AICP exam FAQ / related threads

flaneuse

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Take a look at the past AICP threads - there is a ton of information available. Maybe we can create a single post with all the AICP threads within it. I still think we should do a master sticky with FAQ for each sub-forum.
Considering taking the AICP exam and want advice on the best study materials or how to study? Have questions about if you should do AICP or a different certification? Here are threads from the last two years on these topics that may already hold the answers to your questions. The threads from each exam round hold the answers to a lot of questions about the application, exam study materials, and taking the exam. Feel free to add to this list or ask if your questions aren't already answered in these.

Questions about the application, test, study materials, etc.

AICP 2013 : http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=48089
AICP May 2012: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=45792
AICP May 2011: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42841
AICP November 2010: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=41189
AICP May 2010: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=39503
AICP November 2009: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37544
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AICP prep material: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42065
AICP study materials??: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=36504

==============================

Planetizen AICP course: Mac compatible?: http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=41241

General impact analysis question - AICP exam study:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40939

Other application questions

Care to share your AICP application?:http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=30958

How do they calculate years of planning experience required for AICP exam?:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=36982

AICP application vent:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37330

Dealing with APA/AICP - response times, rejected applications, etc.

Questions about AICP's responsiveness:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42292

AICP appeal process:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37592

Using AICP credentials:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35963

Why are AICP/APA dues insane?:http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=43061

Should I do AICP?

Alternatives to APA/AICP certification:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40287

AICP alternatives?:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40772

AICP advanced specialty certification:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=40611

Should I do AICP? For transportation planners

Certified Transportation Planner:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=41984

Professional transportation planner certification:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35080

PTP exam study resources:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42006

Professional transportation planner certification program:
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=28225
 
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flaneuse

Cyburbian
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AICP Exam Prep - Resources

Looking for advice from previous threads about what to use for your main AICP exam study materials? I've gone through most of the threads in the past two years and tried to organize the comments about the main prep materials in month/year order to help decide which to use in AICP studying. I may have missed some, so feel free to edit/add. Main resources are listed in alphabetical order.

FREE RESOURCES

AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: http://www.planning.org/ethics/ethicscode.htm

12/10: Also helpful was knowing the code of ethics. I read some of "Everyday Ethics" which was helpful but not necessary. Try to know the code of ethics as best as you can.

APA Policy Guides: http://www.planning.org/policy/guides/

7/10: APA Policy Guides: bits and pieces not too much from this.

worth your time to review the APA Policy Guides. They're free on the APA site and I've noticed a lot of practice questions coming from them.

State Chapter Sites:
1/09: One of the best resources you can use are state APA chapter web pages. I found Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida to be the best, but look through them all.

5/09: The study guides from the various state planning websites and the chapter presidents manual are much more valuable.

5/09: I passed. I relied on the Pennyslvania Chapter of the APA's study guides. They are free and very comprehensive. They also have a sample test that is more aimed at testing history and planning law cases. They do not really provide scenario questions.

6/09: The PA APA site was probably the best source of information. If you're trying to get your costs down, I would suggest going to several state APA webpages, they have a ton of materials posted for free.

11/09: The resources that I believe helped me the most were:

PA Chapter Study Guide (though I tanked their practice exam the night before the real exam)

Georgia Chapter's "2009 AICP Exam Reviews" (specifically the "Plan Implementation," "Plan Implementation Tools," and "Planning and Land Use Law" files)

and the study questions in the APA's Exam Prep 2.0 (though the book was useless in my opinion).

12/09: I used the PA Chapter guide and it had some excellent information.

6/10: I thought that all the free materials were great - Pennsylvania Chapter, Georgia Chapter stuff, free flashcards at flashcardexchange.com, etc.

6/10: I only used the PA Study Notes (they really need to watch there use of "irregardless") and the CPC manual.

7/10: You are already spending crazy amounts of money on the test - study materials don't need to cost you an arm and a leg. All the free stuff from Pennsylvania and Georgia are great. Spend some money on Ohio State or Planetizen I guess to at least get some test questions - but beware that most are outdated and really don't give you an honest representation of the way questions are worded on the test.

PA Chapter Resources: http://www.planningpa.org/career_aicp.shtml

GA Chapter Resources: http://georgiaplanning.org/aicp/aicp-exam-reviews/

NC Chapter Resources: http://www.nc-apa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=37&Itemid=85

FL Chapter Resources: http://www.floridaplanning.org/treasurecoast/aicp_links.asp


FOR A FEE

APA Book/CD ($195)

1/09: AICP Study Manual and CD - the study manual is good in my opinion and the CD's not necessary (although the CD has three pretty decent tests). The book is a bunch of bullets, so it's not a one stop shop; rather a good test to see what you need to study up more on. I thought it (the book) was worth the money, but I've heard a lot of people say they didn't like it.

6/09: The biggest benefit from the APA Exam Prep and Planetizen course are the sample tests.

11/09: The resources that I believe helped me the most were:

PA Chapter Study Guide (though I tanked their practice exam the night before the real exam)

Georgia Chapter's "2009 AICP Exam Reviews" (specifically the "Plan Implementation," "Plan Implementation Tools," and "Planning and Land Use Law" files)

and the study questions in the APA's Exam Prep 2.0 (though the book was useless in my opinion).

12/09: 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.

1/10: 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.

7/10: AICP Exam Prep 2.0: good for concepts. Not really a thorough explantion of terms. Questions are pretty reliable.

11/10: The AICP exam manual and CD-rom from APA is overpriced. That said, it is helpful in preparing for the exam. I'd recommend getting it.


Chapter Presidents Council Study Manual

1/09: CPC Study Manual - mediocre and cheap. Not bad, not great.

5/09: The study guides from the various state planning websites and the chapter presidents manual are much more valuable.

11/09: I used the APA study guide and the PA guide. I found the chapter guide worthless comparatively.

6/10: I only used the PA Study Notes (they really need to watch there use of "irregardless") and the CPC manual.

11/10: The CPC Study Manual was well worth the $15, but use common sense when reading it - most of the law cases and technical stuff isn't needed for the test (i.e., skip the law chapter in the manual).


Mike Waiczis

1/09: re study guides "IMO.. none. They are crap. Go with study material from Mike Waiczis. Email him. Well worth the $150."

9/09: Mike Wacisz study guide offers really tough test questions, as well as summary of key planning law, books, theories, etc. At first i just used the green bible, apa position papers, etc but then when i received the study material, i just solely relied on his material. His questions were pretty hard, and a little off-beat, but it prepped me to get into AICP mode, and a few of his questions did appear on the real test, which made things a whole lot easier for me.

7/10: I agree there is no one definitive source, but if I had to narrow it to one I would say Waiczis.

9/10: the Mike Waiczis prep material, which by far got me organized way better than the planitizen crap and actually had a good practice tests that helped me ace the exam in the end. I highly recommend it.

11/10: I mainly used Michael Waiczis' exam prep materials and practice exams and feel that they were quite useful. His practice exams were, if anything, too simplistic though. There were virtually no "Q: who said, "make no small plans", A. Daniel Burnham" gimme questions.

11/10: By far, the best resource is Michael Waiczis' practice exams. I took each of the seven exams twice and felt they really prepared me for the test.


Ohio State Course
12/09: 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

1/10: I recommend the Planetizen course ($90) and I believe the Ohio State course ($60) is very similar.

6/10: I thought that for $65 the Ohio State course was good to get the format and example questions, but it definitely needs to be updated and the questions need to be spell checked.


Planetizen Exam Prep Course ($129): http://www.planetizen.com/courses/aicp

1/09: Planetizen Course - pretty good material, helps you organize you study process, and has pretty good practice tests. Also has videos that allows you to stop reading, which is a really nice break sometimes. Worth the money.

6/09: The biggest benefit from the APA Exam Prep and Planetizen course are the sample tests.

11/09: I think the planetizen and planningprep were worth the money. I found the questions and topic areas comparable to the actual test.

11/09: I used the Planetizen course and it was very useful.

12/09: took Planetizens course which is EXCELLENT.

1/10: I used the Planetizen course and thought it was worth it. I found the practice tests and videos most useful.

1/10: I found the Planetizen Course VERY helpful. They also have a forum so you can post questions, struggles, etc.

1/10: I recommend the Planetizen course ($90) and I believe the Ohio State course ($60) is very similar.

8/10: For my first attempt, this past May, I used the planetizen course, but it was a waste of money. I am now looking for something which is more relevant to the exam.

9/10: I also bought the planitizen review and also thought it was a waste of money. Just something about the webcasts/review i could not get my hands around.

12/10: I found the planetizen prep course extremely helpful. I signed up 2-3 weeks prior to the exam and dont think I would have passed without. The best thing about the course is that it tells you what you need to know and gives you a good idea of how the questions are structured and what strategy you need. (Im unemployed so my "job" was cramming for the exam.. if I was still full-time I dont know if I would have had enough hours in to pass).


Planningprep
http://www.planningprep.com/

1/09: Planningprep is no good for information, but does get you accustomed to taking a test (although the question types are generally not a good representation). I don't think it's worth the money.

11/09: I think the planetizen and planningprep were worth the money. I found the questions and topic areas comparable to the actual test.

12/09: I took planningprep.com but don't recommend it altho some do. They have let the site go and not sure they are even offering courses.

1/10: I also shelled out $100 for planningprep.com. I also found that extremely helpful.

1/10: I also did planningprep.com but the site has since gone stagnant. I wouldnt spend the money on pP.com.

5/10: planningprep tests are written for a bygone test format, and I was not well served by it. Their forums are moribund. The test is not as historical//trivial as their test would have you believe. You can almost smell the 2005 on their tests.

7/10: Planningprep.com: good for general concepts. Test questions are lacking.

12/10: I also tried planningprep.com but it was just random questions and not focused on the specific knowledge needed for the exam. Further the questions are not worded in the way they are on the exam.
 

Hink

OH....IO
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#3
Good on ya flaneuse. I think this will be a valuable resource for many people. At the least it will be an easy link for those who do not search :)

Thanks!!
 
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#4
This is a great resource for future AICPs (myself included). Kudos as well to flaneuse for doing this. Between searching the forums and this listing, future AICPs shouldn't have any problem finding good advice and study resources.
 

JNA

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Consider this resource from Planning Webcast Series http://www.youtube.com/user/PlanningWebcast/videos

AICP Exam Review Series

Planning History and Theory 2 hrs7min, 492 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM4-i96AVZw

Planning Law 1 hr29 min, 388 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTP7einBXf0

Plan Making and Implementation 2hrs1min, 476 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r3pq8mgZDM

Research and Quantitative Methods 2 hrs15min, 185 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xeoL41HTgs

Public Participation and Social Justice 2hrs13min, 231 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwKOG-tRyH0

Functional Areas of Planning Practice 2hrs13min, 314 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7UF4wPvVb4

Exam Overview and Spatial Analysis 1hr50min, 233 views http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSjmTIllTDE
 
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