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 1668 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 the Country.

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

Question of The Week

What 2 country's are the US's largest trading partners?
1. Canada
2. Mexico
3. China
4. Russia

  A)   1, 3
  B)   1, 2
  C)   3, 2
  D)   2, 3


Important Dates

May 2015

May Testing Window May 4-18, 2015
Application window is closed.

November 2015

November Testing Window November 2-17, 2015
Application Window Opens June 2, 2015
Early Bird Deadline June 8, 2015
Final Application Deadline June 30, 2015


  • 1668 practice questions, taken by random, by category (i.e. history, theory and law), or searchable by keyword.  Questions provide the answers to the questions, along with links providing additional research.

  • 12 Practice exams, 150-questions in length to help you pace and prepare for the AICP* exam.

  • Detailed user statistics tell each of our members their strengths and weaknesses. They know how many questions they have taken, how many they have gotten correct, as a total and by area of focus.

  • Links to all types of websites and resources for further research.