Thoughts and Tips on Taking the AICP Exam


    The test is difficult and comprehensive (study)
    Not all questions are clear (slow down and read again)
    Some questions are a lot harder than others (and will take you longer to answer)
    Some questions have extraneous information (just like the rest of life)
    Some questions require you to exercise judgment (what’s both right and practical?)
    You can’t get everything right (so don’t sweat the wrong stuff)

What should you do?

    Don’t memorize dates, unless they have independent meaning (Housing Act of 1949)
    Understand concepts and be prepared to apply them
    Know famous figures and know why they are famous
    Have a grasp of theory
    Read the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
    Understand conflicts of interest
    Know the basic mechanics of filing a professional complaint
    Memorize a few basic numbers/conversions (feet in a mile, square feet in an acre, etc.)
    Understand scale and how maps of different scales might be applied differently
    Know famous cases and what they stand for (especially “takings” cases)

What if you don’t pass?

    Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world
    Look upon it as a dry run for when you really take the test (next testing window)