AICP Certification Exam: May 2013

The exam application window is now closed.

Final Notification Deadline: April 10, 2013

Transfer Deadline: April 23, 2013

Testing Window: May 6-20, 2013

Considering Certification?

Here is all the information you'll need to apply for and take the AICP Certification Exam in May 2013. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.


Contact AICP exam staff at

Part-Time, Prorated, and Non-Traditional Experience

Be sure to check out the information regarding part-time, prorated, and non-traditional planning experience. You may already be eligible to apply!

How to Apply to Take the Exam

Step 1

Bring your membership up to date
You must be a member of APA to sit for the exam. Make sure your APA and chapter dues are up to date before starting your application.

Step 2

Read the Exam Candidate Bulletin
The Exam Candidate Bulletin (pdf) will help you decide whether the AICP exam is right for you.

Step 3

Submit the application and pay exam fees
Complete and submit your online application by the deadline. Exam fees are $495 for new applicants and $425 for returning applicants.

APA has created an Exam Application Template to help you gather the information you will need to complete the application.

Returning applicants: If your original application was approved within the last three exam cycles, please use the application link to review the application we have on file for you and register your intent to take the exam. If your original application was not approved within the last three exam windows, you must reapply. This includes filling out a new application and resending verifications. Read the Exam Candidate Bulletin for more information.

Step 4

Upload your verification documents
You must verify your education and employment experience before being approved to take the exam. All of your employment and education verifications should be uploaded by the day that you submit the online application, but must be uploaded no later than the Final Application Deadline. Read more in the Exam Candidate Bulletin.

Step 5

Make sure your application is complete
APA will update the Exam Application Status Check web page once your verifications are received. Please continue to periodically monitor this web page for any notifications about your verifications. Watch for messages indicating a problem with any of your verification documents.

Step 6

Watch for an e-mail from APA
Once APA has received all your verifications, we will begin reviewing your application. Normal processing and review time is approximately 8-10 weeks; however, this is a rough estimate and some applications will take longer to review than others. Early Bird applicants will receive notification by the Early Bird Notification Deadline, and all other applicants will receive notification by the Final Notification Deadline.

Early-Bird Application Window

Applicants who apply within the Early-Bird Application Window will receive their application approval or denial notice before other applicants.

What Is the Benefit to Me?

Earlier notification allows candidates more time to study for the exam after application approval. It also allows candidates to participate in chapter-sponsored exam preparation courses and study sessions. These events often occur several months before the start of the exam window.

Candidates who receive early notification will also be able to schedule their test appointment earlier, giving them more flexibility in choosing dates and times.

More Key Information


The application fee ($70) and exam fee ($425) are paid together when submitting the online form. Payment must be made online with a credit card. The $70 application fee is non-refundable. If your application is denied or incomplete you will receive an automatic refund of the $425 exam fee at the end of the exam cycle.

APA Membership

If your chapter and national dues are not fully paid, your application type will default to one of the application types that apply only to non-members from the state of New Jersey, which cannot be converted to regular applications. If you did happen to start an application/registration prior to making your dues payment, you can change the application type prior to submitting your application.

AICP Membership and Dues

Passing the exam does not automatically make you a member of AICP. After you have passed the exam, you will receive a prorated invoice for your new AICP dues, bringing them into the same billing cycle as your APA dues. Please do not begin using the AICP designation until your AICP dues are paid and you are a full member of AICP.

Your Application Type

If you submit an incorrect application type for your situation (i.e., if you live in Texas and submit a New Jersey application) APA staff will not be able to change it during this exam cycle, and your only option will be to transfer your application to the next exam window and wait for review/approval/testing.

Scheduling your Exam Appointment

Candidates whose applications are approved will receive an Authorization to Test via e-mail. This will contain instructions for how to set up your exam appointment during the testing window. See the Exam Candidate Bulletin for details about the exam and scheduling your appointment.

Exam Scores

Test takers receive an unofficial score immediately after completing the computerized exam. Official Score Reports are mailed to all exam takers approximately six weeks after the window closes. Scores are reported on a scale of 25-75, with 55 as a passing score. To find out more about scaled score, read the Exam Candidate Bulletin.

Transferring Exam Windows and Refunds

Read about these policies in the Exam Candidate Bulletin.

Certification Maintenance

AICP's Certification Maintenance program helps planners gain the knowledge and skills they need to remain current in the practice of planning.