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Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class

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Are you ready to take the AICP* exam?

93% of students who took Planetizen's AICP* Exam Preparation Class in 2020 passed the test and became AICP* certified.

The national pass rate for the AICP* exam is only 64%.

Over 1/3rd of all successful AICP* exam takers used our class to help them pass.

Join the thousands of students who have used the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.

The class is 100% web-based and mobile and tablet friendly. You can access anywhere you have a web browser and internet connection.

Includes online access for one term for Planetizen's AICP Exam Preparation Class
Essential Readings in Urban Planning
  • Includes online access for one term for Planetizen's AICP Exam Preparation Class.
  • Copy of Essential Readings in Urban Planning
Essential Readings in Urban Planning Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice
  • Includes online access for one term for Planetizen's AICP Exam Preparation Class.
  • Copy of Essential Readings in Urban Planning
  • Copy of Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice

Learn on Your Schedule

All elements of the class are available at any time for viewing. You can proceed as quickly or slowly through the lessons as you need, and you can re-read, re-watch, and retake the practice tests as often as you like.

Test your knowledge

  • 5 full length practice exams (170 questions each).
  • Pre-test evaluation (170 questions) to help you determine your level of readiness.
  • 10-30 practice questions for each topic to help you demonstrate mastery of the topic.
  • Over 970 unique sample questions.
  • Explanatory feedback for each practice question.

Understand the topics covered in the exam

  • 300 comprehensive flashcards include terms, definitions, and concepts that can be studied online or in a mobile app.
  • 6 class topics, each with a series of 15-30 minute lessons to help you organize your studies.
  • Over 50 fact-filled lessons introduce a variety of topics, from History, Theory, and Law to Ethics, and Public Participation and Social Justice.
  • 27 Summaries of the APA Policy Guides created by students who have prepared for the AICP* exam.

Video lessons

  • 12+ hours of streaming video training.
  • 3 hours of video specifically on the AICP* code of ethics, by ethics expert, Carol Barrett, FAICP.
  • 1 hour of video on code drafting and the law by legal expert, Mark White.
  • 1 hour of video on the Takings Clause by legal expert, Thomas Hawkins.

Interact with the instructor and fellow students

  • Ask the instructor any questions you might have as you prepare for the exam. Questions are answered within two days.
  • Discussion forums to interact with other students.
  • Class facilitators and a technical support specialist are available for support.
  • Read hundreds of comments and advice from students who have previously taken the exam.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

I just signed up for the AICP* Exam Prep Class. When will I be able to access the class?

If you signed up while the fall or spring term class is in session your account is active upon purchase. Your account and access information is included in your receipt. Early bird registrants will have access when the class becomes open for the term.

What if I am unable to take the AICP exam?

Your registration fee is for one term only.

We do not offer deferments or refunds if your application to sit for the exam is denied by the APA, you decide not to take exam, or for personal hardship.

If you are unsure of your application status for the exam with the APA, we advise you wait to enroll in this class since we do not offer deferments or refunds.

If you have questions about the APA's exam window, eligibility requirements and application status, please visit the American Planning Association's website for more information.

If you wish to continue your access to the class, you will have to re-register at a reduced fee for the next term.

What are the dates that the class open?

Preparing for the May Exam?
Class registration for the spring term is open from December 15th – May 15th. Class access is open starting January 15th through June 15th.

Preparing for the November Exam?
Class registration for the fall term is open from June 15th – November 15th. Class access is open from July 15th through December 15th.

Do I need Essentials Readings in Urban Planning or the Local Planning book for the AICP Prep Class?

The books are not required for the class. Planetizen offers Essential Readings in Urban Planning as an extra resource curated by former course instructor, Jennifer Evans-Cowley, PhD, AICP, that represent key concepts necessary to become a certified planner.

We also carry Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice since it is considered the "Green Bible" by planners and is a valued resource when preparing for the AICP* exam.

Are the books available digitally?

We are unable to offer the books in a PDF or e-book format due to copyright restrictions from the publishers. The price of the reader reflects the cost of obtaining publishing rights from all of the titles. Many of these titles are difficult to obtain from public sources and to purchase each book individually would be very expensive.

Is the class online? How does this work?

The AICP prep class is available as an online class only. You may access the course material on your desktop computer or on mobile or tablet devices.

Am I able to access the materials or download the videos for offline use?

No, the course materials are not available offline and the videos are only available through online streaming.

Do you offer a returning student discount?

We offer a 50% discount if you are a returning student to the AICP prep class. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Do you offer a group discount?

We do offer a group discounts. Please get in touch with us for details at [email protected]

Is Planetizen's AICP Exam Preparation Class affiliated with the APA?

Neither The American Planning Association nor AICP are affiliated with Planetizen or this class. The sample exams in the class are practice questions. They are not real exam questions.

Still Need Help?

Please email us at [email protected]

While preparing for the exam, it is simply not possible to study everything. The Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class helps you to focus your limited time and resources by focusing the information most likely to appear on the exam.

Each topic is organized into a series of easy-to-review lessons which can be completed in approximately 20-30 minutes. This makes it easy for the busy planning professional to fit in a lesson anytime.

  • Topic: How To Prepare For the AICP* Exam
    • Lesson 1 - The Structure of the Exam
    • Lesson 2 - The Nature of the Exam
    • Lesson 3 - Comments from Previous AICP Candidates
    • Lesson 4 - Before the Exam
    • Lesson 5 - During the Exam
    • Lesson 6 - The AICP Exam
    • Lesson 7 - References
    • Lesson 8 - Other Recommended Study Guides
    • Lesson 9 - APA Policy Guides
    • Video Training: How to Study for the Exam
    • Video Training: Exam Tips
    • Topic Quiz: How to Take a Quiz or Exam
  • Topic: Plan Making and Implementation
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Plan Making and Implementation
    • Lesson 2 - Data Collection
    • Lesson 3 - Quantitative Analysis (Statistics)
    • Lesson 4 - Quantitative Analysis (Population Estimate)
    • Lesson 5 - Quantitative Analysis (Economic Analysis)
    • Lesson 6 - Census and Demographics
    • Lesson 7 - Spatial Analysis
    • Lesson 8 - Public Engagement
    • Lesson 9 - Negotiation and Coalition Building
    • Lesson 10 - Communication
    • Lesson 11 - Visioning
    • Lesson 12 - Plan Implementation Site Analysis
    • Lesson 13 - Environmental Impact Analysis
    • Lesson 14 - Project and Program Management
    • Lesson 15 - Budgets
    • Lesson 16 - Multicultural and Gender Issues
    • Video Training: Population Analysis
    • Video Training: Economic Analysis
    • Video Training: Statistical Analysis
    • Video Training: Spatial Analysis
    • Video Training: Public Participation
    • Video Training: Finance and Budgeting
    • Video Training: Codes and Regulations
    • Bonus Video Training: GIS Essentials: Projections and Map Design
    • Bonus Video Training: An Overview of Regional Scenario Planning
    • Bonus Video Training: Introductory Population Analysis
    • Bonus Video Training: Introductory Urban Economics with Excel
    • Bonus Video Training: Form-Based Codes 101: Introduction
    • Bonus Video Training: Planning and Promoting Your Community Engagement Process
    • Bonus Video Training: Economic Thinking for Planners: Local Government and Governance
    • Topic Quiz
  • Topic: Areas of Practice
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Areas of Practice
    • Lesson 2 - Fiscal Impact Analysis
    • Lesson 3 - Comprehensive and Sectoral Planning
    • Lesson 4 - Land Use Regulations (Subdivision)
    • Lesson 5 - Land Use Regulations (Zoning)
    • Lesson 6 - Sustainability Planning
    • Lesson 7 - Transportation
    • Lesson 8 - Infrastructure Planning
    • Lesson 9 - Hazards, Mitigation and Resiliency Planning
    • Lesson 10 - Natural Resources and Environmental Quality
    • Lesson 11 - Energy
    • Lesson 12 - Economic Development Planning
    • Lesson 13 - Urban Design
    • Lesson 14 - Housing
    • Lesson 15 - Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
    • Lesson 16 - Food Systems Planning
    • Lesson 17 - Historic and Cultural Resources Planning
    • Lesson 18 - Institutional Planning and Siting
    • Lesson 19 - Health Planning
    • Lesson 20 - Corridor Planning
    • Lesson 21 - Neighborhood Planning
    • Lesson 22 - Waterfront Planning
    • Lesson 23 - Downtown Planning
    • Video Training: Comprehensive Planning
    • Video Training: Sustainability Planning
    • Video Training: Food, Health, and Institutional Planning
    • Video Training: Small Towns, Parks, Preservation
    • Video Training: Urban Design and Housing
    • Video Training: Transportation Planning
    • Bonus Video Training: Introductory Housing Analysis with Excel
    • Bonus Video Training: Healthy Urban Food Systems: Planning Production Facilities
    • Bonus Video Training: Developing a Fact Basis for Hazard Planning
    • Bonus Video Training: K-12 Master Facility Planning
    • Bonus Video Training: Introduction to Healthy Communities
    • Topic Quiz
  • Topic: Leadership, Administration, and Management
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Leadership, Administration and Management
    • Lesson 2 - Leadership
    • Lesson 3 - Managing External Relationships
    • Lesson 4 - Internal Organizational Management
    • Lesson 5 - Technology and Related Applications
    • Video Training: Leadership, Administration, and Management
    • Bonus Video Training: Managing a Planning Organization
    • Bonus Video Training: Leadership in Planning
    • Bonus Video Training: External Relations for Planners
  • Topic: AICP Code of Ethics
    • Lesson 1: Ethics Resources
    • Lesson 2: Ethics Questions
    • Video Training: Planning Ethics with Carol Barrett
    • Video Training: Understanding the Content and Process for Determining Ethical Conduct with Carol Barrett
    • Topic Quiz
  • Topic: Fundamental Planning Knowledge
    • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Fundamental Planning Knowledge
    • Lesson 2 - History
    • Lesson 3 - Application of Legal Principles
    • Lesson 4 - Law
    • Lesson 5 - Patterns of Urban Development
    • Lesson 6 - Theories of Planning Practice
    • Lesson 7 - Statutory Basis of Planning
    • Video Training: Planning, History, and Settlements
    • Video Training: Planning Law
    • Video Training: Planning Theory and Core Values
    • Video Training: Statutory Basis and Related Professions
    • Bonus Video Training: Code Drafting and the Law
    • Bonus Video Training: The Takings Clause
    • Bonus Video Training: Procedural Due Process
    • Topic Quiz
  • Topic: Practice Exams and Course Evaluation
    • Video Training: Questions and Answers
    • Sample Exam #1 (**170 Questions)
    • Sample Exam #2 (**170 Questions)
    • Sample Exam #3 (**170 Questions)
    • Sample Exam #4 (**170 Questions)
    • Sample Exam #5 (**170 Questions)
    • Class Evaluation

What People Are Saying

I relied 99% on this course, so I can assure you it covers VERY well the test content. I would definitely recommend this course and I will certainly purchase another Planetizen course in the future.
Juliana Lucchesi, AICP

The Planetizen class was super helpful. The practice tests were most definitely harder than the actual test, but that is a good thing.
Maddy Graham, AICP

The Planetizen course practice quiz questions were definitely very similar to the actual exam. I pretty much only studied from this course and found it super helpful. Thank you!
Natalie Hamilton, AICP

The Planetizen course was the best, most comprehensive overview of material, and the test-taking guidance and practice tests were the best.
Ron Whitmore, AICP

This course certainly made studying extremely efficient and I felt like I could tailor it to my needs and weaknesses. Thank you so much, Planetizen team!
Phillip Hu, AICP

This course was invaluable to me as a method and basis for studying. The practice exams were very helpful.
Molly Kaminski, AICP

I would not have known where to start studying without this course. Emily Talen is a BOSS! Thank you.
Tara Worden, AICP

Thanks to the instructors and Planetizen for this course, I know I wouldn't have passed without it!
Suzanne Baker, AICP

I can definitely say that without Planetizen I likely would not have passed, but with only Planetizen as a study resource I was able to pass even though it's been nearly 10 years since I last saw much of this material. Thanks Planetizen!
William Gillespie, AICP

This course is definitely the reason why I passed!
Elise McDermott, AICP

More than anything, Planetizen is a great resource because it helps you train your mind to think in a way that makes you able to navigate the actual exam far more easily. I absolutely would not have passed without this course.
Ashley Powell AICP

Thank you for creating such a helpful resource. It really made a difference in helping me pass the exam.
-Rosa Y. Ortiz, AICP (Chicago, IL)

I can't say enough about the Planetizen website, videos and notes. I read and reviewed these multiple times.
Afsan Hamid, AICP (Bartlett, IL)

This class really helped me focus my studies and was a great resource overall.
Erika Martin, AICP (Long Beach, CA)

I highly recommend this class.
Omar Masry, AICP (Newbury Park, CA)

"This is my third attempt on the exam, but the first time I've taken this class. Believe me, this class made all the difference. If you have no formal planning training, this class is a condensed form of a masters degree in planning."
Name Withheld, AICP

I passed the exam with a score of 62. I took this class after not passing the exam. This class is the reason I passed. I was overwhelmed with the amount of material and with trying to find it on my own. I did not study correctly the first time. This class narrowed the topics and helped me to study the correct subject matter and appropriate depth. Thank you so much!
Name Withheld, AICP

Thanks for this class - it was really, really helpful.
Patrick Marchman, AICP (Alexandria, VA)

This class builds confidence and provides a great framework for exam preparation.
Roberto Zuniga, AICP (Coppell, TX)

Thank you for such a great class! It was extremely helpful in organizing the insane amount of information!
Heidi Jones, AICP (Goleta, CA)

Thank you. This class was enormously helpful to my study process.
Molly Wright, AICP (Sacramento, CA)

This class provided a very strong foundation for my studies.
Catherine Sckerl, AICP (Austin, TX)

"A million thanks to Jennifer and her wonderful staff for such an amazing product. My advice to potential test takers: enroll in this course as soon as it becomes available. Don't hesitate. This is THE tool that will help you pass the AICP exam."
Ruben Flores-Marzan, AICP (Manati, PR)

This class was a instrumental in passing the exam.
Guilherme Prado, AICP (Atlanta, GA)

I passed the exam this afternoon with a [removed]! That's where I estimate I was after taking the three Planetizen practice exams. I entered the exam feeling good that I would pass based on the practice exams. The level of difficulty was right where I expected it to be. Thanks for the great study course!
Brian Vosburg, AICP (Detroit, MI)

I would say that [seven different study resources and books] were helpful, but this class was the single most helpful element, especially the practice tests.
Vanessa Goold, AICP (Sunapee, NH)

This class WAS A HUGE HELP!
Greg Wagner, AICP (Fergus Falls, NH)

This class was very helpful. I felt very well-prepared while taking the exam.
Rebecca Bird, AICP (Champaign, IL)

I just wanted to thank the entire Planetizen/Urban Insight team for the AICP class. It was very thorough, well-written, and creatively put together. It was money well spent - I passed with [points to spare].
Mark Meyer, AICP (St. Louis, MO)

I found this class to be a great resource. I don't think I would have passed without it. I also tried another study resource and found that not to be helpful. Its simply not geared towards the test in the way that this course was.
Kevin Kusmick, AICP (Jersey City, NJ)

Thank you for such a wonderful study aid.
Amy Diaz-Barriga, AICP (Evanston, IL)

"This class played a huge role in my preparation for the exam. I took all the practice exams/quizzes multiple times and crossed-checked my weaker areas with other resources... The videos were a great break from reading and provided additional insight to some of the more challenging portions of the exam. Thanks Jennifer, this class was a huge help."
Robert Caison, AICP (Charleston, NC)

Thank you for such a great review class, and for answering my questions. I took the exam this morning and passed... I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't enrolled in the Planetizen class and been able to practice so many great questions in the quizzes and the practice exams.
Lindsay Smart, AICP (Chattanooga, TN)

This class was incredibly helping in knowing what to study and how to study it.
Cara Kelly, AICP (Bellbrook, OH)

This class is a must for those taking the test.
A. Alexander Flemming, AICP (Havertown, PA)

Planetizen's AICP preparation class is great. Not have a planning degree and working as a master planning consultant for the military, this class and the video lectures were invaluable.
Corey Parten, AICP (Marietta, GA)

The Planetizen AICP Class helped focus my studying, especially since I tend to spend too much time learning stuff in great detail as opposed to learning a little about each topic.
Keith Leonard, AICP (Grand Junction, CO)

Thank you, thank you, for putting together such a fantastic class that was so accessible to all of us around the country who may not have been able to attend national conference exam preparation sessions.
Allison Phillips, AICP (Jemez Springs, NM)

I studied using Planetizen's AICP class, another study guide, and the Green Book. I would say that they all had their strengths and weaknesses, but this course helped me the most. Being able to watch Jennifer's lectures was great for me because I am need to hear thing and read them. Having never had a single planning class in college, the law, history, and theory stuff was brand new to me. It was a lot to learn. Thanks!
Brooke Ferguson, AICP (Greenville, SC)

I thought that the content of the exam was actually very similar to the types of questions that were in the Planetizen practice exams, and that the exams from this course were very similar to the AICP practice exams in content, but done in a much more user friendly format, with instant feedback available and an answer selection system that much more closely mirrors the actual exam format.
Hilary Copelan, AICP (Cedar Rapids, OH)

Thank you Jennifer, and everyone in the class who provided good resources and feedback on the class forums. The Planetizen AICP preparation class was a huge help to me.
Katie Resnick, AICP (Sandwich, MA)

The class was a huge help! I wouldn't have passed without it.
Lisa Koch, AICP (Lawrence, KS)

This class gave a much needed structure and the practice exams give a good idea of the scope and type of questions.
Krtui Bhati, AICP (Ventnor City, NJ)

Photo of Instructor Emily Talen, PhD, FAICP, is Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago, where she teaches classes on urban planning and design. Her research is devoted to the relationship between the built environment and social equity. Her books include: New Urbanism and American Planning, Design for Diversity, Urban Design Reclaimed, City Rules, and Retrofitting Sprawl: Addressing 70 Years of Failed Urban Form. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Her next book, to be published in 2018 by Oxford University Press, is called Neighborhood. She has a PhD in urban geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master's in City & Regional Planning from Ohio State University.

* AICP is a registered trademark of the American Planning Association (APA) and the APA's Institute. Neither APA nor AICP are affiliated with Planetizen or this class.

** These are practice questions. They are not real exam questions.

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Registration Dates

Preparing for the May Exam?

Please consult the American Planning Association website for updates on May exam dates.

Class access is open starting January 15th through June 15th. Registration for the spring term is open from December 15th – May 15th.

Preparing for the November Exam?

Class access is open from July 15th through December 15th. Registration for the fall term is open from June 15th – November 15th.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Essential Readings in Urban Planning
The reader consists of assembled readings that are recommended by your instructor and some which, in our opinion, represent the key knowledge necessary to become a certified planner. Please note that the reader is not required for this class.

Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice

Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice
Considered the "Green Bible" by planners, this book is a valued resource when preparing for the AICP* exam. Please note that the book is not required for this class. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.