Changes to the 2022 AICP Exam Outline

Changes to the American Planning Association (APA) AICP exam are currently in effect and will be reflected on the May 2022 exam (APA enacted changes in December 2021). Are you prepared?

In the past, the exam covered five major topics. In December, the APA expanded the categories to include nine topics. 

You can see the new exam outline here: 

BIG TAKEAWAY: Most of the topics are the same (APA took them out of one category and put them into a new category to be more specific). The percentage of exam questions pertaining to each major topic area has also changed accordingly.

Before 2022, the exam outline and breakdown of the percentage of exam questions was as follows:

  • Areas of Practice 30%
  • Plan Making and Implementation 30%
  • Fundamental Planning Knowledge 25%
  • AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct 10%
  • Leadership, Administration, and Management 5%

The new AICP Certification Examination Major Topic Areas and percentages are: 

  • Research and Assessment Methods (11%)
  • Fundamental Planning Knowledge (15%)
  • Communication and Interaction (13%)
  • Plan and Policy Development (15%)
  • Plan Implementation (12%)
  • Administration and Management (6%)
  • Leadership (6%)
  • Areas of Practice (12%)
  • AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (10%)

What was once broadly under Areas of Practice has now been subdivided to add Research and Assessment Methods.

Leadership, Administration, and Management was divided into (1) Leadership, and (2) Administration and Management. 

Plan Making and Implementation became (1) Plan Implementation and (2) Plan and Policy Development. 

The new category that wasn't explicitly factored into the old exam is Communication and Interaction. 

Planning Certification is currently in the process of updating our guides to include this new topic and reorganizing them to reflect the new outline, but the information remains much the same! 

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