What is Planning Prep?
Planning Prep is a web-based study resource to help planners prepare for the American Institute of Certified Planners’ certification exam.
Members have access to our growing database of practice questions, practice exams,
planning related links.
Currently, we have
1017 practice questions and
12 practice exams
aimed at refreshing, broadening, and testing their planning knowledge. Each
question contains an explanation for each correct answer, so our members know
why one answer is correct and another is not. Links for further reading are also
provided with our questions, to help our members find additional information
about the topic.
Planning Prep is now provided free of charge. Since the site has gone live we have established one of the most successful planning firms in the Country –
Houseal Lavigne Associates. Unfortunately our dedication to the firm and our clients has meant we cannot put as much time into
Planning Prep as we would like. Rather than let it die out we have decided to give the site to the profession and help
out as many AICP hopefuls as we can. We have introduced features that will enable the user community to keep the site fresh and relevant. If you feel thankful and compelled to give something, please donate to our personal charitable cause, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
When we were studying to take the exam in 2001, most of the study materials (in
addition to the AICP’s list of recommended readings) consisted of a photocopied
collection of “legacy” documents passed between coworkers. The Internet
was still relatively young - Yahoo! was directory based, Alta-Vista was a
popular search engine, and Google was still tweaking algorithms – there was no
online resource to turn towards. We would take these mock practice exams with just an answer key which simply told only the correct answer –
A,B, C or D. That’s it. No explanation, no rationale, and no guarantee the
answer in the key was even correct.
Then we had an idea to build a site that helped you learn, letting you know the
rationale of an answer and one that could be edited.
At first we thought “this would be huge” – we were going to make millions. We
began writing code and content and started to make plans for the money we were
going to make. It took about 4 months to write the code and about 6 months for
the content – we had day jobs after all. We launched in the fall of 2002, and
charged $120 for a membership.
After our first year we were approached by the AICP who wanted to buy the site
and operate it themselves. Apparently our asking price – reasonable compensation for our time – was too
much, and they passed. The next year we received an award from the Illinois
Chapter of the American Planning Assocaition. To date we have helped more than 3,000
planners through this site and many more with our training courses throughout
We wish you the best of luck in studying and taking the exam and we hope you
find the site useful.
Devin Lavigne & Trevor Dick
Planning Prep Co-Creators