how to pass the pmi-acp exam

How To Pass The PMI-ACP Exam to Be an Agile Certified

There are several agile certifications out there, and PMI-ACP is one of the most prestigious certifications in agile project management. If you are looking for a certification that recognizes your agile knowledge and demonstrates your agile skills to prospective employers, or peers, then you have probably searched for guidance on how to pass the PMI-ACP exam and get certified. 

It is important to create a roadmap involving your PMI-ACP Certification, preparation, study guides, and so much more. PMI-ACP aspiring candidates must have a future vision of becoming an Agile project manager before actually earning the certification. 

In this comprehensive guide, let’s take a look at how to pass the PMI-ACP exam and get certified as an agile practitioner. 

Read PMI-ACP Handbook

The first and foremost step before starting your preparation for the ACP exam is going through the PMI-ACP Handbook. It also contains all the important details about the PMI-ACP certification. hence, Some of the important details that you can come across in the PMI-ACP handbook are as follows:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Certification fees
  • Exam scheduling
  • Exam policies and procedures
  • Certification policies and procedures
  • Application process

Therefore, it becomes necessary for the candidates to go through the basic details about the PMI-ACP examination before taking any other step and learn how to pass the PMI-ACP exam.

Prepare A Good Study Plan

As an aspiring agile practitioner, you must know the importance of creating a study plan before starting the preparation for the PMI-ACP examination. A good study routine refers to a detailed plan of investing certain hours of the day for studying without missing out on regular day-to-day tasks or chores. 

It is recommended to spend at least 100-150 hours for the entire ACP exam preparation. Now, it depends on how you want to allocate these hours to create a daily study plan. However, you must invest approximately 4-5 hours a day in exam preparation. 

You Can Create a Study Plan by Following These Steps:

  • The first step is determining the number of hours you will be spending in a day/week. Therefore, allot certain hours every day as per your life schedule.
  • The next step is determining the exam topics you will be covering in a day/week when you start your PMI-ACP exam prep.
  • Fix a specific time limit for each knowledge area or the 7 domains of agile methodologies. 
  • You can divide your entire study plan for 25 days, separating the last 5 days solely for practice and revision. In the last 5 days, you can focus on completing sample questions to test your knowledge. 

PMI-ACP Exam Overview

The PMI-ACP exam focuses on 7 domains of agile practices and methodologies. So, The candidates are required to prepare for the examination as per these 7 domains. You can check out the weightage of each of these domains below.

Domain % of questions
Domain I. Agile Principles and Mindset 16%
Domain II. Value-driven Delivery 20%
Domain III. Stakeholder Engagement 17%
Domain IV. Team Performance 16%
Domain V. Adaptive Planning 12%
Domain VI. Problem Detection and Resolution 10%
Domain VII. Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People) 9%

Exam Structure

Although the exam structure is already mentioned in the PMI-ACP handbook, you can still go through the following: 

  • Number of questions- 120 multiple-choice questions (20 pre-test questions
  • Time duration- 3 hours 
  • Exam format- computer-based and paper-based exam format. 

If you are interested to know more about PMI-ACP, go through our latest blog on Who Is An Agile Team Leader and get ready to ace the interview.

PMI-ACP Knowledge Areas

For instance, The PMI-ACP exam verifies whether the practitioner is learning the necessary skills and knowledge areas of each domain. There are different levels of knowledge and skills. You can check out the following table for these knowledge areas. 

Knowledge and skills-Level 1 Knowledge and skills-Level 2 Knowledge and skills-Level 3
Active listening  Agile framework and terminology Agile contracting methods
Agile communication management Facilitation methods Innovation games
Agile problem-solving strategies, tools, and techniques Building high-performance teams Agile project accounting principles
Agile manifesto and principles Agile participatory decision models Principles of system thinking 
Feedback techniques for products Agile business case development  Applying new agile practices
Accessing and incorporating community and stakeholder values PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Regulatory compliance 
Incremental delivery Co-location/ distributed teams   Compliance (organizational)
Stakeholder management Process analysis techniques Variance and trend analysis
Agile brainstorming techniques The agile continuous improvement process Control limits for Agile projects
Agile knowledge sharing Self-assessment  Variations in agile methods and approaches
Agile team motivation Project charter for an agile project Failure modes and alternatives
Building empowered teams Value-based analysis Vendor management
Coaching and mentoring within teams   Globalization, culture, and diversity
PMI-ACP Knowledge Areas on How To Pass The PMI-ACP Exam

PMI-ACP Exam Content Outline

To help you sort out the PMI-ACP exam syllabus and everything that needs to be covered during the preparation, you can use the PMI-ACP examination content outline published by the project management institute. 

The exam content outline is a detailed guide on the topics as per each of the 7 domains. It also covers all the agile knowledge and skills that are going to be covered in the ACP examination. 

Therefore, it is necessary for you to go through the PMI-ACP exam content outline to get a better understanding of the different areas of content included in the exam. 

Tips for PMI-ACP Exam Preparation

Here are some general tips that you can consider for your PMI-ACP exam preparation.

Attend 21 Hours PMI-ACP Training

Attending 21 hours of PMI-ACP certification training is more of a compulsion rather than a tip as earning 21 hours of agile training is one of the eligibility requirements for applying for the PMI-ACP exam. However, it is important to attend the 21 hours of training with full concentration and attention. 

For instance, PMI-ACP training can help you clear your doubts about different agile concepts and practices. You can either opt for an online PMI-ACP training course or go for offline classroom sessions. 

Opt for online sessions, if: 

  • There are geographical barriers in order to attend the ACP training from a particular organization.
  • You want to enjoy the perks of recorded sessions. 
  • You want to learn at your own pace, rather than going at the same pace with the entire class in offline sessions.

Similarly, you can opt for offline sessions if you want better interactions with everyone in the class and the instructors or you have a better attention span in a physical environment. 

The only requirement is in order to complete a 21-hour training course as per your needs and requirements. 

PMI-ACP Exam Prep Books

Now, you can come across several PMI-ACP books and exam study guides. For instance, This tip is all about selecting the right study material for the ACP examination. PMI does not endorse any specific book for the ACP examination, but you can go through the agile practice guide published by the PMI and also go through the list of all the recommended exam prep books as mentioned on the PMI website. You can check out the following books: 

  • Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
  • Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products by Jim High Smith
  • PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths

 Join PMI-ACP Study Group

The best way in order to clear your doubts about the PMI-ACP examination is to connect with already certified agile practitioners. You can explore various PMI-ACP study groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. So, These groups give you access to a pool of candidates who have already gone or are going through the PMI-ACP exam process. 

By connecting with other candidates in the agile project management field, you can get deeper insights into the overall process from preparing and clearing the PMI-ACP examination. 

Here are some study groups that you can join:

  1. PMI-ACP Study Group
  2. The PMI-ACP Exam, Questions & Discussion Forum
  3. PMI-ACP (Agile)
  4. PMI-ACP Exam Prep Study Group 

Take A Lot Of Practice Tests

Lastly, the most important tip, if you wish to ace your PMI-ACP examination, is to take a lot of practice tests and answer as many sample questions as you can during your exam preparation. These practice tests can also help you to self-assess your knowledge and skills on the 7 domains of the exam. 

hence, You can easily come across several practice questions on the internet from various sources. Here are a few websites that offer free PMI-ACP sample questions.


Acing the PMI-ACP exam requires a dedicated study preparation of 100-150 hours. If you are looking forward to cracking the PMI-ACP exam in your first attempt, then you must focus on creating a study plan and religiously sticking to it until the end of your preparation. 

Consistency is the key to achieving your goals and objectives and similarly staying consistent while studying for the exam is a crucial step towards becoming an agile certified practitioner. In this article, we have covered everything that you need to consider in order to know how to pass the PMI-ACP exam.


Is the PMI ACP exam difficult?

The PMI ACP exam is not difficult compared to the PMP exam. However, it still requires you to get a clear understanding of the agile methodologies have familiarity with all the topics, and have the ability to answer questions quickly. 

How do I crack my PMI ACP exam?

To crack the PMI-ACP exam, you need a solid study plan that covers all the knowledge areas and domains of the PMI-ACP exam. You can also go through this article to consider certain things for passing the exam. 

What is the pass rate for PMI ACP?

The passing score for the PMI-ACP exam is estimated to be around 70%, and the passing rate is relatively higher compared to the PMP exam. 

Is the PMI ACP Exam an open book?

PMI ACP is an open book examination that you can take from anywhere in the world. lThe PMI ACP candidates are monitored by a live proctor during the examination.

How long is the PMI ACP exam?

The candidates get 3 hours to complete the PMI-ACP examination that consists of 120 multiple-choice questions.

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