Preparing for the AICP Exam

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Planning History


Preparing for the AICP Exam

Before the Exam:

*      AICP Exam Subject Matter Guide at

*      AICP Exam Preparation 2007 Presentation at

*      Other books at

*      Chapter Presidents Study Guide

*      AICP Exam Preparation Notes (Lee Slusser, AICP)

*      Study Groups

*      Practice multiple-choice questions in sample exams

*      Study question index cards

*      Work on speed

*      Context-based questions

*      Good night’s sleep


Day of the Exam:

*      Dress in layers

*      Supplies:  not allowed

*      Arrive early; case the room, take a breath


During the Exam

*      Read instructions carefully

*      Pace yourself

*      170 questions (150 will be scored) in 3.5 hours

*      Aim for 85 answers in first hour

*      Watch for negative questions

*      Watch for “weasel words” (most, least, unless, except, best, worst)

*      Short questions: 

*      read question

*      answer in your head

*      look for answer that comes closest

*      if no clear choice, note the question and answer it, then flag the question to return to it later

*      Long questions: 

*      read possible answers

*      look in statement for support

*      Scenario/Story questions

*      Read story fully one time through

*      Review questions

*      Answer immediately (do not want to come back and read story again)

*      No penalty for wrong answers—so as time comes to close, guess

*      “What is best”—least conflict, most appeasing

*      “What is the principle behind the question?”

*      Take a national perspective when answering the questions (rather than, “how we do it at my place”).


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Last revised: 9/24/07  AJF