It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

Does anyone have the ACP-600 - Jira Project Administration Certification or studying for it?  I've seen the propaganda posted by Jira but it is not helpful.  The issues include the very poorly laid out cert prep course, lack and quality of sample questions (I need more than 8)  (requiring 2-3 answers for one question is not fair);  Cloud version nuances and terminology that says one thing and then later on means another (example: they use the term "administrator" when it could be Jira administrator, Project administrator, Board administrator, etc.).  There are many confusing messages within the course.  I've read about people failing a few years ago but nothing since then.  I'd love to start a real-experience conversation about it.  

3 answers

Indeed one will find plenty of Atlassian propaganda about the certifications. A good certification exam, that does exactly what RaeLynn says in her reply above, has always gained my respect and admiration. The question on the table here is "does success on the ACP-600 indicate success in the professional environment?" Or, maybe the question is "Does it really matter if one knows the difference in what a single role can do within the tool?" In a small organization one may need to play all roles. In a larger organization, multiple roles work together toward the optimal solution - supported by each other and the strong Atlassian community. After all -  building high performing teams and 'Team of Teams' is part of Atlassian's professed core. The community is what makes Atlassian such a great success. So why should an individual's performance on an exam make a big difference in an organization's ability to be successful? Yes...I get it...this is a way for an employer know if a person was really qualified with the tool. However, in a world where details such as JQL syntax or configuration guidance is just a click away, and knowledge sharing is essential in creating sustainable solutions through iterative learning, are we testing the right things?

Assuming that we believe this that a certification exam is a good indicator:

The prep course is completely inadequate in helping one assess one's readiness to take the exam. Too few (and far too easy) questions are supplied. The first time through the "course" I was able to answer every sample question - as if answering fewer than 20 questions is any indicator. My 100% gave me a false sense of confidence in readiness.

Is six months enough experience enough to be comfortable in the exam? I'm not sure it matters. I have been an administrator for over 10 years. I'll be taking my third attempt soon. Frankly, since I don't know what I have answered incorrectly, I have no idea what to work on to get better. If 10+ years of hands-on experience doesn't do it...I think it more depends on the luck of the draw with the randomized questions. Maybe Kat is correct - more experienced Jira Admins are at a disadvantage.

In my first test I scored 100% on Global Configuration...the second time through - 50%. It is possible that the number of questions on that topic were so few that even one incorrect answer skewed the score - who knows. That is the problem with this exam. Am I good with Global Configuration...or bad? No idea.  After my first exam I questioned my readiness in the other areas. I went back and studied hard on the lower-scoring topics. Now, after the second exam, I am questioning the validity of the exam altogether. I did go up in the areas I studied hard (20-30% increase in score). However, I went down by 40-50% in the other areas where previously I was passing.

If you have been a Jira Administrator - the ACP-600 will frustrate you. Plan on taking it many times due to the vagueness of wording that leaves you wondering if you are being tricked (yes...you are). For example, a question will be worded "...choose the best solution(s)..." and provide 5 possible checkbox responses. It is unclear if you are choosing the "best" solution possible, or the best solution available to you as a Project Admin. I'm not a psychometrician,  but I have worked with enough of them to know that this type of question has a low probability of correctly being answered. I would love to see the validity, reliability, and fairness metrics around this exam. 

Bottom line - this exam does not measure your ability to be a Project Administrator. Let your experience validate your worth in that regard. This exam doesn't even measure your ability to be good at taking the exam. (many great test-takers have failed this exam). The cynic in me suspects this might be a way to encourage business toward training partners - it works for PMI and others. No doubt "bootcamps" will be popping up all over the place soon. 

RayLynn...I am with you. The course, and exam, are poorly designed. I do wish Atlassian would release the pass/fail rate on first attempt - or even second attempt. In the partner company I am working with, 10% have passed on first try - that smells bad to me.

One thing Atlassian has done well is to design a system that now depends on obtaining the cert(s) as part of being a partner. Think about that for a moment.

So...yes, I will be taking it again - and again and again if necessary. Not because I value the certification for my professional growth, but because my organization is depending on me to build status as a partner. What will I study? The same things I studied before: The many product guides from Atlassian, a cadre of books I've assembled over the years, multiple "how to ace the exam" posts, the "course" from Atlassian University, associated resources linked in the "course," and maybe even one of those "cert buster" pieces of software if desperation kicks in. I'm hoping to get the luck of the draw on the questions next time.

As the Atlassian certifications mature, maybe experience will count for something. The optimist in me hopes that eventually the certification will become a good indicator of  practical skill. This might mean more than a multiple choice exam and 6 months experience with the tool. Until then, I am hoping for at least a larger pool of practice questions ! 

Wow @Jenine Wech, SPC PMP - what a well thought out and detailed comment. You raised some interesting questions.

Like Michelle Tuck likes this

From Atlassian, here are responses to some of these comments and concerns, and advice about taking the exam:

Don't use any third party product that advertises itself as having real exam questions, or any product that you even suspect might have real exam questions. Doing this contravenes your Certification Candidate Agreement, and can result in being banned from the Certification program.  (Psychometric techniques can identify people who have used this type of product with very high degrees of accuracy.  Atlassian has withdrawn certifications, banned, and issued warnings/watches to many people.) 

No exam questions are designed to be tricky, in fact we specifically strive for clarity.  However, the correct response to a question may hinge on just a few key words in the question.  Taking the full time allocated on the exam to read the questions slowly is highly recommended.  The average time taken on the exam is less than half the time allowed -- this means many people are leaving points on the table. Some test taking strategy: We recommend reading all the options for any question -- don't stop reading when you arrive at the option you think is correct.  Try to understand why each incorrect response is incorrect -- there is always a reason why every incorrect response is incorrect, given the facts and requirements presented in the question. In doing this, you may realize that the response you initially thought was correct is not in fact correct.

This exam can be frustrating for experienced Jira administrators, because you need to have a very clear understanding of the limitations of what one can do as a project administrator.  Pay particular attention to questions that have the words "You are a project administrator, which solution can you implement...." or similar wording.  These are alerting you to pay careful attention and not select a solution that only the Jira admin could implement. 

In addition, pay careful attention to the number of responses required for each question.  Provide only the exact number specified in the question text.  We will tell you twice, within the question, how many responses to choose.  Check this over carefully before submitting the exam.

As several community posts about this exam have noted, most questions focus on real-world scenarios and are designed to test your ability to apply your knowledge.  Everything you need to know to pass the exam can be learned from the course, the supplemental tutorials, and the sections of the product documentation mentioned in the  Exam Topics PDF.  You'll need to be prepared to apply all that factual knowledge to a variety of requirements and uses cases that may be unfamiliar to you.  

How can one make sense of getting 100% on an exam section then 20% on the same section the second time?  Remember that each exam only samples your knowledge. The first time it may sample things you know, the second time it may sample things you don't. This is why exams have so many questions -- we sample your knowledge 50-80 times. The most effective preparation strategy is therefore to do a careful analysis of your knowledge gaps against the detailed course material and even related product documentation.

All the exam questions are written by experienced solution partners and undergo many layers of review.  We follow industry-standard best practices for exam development and psychometrics.  Test takers can feel confident that the exams are valid, reliable and fair -- this means they measure your abilities accurately.  So, what to do if you have concerns about an exam question?  The BEST way to alert Atlassian to an exam question you think might be tricky, misleading or incorrect is to follow these steps:

(1) COMMENT on the question during the exam. You will need to explicitly state what you think the problem is, in as much detail as possible.  

(2) Submit a Service Desk ticket asking us to look at your comment.  https://getsupport.atlassian.com/servicedesk/customer/portal/9

If you didn't comment on the question, you can still submit a ticket to us, but you'll need to remember enough about the question and key words in it to allow us to identify it.  

Like Kat Warner {TechTime} likes this

Thanks @Julia Johnson . There were few questions for which the solutions were a bit ambiguous and I have commented on the question in the little time I was left. So, would Atlassian team respond back to me or how does this work?

Also, at the end of the exam it only gives a percentage split however it would also be great if we could know the solution as it would help us understand the problem statement/scenario better.

Hi @Navin Sridharan we reviewed your comments and verified that the 2 questions you commented on are correct and without ambiguity.   Unfortunately we can't provide end-of-test feedback on specific exam questions as that would compromise the security of the test.   We are looking at possible ways to provide better feedback -- this is on our roadmap.

Best Regards,
Atlassian Certification Team 

0 votes

ACP-600 was only released in mid-2018.

This certification is a fraction of the cost of the other certificates and the level of expected experience is a lot lower. It is possible these are giving a false sense that ACP-600 is easier to obtain than the other certifications.

The style of questions is consistent with the other certifications. Yes - it is tricky when you have to select 2-3 answers all correct to get a single question correct, however, how valuable would the certification be if the exams were easy to pass?

ACP-600 (and ACP-300) have a focus on knowing the difference between what different types of administrators in Jira can do. It is a trick area to get your head around.

Have you booked your exam yet?

Kat,

Thank you for your response.  From doing further research here, I am finding that many, if not all people are failing this test more than once, even those with much experience.  That's a problem and speaks to the quality of the course and/or the software program, not the knowledge of the student.  

Thanks for admitting that there are built-in tricks to mess you up.  I don't think the price is giving any false sense of attainable victory. If your statement is true,  I would assert that just because a test purposely tries to mess with your mind by asking backwards and twisted questions does not make a certification more valuable.  Actually, quite the opposite.  

The goal should be to teach and test on the material in order to apply the knowledge to the software program to enhance quality and efficiency in the workplace.  It should not try to screw you over with a brainteaser.

Per your suggestion, I will go back and check ACP 300 to see what it has to offer.  Taking two steps back to go one step forward.  Frustrating, but I'm going to give it the old college try.

My comment should have read "It is a *tricky* area to get your head around" as in challenging/difficult not as in a trap.

One possibility is that more experienced Jira Administrators are disadvantaged by their greater overall knowledge, whereas the target audience for this certification is those with recent new Project Administrator experience.

Atlassian have not provided any statistics on pass rates of ACP-600 or the other certifications as far as I am aware. Using feedback in this community is unlikely to give an accurate picture.

Hi Community,

I passed my ACP-600 certification today. There were lot of trick questions and the phrases were carefully worded. I am excited for the fact that I passed in my first attempt. Thanks for your support and help to make this possible.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published in Training & Certification

Atlassian University Live: Jira Workflows Demystified

  Atlassian University Live webinars provide you and your teams with the chance to strengthen your Atlassian product skills and learn directly from Atlassian experts. Our next webinar is tit...

129 views 1 8
Read article

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you