Should you get a PMI-ACP certification?

There are both costs and benefits to getting the PMI-ACP certification. But, many hiring experts and certified professionals agree that benefits far outweigh the costs.

1. It is difficult

Most people agree that PMI-ACP is a difficult exam. The difficulty lies in the fact that the exam tests not only the memory of the concepts but the practical application of them. When you add the pressure of time (you need to answer 120 questions in 180 minutes), it becomes terrifying for even a seasoned project manager. Also, there are individual differences in how long one takes to succeed in the exam. Some take two to three months to succeed. Others cannot get certified even after preparing for years. But, the point is if the exam was a walk in the park and anyone could pass it easily, would it be as valued as it is today? Definitely not! The prestige of this certification lies in the strict standards required to clear and maintain the certification. Thus, PMI-ACP certification does need hard work from your end. But the good news is the fruits of this effort will be sweet.

2. It is time-consuming

Yes, there is a financial cost. But, for most people, the bigger problem is the cost of time. They complain about the number of hours it requires to get PMI-ACP certified. A part of it has to do with preparation itself. As the exam is difficult, you need to set aside some time daily to master the PMBOK Agile Practice Guide. But, most people agree that's not all. You need to read up several other guides, attend preparatory sessions (if you join any) and write sample tests as part of your preparation. All these activities do take up considerable time. Since most aspirants are people who are currently employed, they feel even more crunched for time. Alongside, the PMI-ACP application needs you to document all the projects you executed. That, too, you need to write the minutest detail about these projects. It sounds simple, but it is not easy and requires a lot of time. Also, one cannot take this activity casually. That's because PMI conducts an audit process to establish the authenticity of applications.

3. It is expensive

If you are not a member of PMI, the cost of the PMI-ACP certification is 495 US dollars. However, if you are a member, then you need to spend 435 US dollars to write the exam. But PMI membership itself costs 139 US dollars. Though you save only $11 by becoming the PMI member, there is a host of other benefits that are associated with the membership. Hence, it is highly suggested that you become a member of PMI before registering for the exam. Additionally, if you fail in your first attempt and want to retake the exam, you need to pay $335 if you are a PMI member and $395 if you are not a PMI member. Apart from the cost of the exam, there are several other costs that one incurs during the preparation. These include the cost of PM training sessions, preparatory books, sample questions, etc. Considering all these, one needs to spend at least $1,250 to gain this certification. Yet, almost all the experts agree that this cost is nothing compared to the career growth that one can have through this certification.

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