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ACP-620 exam review - is it really worthy?

Edited

Hello,

so let me start saying that I am not a Jira user. I planned to study it and take the cert as a lot of companies require some knowledge of the tool and thought it would be a good idea to take a certification to prove I can use Jira even though I am not using at the moment in my daily work.

So I decided to get the entry-level certification ACP-620 Managing Jira Cloud Projects. Went to the free "Learn Jira Basis" training and then purchased the bundle training + certification.

I studied and did the test today, Result: 46%.

The problem is that the training doesn't really prepare you for the test. There are several questions about topics not even mentioned in the training, on top of my head Development panels, specific questions on Project Configurations, what uncompleted issues you can move to next sprints when you want to close that sprint, questions about gadgets (you basically have to study all of them).

The test often simulates situations more than asking specific questions about the tool, and, adding to it, the percentage to pass is 63%.

So, is it really worthy to spend other 100Eur and try again? I would if the questions were fair - related to the training material, but since they can basically ask you anything, it's a hit and miss, and to be honest to some questions there is no answer, either you ask the community or you can try playing with Jira, there is nothing online that will answer specifically the question. But you need to remember these questions, pray to find the answer, and pray again the question will repeat itself again on the next exam.

Very disappointed. If you're unsure whether to take the exam, and you're a new user like me, I would just go through the free training and then when needed at work, you'll learn how to use it just using it - it's quite simple once you get the hang of it.

6 answers

5 votes
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Apr 26, 2021

Hi @TP,

I'm sorry to hear you didn't pass the exam.  I'd like to mention that the Atlassian exams are designed differently from what you may be used to.  Atlassian expects that you have used the product and are taking the certification after being familiar with the features before taking an exam.

If you look at the certification page for the exam you took: 
https://www.atlassian.com/university/certification/certifications/exam-acp-620

"Six months' exposure to Jira Software Cloud is recommended before taking the training course and exam."

I would 100% echo the statement on the page.  I think it would be helpful for you to spend some time working in Jira for some time before taking the exam again as you are correct there is an expectation that you already have a good foundational understanding of Jira before you are taking the certification.

Good luck if you attempt to take the exam again in the future.

-Jimmy

Atlassian doesn't advertise to just study, it clearly states experience is required to be certified. You need both. You cannot memorize your way to a passing grade on any of their exams.

Ben Thoma Atlassian Team Sep 14, 2021

That's correct @Karen Rogalski! Certifications show employers and peers that you really know your stuff—experience is the best way to get confident with Atlassian products. Training and study are great tools to help you along the way.

It's also good to note that recommended experience varies between credentials. Usually it lands between 6 months and 2 years, but make sure you check the specific Certification exam page for our specific recommendation.

Like # people like this

As more Jira Server-Admins migrate to Jira Cloud, it would be very helpful to have another Certification Accelerator group this year 2021 to support us with the transition to Cloud. There are differences from an Admin point of view.

Feeling the same way. Atlassian exams seem overly difficult, feels like they don't want me to pass. I've passed SAP, Dynamics, UiPath certification exams among others (normally in single try), but I've recently failed Atlassian exams two times in a row (although score is improving).

Atlassian exams are very different. Question statements are concise but lacking details, a lot of information is not clearly stated but merely "implied", and I have to make a lot of guesses. For instance, they say something like, Mary is a project lead and cannot see a field or whatever. For me, it can be any of the choices. They don't show how screens / workflows / permissions / fields / groups / roles are configured. I have to guess them all. None of the choices can be 100% right or 100% wrong, from given information, which is frustrating. It's very, very different from other exams where I do not need to do such guesswork. All the required details to choose the right choice are there in the question statement.

Jira appeared to be nice simple software for end users, but it's revealing to be very complicated inside (I'm starting to hate it, to be honest). I want to give up, but unfortunately I need the certification to move forward my future project, I'm taking the exam again.

I'd be taking ACP-620 exam as well, but I'm now preparing with ACP-120 materials. ACP-620 course wouldn't prepare you for ACP-620 exam. I saw none of the questions from ACP-620 sample exams. Actual ACP-620 questions were way too harder than those. Ones in ACP-120 sample exams, seem the right level. If anyone else from non-Jira background, good luck to you all. (Hope not to give up) Cheers!

cocto I'm New Here Aug 04, 2021

@Katayama and @TP  I am feeling the same way as well...

 

I failed the ACP-620 exam today for the second time in a row after a good preparation (My own Jira instance for practice, focus on student guide and Labs and so one).

But just one question (Jira & Bitbucket integration) make me realized that the student guide and Labs doesn't provide us with a solid foundation to clear the ACP-620 exam. 

So may be the good approach would be to add the ACP-120 certification prep course as suggested by @Katayama why not? Let Keep in touch!

Like # people like this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Aug 05, 2021

I said it above but I think it's worth repeating again.  Atlassian expects that you will have at least six months of on the job experience being a project administrator before you attempt to prepare to take the exam.

@cocto you are correct, they do not provide a solid foundation with the certification prep course.  However, with day to day work as an administrator and/or taking a number of Atlassian's other courses first, that will help you get the foundation you need to be able to pass the exam.

@Katayama you aren't wrong about the questions being tricky to answer, however it is untrue that more than one answer is correct (unless they ask for my than one answer).  The question will always give you the relevant information for answering the question.  in your example.  "Mary is a project lead" if that is all that is provided I agree there is a lot you need to assume that Mary doesn't have and permissions to.  However, it usually goes one step further "Mary is a project lead with the Administer Projects permission to the ABC project".  That extra piece helps to imply what Mary can and cannot do, and that is key to being able to figure out why only one of the answers is truly correct.

Also, the Atlassian University team sponsored Certification Accelerator groups (these were online community groups with additional prep information to prepare for the ACP-120, ACP-620 & ACP-100 exams) that were running from May-June & June-July.  Those probably would have been fantastic for you to join as the group leaders handed out additional information from the University team.  There were a ton of sample questions to try and you were in a dedicated group that you could ask questions of the group leaders or other members.

I would keep an eye out to see if the University team does any more of those in the future.

Like Oscar D_ Sanchez likes this

@cocto Thanks for your note. So after that, I've gone through ACP-120 practice questions (I bought the course, so it provides access to bigger set of sample questions), spent considerable amount of time thoroughly understanding each question, and be able to reason why the correct choice is correct and why the wrong choices are wrong. After this, questions seem slightly more approachable. Repeated the same process with ACP-100, 600, 610 & 620 practice questions ($100 bundle offer is of great value).

Then I took APB-330 exam to strengthen my understanding and build confidence on Kanban & Scrum boards. Continuing to fail exam was leading me towards mental breakdown so I had to break the chain of failure. Despite the name of the exam ("Jira Essentials") which sounded an entry level exam, it wasn't so easy, either (passed it, though). Then I took ACP-620 exam, barely passed but pass is a pass nevertheless. It's been exhausting challenge for the past few months. I had never struggled this much to pass an exam.

From here on I'd be teaching Jira to my team members and get them certified as well. Good luck to your challenge!

Like # people like this

@Katayama Congratulations! That's a really good news! Thank you very much for all tips you have provided and I hope to be able to clear the exam asap. By the way I bought the ACP-120 Prep course to expand my learning strengths. 

Good luck to you and your team in Jira's world and I'm sure you will make it! -:)

All the Best!

aka #cocto

Like Katayama likes this

@Judicaël TOUNDA Thanks, best wishes for your success too!

If I may add a few more tips, I also took short Skill Builder courses on permissions and workflow, to boost scores on my weak areas. Some of those courses are intended for advanced users, though, Atlassian exams tend to be hard, being ready to work with more difficult questions, would give you peace of mind when harder-than-expected questions appear on your exam. Skill Builder courses are nice & short - only 1-2 hours long. Should be worth your time.

I also found Student Guide - PDF file that comes at the end of each Skill Builder course - useful. It has all the slides from lectures, with dictation notes. 1 hour before the exam, I'd go through them for final recap.

Very classic tip, though, Exam Topics, is also good material to go through. After failing the exam, I look over Exam Topics, and I realized many of the difficult questions I struggled, were already there. Recommend seeing "Important Concepts to Master" section of the document. It lists some questions. If you're prepared to comfortably and confidently answer to these questions, you'd be ready.

Other than those - 3 hours 75 questions, is an exhausting exercise, your physical state matters. I'd recommend sleep well night before exam. Best of luck!

Like Judicaël TOUNDA likes this

@Katayama  Thank you very much for all your advices and I will keep you posted regarding the exam! Keep in touch

Like Katayama likes this
2 votes

Make sure you check out the exam topics listed in the certification page - yes, the course doesn't cover every detail of project administration tasks.

I haven't sat the exam yet, because I saw the exam topics and realised there was still heaps I didn't know. The questions are designed to test your knowledge of jira, so its not your usual multiple choice exam - try the sample questions too, they show the type of questions you'll be asked. Although having sat the exam, I guess you now have an idea.

I'm trying to answer the community questions to really get into the details. Other people use jira in ways that I don't, so they ask questions about things I wouldn't necessarily do. By trying to answer the question I usually learn something new, even if I don't come up with an actual solution.

Personally I think it is worth getting the certification and paying the additional exam fee.

Good luck with it 😁👍

 

Hey @TP 

I hear you. But in studying for the exam and going through the exam topics I did realise I didn't know as much about jira as I thought I did. Not saying that's your situation, but it certainly was mine.

Specifically for gadgets, yep, problem. Not just with gadgets, things are changing, so that worries me too - am I studying the wrong release &/or has the exam caught up (I believe they work hard to keep versions & exams aligned). It is also my understanding that the exam is on standard, out of the box, jira functionality. No marketplace specific functionality.

Did you watch the getting certified videos? I found these really useful:

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Training-Certification/This-is-your-year-How-to-earn-an-Atlassian-Certification/td-p/1607432

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Training-Certification/Atlassian-Certification-Success-Panel-Atlassian-University-Live/td-p/1646915

To certify or not certify, that is the question! At the end of the day its a personal decision. I love playing with jira, and while I need to get certified, that's just a bonus. I love getting into the nitty gritty of jira.

Maybe just sit with it for a while. Hang out in the community. If you don't need the certification for work, there is no rush.

Again, good luck with it. Let me know where you land! 😁👍

Like # people like this

@Linda Milne_Know Business_ , great answer, you are absolutely right!

Hey, my question is ACP-620 is MCQ based exam?

 

I have searched through various sites but i couldn't get the answer.

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