Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class Logo

The most reliable resource for AICP exam preparation.


About the AICP Exam Prep Class

90% of students who studied with the Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class achieved AICP certification in May 2023. The national pass rate for the AICP exam is only 66%.

6 full-length

Clipboard with checkmark icon


Book icon

12 hours of

Video icon

Mobile and tablet

Mobile device icon





Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Essential Readings in Urban Planning consists of assembled readings recommended by the Planetizen AICP Exam Preparation Class instructor as the most valuable knowledge for becoming a certified planner. The reader is not required to take the class.

Local Planning Thumbnail
Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice

Considered the “Green Bible” by planners, this book is a valued resource when preparing for the AICP* exam. Local Planning is not required to take the AICP Exam Preparation Class.

Registration Dates

Preparing for the May Exam?

Access to the Planetizen AICP Exam Preparation Class opens on January 15th and continues through June 15th. Registration for the spring term is open from December 15th through May 15th.

Preparing for the November Exam?

Access to the Planetizen AICP Exam Preparation Class opens on July 15th and continues through December 15th. Registration for the fall term is open from June 15th through November 15th.

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

Meet Your AICP Preparation Instructor: Jeff Levine

Jeff Levine Circle ScreenshotJeff Levine, AICP, is an urban planner with over 25 years’ of professional experience. Currently, Levine is the owner and principal of Levine Planning Strategies, a consulting firm that specializes in bridging the gap between the development community and city planners, while also teaching housing and economic development planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Levine’s book Leadership in Planning: How to Communicate Ideas and Effect Positive Change (Routledge) was published in July 2021 and is cited by the APA as an authotative resource for preparing for the AICP Exam. Levine received his AICP certification in 1998.

From 2012 to 2019, Levine was the director of Planning and Urban Development for the city of Portland, Maine. In Portland, he oversaw the development of a new Comprehensive Plan and developed a set of tools to increase the development of low-income and workforce housing. He previously served as the director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Brookline, Massachusetts, where he worked on several affordable housing developments and completed a Comprehensive Plan.

"97% of students recommend Planetizen’s AICP Exam Prep Class."

Watch a short introduction to the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class, featuring class instructor Jeff Levine.

Key Benefits

  • Study at your own pace—proceed quickly, or slowly, through lessons, depending on your schedule, and retake the practice tests as often as you need.
  • Test your knowledge with six full length practice exams. Explanatory feedback is provided for each practice question.
  • Immerse your studies in the subjects and organization of the exam with 6 class topics and over 50 fact-filled lessons. Lessons introduce a variety of topic areas from the exam, such as History, Theory, Law, Ethics, Public Participation, and Social Justice.
  • Access to over 25 summaries of APA Policy Guides.
  • 12+ hours of streaming video training, with 5 hours focusing specifically on the AICP* code of ethics (Carol Barrett, FAICP), code drafting (legal expert Mark White), and the Takings Clause (legal expert Thomas Hawkins).
  • Interact with fellow students and the instructor, who is on hand to give advice and promptly respond to questions in the discussion forums.
  • Read hundreds of comments with advice from students who have previously taken the exam.

Does the Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class reflect the changes from the AICP Certification Exam Outline?

Planetizen has updated the AICP Exam Prep Class to reflect changes to the AICP Certification Exam Outline, as announced on December 9, 2021. All Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class materials are completely up to date.

  • The Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class website was updated with a new Outline on December 30, 2021.

  • All Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class Lessons were updated prior to January 15, 2022.

  • All AICP Exam Prep Class Flashcards have been updated as of August 2022.

  • Videos for all new AICP Exam topics have been added to the course as of August 2022.

  • A new edition of Essential Readings, updated with new readings for the exam update, is now available.

  • All Practice Exams have been updated and are available in the class as of September 2022.

  • Some Videos will be updated soon with new slides, but all video content is current with the updated exam format. 

  • Please check this FAQ for final updates.

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.

When is the AICP Exam Prep 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 the Essentials Readings in Urban Planning or Local Planning books for the class?

The books are not required for the class. Planetizen offers Essential Readings in Urban Planning as an extra resource curated by the course instructor to provide additional reading on key concepts necessary to become a certified planner.

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

Are the books available digitally?

Planetizen is unable to offer Essentials Readings in Urban Planningor Local Planning 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 Exam 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.

Can I 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 Exam 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 the 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].

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class Outline
It’s impossible to study everything while preparing for the AICP Exam. The Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class helps to maximize the impact of limited study time and resources by focusing on the information most likely to appear on the exam. Each topic is organized into a series of easy-to-review lessons that can be completed in approximately 20-30 minutes, making it easy for the busy planning professional to make efficient use of limited study time.

Note on changes to the AICP Exam for Spring 2022: Planetizen is aware of changes to the AICP Certification Exam Outline, as announced on December 9, 2021. The Planetizen team is working diligently to bring all Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class materials completely up to date. All Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class lessons have been updated to reflect the changes to the tests. Updated flashcards and practice exams will be available very soon.

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: Research and Assessment Methods

  • Lesson 1 - Research Methods
  • Lesson 2 - Qualitative Research 
  • Lesson 3 - Statistical Analysis
  • Lesson 4 - Population Estimation
  • Lesson 5 - Economic Analysis
  • Lesson 6 - Spatial Analysis
  • Lesson 7 - Data Collection Strategies
  • Lesson 8 - Data Quality
  • Video Training: Population Analysis
  • Video Training: Economic Analysis
  • Video Training: Statistical Analysis
  • Video Training: Spatial Analysis
  • Bonus Video Training: Introductory Population Analysis
  • Bonus Video Training: Introductory Urban Economics with Excel
  • Topic Quiz

Topic: Fundamental Planning Knowledge

  • Lesson 1 - History of Planning
  • Lesson 2 - Patterns of human settlement
  • Lesson 3 - Legal principles and statutory basis of planning
  • Lesson 4 - Planning Theory
  • Lesson 5 - Related Professions 
  • Lesson 6 - Census and Demographics
  • Lesson 7 - Core values of planning 
  • Lesson 8 - Planning and technology
  • 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: Communication and Interaction

  • Lesson 1 - Communication
  • Lesson 2 - Public Participation 
  • Lesson 3 - Engagement Evaluation
  • Video Training: Public Participation
  • Bonus Video Training: Planning and Promoting Your Community Engagement Process
  • Topic Quiz


Topic: Plan and Policy Development

  • Lesson 1 - Preparing to Plan
  • Lesson 2 - Planning as Sequential Steps
  • Lesson 3 - State and Federal Laws
  • Lesson 4 - Policy Impact Analysis
  • Lesson 5 - Mediation, Negotiation, Facilitation 
  • Lesson 6 - Funding and Financing Considerations
  • Lesson 7 - Community Character and Form
  • Topic Quiz

Topic: Plan Implementation

  • Lesson 1 - Codes, Regulations, Policies
  • Lesson 2 - Funding and financing 
  • Lesson 3 - Consistency assessment 
  • Lesson 4 - Plan implementation challenges 
  • Lesson 5 - Program evaluation 
  • Video Training: Finance and Budgeting
  • Video Training: Codes and Regulations
  • Bonus Video Training: Form-Based Codes 101: Introduction
  • Topic Quiz

Topic: Administration and Management

  • Lesson 1 - Project or program management
  • Lesson 2 - Internal organizational management
  • Lesson 3 - Management of external relationships 
  • Lesson 4 - Results oriented management and accountability
  • Video Training: Leadership, Administration, and Management
  • Bonus Video Training: Managing a Planning Organization
  • Bonus Video Training: External Relations for Planners
  • Topic Quiz


Topic: Leadership

  • Lesson 1 - Leadership in support of plan making
  • Lesson 2 - Equity, diversity and inclusivity in practice
  • Bonus Video Training: Leadership in Planning
  • Topic Quiz


Topic: Areas of Practice

  • Lesson 1 - Comprehensive and long-range planning
  • Lesson 2 - Subarea planning
  • Lesson 3 - Current planning
  • Lesson 4 - Sustainability and resilience planning
  • Lesson 5 - Transportation planning
  • Lesson 6 - Infrastructure planning
  • Lesson 7 - Hazard mitigation and resiliency planning
  • Lesson 8 - Natural resources planning
  • Lesson 9 - Economic development
  • Lesson 10 - Urban Design
  • Lesson 11 - Housing
  • Lesson 12 - Parks, recreation, and open space
  • Lesson 13 - Historic and cultural resource planning
  • Lesson 14 - Facility and services planning
  • Lesson 15 - Food planning
  • Lesson 16 - Health planning
  • Lesson 17 - Rural and small town planning 
  • Lesson 18 - Equity and advocacy planning 
  • Lesson 19 - Regional and multijurisdictional 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: 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: 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


This course certainly made studying extremely efficient and I felt like I could tailor it to my needs and weaknesses. Phillip Hu, AICP

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

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

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. I absolutely would not have passed without this course. Ashley Powell, AICP

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)

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

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

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

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)

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

More Reviews


* 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.

Is Active
Is Active
Is Active
Is Active