Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Helping a friend with the AICP exam?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Augusta, SC
    Posts
    21

    Helping a friend with the AICP exam?

    Hello,
    I have a friend who has taken the AICP exam 8 times without a passing score. his highest score was a 50 and most recently scored a 40.

    I don't really know the fellow all that well, but he has asked for my help. He has read everything I could possibly recommend, which is included at the end of this message.

    While I would like to help him, I really don't know HOW to based on his track record. At this point I am going to suggest he completely start over, making the most basic notes on the fundamentals. There is obviously something wroing with his INPUT methods. Also going to suggest he take a local refresher course from this APA chapter as well as the Planetizen course.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    chaz

    1. The Green Book
    2.Levy's Contemporary Planning Handbook
    3. Urban Planning Analysis and Models by Donald Krueckeberg and Arthur Silvers
    4. Kevin Lynch's Site Planning book
    5. Quick Answers To Quantitative Problems by Page & Patton

    In addition to these, I've also utilized links to the following chapters:
    - Colorado AICP study links
    - Pennsylvania New AICP study links
    - North Carolina
    - Florida section
    - Indiana chapter
    - Chapter President Council
    - Various chapter PDO CD's and handouts
    - Various study outlines from Michael Waiczis
    - Planningprep
    - Attended numerous PDO AICP preparatory course, etc.
    - Carol's Everyday Ethics for Practicing Planners PLUS multiple other resources

  2. #2
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    A Dog in a Hat
    Posts
    449
    How about the AICP Exam Prep material?

    http://myapa.planning.org/APAStore/S...lt.aspx?p=3943

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,974
    Practice tests. Sounds like a person who just is no good at test taking (which may have nothing to do with other abilities).

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Augusta, SC
    Posts
    21
    I appreciate these insights. These will be helpful.

    Keep responding as I tally up some resources.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    2,336
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Practice tests. Sounds like a person who just is no good at test taking (which may have nothing to do with other abilities).
    Cosign. If he gets the AICP Exam Prep materials (as suggested above) there should be a CD ROM that has practice tests on it, as well. Taking them might be very beneficial to your friend. Of course there are also plenty of notes to study from, as well.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2006
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    2,813
    I, too, am a horrible test taker, but I passed the exam on the first try. I usually have to overcompensate since I have a terrible short-term memory. Over 3 1/2 months, I created about 1500 digital flashcards using Winflash software. Most of the material came from all of Waiczis and planningprep.com. I printed out all of Waiczis material (about 1400 pages?) and went through all of Waiczis with a fine-tooth comb. I carefully and methodically went through all of planningprep's exam questions and tracked the explanations against the flashcards I created. You also need to read through ALL of the Green Book and the APA Policy Guides, at the very least. Everyday Ethics for Practicing Planners will help your friend grasp the ethics portion of the exam.

    Knowing the material is only half the battle. Your friend needs to practice, practice, practice the exams. I found planningprep's questions the closest to what was on the test: the questions are still very different and there are plenty of hidden meanings behind the questions, so they are still far from easy. Waiczis is good for content, but his exams are way way way too complex. I hedged my bets that the exam wouldn't be as difficult as Waiczis. Fortunately, my version of the exam had less complicating questions (but I still used every single minute of the exam to answer the questions).
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  7. #7
    Cyburbian MazerRackham's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Near Saturn
    Posts
    66
    Personally, I didn't find the practice exams or reading materials that helpful. I sure am glad I knew the Code of Ethics, though. The toughest part was applying practical knowledge to the scenarios presented. I don't know any way to effectively practice that or study for it. It comes with experience. My guess would be that your friend's issue is not in the things you can study for, but in the application of that practical experience.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,405

    Yes....

    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I, too, am a horrible test taker, but I passed the exam on the first try. I usually have to overcompensate since I have a terrible short-term memory. Over 3 1/2 months, I created about 1500 digital flashcards using Winflash software. Most of the material came from all of Waiczis and planningprep.com. I printed out all of Waiczis material (about 1400 pages?) and went through all of Waiczis with a fine-tooth comb. I carefully and methodically went through all of planningprep's exam questions and tracked the explanations against the flashcards I created. You also need to read through ALL of the Green Book and the APA Policy Guides, at the very least. Everyday Ethics for Practicing Planners will help your friend grasp the ethics portion of the exam.

    Knowing the material is only half the battle. Your friend needs to practice, practice, practice the exams. I found planningprep's questions the closest to what was on the test: the questions are still very different and there are plenty of hidden meanings behind the questions, so they are still far from easy. Waiczis is good for content, but his exams are way way way too complex. I hedged my bets that the exam wouldn't be as difficult as Waiczis. Fortunately, my version of the exam had less complicating questions (but I still used every single minute of the exam to answer the questions).
    Same here, if I have to retake an exam, I typically score about 10% higher the second time.....I passed the AICP on my first try in Colorado when we had a 90% pass rate of all test takers.

    If your friend suffers from a high amount of anxiety during tests....I mean the kind that gives you cold sweats and frequent bathroom breaks.....maybe a short term prescription from the family doctor could help. (no smile faces here, I'm being serious) I've never had it that bad, not even close, but after eight tries I'm thinking your friend needs to start thinking outside the box.
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Augusta, SC
    Posts
    21
    I agree, I cant imagine taking that exam EIGHT times. After that many tries, he has seen all the questions, probably most more than once!

    I'm just trying to help him.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. AICP exam application help
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 05 Jun 2011, 2:05 PM
  2. AICP exam in 11/07
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 23
    Last post: 02 May 2008, 7:14 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last post: 02 Apr 2008, 2:46 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last post: 17 Jan 2008, 8:05 PM
  5. 2002 AICP Exam
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 35
    Last post: 22 May 2002, 5:18 PM