AICP Path

Image: APA National website

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.  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.
Chapter Exam Prep Assistance

The Chapter tries to offer an AICP Exam Prep session once a year, usually in March or April.  If you think you missed an announcement about the review session, contact APA - WI Professional Development Officer Nancy Frank at frankn@uwm.eduContact Nancy at any time with your questions about pursuing AICP certification, questions about completing the exam application, or the time of the next review session.

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 Prep

AICP Exam Review Materials

AICP Exam Review Series – Planning Webcast

AICP Exam Administration

More AICP Resources

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