What Exactly is the PMI-ACP Exam Syllabus?


PMI-ACP Exam Syllabus

[NEW! For the 2015 July PMI®-ACP Exam syllabus] For PMI-ACP® exam aspirants, the PMI-ACP® Exam syllabus seems to be a mystery. Yes, PMI does spell out the details of what would be tested on the PMI-ACP® exam in the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline (REVISED DECEMBER 2014), however it is written in PMI jargons that render the meaning not readily understood if you have not previously attempted a PMI exam. This post attempts to explain the PMI-ACP® exam content in plain language so that every Agile practitioners will be able to fully understand what the revised PMI-ACP® Exam syllabus is about.

PMI-ACP® Exam Format

  • There are 120 questions for the PMI-ACP® Exam (20 random questions (called as pre-test) from the 120 questions are not to be counted towards the final score)
  • All questions are multiple-choice questions with 1 correct answer from 4 choices
  • The PMI-ACP® Exam lasts for 3 hours
  • The PMI-ACP® Exam is computer-based in most cases (i.e. to be answered on a computer in a selected exam centre)

PMI-ACP® Exam Syllabus

PMI-ACP® Exam Syllabus Re-organized

  • Mike Griffiths, in the book PMI-ACP® Exam Prep, tries to create a more structured for the PMI-ACP® Exam syllabus by grouping Agile Tools and Techniques / Agile Knowledge and Skills into the Domains (which can be thought of as different aspects of Agile project management).
  • Inspired by Mike’s effort, I have created the following PMI-ACP® Exam Syllabus matrix (for the new PMI-ACP® syllabus) to give PMI-ACP® aspirants a more concrete grasp of what would be tested on the PMI-ACP® Exam.
  • This table can also serve as a last minute revision notes for PMI-ACP® Exam takers to test whether they have understood all the concepts as included below.
Domain Tools and Techniques Knowledge and Skills
Agile Principles and Mindset  
  • Agile Manifesto Values and Principles
  • Agile Framework and Terminology
  • Agile Methods and Approaches
Value-Driven Delivery / Project Initialization
  • ROI, NPV, IRR
  • Chartering
  • Relative Prioritization
  • Customer-Valued Prioritization
  • Risk-Adjusted Backlog
  • Agile EVM
  • Task / Kanban Boards + WIP Limits
  • Cumulative Flow Diagrams
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Requirement Reviews
  • KANO Analysis + MoSCoW
  • Prioritization
  • Value-Based Decomposition and Prioritization
  • Incremental Delivery
  • Value-Based Analysis
  • Business Case Development
  • Agile Project Accounting Principles
  • Agile Contracting
  • Agile Project Accounting Principles
Stakeholder Engagement / Communication
  • Personas
  • User Stories / Backlogs + Story Maps
  • Wireframes
  • Information Radiators
  • Burn Down / Up Charts
  • Agile Modeling
  • Conflict Resolution + Negotiation
  • Workshops
  • Two-way Communications
  • Social Media-based Communication
  • Accessing and Incorporating Community and Stakeholder Values
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Communication Management
  • Facilitation Methods
  • Knowledge Sharing/Written Communication
Team Performance / Human Resources Management
  • Servant Leadership + Adaptive Leadership
  • Co-located Teams / Distributed Teams
  • Team Space
  • Agile Tooling + Daily Stand-ups
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Learning Cycle
  • Productivity
  • Leadership
  • Building Agile Teams
  • Team Motivation
  • Physical and Virtual Co-location
  • Global, Cultural and Team Diversity
  • Training, Coaching and Team Diversity
  • Participator Decision Models
Adaptive Planning / Executing
  • Product Roadmap
  • Minimally Marketable Feature (MMF) / Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
  • Iteration and Release Planning + Progressive Elaboration
  • Wide Band Delphi and Planning Poker + Affinity Estimating + Relative Sizing / Story Points
  • Timeboxing
  • Process Tailoring
  • Velocity + Ideal Time + Throughput
  • Backlog Grooming / Refinement
  • Definition of Done
  • Principles of Systems Thinking
  • Prioritization
  • Incremental Delivery
  • Agile Discovery
  • Agile Sizing and Estimation
  • Value Based Analysis and Decomposition
  • Agile Project Chartering
Problem Detection and Resolution
  • Continuous Integration + Frequent Verification and Validation
  • Variance and Trend Analysis
  • Test-Driven Development / Test First Development
  • Acceptance Test-Driven Development
  • Risk-Based Spike
  • Risk Adjusted Backlog
  • Architectural Spikes
  • Risk Burn Down Graphs
  • Cycle Time
  • Escaped Defects
  • Approved Iterations
  • The Five WHYs
  • Control Limits
  • Pre-mortem (rule setting, failure analysis)
  • Fishbone Diagram Analysis
  • Testing (including exploratory and usability)
  • Problem Solving
  • Process Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Managing with Agile KPIs
Continuous Improvement (Product, Process, People)
  • Retrospectives + Intraspectives
  • Product-Feedback Loop
  • Process Tailoring/Hybrid Models
  • Value Stream Mapping
  • Continuous Integration
  • Kaizen
  • Developmental Mastery Models
  • Self-assessment Tools and Techniques
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Agile Hybrid Models
  • PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Summary: PMI-ACP® Exam Syllabus

This post elaborates on the PMI-ACP® Examination Content Outline published by the PMI. The PMI-ACP® Exam Syllabus was originally written in a somewhat formal but vague language, this post aims to explain the exam syllabus in a more easy-to-understand language for PMI-ACP® aspirants.

Most Popular PMI-ACP Certification Articles

GreyCampus PMP online training course bundle for US$149 only

Support website running for FREE, thanks!

If you find this post helpful and if you are thinking of buying from Amazon, please support the running cost of this website at no extra cost to you by searching and buying through the search box below. Thank you very much for your help!

Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Responses

  1. Joanne says:

    Thanks for taking the time to do this Edward! I used your advice for the PMP exam and it was very helpful :). Do you have a printable version of the PMI-ACP study notes?

  2. Shebba says:

    This has been great to read thru. I am thinking of taking the exam to prepare a direct project manager role I hope to get in a few years.