PMI-ACP Formulas and Calculation for PMI-ACP Exam Demystified

pmi-acp formulas

I hear you say “What? Is there really any calculation questions for the PMI-ACP® Exam?”

Yes, you read it right, there are some mathematical concepts and formulas you may need to know in order to be fully prepared for the PMI-ACP® Exam. There are quite a few calculation type questions for the PMP® Exam and there is no reason why PMI would not request you to solve some calculation questions for the PMI-ACP® Exam.

But don’t worry. The mathematical concepts and formulas required for the PMI-ACP® Exam is just a fraction of what are required for the PMP® Exam and they are on the easy side too. Read below for the full explanation.

PMI-ACP® Exam Formulas and Concepts

Below is a summary of the formulas and mathematical concepts that are required for the PMI-ACP® Exam:

PMI-ACP® Formulas and Mathematical Concepts
Name (Abbreviation) Formula Interpretation
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) The formal definition of IRR is “the discount rate at which the net present value of all cash flows from a particular project equal to zero“.Just need to know IRR is used while selecting which project to proceed, when comparing different project, the higher the IRR, the better.
Net Present Value (NPV) The formal definition of NPV is “the present value of the future returns from the project minus investment“. Since money will depreciate over time owing to inflation, the present value will give a better judgement on the actual values realised on capital investment.Just need to know NPV is used while selecting which project to proceed, when comparing different project, the higher the NPV, the more profitable the project is.
Return on Investment (ROI) The formal definition of ROI is “the return resulting from the investment in the project“.Just need to know ROI is used while selecting which project to proceed, when comparing different project, the higher the ROI, the better.
Schedule Performance Index (SPI)


EV = Earned Value
PV = Planned Value

< 1    behind schedule
= 1    on schedule
> 1    ahead of schedule
Cost Performance Index (CPI)


EV = Earned Value
AC = Actual Cost

< 1    Over budget
= 1    On budget
> 1    Under budget

sometimes the term ‘cumulative CPI’ would be shown, which actually is the CPI up to that moment
Schedule Variance (SV)

SV = EV – PV

EV = Earned Value
PV = Planned Value

< 0    Behind schedule
= 0    On schedule
> 0    Ahead of schedule
Cost Variance (CV)

CV = EV – AC

EV = Earned Value
AC = Actual Cost

< 0    Over budget
= 0    On budget
> 0    Within budget


That’s it. These seven formulas are all that you need to remember for the PMI-ACP® Exam.

The PMI-ACP® exam actually focuses on concepts, tools, processes and techniques of Agile project management rather than asking you to do calculation. In my PMI-ACP® Exam paper, I got no calculation type questions at all. That said, since every set of PMI-ACP® Exam questions are different, it is still possible that you may encounter some PMI-ACP® calculation question on the topics of earned value calculation and project justification. The above discussion should be “barely sufficient” for your Agile exam preparation.

Further Reading

If you would like to know more about the others mathematical formulas for calculating earned values, you are advised to take a look at the PMP® Certification Formulas and Calculation Guide.

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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.

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