Meet the Chapter’s new Professional Development Officer (PDO), Liz Callin.  Liz took on this position January 1, but has been working closely with the prior PDO, Nancy Frank, for over three years. 

Are you planning to take the AICP exam later this year or just interested in learning more about certification?


Save the date for two upcoming virtual prep sessions for the AICP exam. Part 1: All About the AICP Exam will cover exam eligibility, the application process, and the benefits of getting certified. Part 2: Preparing for the Exam will focus on sharing tips, study resources and connecting individuals interested in joining a study group. A sample study schedule will also be provided for those that register.

Part 1: All About the AICP Exam

Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM Register here

Part 2: Preparing for the Exam

Thursday, March 11, 2021 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom. AICP prep sessions are open to members and non-members and are free to attend. Please contact the chapter Professional Development Officer, Liz Callin, with any questions at liztcallin@gmail.com.

Image: APA National website

Content of Page 

  • Changes to the AICP Exam Application Process
  • Overview of the exam process
  • Exam fee scholarship
  • Chapter exam review assistance
  • AICP Candidate Pilot Program
  • Study resources
  • Chapter Exam Prep, March 4 and March 11

Changes to AICP Exam Application Process

In addition to the new flexible process, a new enhanced platform for the AICP certification process is coming! We're excited to be rolling out this easier system for completing the steps to AICP certification. To ensure a smooth experience for applicants, we are shifting the December application window opening date to January 5, please see details below.

Certification Application

Application Window Opens: 1/5/2021 at 9:00am CST 

Application Deadline if submitting essays: 1/19/2021 at 3:00pm CST

Final Application Deadline: 4/2/2021 at 3:00pm CST

Certification Exam

Registration Opens: 1/5/2021 at 9:00am CST

Registration & Transfer Deadline: 4/30/2021 at 3:00pm CST

Test Window: 5/3/2021 – 5/17/2021

Planning Experience Essays

Expedited Essay Window Opens: 2/9/2021 at 9:00am CST

Expedited Essay Window Closes: 2/16/2021 at 3:00pm CST

Regular Essay Window Opens: 2/16/2021 at 3:01pm CST

Regular Essay Window Closes: 2/23/2021 at 3:00pm CST


Earning your AICP by passing the exam is a multi-stage process, but one that can be completed in less than a year.  Here are the basic steps:

  1. Apply to take the exam.  Applying is almost like an essay exam in itself, so allow plenty of time for this step.  Typically the application periods are in January and June.  The application will ask you to describe your education and how the work you do meets the qualifying criteria for taking the exam.  You will be asked to submit documentation of your education and work history.  You need to pay an exam fee.  If you are financially strapped, the Chapter receives funding each year  from APA for one partial scholarship for the exam.  See below for more information about applying for the scholarship.
  2. Study.  Chapter Review Sessions happen every year.  Watch your email for details.  While studying for the exam is not absolutely essential, most planners find that spending a few hours each week for the 2-6 months prior to their exam date brings a sense of confidence and helps brush up rusty knowledge and skills.  Below you will find links to many resources to help you prepare to take the exam.  The Chapter and APA national provide exam prep sessions.
  3. Pass the exam.  The exam is offered at many locations around the state at commercial testing centers.  The exam is administered on a computer.  You will answer 170 multiple-choice questions in 3.5 hours.  The exam is offered twice a year--in May and November. 
  4. Submit your AICP dues.  AICP will notify you that you passed the exam.  Then, once you pay your dues, you can begin to place those four letters after your name: AICP.


Exam Scholarship

Each year the Chapter has one AICP Exam Registration scholarship to provide to a planner who requires financial assistance to take the exam.  This past year, the deadline for applying for the 2021 scholarship was in November.  More information will be posted here about the 2022 scholarship.


Chapter Exam Prep Assistance [see below]

The Chapter offers an AICP Exam Prep session at least once a year, usually in March or April. 

Chapter PDO, Liz Callin, will be announcing two Spring 2021 review sessions soon: one focusing on how to apply for the exam and why you should pursue AICP and another focused on assisting people in studying for the exam (more of a study/review session.  Watch for an email via our listserv, apa-wisconsin@uwm.edu.


AICP Candidate Pilot Program

Recently, AICP launched a new program that allow planning students to apply for and take the exam after they complete their planning degree.  Then the new professional planner gains work experience after passing the exam.  Once the necessary work experience is achieved and documented (and AICP dues paid), the planner earns the credential.  The advantage to the planner is taking the exam while all that juicy planning knowledge (history, law, theory, statistics, etc.) are still fresh.

AICP on the APA National website is your go-to resource for information about AICP and earning the credential. 

Study Resources

AICP Exam Review Materials [external links]

AICP Exam Review Series – Planning Webcast [external links]

AICP Exam Administration [external links]

More AICP Resources [external links]

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