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Thread: AICP May 2012

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    AICP May 2012

    I haven't seen a May '12 AICP thread open yet but wanted to let everyone know that the early bird window is only open for 2 weeks and closes on December 15.

    I am applying in the early bird window so if I am accepted I will have more time to study since you are supposed to know if you are accepted by Feburary, instead of early April.

    Quick question for AICP experts... How specific were your essays for the application? I am including individual projects I worked on and giving a brief summary on how my experience qualifies as professional planning experience.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    If you applied for the May AICP under the early bird deadline you may start seeing some news about your status very soon. I submitted my materials on December 13 and I found out I was approved to take the exam this morning. I am very surprised how quickly I heard; I wonder if the new system of submitting everything online has sped up the process. Now to begin to make a study plan!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I'm working on editing my application and trying to flesh out the criterion. I hate using more words than necessary and feel I convey my point with less than 100 words. Everything else is fluff. I can answer the questions, I'm just frustrated with expanding upon something that can succinctly be said.

    Should be submitted tonight, going to start studying regardless of knowing if approved or not.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
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    I submitted my application earlier this week. I think the application is more annoying than the actual studying for the exam is going to be. Haha. I also had trouble filling the word counts. Much of my writing is technical in nature and trying to be as succinct as possible, so I felt I was adding adjectives and unnecessary fluff to fill it out!

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    AICP 2012 Study Group

    I am interested in taking the May 2012 AICP Exam and would like to find a study group in the Reno or Sacramento area. I live in a small rural community in between both locations. Anyone out there interested.

    D-Planner

  6. #6
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    I submitted my application for AICP earlier this week and I hear that it can take a while to hear whether or not you were successful. I am studying anyway - even if my application gets rejected this time around I will go for the November exam and it looks like there is plenty to study!!! Any study advice from those that have been down this road already? I bought the AICP study book w/ CD and printed off various study sheets from the internet etc - any other suggestions?

    I will be taking the test from England even though I'm moving to America this summer so won't have the benefit of a study group unless anyone wants to start an online study group???

  7. #7
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Not sure if this is the first exam round where the entire application was completed electronically, but I wonder if that sped things up. I applied under the early bird program and was accepted in just over a month.

    FYI for people who are taking the May exam, the NC APA is partnering with other state's APA chapters, Illinois and Texas are two I am familiar with, to offer 2 hour AICP prep webinars on the next several Friday mornings. They may be free for your state, check with your chapter for more info. I think the Utah APA will be posting the webinars afterwards for free.

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    Thanks for the tip rgc planner - I'm not registered with a APA state chapter but am considering moving to Texas so may join that one and do the webinairs. Are you working in Texas? What's the job market like there for planners?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Green Lane View post
    Thanks for the tip rgc planner - I'm not registered with a APA state chapter but am considering moving to Texas so may join that one and do the webinairs. Are you working in Texas? What's the job market like there for planners?
    Off-topic:
    Green, I moved here from Illinois a few months ago to take a job. Compared to the rest of the country, Texas seems to be a fairly strong market for planners. The continued population growth of the state, especially the metro areas, has continued the need for planners. That's not to say it is all roses and rainbows in Texas, the state is facing budget concerns and most cities have fairly lean budgets. In the state, it seems like the DFW area has more openings. I know Arlington is looking for a planner right now. The TX APA has a Facebook page where they post a lot of the openings.

  10. #10
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    I just started studying for the exam. Is there anyone near the NW suburbs of Chicago that are taking the exam in May that would like to start up a study group. Please let me know. I've also singed up for the webinar course offered by PA, TX, IL etc....

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I found a two page quick fact sheet on common law cases found on the AICP test and I scanned it in this morning for anyone that would like it. I would posted the attachment here but I don't see how. If you would like a copy please PM me your email address and I'll be happy to send it to you.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    Good luck everyone! The study guides and resources through PA APA website were the most helpful, in my opinion. And bonus that they are all free

  13. #13
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Practice Exams and a "Passing" Score

    Former AICP exam takers, does anyone know what a good ballpark is for passing on a practice exam? I am 3 weeks away from my exam and have been scoring as low as 70% to as high as 85% with most of my scores in the 78% to 80% range. Is this high enough to begin to feel confident about my potential for passing the real exam? Also does anyone know any good places to find more practice exams online? I have been using the Planetizen course as well as the AICP CD from APA.

    Good luck fellow May takers, soon this will hopefully all be over. I can't wait for my weekends back, haha!

  14. #14
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    I just passed my exam today! What a relief! Anyone else feeling like the weight of the world is off their shoulders? haha.
    Anyone looking to claim any of my study materials, let me know!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by akepps View post
    I just passed my exam today! What a relief! Anyone else feeling like the weight of the world is off their shoulders? haha.
    Anyone looking to claim any of my study materials, let me know!
    I'll take anything you have. Looking to take the exam in November.

  16. #16
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Moderator note:

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  17. #17
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by akepps View post
    I just passed my exam today! What a relief! Anyone else feeling like the weight of the world is off their shoulders? haha.
    Anyone looking to claim any of my study materials, let me know!
    I also passed my exam yesterday, man it felt great to see my unofficial score afterward. The majority of my prep came from the Planetizen course which I felt was a very good course especially for the money. I made about 100 flash cards from the course's information and kept drilling myself over and over again. I studied about 8 hours a week for 4 months and ended up passing. The main thing to remember for future test-takers is to think like a planner. There may be some situtational questions about what would would do first in a certain situation, the answer is almost always so form of "research any applicable laws, polices etc. before doing anything. Even though planning history and law only makes up a small portion of the exam, it makes sense to spend a lot of time reviewing those topics because these should be gimme points.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    I also passed my exam yesterday, man it felt great to see my unofficial score afterward. The majority of my prep came from the Planetizen course which I felt was a very good course especially for the money. I made about 100 flash cards from the course's information and kept drilling myself over and over again. I studied about 8 hours a week for 4 months and ended up passing. The main thing to remember for future test-takers is to think like a planner. There may be some situtational questions about what would would do first in a certain situation, the answer is almost always so form of "research any applicable laws, polices etc. before doing anything. Even though planning history and law only makes up a small portion of the exam, it makes sense to spend a lot of time reviewing those topics because these should be gimme points.
    I'm taking mine on Friday and expect to report similar, positive results. I'm surprised how much is sticking with me. I've read the green book and took notes through it all.

    Did you have many Census 2000-2010 questions or demographic questions?

    Looks like the practice exams are a good gauge for how you will perform. I too have been scoring in the 75%-85% range on the practice exams. I'm starting to feel comfortable with this.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    I'm taking mine on Friday and expect to report similar, positive results. I'm surprised how much is sticking with me. I've read the green book and took notes through it all.

    Did you have many Census 2000-2010 questions or demographic questions?

    Looks like the practice exams are a good gauge for how you will perform. I too have been scoring in the 75%-85% range on the practice exams. I'm starting to feel comfortable with this.
    Boiker, it took me right up until late last week to feel like things were clicking for me. I had been scoring between 75% and 85% on my practice exams, then I took my last practice exam on Saturday and scored a 71%, I got a bit nervous, so I kept drilling myself on my cards on Sunday and even yesterday morning. The exam was tough and I was not confident at the end, I ended up scoring a 65, needing a 55 to pass. I think with those practice scores you will do just fine. I didn't have any questions directly from the Census, it was more questions like "According to the 2000 Census homelessness increased x%. Which below are NOT considered a cause for the increase of homelessness?" Strangely I had 2 questions asking about the 1996 Telecommunications Act, so it may not hurt to brush up quickly on the highlights of that Act.

    Good luck, you should do great!

  20. #20
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    Passing unofficial score

    I too passed my exam this week - what a relief! I did hear that there is a remote chance that if the unofficial score report says you passed that the formal letter could still say you failed once all the scaling is performed. Has this happened to anyone? I want to tell friends, family, and colleagues I passed, but am nervous to count my chickens before they hatch.

    Also, does anyone know how long is takes to receive the formal letter? I am hoping it does not really take 8-weeks to hear!

  21. #21
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by koppenhe View post
    I too passed my exam this week - what a relief! I did hear that there is a remote chance that if the unofficial score report says you passed that the formal letter could still say you failed once all the scaling is performed. Has this happened to anyone? I want to tell friends, family, and colleagues I passed, but am nervous to count my chickens before they hatch.

    Also, does anyone know how long is takes to receive the formal letter? I am hoping it does not really take 8-weeks to hear!
    Congrats on passing! I too have heard about the remote chance that even if you passed you may not pass once scaling is complete; but I have never seen any evidence of that happening to someone. Even if your score was a 55 I would think that if you passed, you passed. Some people who got a score of 54 may actually pass once the scaling is complete. The letter I got after my test yesterday seemed fairly official saying final steps will be sent out in about 8 weeks, which I bet is an invoice for the new dues, etc. haha.

  22. #22
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    Congratulations to everyone who passed! I am gearing up for my test and really nervous. Two questions - Did you have enough time to go through the questions again or mark them? And were there any topic areas that you thought your exam was heavily focused on like historic preservation or neighborhood planning or citizen participation?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    The advice I have been given is for any judgement question, "always choose: take it to the public" "always choose: research" "always choose the answer that appeals to social justice"
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenplanner View post
    Congratulations to everyone who passed! I am gearing up for my test and really nervous. Two questions - Did you have enough time to go through the questions again or mark them? And were there any topic areas that you thought your exam was heavily focused on like historic preservation or neighborhood planning or citizen participation?
    Good luck jenplanner, in my prep I was averaging between an hour and an hour and a half for my prep exams. On the actual exam I went a bit slower, taking about 2 hours to answer all the questions and go back on the ones I had marked. I ended up marking about 20 questions and changed my answer on about 5 of them.

    My test wasn't too heavy on one particular area, although there was a fair amount of questions on public participation. Boiker gave great advice on situational questions, remember public input, research and social justice.

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    Thanks Boiker and Rcgplanner for this valuable advice!

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