Spring 2021 AICP Exam

Spring 2021 AICP Exam deadlines are quickly approaching! Are you ready to apply?

This cycle, the APA is trying out a new application process. The actual application is quite simple, requiring you to just submit PDFs of your transcripts to confirm your educational experience as well as submitting work experience. The application is simply to verify which row you fit into in their eligibility criteria.

For the essays, the three criterion remain the same as the previous cycle. You’ll need 250-500 words for each response. Don’t get overwhelmed when writing your application essays! Even though they’re called “essays,” they’re really just short answer responses. The review committee is looking for you to be as detailed as possible (assume they don’t know anything about what you do) and if you do just that, you’ll reach 500 words before you know it.

We've put together our favorite power words to use in AICP exam application criterion responses. Check them out here:

The AICP application review committee is ultimately looking to see that you're a professional planner. This means positioning yourself as a pro at your job. Even though planning is a collaborating profession, the essays are concerned with YOUR role. Use these power words when explaining your role in planning projects to demonstrate that you're a talented and skilled planner who is vital to the team!

The Expedited Essay Review Window opens on February 9, 2021. The best part of APA sharing the criterion beforehand is that you can start drafting (and perfecting) your responses. We suggest typing them up in Microsoft Word so you can just copy and paste on the day of and hit “submit” as easy as that. By putting in the work upfront, the day the review window opens can be stress-free.

We suggest aiming for the Expedited Essay Review Window. Even though it costs more initially, submitting early (this was previously called the Early Bird Submission in past test cycles) means the review committee can give you feedback which you can incorporate and re-submit within this same cycle.

For tips like this and dedicated attention, check out our 1:1 Application and Essay Review Service. It's an opportunity to tell us all about your work experience and get help tailoring your responses to fit what the review committee is looking for! 

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