The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is here to help you prepare for the exam! Using multiple exam preparation resources will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the wide scope and variety of planning knowledge that's key to scoring well on the exam. 

The AICP exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions (20 of which are unidentified questions-in-development that do not count toward the final score). Check out the AICP Certification Exam Outline for more information on the exam and major topic areas. 

AICP Exam Preparation Workshops

The PDC offers two prep workshops to help planners prepare for the May and November exams. These workshops are typically held the month before the exam testing windows (in late March/April and in late September/October). We typically host the fall prep workshop in conjunction with the APA Colorado Conference. See below for information on upcoming workshops and recordings of past workshops.

Spring 2024 Workshop Recording

Fall 2023 Workshop Recording

Spring 2022 Workshop Recording

APA National also provided exam prep workshops. Click here for the presentation slides or click the links below for recordings of video workshops from April 2021 (3-hour workshop available in six parts)

AICP Exam Prep Resources

Using a variety of resources will help you prepare. APA National has preparation materials available. In addition, many other state chapters have developed detailed training programs. Contact the Professional Development Officer with questions. 

Practice Tests

State Chapter Resources

Because this is a national exam, you can utilize resources from other states – the exam content is the same nationally

Other Useful Websites

The PDC offers the following study tips to help you get started

Tip #1: Find a study buddy. I'm happy to try and match you with someone who lives/works nearby - just send me an email!

Tip #2: Make flash cards. Planning theories, pioneers in the field, case law, terms… simply making the cards is a helpful study tool. And a tip from one of your fellow test takers: pretty good flashcards for the test can be found at Studyshack and other websites.

25% of the AICP exam falls under the Functional Areas of Practice category. One way to stay current on the broad spectrum of planning practice is to…

Tip #3: Read the last 2 years of Planning magazine. In case you’ve been recycling your magazines right after reading them, you can find back issues here.

Tip #4 – Review the APA Policy Guides. Ok… skim the APA Policy Guides. These policies have been written by planners and discussed and approved by delegates of from chapter. Similar to reading back issues of Planning, skimming through the Policy Guides will allow you to familiarize yourself with best practices and the ideals the American Planning Association and its members support. You can find the Policy Guides here.

Tip #5: Read the AICP Code of Ethics. If you are planning to attend the prep class on Saturday morning, you should read through the Code today or tomorrow so that you are ready to discuss some of the situational questions that may appear on your test. 

Tip #6: Trade flashcards with a fellow test-taker for a week. Maybe they made different cards than you did. Maybe they wrote down creative ways to remember certain facts. It’s an easy way to spice up your flashcard routine – if only for a few days.

Tip #7: For Supreme Court case briefs, check out www.oyez.orgPlanetizen has a series of free podcasts on topics that may be on the test as Current Topics or Planning Practice-type questions. They aren't organized by topic, but could be helpful for those who enjoy listening rather than reading.