Things you should know about PMI-ACP Certification

Agile processes induce disciplined and streamlined project management operations. Therefore, the demand for Agile Professionals is growing at an exponential rate in the industry.

There are different Agile Certifications and PMI-ACP i.e. Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner is one of them.

PMI-ACP has a global acceptance as it provides a project manager with the ability to implement agile procedures in the workplace. It enables a candidate to handle a wide array of methodologies and practices such as lean, XP (Extreme Programming), Kanban, SCRUM, etc.

Employers around the world search for professionals who have completed PMI-ACP Certification because PMI is a globally recognized institute when it comes to project management certifications.

Requirements & Eligibility

To be eligible for a PMI-ACP Certification course, a candidate requires both academic background and professional experience. A candidate who has a secondary degree, associate degree, or high-school diploma can apply for this certification course.

However, the educational background would not be enough as the candidate must possess at least 1500 hours of experience while working on agile teams or methodologies.

Apart from that, the candidate should also have at least 2000 hours of general project experience earned while working with project management teams.

Moreover, the candidate must complete training of 21 contact hours in Agile Methodologies and practices.

The Agile related experience must be covered within the previous three years and the general project experience should be covered within the previous 5 years of service. The 21-hour training is usually provided by the institutes that provide agile certifications.

Application & Exam Pattern

If a candidate meets the above-mentioned criteria, then he/she can send an application form to the PMI. It is an online form that remains valid for 90 days from the date on which the application form was opened.

In case a candidate does not fill the details and submit it within 90 days, the application will be shut down. However, he/she will be able to open the form again in the future.

Once the form is submitted, the PMI will check whether it is properly filled or not. It may take ten to twelve days after form submission. After that, the candidate will have to pay the fees and submit the payment certificate to the PMI.

After that, the exam will be scheduled. Remember that the PMI will not give you the details of the examination until you clear the fees.

Sometimes, the PMI conducts a random audit of the applications to check their authenticity. If your application is chosen for audit then you will be given a time-frame of 90 days to produce the necessary documents to validate your eligibility.

After submission, your documents will be verified within a week.  Therefore, you need to ensure that you have all the documents validating your eligibility criteria before submitting the application form.

Questions Total Questions Allotted time
Scoring questions (100) + Non-scoring questions (20) 100 + 20 = 120 questions 3 hours (for all the 120 questions


The questions are of MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) types. Out of the 120 questions, 20 questions will be asked for research purposes and they will not be calculated while counting your final marks.

These questions will be randomly placed in the exam. Therefore, your performance will be based only on the 100 other questions. A candidate can appear for this exam three times in a year if he/she fails to clear it in the first attempt.

How to prepare for the PMI-ACP Certification Exam?

There is no standard reference book or studying material that is recommended by PMI for the PMI-ACP Certification Exam. However, you can follow these simple steps to clear this exam:

Step 1: Understand the basics

  • Read and try to comprehend the basic terms and fundamentals of Agile. For that, you will have to refer the Agile Manifesto and its various principles.
  • Try to understand its background values and principles.

Step 2: Become a SCRUM Master

  • SCRUM, which is often referred to as the subset of Agile is the most essential concept and framework in Agile. SCRUM is the core of any Agile Program and therefore, you should be thoroughly aware of its artefacts, functions, and terms.
  • Candidates can also refer to the SCRUM training programs that are available in video formats on YouTube channels of reputed Agile Institutes.

Step 3: Choose a credible institute

  • It is necessary to choose a credible Agile Institutes because they have expert tutors to train you and give tips. Self-study is a must but the guidance of an expert is also necessary to be aware of the basic concepts.
  • The institute will also provide the 21-contact hours of training that is necessary to obtain this certification.

Step 4: Be wise enough to understand the course outline

  • A candidate must be smart enough to understand the distribution of marks across different sections. For that, they must understand the course outline and the sections that the course covers.
  • For example, level 2 and level 3 of the Knowledge and Skills section comprises only seventeen per cent of the exam paper and selected topics from these sections appear in most of the exams. There are many such sections that you need to prepare thoroughly to ensure the passing marks.
  • For more information about the course outline, please click here.

Step 5: Give mock tests

  • It is necessary to attempt as many mock/simulation tests as you can to test your exam preparedness.
  • However, you should choose a reliable source for these tests as it will provide you with the right set of questions.

Benefits of acquiring the PMI-ACP Certification

PMI-ACP validates a candidate’s competence in the Agile Methodologies and also approves their versatility in using different project management tools and techniques.

An individual who has this certification can not only be an integral part of the agile project team but is also capable of leading that team.

Employers consider it to be a standard for verifying a candidate’s competence in agile techniques and methodologies.

These are the benefits of acquiring a PMI-ACP Certification:

A broad array of agile methodologies – PMI-ACP Certification covers a wider array of agile methodologies if you compare it with other certifications related to agile. It includes SCRUM (a subset of Agile), Crystal, XP, DSDM, Kanban, and many other methodologies.

Growing demand – The demand for agile practitioners is rising at a steady rate as the employers are keen to know whether or not they are hiring a project manager who is well-versed with agile techniques, principles, and tools.

Growth in salary – A certification like PMI-ACP validates your skills as a project manager. Therefore, you can ask for a better salary after acquiring this certification.

Professional competence – Many industries are adopting Agile Programming and techniques in their processes. Therefore, candidates who have completed this certification course have a better chance of proving their professional competence and worth to the changing practices in project management.

Increase in opportunities – PMI-ACP Certification makes you a more credible employee in the field of project management. It also allows you to work in many other fields that are related to project management. As a result, the opportunities will chase you instead of you chasing them.