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Tips and strategies to survive the Atlassian ACP Exam

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In my two previous articles about ACP Exam materials and ACP Preparation I shared with you information where you can find free Atlassian ACP exam preparation materials and what you can do to prepare for the Atlassian ACP exam. In this article I would like to share with you my proven techniques and strategies which you can use during the the Atlassian ACP exam. Some of them may be obvious for you but others may be a little surprising.

Strategy #1 - Tomorrow is your exam day

During this day do not study any more. There is nothing more you can learn. You cannot cancel your exam because you will loose the exam fee. This is it - tomorrow you are going to the exam center and pass it (hopefully) on your first try. I know that anxiety cannot be entirely eliminated (from my experience). But if you followed the preparation plan then you know that you ARE PREPARED and this getting prepared in a systematic way is the best what you can do to minimise the test anxiety. Get a good amount of sleep the night before the test and be positive.

Strategy #2 - On your exam day before you start

You probably have read in other articles about arriving early, not drinking too much water before the exam etc. That is all true. Add to that list my secret tip: bring your own ear-plugs. At the examination center they usually provide you with some ear-plugs but get yourself the ones which you have tested on yourself. This is very important to be focused during the exam. Stopping the external noises (like coughing of other test takers) helped me a lot to concentrate.

Strategy #3 - Always ask for the scrap paper

Scrap paper and a pencil are permitted on your table during the exam (at least when you are in the exam center). You will get them from the exam center reception. Do not waive this permission. Here is what I do with the paper during the exam. I divide the paper on three columns: SURE | MAYBE | NO CLUE. When I answer the questions, I note down their number on my scrap paper in one of these three columns. When all the questions are answered (or not), I review in the first place the questions from column NO CLUE, then from MAYBE and then (if I have some time left) from the SURE column. This helps a lot with the exam time management.

Strategy #4 - My tips ‘from the exam trenches’

  1. The ACP exam has on average 70-80 questions, so you have a little over 2 minutes per question (during 3 hours). In some cases questions are very long and not so easy to understand when read them for the first time. Don't bother! If you don't know the answer right away, mark it for review on your scrap paper (put it in the NO CLUE column) and move on
  2. Make sure to answer every question and even guess if you have to! There are no deductions for incorrect answers, so you should at least try.
  3. READ CAREFULLY if you are supposed to mark one answer, two or more. It is easy to simply forget to give two answers if they ask for two answers.
  4. What to do when all the answers look good? Try to find the best answer by eliminating the ones that look the least good. And again, be sure to read all the answers slowly (yes, you have time) and carefully before choosing one.
  5. What to do when all the answers look bad? Try to find the best answer by eliminating the ones that look the most bad and leave only the least bad. In the worst case scenario when (a) and (c) look equally good, choose any one. You will only by 50% wrong and this can be the good 50%.
  6. Translate situation into configuration. The Atlassian ACP exam deals with real-world use cases from the Jira (or Confluence) administration practice. You will not be able to guess the correct answer if you are not able to translate the situation into a configuration object. For example if the situation is about that user is unable to transition the issue, you need to instantly know that this maybe something about permissions or workflow properties and not global settings. If you want to see how this translation works in practice, you can watch a few use case examples here on my Jira Lab YouTube channel
  7. You need to have 60% of the 70-80 questions correct. This is 42 to 48 questions. Count how many questions you marked in columns SURE and MAYBE. Maybe you have passed your exam already and you do not know it. This will help you to relax!
  8. And another of my secret tips: in server administration questions always assume that an administrator should have as little maintenance work as possible. If two questions are right but one of them will require less work from the administrator, this should be the correct answer.

Thank you for reading the article about how to survive the ACP exam. If you found my tips helpful please share the article with your fellow Jira administrators and help them survive their Atlassian ACP exam.

PS.Additionally, you can watch my short ACP preparation series on YouTube.



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Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
Community Leader
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July 27, 2020

Thanks for sharing your YouTube channel @Bogdan Gorka, I subscribed.

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Drew Cottrell September 9, 2020

@Bogdan Gorka do you have any advice for working with PSI technical support?   They were unable to find the ACP-120 exam I paid for so I was unable to take the exam and Atlassian support did not respond.

Bogdan Gorka
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September 10, 2020

@Drew Cottrell 

I am not particularly happy with the change of certification services provider but there is little we can do about it because the decision has been made.

I have signed up for two exams with the PSI - ACP-620 and ACP-120 and did not have any problems with this sign up. After the signup I got the confirmation message and later I got an appointment reminder. Before the exam session they have a really extensive checkup of your room so prepare yourself for that and read the guidelines here:

It is easy to check if your exam you paid for is waiting for you when you log in to and click on the Schedule and Take exam button. It will redirect you to the PSI dashboard

Anyway, I did not have any problems

As for the Atlassian support, I did not have any problems either. I raised with them my concerns that we can't use any paper during the exam (but we can use paper dictionaries). However, to discuss the exam concerns you need to select a proper service desk. In my case their response time was like 24 hours.

I hope this helps!

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Drew Cottrell September 10, 2020

Thanks @Bogdan Gorka I filed a ticket immediately of course but there was nothing Atlassian could do since it was a PSI issue, and exam can no longer be scheduled so they're unable to reschedule.  PSI wouldn't refund me so I had to file dispute with bank and got a chargeback at least.


None of the prep materials state the wireless webcam requirement but lesson learned!

Like djones likes this
Taranjeet Singh
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 22, 2020

Thanks for sharing these useful tips for ACP exams! These would be really helpful!

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