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Thread: May 2006 AICP exam

  1. #1
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    May 2006 AICP exam

    I am going to make my second attempt in May'06. So what is everyone studying? Please share if you find any reading materials or links that could be useful.
    Which prep-course was the most useful for the last exam?
    Planetizen
    or others like USU?
    Are there any material on the web that is available for reading?

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I've done a couple of workshops on AICP prep...here's my recommended reading list:
    • Practice of Local Government Planning (Green Book); ICMA
    • Small Town Planning Handbook; Daniels, Keller, Lapping
    • Neighborhood Planning; Jones
    • Classic Readings In Urban Planning; Stein
    • Contemporary Urban Planning; Levy
    • The Planners Use of Information; Dandekar
    • AICP Exam Study Guide; APA Chapter Presidents Council
    • AICP Code of Ethics
    • Planning Magazine
    "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

  3. #3
         
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    I am going for the third time is a charm in May as well. I have the green book, took the Ohio State online class, got the everyday planners ethics book, and will be getting the apa aicp exam review.

  4. #4
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    I am just starting

    This is my first time taking the test...i am a little nervous, I just started reading the Green Book, do you have to read the whole book.
    Did any body take any of the online courses, Planetizen or Planning prep.. are they helpful..

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    THe green book is good. I read it cover to cover. I also took the Ohio State online course. It was helpful. After I read the green book, I used it as a reference to the stuff on the Ohio State online course. I would pay a lot of attention to things like public involvement, budgeting systems, and census information, The test in November was heavy on these things, less heavy on history or case law. One note on case law, it was more the concepts that were on the exam than the actual cases. At least, that is how my test structured.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    I took the test in November and did well. I did not read any books to study, but I did use the AICP Exam preparation book. I studied each of the topics listed in the guidebook (via the internet and handouts from a South Carolina prep couse), skimmed though Planning magazine for the past few years, used wikipedia to study people, and kept tabs on topics covered on this board. I directly studied about 40-50 total during the weeks before the exam.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Wow... Ummm I just realized that I will be eligible to take the exam this November.

    Now all I need to do is contact my previous employer and get a verification letter saying when I worked there and what my duties were. Downfall is I am not sure if the Deputy Director whom I got along with terrifically is still employee there or not. The director and I do not have the greatest relationship.

    I believe that Maister will be taking the exam this May.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I think, if time permits, I will try to pass the test (2nd try, failed by 1 point 2 years ago ) There are just a lot of things going on in my life right now that I don't know if I will have time to dedicate to studying so I don't waste 300 bucks. I do have till March 8th to register so I have some time to decide.
    @GigCityPlanner

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    FYI, the cost of the test is increasing. For those taking it for first time, the application fee will be $60 and the test $425 (originally $325). The test will be $365 for those re-taking it. I had a co-worker who failed by 1 point and she's so not happy now.

    Also beware - APA takes forever to contact you with anything AICP related. I passed the test in November and still haven't received my AICP dues invoice. I'm not looking forward to paying the bill, but I want to be able to use the title now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    FYI, the cost of the test is increasing. For those taking it for first time, the application fee will be $60 and the test $425 (originally $325). The test will be $365 for those re-taking it. I had a co-worker who failed by 1 point and she's so not happy now.

    Also beware - APA takes forever to contact you with anything AICP related. I passed the test in November and still haven't received my AICP dues invoice. I'm not looking forward to paying the bill, but I want to be able to use the title now.
    I havent received anything from APA as well. One of my co workers said that they took forever to get back to him. He took a paper test so got his results after 3 months, which I guess is a lot more painful.

  11. #11
    I took the exam last May, and passed the first try. I took OSU's class, lived with the ICMA Green Book, and skimmed most other books on the reading list. Out of the common recommended reading list, I'd say issues of Planning are the LEAST directly applicable to test questions, but are the MOST useful to getting you thinking like a planner. I think that's what the test does a good job of getting at. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Dashboard's avatar
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    Jenniplans said:

    I'm not looking forward to paying the bill, but I want to be able to use the title now.
    FYI - You can begin using the AICP title as soon as the test results that appear on your computer screen at the testing center indicate that you passed. You do not have to wait until you have paid any additional dues. You're AICP when you officially pass the test.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    Icpe

    I'll be eligible to take the AICP exam in November. A co-worker said they used the Institute of Continuing Planning Education (ICPE) (www.icpeweb.com) study guide to prepare for the exam, and passed on their first attempt. Is anyone familiar with this program?
    Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :-o
    - Yogi Berra

  14. #14
    Here's an excellent resource that's probably plenty to study for the history section, unless you need a really broad introduction:
    APA's Pathways in American Planning History

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Taking the EXAM

    Quote Originally posted by sam
    I am going to make my second attempt in May'06. So what is everyone studying? Please share if you find any reading materials or links that could be useful.
    Which prep-course was the most useful for the last exam?
    Planetizen
    or others like USU?
    Are there any material on the web that is available for reading?
    I read (skimmed really) the Green Book and studying the AICP exam materials. I also read back issues of Planning Magazine online. The biggest help I had was my almost seven years as a Planner with the City of Clearwater. In that time I had experience with politics, ethics, site plan review, annexations, land use and zoning changes, design guideline and special area plan creation, etc. The Exam is geared towards the public planner so if you have that experience you've got a leg up. I managed to pass on my first try with a 61 (passing was 55). I've been told that anything out of the 50s is pretty good. I took the exam seven years out of school with degrees in environmental planning and design and Landscape Architecture (I did take enough planning courses to warrant a certificate in urban planning).

    The biggest thing, I think, is simply knowing how to take an exam (unfortunately). I remembered what I learned from an SAT prep course I took years, and years (and years) ago. Multiple choice (guess?) answers can usually at least be narrowed down to two likely answers (if not the exact correct one) giving you at least a 50-50 chance of being right.

    I recommend scanning as much information as you can, take as many practice exams as possible, identify your weak areas and work the hell out of them. You need to familiarize yourself with as many keywords as possible.

    On the plus side, you get your pass/fail grade before you leave the exam so there aren't weeks of nail biting.

    Good luck!!

  16. #16
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    Third Time's the Charm (Crossing Fingers)

    I'm an Engineer trying to transition to the Planning World (Transportation). After taking the P.E. exam, I thought the AICP would be cake. Let me tell you how WRONG I was. Taking it for the third time in May '06. I am going all out this time, buying books, scouring the internet. 3.5 months and counting!

    I appreciate those that have offered suggestions above for books and such. I took the Ohio State online course last time and it really didn't prepare me. Those questions were no where near the level of difficulty actually on the exam. Yikes!

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Cost of the AICP test

    For ya'll taking the test this year (May and/or November), the cost of the test is going up (though the application fee will remain the same). For first-timers, the test will be $425. For people taking it again, it will be $365.

    I have no idea why the cost is going up...

    Since my organization doesn't pay for the test, I'm relieved that I passed it on the first go round in November. I work with a gal who missed it by a point and is steaming about the fee increase. Another person I work with is taking it for the 4th time in May.

  18. #18
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    Economic Models

    Studying for the May AICP Exam...I need a good resource/reference for economic models. Any suggestions? I have the Green Book and Levy's Contemporary Urban Planning...but I want something that focuses solely on these things.

    Pulling my hair out, by the way, I NEED to pass this gall-darn thing this time around!

  19. #19
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Transpo-Planner
    Studying for the May AICP Exam...I need a good resource/reference for economic models. Any suggestions? I have the Green Book and Levy's Contemporary Urban Planning...but I want something that focuses solely on these things.

    Pulling my hair out, by the way, I NEED to pass this gall-darn thing this time around!
    Blakely's Planning Local Economic Development....should have been on my list above....
    "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

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I just found out that my pre-approved status has expired and that I have to reapply. I am so not looking forward to having to answer those frigging application questions again. I don't even have a copy from my first application, so I have no idea what how I managed to describe my job so that it could meet those 4 criteria.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    I passed back in 04, but I thought I'd add my two cents on studying.

    1) I did not read/study/peruse the Green Bible. I never touched it in preparation for the exam.
    2) I used the Chapter President's study guide (it was $20 2 years ago) as my base, figuring out where I needed to fill in from there.
    3) Regular study groups with others who really want to pass the test were key. We met twice a week at lunch, and once a week after work. This really helps when there's a concept you need to talk through, or bringing in personal experience to explain something.
    4) I rode the bus to/from work, so I used that time to study with flashcards.
    5) Cheat sheets from others who had already taken the test.
    6) When I needed an illustration of something, or more info, I used the internet to research. I found out a lot of stuff that way - looking up terms, people, and programs.
    7) The On-line testing options help somewhat, because they give you an idea of how questions are worded. As stated in a previous reply, thinking like a planner is key, so if you understand what the question is asking, you can figure out the correct planner answer. Planetizen has one, Ohio State as well.
    8) I also used the textbooks I still had from school. I did purchase the Carol Barrett book on ethics - and I'm glad I did. There were several ethics questions on the test, and having read and done the little mini-exams in the book, I felt prepared for them.

    There's my advice. Use what you can, trash the rest. Good luck to all of you taking the exam in May!!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  22. #22
    Cyburbian cmavis's avatar
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    I'm preparing to take the May '06 Exam. I will be attending the Exam Prep course in downtown DC this upcoming saturday. Anyone else attending?

    What about study groups? Anyone interested in the greater DC area?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I'm in, signed up this morning, but even though I sat for the 2003 (failed by 2 points) test I now have to show proof of work and education?!? There goes 395 bucks and 140 for the test class, and work only gives a 1000 dollar raise for passing, probabably going to cost me more in the long run, especially if that bumpbs me up a bracket *sigh*. Time to get some test materials together. I'll be taking it in NJ, anyone else here?
    @GigCityPlanner

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cmavis
    I'm preparing to take the May '06 Exam. I will be attending the Exam Prep course in downtown DC this upcoming saturday. Anyone else attending?

    What about study groups? Anyone interested in the greater DC area?

    I'll be attending the Prep course in DC on Saturday also, I'm taking the exam in November
    Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :-o
    - Yogi Berra

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Has anyone received approval/denial of their application yet? I'm so ready to get this over with.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

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