a zoning map?

    A. Red=residential, blue=commercial, green=industrial
    B. Yellow=residential, red=commercial, grey=industrial
    C. Green=residential, yellow=commercial, red=industrial
    D. Might as well paint it all red, damnit ... y'all a bunch of damn Communists.


    3) What is the ideal hairstyle for a planner?

    A. A power cut, to establish rapport with developer's representatives at the office.
    B. Cornrows, to establish rapport with low income citizens in minority communities.
    C. A mullet, to establish rapport with general contractors in the field.
    D. It's all moot, because you'll lose all your hair after a couple of years of this.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    AICP exam

    I also took the exam on Saturday and I have to agree, I was very disappointed with the content of the exam. I studied for 6 intense weeks and also gave a good portion of my social life up for that forsaken test and about 10 percent of the stuff I studied was on the exam. That was not due to me studying the wrong information, but simply due to the fact that about 75% of that test was scenerio based questioning and VERY LITTLE history and law (which I was told has been heavy on past exams). I am not sure how I did, but whether I pass or fail, I still the think this years exam WAS NOT a fair sample of what the AVERAGE planner deals with in his/her job or should know. Oh, one more thought, people should not be able to use palm pilots during the exam---I have my suspicions.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
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    TEST!?!?!?!!

    Ok, so three of us here took the exam. We were the only three in our jurisdiction that took the exam. We all studied at least three months for this damn thing. Used the Green Book, AICP CD's, the CPC stuff, recommendations from other co-workers that took the test and nothing, I mean, nothing could have prepared us for this 'exam'. It would have been one this if I was the only one out of the three of us that felt robbed in the questions, but all three of us??? I'm glad I didn't pay for this exam.
    It's one thing to not study and fail, but when you study materials supplied the testing organization, (which the LanPlan sample tests where another complete joke), then NOT be tested on that material....................please. I can fully understand a few questions not based on material provided, but come on......

    Well, it's over and that's that.
    I wonder if birds know it's Tuesday?

  9. #9
    Does anyone know if there is anything we can do or anyone we can contact about this? Just so our voice can be heard and they can know the study materials were not helpful and the test was not refelctive our "planning".

  10. #10

    AICP Exam

    I agree with the general sentiment. The exam bore little resembalance to the sample test exams outside of being multiple choice. As a test it was poorly balanced across planning disciplines, history, law and ethics. The study group I was in (nine Western New Yorkers) agreed to a person that the 2002 exam failed as a certifing instrument for our profession.

    Our study groups' recommendation is that in the future the test should be reasonably well ballanced across the CD study guide topic areas while leaving sufficient room for questions de jour. If necessary schedule the test over two several hour sessions.

    One of the valuable lessons I learned preparing for this exam is that I have become specialized over my 25 year career and had not kept up on many aspects of our profession. I found great value and challenge in preparing for the test. Even should I pass the exam, in my view the test is flawed.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Being that I missed the cut-off score by 4 measly points last year, I had the fortune (or misfortune) of taking this wonderful exam again. Last year I studied my ASS off and was quite pissed when I received my score. I didn't crack a book this year and only looked at the AICP CD-rom's 48 hrs prior to the exam. Regardless of the outcome, it should be known that the AICP distinction is not an indication of my abilities to perform my job to either my boss', my client's or MY OWN satisfaction.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
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    So, Planderella, was the test any different last year than this year?? Question wise?? Not having the wonderous fortune of taking it last year, I was wondering how you felt about the exam itself.

    Oh, how long did it take to find out you missed my four points??
    I wonder if birds know it's Tuesday?

  13. #13
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Exam Results

    smarty wrote:
    So, Planderella, was the test any different last year than this year?? Question wise?? Not having the wonderous fortune of taking it last year, I was wondering how you felt about the exam itself.

    Oh, how long did it take to find out you missed my four points??
    The results will be sent to you in early July. Why it takes that long, I'm not sure.

    Ksignore wrote:
    Does anyone know if there is anything we can do or anyone we can contact about this? Just so our voice can be heard and they can know the study materials were not helpful and the test was not refelctive our "planning".
    I would start with the AICP Commissioner for your region (see www.planning.org/leaderbios/aicpcommission.html) and also contact the AICP staff at aicp@planning.org
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I hate to jinx myself but I found this year's exam to be easier but it took me almost an hour longer to complete. There were more scenario-based questions but very little on history and law, maybe one or two on environmental planning, none on GIS, and a couple on transportation. The rest of the questions centered on management, budgeting, financing techniques, population projections, and a host of other planning skills that I have never implemented in neither my public nor private sector experience.

    Last year, many people, including myself, found out if they passed the exam by going to the APA website and doing a member search. If you passed it, they put AICP behind your name. I was put off by that, especially since I hadn't received the official results. Me and some other people would keep checking our names every few hours or so with the hopes that APA was still updating the member rosters. I gave up after a couple of days and waited for the official results to arrive (which took another week to do so).

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Anyone who took the test this past Saturday remember the question on negotiating and perhaps the right answer. It said something like, what is the most inappropriate action to take when negotiating. Also, the question on the growth management case that gave the two likely choices of either petlauma or ramapo. The question said which earliest case. I put ramapo but several people who I have talked to put Petlauma.

  16. #16

    law case

    I put Ramapo too, but I was confused on that one. But I didn't think Pentaluma had anything to do with growth management, did it?

  17. #17
         
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    test questions

    I believe the Petaluma case dealt with quotas on building permits, which the court upheld as an acceptable form of growth management.

    Does anyone remember the question about concurrency management? I can't remember the answer choices, but I put the answer that dealt with the master plan. Sound familiar?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Both Petluma and ramapo were growth management cases, but the big point of the question was which was first. Ramapo was in 72 and petaluma was in 75, so the answer is ramapo. I answered the concurrency question with the choice that said it dealt with timed growth management with respect to municipal services. Anyone remember the terrible negotiating question?

  19. #19
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
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    fahgetaboutit!!!!!!!

    Stop the insanity.............holy multiple choices Batman, all this questioning of questions gone by!?!?!
    After that fiasco of a test, I went home tried to find a number of a truck driving school, couldn't, so I fired up the blender for some margs and laid in the sun with my wife and dog and forgot about the test. Until the tequila wore off, then I had a headache from the test and the tequila.
    Anyway, at this point I'm hearing so many different things from so may diffferent people about the test that if I passed it, I passed it. If I didn't, I sure as heck won't take it over. Why try and prepare for something you can't prepare for????
    Petaluma was a building moritorium and public facilites should be in place prior to development, at least that's how we do it out here...............
    Last edited by smarty; 15 May 2002 at 2:48 PM.
    I wonder if birds know it's Tuesday?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I agree with smarty. There's no need in driving ourselves bananas over something which we no longer have control. LOL. However, I DO remember that negotiating question and the fact that MY choice was not listed

    E. Open up a can of Whoop Ass on both parties and beat them into submission.

    One last complaint - what about the questions that had the list of answers that "may be used once," "more than once," or "not at all?" What was up with that?????

  21. #21
    Those questions were strange and the actual questiosn they asked were random, especially the one about which city grew the most in the 50's and 60's. I would not consdier any of the cities listed to be cities that had a tremendous growth spurt then.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
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    wicked, evil, nasty Zoot

    Yeah, "The City that Grew the Most" was a sequel to "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" that went straight to archives. Vicent Price ran it once on late late late late night TV, but even he pulled the plug early in favor of running Brady Bunch out takes.
    GGGGRRRR, and those things about 'once, more than once, not at all', well if 'not at all' why have it on there????

    I was talking to another co-worker (just forgot how to spell colleeauge - good thing THAT wasn't on the test - probably will be next year, so study your dictionary) and he was amazed ambiguity of questions (gender sensitivity w/ bathrooms - while i understand it, not really sure what it has to do with planning - kind of like the cover of the new Planning Mag with the moto jumping, but that's another story as to the Why they did that)

    Oh, I'm done venting. No, really. I am done.
    I wonder if birds know it's Tuesday?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Albuquerque, New Mexico was the answer to the city having a large growth rate between 65 and 70.

  24. #24
    I thought the growth rate was for the 50's and 60's, but regardless I put Albuquerque. Do you know what the answer to the 2nd part was about in-land water transportation?

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I'm almost positive it is cincinnati, but what do I know, I'm only a planner.

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