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Which is a tougher exam, PMI-PMP vs PMI ACP?

pmi-pmp vs pmi-acp

Introduction

If you are trying to decide between taking the PMI-PMP or PMI-ACP exam, it can be tough to know which is the right choice. Both exams are popular and respected certifications in project management, but they cover different material and have additional requirements.
The PMP certification is aimed at experienced project managers who want to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in leading projects. To qualify for the PMP exam, an aspirant must have at least five years of experience in project management, and their education must include a four-year degree or equivalent work experience. The PMI ACP certification is designed for professionals new to project management or with less than three years of experience. It would be best if you had a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for this exam.

Overview of PMP and PMI ACP exams

The PMI-PMP (Project Management Professional) and PMI-ACP (PMI Agile Certified Practitioner) are both certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that demonstrate a candidate’s knowledge and skills in project management.

The PMI-PMP certification is globally recognized as the gold standard in project management. It is designed for experienced project managers and assesses a candidate’s understanding of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide, which outlines project management’s standards and best practices. To become PMP certified, candidates must meet specific educational and professional experience requirements and pass a rigorous exam.

On the other hand, the PMI-ACP certification is designed for professionals with experience with agile methodologies. The accreditation assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of agile principles and practices and the ability to apply them in real-world scenarios. To become PMI-ACP certified, candidates must meet specific educational and professional experience requirements and pass an exam. The exam is based on the Agile Practice Guide, which PMI created.

Both PMP and PMI-ACP certification exams are computer-based and consist of multiple-choice questions. However, the PMP exam is slightly longer, with 200 questions to be answered within 4 hours, while the PMI-ACP exam has 120 questions to be answered within 3 hours.

It’s important to note that both certifications require to renew every three years by meeting specific continuing education requirements.

Both certifications are widely recognized and can boost your career prospects. Still, your chosen career will depend on your experience, interests, and goals. The PMP is more general and covers all aspects of project management. At the same time, the PMI-ACP is more specific and focuses on agile methodologies.

PMP certification training course

Overview of the exam topics and content for both exams

The PMP and ACP exams are designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in project management, but they cover different topics and contents.

The PMP exam covers the following five process groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and controlling
  5. Closing

And the following ten knowledge areas:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Resource Management
  7. Project Communication Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management

The exam is based on the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide, which outlines project management’s standards and best practices. The exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of these standards and best practices and ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

The PMI-ACP exam covers the following Agile principles and practices:

  1. Agile Planning and Estimation
  2. Agile Analysis and Design
  3. Agile Technical Practices
  4. Agile Governance
  5. Agile Project Management
  6. Agile Quality Practices
  7. Agile Lifecycle Management

The exam is based on the Agile Practice Guide, which PMI created. The exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of agile principles and practices and their ability to apply them in real-world scenarios. Both exams are designed to be challenging and cover various topics and concepts. Candidates should have a thorough understanding of the material and be able to apply it in multiple situations. PMI recommends that candidates complete a PMP or PMI-ACP exam preparation course or study group and use PMP or PMI-ACP study materials such as the PMBOK guide and practice exams to prepare for the exam.

Differences in the structure, content, and difficulty of PMP and PMI ACP exams

The PMP and PMI-ACP exams are certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in project management. Still, there are some differences in structure, content, and difficulty.

Structure:

  • The PMP exam comprises 200 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within four hours. As I have explained in my previous answer, the questions are divided into five process groups and ten knowledge areas. The PMP exam is more comprehensive and covers all aspects of project management.
  • The PMI-ACP exam comprises 120 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within three hours. The questions are divided into several Agile principles and practices. The PMI-ACP exam is more specific and focuses on Agile methodologies.

Content:

  • The exam is based on the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide, which outlines project management’s standards and best practices. The exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of these standards and best practices and ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.
  • The PMI-ACP exam is based on the Agile Practice Guide, which PMI created. The exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of Agile principles and practices and their ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

Difficulty:

  • PMP and PMI-ACP exams are designed to be challenging and cover many topics and concepts. Candidates should have a thorough understanding of the material and be able to apply it in various situations. However, the PMP exam is considered more challenging than the PMI-ACP exam due to its longer duration, more significant number of questions, and breadth of topics covered.

It’s important to note that while the PMP certification is a globally recognized standard for project management professionals, the PMI-ACP certification is focused on Agile methodologies. Those with experience and knowledge in Agile procedures will find the PMI-ACP exam easier.

Comparison of the format, structure, and types of questions for both exams

The PMP and PMI-ACP exams are certification exams offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) that assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in project management. Still, they have some differences in terms of format, structure, and types of questions.

Format:

  • Both the PMP and PMI-ACP exams are computer-based and consist of multiple-choice questions.
  • The PMI-PMP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, while the PMI-ACP exam comprises 120 multiple-choice questions.

Structure:

  • As previously discussed, the PMP exam comprises 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas. The exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide and their ability to apply it in real-world scenarios.
  • As previously discussed, the PMI-ACP exam is divided into several Agile principles and practices. The exam is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of Agile principles and practices and their ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

Types of Questions:

  • The PMP exam questions are designed to test candidates’ understanding of the PMBOK guide and their ability to apply it in various situations. The questions may ask about the process groups and knowledge areas and may include scenario-based questions.
  • The PMI-ACP exam questions are designed to test a candidate’s understanding of Agile principles and practices and their ability to apply them in various situations. The questions may include scenario-based questions about Agile methodologies, practices, and frameworks.

Both exams are designed to challenge, and candidates should have a thorough understanding of the material and be able to apply it in various situations. It’s important to note that the PMP exam is more comprehensive and covers all aspects of project management. In contrast, the PMI-ACP exam is more specific and focuses on Agile methodologies.

Differences in the content and topics covered by the PMP and ACP exams

The PMI-PMP and PMI-ACP exams are certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI). Still, they have some differences in content and topics covered.

The assessment is based on the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide, which outlines project management’s standards and best practices. The exam covers various topics: project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

The assessment also covers specific knowledge areas such as project scope management, project integration management, project time management, project quality management, project cost management, project resource management, project communication management, project risk management, project procurement management, and project stakeholder management.

The exam assesses a candidate’s understanding of these standards and best practices and ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

On the other hand, the PMI-ACP exam is based on the Agile Practice Guide, which PMI created. The exam covers Agile principles and practices, such as Agile Planning and Estimation, Agile Analysis and Design, Agile Technical Practices, Agile Governance, Agile Project Management, Agile Quality Practices, and Agile Lifecycle Management. The exam is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and understanding of Agile principles and practices and their ability to apply them in real-world scenarios.

The difficulty level of the PMP and PMI ACP exams

Both PMP and ACP exams are considered to be challenging. They are designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in project management. However, the difficulty level can vary depending on one’s previous experience, education, and preparation.

The PMP exam is considered more challenging than the PMI-ACP exam in general due to its longer duration, more significant number of questions, and breadth of topics covered. The PMP exam covers all aspects of project management. It requires a broad understanding of the PMBOK guide, which can be challenging for some candidates. Also, it’s considered to have a higher pass rate than PMI-ACP.

On the other hand, the PMI-ACP exam is more specific. It focuses on Agile methodologies, which can be easier for candidates with experience and knowledge in Agile methodologies. However, it’s still considered challenging as it covers a wide range of Agile principles and practices and requires a thorough understanding of the Agile Practice Guide.

It’s important to note that both certification exams require a significant amount of study and preparation. It’s recommended that candidates complete a PMP or PMI-ACP exam preparation course or study group and use PMP or PMI-ACP study materials such as the PMBOK guide and practice exams to prepare for the exam.

Comparisons of the cost, time and resources required to take the PMP and PMI ACP exams

Costs associated with taking the PMP and PMI ACP exams

The expenses related to taking the PMP and PMI-ACP exams can vary depending on factors such as the country you are taking the exam in, whether you are a member of PMI or not, and whether you need to retake the exam.

For PMI members, the cost of taking the PMP exam is $405, while for non-members, the price is $555. The PMI-ACP exam for PMI members is $435 and for non-members is $595.

In addition to the cost of the exam, there are other costs associated with taking the PMP or PMI-ACP exam. These costs can include the following:

  • Study materials such as books, study guides, and practice exams
  • PMP or PMI-ACP exam preparation courses, which can be in-person or online
  • Travel and lodging expenses if you need to travel to a testing centre
  • Retake fees if you need to retake the exam

It’s also important to note that once you pass the exam, you will need to pay an annual certification fee to maintain your certification. For PMP, the annual certification fee is $60 for PMI members and $150 for non-members. For PMI-ACP, the annual certification fee is $60 for PMI members and $120 for non-members. It’s recommended

Time and effort required to study for and take the PMP and PMI ACP exams

The time and effort needed to learn for and take the PMP and PMI-ACP exams can vary depending on your previous experience, education, and familiarity with the material. However, both exams require significant time and effort to prepare for and pass.

PMI-PMP Exam:

  • PMI recommends that candidates have at least 4,500 hours of project management experience before taking the PMP exam and 35 contact hours of project management education.
  • The time required to study for the PMP exam can vary, but PMI suggests that candidates spend at least 200 hours studying.
  • The PMP exam is four hours long, and it’s recommended that candidates arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before their scheduled exam time.

PMI-ACP Exam:

  • PMI recommends that candidates have at least 2,000 hours of broad project experience and 1,500 hours of Agile project experience before taking the PMI-ACP exam, and 21 contact hours of Agile project management education.
  • The time required to study for the PMI-ACP exam can vary, but PMI suggests that candidates spend at least 150 hours studying.
  • The PMI-ACP exam is 3 hours long, and it’s recommended that candidates arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before their scheduled exam time.

It’s important to note that the time and effort required to study for and take these exams can vary depending on the individual. It’s recommended that candidates develop a study plan that works best for them and stick to it. Additionally, it’s recommended to use PMP or PMI-ACP study materials such as the PMBOK guide and practice exams to prepare for the exam.

Resources available to help study for the PMP and PMI ACP exams

Many resources are available to help candidates study for the PMP and PMI-ACP exams. Some of the most popular resources include:

  • PMBOK Guide: The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide is the official guide for the PMP exam, and it’s considered the primary resource for studying for the PMP exam. The guide covers the standards and best practices used in project management. It is a comprehensive resource for understanding the PMP exam content.
  • Agile Practice Guide: The official guide PMI-ACP exam guides Agile principles and practices.
  • PMP or PMI-ACP Exam Study Guide: Study guides are designed to provide an overview of the exam content and often include practice questions and test-taking strategies.
  • PMP or PMI-ACP Exam Preparation Courses: These courses are designed to provide an in-depth look at the exam content and are often taught by experienced PMP or PMI-ACP certified professionals. They can be in-person or online and may include live instruction, interactive sessions, and practice exams.
  • PMP or PMI-ACP Exam Practice Tests: Practice tests are designed to help candidates prepare for the exam by providing an idea of the format, types of questions, and difficulty level of the actual exam.
  • Online communities and forums: Joining online communities and forums of PMP or PMI-ACP aspirants can help get additional insights, tips, and support from other people studying for the same exam.

It’s important to note that candidates should use a combination of these resources.

Pros and cons of taking the PMI-PMP and PMI ACP exams

Advantages of taking the PMP and ACP exams

There are many advantages to taking the PMP and PMI-ACP exams, including the following:

  • In the following eased earning potential: PMP and PMI-ACP certified professionals make more than their non-certified counterparts.
  • Career advancement opportunities: PMP and PMI-ACP certifications demonstrate knowledge, experience, and commitment to project management, which can lead to career advancement opportunities.
  • Increased credibility and recognition: PMP and PMI-ACP certifications are globally recognized and respected in project management and demonstrate knowledge and skill to employers, clients, and stakeholders.
  • Improved project management skills: Preparing for the PMP and PMI-ACP exams requires a thorough understanding of the material and the ability to apply it in various situations, which can improve a candidate’s project management skills.
  • Validation of skills and knowledge: PMP and ACP certifications provide a way for professionals to validate their skills and expertise in project management and are a way to demonstrate their competency in the industry.
  • Networking opportunities: Joining the PMI organization and attending their events give opportunities to network with other PMP and ACP-certified professionals and learn from their experiences.
  • Stay current: As the field of project management evolves and new methodologies emerge, continuing education and certification maintenance is essential to stay current with industry standards and best practices.

In summary, PMP and ACP certifications provide a way for professionals to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in project management, increase their earning potential and career advancement opportunities, and stay current with industry standards and best practices.

Disadvantages of taking the PMI-PMP and PMI-ACP exams

While there are many advantages to taking the PMP and PMI-ACP exams, there are also some disadvantages. These include:

  • Time and cost investment: Preparing for and taking the PMP and ACP exams requires a significant time and financial investment. This includes the cost of the exam, study materials, preparation courses, and travel expenses if you need to travel to a testing center.
  • The difficulty of the exam: The PMP and ACP exams are considered and require a thorough understanding of the material. Candidates should be prepared to spend significant time studying and preparing for the exams.
  • Limited applicability to certain interspecific PMP and ACP certifications are widely recognized in project management. Still, they need to be more relevant or recognized in specific industries.
  • Maintenance requirement: PMP and ACP certifications require maintenance through continuing education and paying an annual certification fee. This can burden some professionals who have to balance work and personal commitments.
  • Limited to one specific methodology: PMP is based on PMBOK guide de, which is based on traditional project management methodologies. At the same time, ACP is focused on Agile methods, which limits the applicability of the certification in specific project environments.
  • Limited recognition in some countries: PMP and ACP certifications are globally recognized, but in some countries, the recognition is little, and the value of the certificate may be lower.

It’s important to note that these disadvantages may not be significant for everyone, and the benefits of certification may outweigh

Conclusion

At Tromenz Learning, we get asked what is more challenging: the PMP or the PMI ACP exam? It’s an important question because the right choice can make the difference between certification success and failure.

In conclusion, taking the PMP and ACP exams can provide many benefits for project management professionals, including increased earning potential, career advancement opportunities, increased credibility and recognition, improved project management skills, and validation of skills and knowledge. However, it’s important to note that the exams require a significant time and financial investment and can be challenging to pass. Additionally, certifications may be less relevant or recognized in specific industries, and there is a maintenance requirement to keep the certificate valid. Individuals need to weigh the pros and cons and evaluate whether the certification is appropriate for their career goals and professional development.

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