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Thread: AICP exam prep May 2010

  1. #1
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    AICP exam prep May 2010

    Welcome! The application window has opened and we have a whooping 13 days to get in for early bird. (due December 13!)

    About me: 1.5 years working as a planner and 7-9 months of combined work in graduate school as a graduate assistant working on Land Development Codes.

    What I have done to prepare so far-taken state AICP exam prep class. I plan on doing more, and looking at older threads on this topic for tips



    Mods: Can we make this a sticky?
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    I assume your planning program is PAB accredited so that you only need 2 years of planning experience. Did you work in a full time capacity as a research assistant? If it is anything less than 40 hours, the experience would be pro-rated, provided the work meets all 4 criteria. You will also need employment verification letters from each employer that indicates that you meet each criteria. These letters need to go into detail, but not as much detail as you put on the application itself (see previous posts).
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I assume your planning program is PAB accredited so that you only need 2 years of planning experience. Did you work in a full time capacity as a research assistant? If it is anything less than 40 hours, the experience would be pro-rated, provided the work meets all 4 criteria. You will also need employment verification letters from each employer that indicates that you meet each criteria. These letters need to go into detail, but not as much detail as you put on the application itself (see previous posts).
    Thanks for the info, yes my master's program was PAB accredited and my research assistant was actually 16 monthes total of 20 hours a week, so I am ok as long as my application explains everything thoroughly. I will be composing my letter and giving it to my former superviser to embellish and send in.

    I have been given the recommendation by several AICPs to take the test as soon out of school possible and this is the first cycle I am eligible for. Good Luck to the other AICP hopefuls out there....
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    AICP Hopefuls in the Lake Norman area (NC)

    I'm coordinating a group study for those planning to sit for the Comprehensive Planning Exam in May. We propose meeting on the evening of January 4 (Monday) or January 6 (Wednesday) at the Summit Coffeehouse in Davidson, NC. If you are interested in studying with us, please let me know which date will work best for you and what time you could meet.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I am very skeptical a research assistant job is going to meet the very rigorous and strict criteria. Let's just assume that the position DOES meet all 4 criteria. You worked for at least one full calendar year for 20 hours a week, so that would equate to 1/2 year full time experience. Combine that with the 1.5 years under your belt with the full time job and you should meet the 2 year mark.

    Take the exam and get the damn thing over with. AICP is already toying with additional specialized certificates, which is bogus.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I am very skeptical a research assistant job is going to meet the very rigorous and strict criteria. Let's just assume that the position DOES meet all 4 criteria. You worked for at least one full calendar year for 20 hours a week, so that would equate to 1/2 year full time experience. Combine that with the 1.5 years under your belt with the full time job and you should meet the 2 year mark.

    Take the exam and get the damn thing over with. AICP is already toying with additional specialized certificates, which is bogus.
    Why do you sound so bitter nrschmid? The application does allow for you to skip sections if you do not have relevant experience. I've been a planner for 4 years and when filling out the application for my first job, one of the criteria I did not have experience with and noted as such. I do however, have a friend that was denied because his work experience was too transportation focused. I was able to take the exam last week, but failed by 2 points. I'll admit, I'm a tad bitter myself as I got 105 of the 150 questions correct and now will have to pay out of pocket. However, I'm going to take it again and take a different approach to study. I wish anyone applying for the exam and taking the exam the best of luck.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    I am very skeptical a research assistant job is going to meet the very rigorous and strict criteria. Let's just assume that the position DOES meet all 4 criteria. You worked for at least one full calendar year for 20 hours a week, so that would equate to 1/2 year full time experience. Combine that with the 1.5 years under your belt with the full time job and you should meet the 2 year mark.

    Take the exam and get the damn thing over with. AICP is already toying with additional specialized certificates, which is bogus.
    I am working on my app now to get in for early bird, at worst if they don't let me sit, I can sit next Nov...I would just prefer to have to study during the winter now that I live in a more northern climate...and getting AICP would be really good right before our next budget year. I am pretty confident my experience will count because of the nature of the work, which was basically re-writing land development codes for small cities (often done in the private sector by planning consultants in the area I worked in). I worked closely with town officials and often went to public meetings to get feed back on the most recent rounds of revisions. I also did a little side work for one town converting zoning maps into GIS maps and doing an annexation study....
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Welcome! The application window has opened and we have a whooping 13 days to get in for early bird. (due December 13!)
    Which is why I'm here. Coulda sworn I'd registered years ago but couldn't find my login, so here I am again. =)

    I liked how AICP reminded me about the deadline on Friday afternoon. That was really cute. I mean, yes, AICP is important and I do want to get in early bird, but I can't say the exam is foremost thing on my mind, professionally or personally. Oh well. Hopefully my former employer will take pity on me & get that letter postmarked tomorrow...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Ok, I'm in for early bird determination (chirp, chirp)


    Now the 6-7 week wait begins to see if I am eligble
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Can anyone give me an idea of how often the early bird window is extended? I am trying to get my application completed today, but have seen in previous testing periods that the early bird window is extended for a week or so. I'm very interested in making the early bird window, but will likely keep working on my application instead of trying to submit it early if it isn't fully baked. Any thoughts?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ocharles View post
    Can anyone give me an idea of how often the early bird window is extended? I am trying to get my application completed today, but have seen in previous testing periods that the early bird window is extended for a week or so. I'm very interested in making the early bird window, but will likely keep working on my application instead of trying to submit it early if it isn't fully baked. Any thoughts?
    I thought they only started early bird just in the last couple of testing periods? Its probably based on the volume of application received/expected. I would recommend calling the help number or email them tomorrow...although since its due today, you are taking a risk...good luck!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  12. #12

    The Deadline of Application

    Can someboday please explain why the application deadline is the same as employment verification deadline. Was the employment verification deadline supposed to be two weeks after the application deadline? Also the deadline is the date APA exam committee recieve all verification documents? Thanks

  13. #13
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Sandysmile,

    I think many of the deadlines were 'postmarked by' deadlines, at least for the stuff that has to be mailed in. The candidate bulletin is helpful in those regards, explaining everything.

    APA decides the deadlines based oh how they review your application I am assuming and what they need and when. I am not sure anyone here could answer that question.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Study Materials

    Is anyone using this book to study? Is it worth $50.00?

    AICP Exam Secrets Study Guide: AICP Test Review for the American Institute of Certified Planners Exam

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by air2planner View post
    Is anyone using this book to study? Is it worth $50.00?

    AICP Exam Secrets Study Guide: AICP Test Review for the American Institute of Certified Planners Exam
    No. There is plenty of free stuff out there. I did plunk down for a study guide that was proven, but i went half with a co-worker. We both passed.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  16. #16

    Best Studying Tool I Found

    So, I took and passed the AICP exam this past May. My boss bought the study guide from APA for me ($200). Have to say it was a total waste of money.

    What I found that helped me the most only cost $60. Ohio State University has an online study course you do at your own pace. The best part of it are the practice exams! There are several and you can take them over again. It helps you get an idea as to how questions may be worded on the actual exam.

    Check it out: http://knowlton.osu.edu/ped/aicp.asp

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    Has anyone's application been approved for the May 2010 exam??

    Quote Originally posted by PlannerMama View post
    So, I took and passed the AICP exam this past May. My boss bought the study guide from APA for me ($200). Have to say it was a total waste of money.

    What I found that helped me the most only cost $60. Ohio State University has an online study course you do at your own pace. The best part of it are the practice exams! There are several and you can take them over again. It helps you get an idea as to how questions may be worded on the actual exam.

    Check it out: http://knowlton.osu.edu/ped/aicp.asp
    Does any one knows how is the online course PLAN-310: Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Course ($99)?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 11 Jan 2010 at 9:31 AM. Reason: double reply

  18. #18
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by frosty View post
    Has anyone's application been approved for the May 2010 exam?
    The status checker has been down at least for me...but I got in my application for early bird and still haven't heard yet.


    Edit: Status Checker back up! Still Pending
    Last edited by beach_bum; 11 Jan 2010 at 12:09 PM.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by frosty View post
    Has anyone's application been approved for the May 2010 exam??



    Does any one knows how is the online course PLAN-310: Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Course ($99)?

    I used the Planetizen course and thought it was worth it. I found the practice tests and videos most useful.

    I also shelled out $100 for planningprep.com. I also found that extremely helpful.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerMama View post
    So, I took and passed the AICP exam this past May. My boss bought the study guide from APA for me ($200). Have to say it was a total waste of money.
    Why was it a total waste of money? Not informative, poorly presented? Any other AICP's agree?

    As much as I'd like to be prepared for this test, I don't have time to look at every available resource--especially when it will set me back $200.

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    Quote Originally posted by frosty View post
    Has anyone's application been approved for the May 2010 exam??



    Does any one knows how is the online course PLAN-310: Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Course ($99)?
    I found the Planetizen Course VERY helpful. They also have a forum so you can post questions, struggles, etc. I also did planningprep.com but the site has since gone stagnant. I wouldnt spend the money on PP.com.

    chaz

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by counter_insurgency View post
    Why was it a total waste of money? Not informative, poorly presented? Any other AICP's agree?

    As much as I'd like to be prepared for this test, I don't have time to look at every available resource--especially when it will set me back $200.
    It's basically an encyclopedia of planning terms, grouped by subject. It's similar to trying to improve your vocabulary by reading a dictionary. I have this guide, tried to use it, but didn't at all. Too boring and I didn't have time to make flash cards out of each point--the only way I would have learned from it. I recommend the Planetizen course ($90) and I believe the Ohio State course ($60) is very similar.

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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    I used the Planetizen course and thought it was worth it. I found the practice tests and videos most useful.

    I also shelled out $100 for planningprep.com. I also found that extremely helpful.
    Thanks for the information

  24. #24
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    Has the application deadline been extended to January 20th (says so on their website)? I actually called APA to confirm but nobody I talked to actually knew... Strange...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally posted by bocian View post
    Has the application deadline been extended to January 20th (says so on their website)? I actually called APA to confirm but nobody I talked to actually knew... Strange...
    Yeah, I just got that email too. Why do I feel like this is only the beginning of them jerking my chain?

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