Take the AICP Certification Exam

Step 2: Test and Earn the AICP Candidate Designation After You Pass

All members who pass the exam earn the AICP Candidate designation. The designation will be added to your APA Profile and used after your name where applicable. You'll also have access to a digital certificate to link to your email signature, resume, social media, etc. The AICP Candidate designation will distinguish you and can be leveraged with your employer. You must maintain your APA membership to the AICP Candidate designation.

Learn more about the Value of AICP Certification to Employers

Tip 1: Contact Your Chapter/Section Professional Development Officer

Your Chapter Professional Development Officer is a critical information source, whether you are seeking advice on how to prepare for the AICP Certification Exam or want to meet other individuals who are studying for the exam. They are your best local resource and may even know of study groups in your area.

Tip 2: Map Your Study Plan By Using The Exam Content Outline

Review the exam content outline to understand the scope of the exam.

The percentages indicated for the major exam topic areas approximate the number of questions addressing that topic in the exam question pool. Balance your exam preparation accordingly.

Pro Tip: Don't get overwhelmed by the exam content outline. Assess your topic area strengths and weaknesses and use it to determine where to focus your study efforts.

Given the breadth of information covered by the exam, studying for multiple months is recommended.

Formulate a study plan — where, when, and how often to study, and what resources you need to properly prepare. Revisit your study plan as you progress and revise as necessary.

The AICP Certification Exam has been developed to be taken by a national audience and focuses on a wide array of planning topics. When developing your plan, concentrate on planning knowledge, principles, and practices that are applied nationally, rather than those unique to a region, state, or locality.

Tip 3: Review These Exam Prep Videos

The videos linked below were recorded in 2022. The recordings cover nine major topic areas, each encompassing several categories. The percentage of exam questions about major topic areas is indicated.

Tip 4: Review Exam Prep Materials Provided by APA Chapters

Some PDOs offer additional study materials for their chapter members, and most are free of charge! The depth of these offerings varies, with some chapters offering multi-session prep courses.




Tip 5: Additional Online Resources (Policy Guides, Reading Lists, Etc.)

Some resources are available online. Online research can be particularly useful for exam content that is a weakness in your background.

The following resources are useful starting points:

In addition, check out APA chapter websites (contact your PDO).

Tip 6: Familiarize Yourself With Taking An Exam

In addition to studying concepts and facts, it is important to feel comfortable with the testing experience itself. Practice exams will familiarize you with the structure and flow of exam questions and help identify areas of knowledge that need additional study. Do NOT use example questions as the sole source of facts and knowledge you need to pass the exam and keep in mind that non-APA source questions may not closely approximate the structure of actual exam questions.