PMI-ACP vs CSM Certification: Which Is Better?

Agile Certification Comparison

One of the most common questions in regards to project management certification is which of the two main Agile certifications to consider. These certifications are the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) and the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).

Although each certification offers something slightly different, there are many reasons you may choose to do one over the other. Each of these two designations have specific values and benefits, and below we outline both of them.

CSM Certification

Although not the only approach to Agile certification, Scrum is the most widely used method. In comparison, the PMI-ACP covers Agile from a more holistic approach.

The most beneficial part of attaining CSM is that there are limited amounts of people you can receive your CSM training from, which increases its value. A CSM course can only be delivered by a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST); becoming a trainer in CSM includes rigorous testing and requires considerable hands-on classroom and fieldwork experience. Attaining your CSM means you train with Scrum experts who have a deep understanding of Scrum and many years’ experience working with Agile teams.

One key benefit of CSM certification is an affiliation with the Scrum Alliance, which is an organization purely dedicated to Scrum. Scrum Alliance members understand Agile and are a leading resource relating to all things Scrum. The courses for becoming a CSM are hands-on and must be taught in a person to person format. You cannot achieve CSM certification through online courses, which is a benefit for anyone working in the project management field.

PMI-ACP Certification

PMI has long been the traditional, plan-driven approach to project management. However, one of the downsides of the PMI-ACP was that many people overlooked it because it was from PMI. Over time, their recognition has changed since they now put Agile front and center in their events and publications.

To be eligible for the PMI-ACP exam, there is an expectation that you have worked many thousands of hours as a project manager, that you have worked with Agile methods and practices, or that you have experience working with Agile project teams. It’s fair to say that eligibility for PMI-ACP certification requires extensive experience in the field. Having a PMI-ACP certification means you understand the numerous approaches to project management, you can explain the benefits of Agile, and you can determine when it is the right project approach.

You must complete 21 hours of Agile training via live classes or online training courses. The ACP education hours address concepts including Agile philosophy, principles, and techniques.

Agile Exam Differences

Here’s a brief summary of the differences in both exams:

The PMI-ACP exam process is far more concentrated than the CSM exam. The PMI-ACP is also more in-depth and requires much more training to achieve certification. More detailed information about each exam can be seen below:

CSM Exam

The CSM exam is a mixture of 35 multiple-choice questions and true/false questions. To pass, you must get 24 out of 35 correct. As far as pricing goes, there is no separate exam fee: just the price you pay for the classes. You can take the exam online and you get two attempts to pass within 90 days of finishing the training. If you don’t pass in the first two attempts, you can retake the test for an additional $25 for each attempt.


The PMI-ACP certification is earned once you have completed the comprehensive training modules, which are notoriously laborious. PMI’s testing process for PMI-ACP exam is not as tricky as the PMP certification exam but achieving a pass is still much more difficult than the CSM exam.

The application and eligibility process requires the compilation of details like project experience, contact information, and more. The PMI-ACP exam itself is a three-hour exam that consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. It must be taken at an approved exam site, and if you don’t pass you must pay a substantial fee again.

For most people, PMI certification shows that anyone who has achieved it has taken their education seriously enough to make a substantial investment of time and money for this achievement. PMI’s certification program has a long tradition and is very well-developed.

After You Are Certified

Maintaining your PMI-ACP certification necessitates 30 additional hours of Agile education within three years of passing the exam. This further education is geared toward maintaining your skills and knowledge and will unfortunately incur additional fees.

Maintaining your CSM requires merely paying a Scrum Alliance membership fee for the two years after completion. Even if you have not worked in project management or Agile after your certification, you can continue to use the designation. Because of this, the PMI-ACP holds more value over time as an accreditation than the CSM.

What’s The Best Agile Certification?

So which certification is better: CSM of PMI-ACP?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clearly defined answer to this question. Some employers prefer PMI-ACP certification and won’t settle for anything less. However, that is not to say that someone with CSM certification is any less qualified or viable for certain careers.

Depending on what your preferences are for work, your employer’s choices, and how much time and money you can invest, either accreditation might be better for you. PMI-ACP certification means that you have achieved thousands of hours of in-field experience and invested many months of training to obtain the certification. However, CSM certification can provide comparable career opportunities for a fraction of the time and money.

Ultimately, both certifications have their benefits, so it’s best to do all the research necessary before choosing the one for you.


PMI-ACP Live Online Training Courses

Best PMI-ACP Live Online Training CoursesSelecting the right PMI-ACP training course is an important decision you will make on your journey towards becoming an Agile Certified Practitioner.

Many students prefer live-online training because they learn better from a traditional classroom environment that offer guided video lectures from instructors who walk you through the material step by step.

We have researched and reviewed the best live-online PMI-ACP training courses so that your decision is easier. The comparison chart below will help you decide which PMI-ACP classes best fit your needs.

(See other online PMI-ACP exam prep recommendations here)

Best Live-Online PMI-ACP Course Comparisons

LIVE ONLINE COURSES GreyCampus logosimplilearn pmi-acp review courseezcertifications
COMPANY GreyCampus PMI-ACP Simplilearn EZCertifications
PRICE $999 $699$699 $1399
PRACTICE QUESTIONS Yes 102 End of Chapter Quizzes Yes
METHOD OF INSTRUCTION Live Classroom, Offline Study Tools, and Online Exam Practice Live Classroom, Online Self Learning Live Classroom, Online Self Learning
COURSE FORMAT 3 Days of Live-Online Classes
(Night, Weekday, Weekend)
7 or 8 Day Online Classroom
(Weekday or Weekend)
3 Days of Online Class Classroom
21 CERTIFIED PMI CONTACT HOURS checkimagecheckimagecheckimage
PROGRESS TRACKING checkimagecheckimagecheckimage
MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE checkimagecheckimagecheckimage
STUDENT SUPPORT One-on-one Access to Instructor checkimagePost-Workshop Email, Phone, Webinars
MORE DETAILS Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewComing Soon

Top Live-Online PMI-ACP Exam Prep Courses

PMI-ACP Live-Online Prep Courses Course Format Price
GreyCampus 3 Days of Live Online Classes $699
Simplilearn 6 or 8 Day Online Classes $799
EZ Certifications 3 Days of Online Class Classroom $1399

PMI-ACP Exam Prep Courses

PMI-ACP Exam Prep CoursesIt’s important to choose the right PMI-ACP exam prep course because it can make or break your ability to pass your test and become an Agile Certified Practitioner. You will be spending many hours studying, so it’s crucial to find the course that best fits your learning style and background.

So here’s the good news: we have researched and reviewed every major online PMI ACP course on the market so you don’t have to! The comparison chart below will help you determine which study materials best fit your needs.

These Are The Top 4 Best PMI ACP Exam Prep Courses & Online Study Materials in July 2021 :

  1. Agile PrepCast
  2. Velociteach PMI-ACP
  3. GreyCampus
  4. CyberVista PMI-ACP Review
  5. Simplilearn
CRUSH RANKING #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
PMI-ACP COURSES grey campus capm review
WEBSITE Agile PrepCastVelociteachGreyCampusCyberVistaSimplilearn
PRICE Check Price$235.80 Check Price$149 - $199 $699
DISCOUNT No Discount Save 15%Show CouponNo Discount No Discount
MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE 90 Day Money-Back Guarantee checkimageYes - Must Take Exam Within 14 Days of Course checkimage3 Day Money-Back Guarantee
PRACTICE QUESTIONS 360 Questions 120+ 240 175+ 25 Questions
FULL PRACTICE EXAMS 1 2 2 Separate Package 6
VIDEO INSTRUCTION 37 Hours 2 Days of Live Instruction checkimage10+ Hours 6
23 APPROVED CONTACT HOURS checkimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimage
PROGRESS TRACKING checkimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimage
FREE COURSE DEMO checkimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimagecheckimage
COURSE MOBILE ACCESS checkimagecheckimageAndroid checkimageAndroid
STUDENT SUPPORT Student Forum and Email Support Phone, Email Instructor Email Support Phone, Email, Fax Phone, Live Chat, and Email Support
COURSE ACCESS Unlimited 6 Months 1 Year 180 Days 1 Year

How do you rate Agile PrepCast PMI-ACP Review?


Agile PrepCast PMI-ACP (Rank: #1)


Portable Course: Download the videos to your smartphone, tablet, computer, laptop to study for the PMI-ACP exam as you commute or travel. The podcast/videocast course includes 70 PMI-ACP video exam lessons (35 hours total). You can either download and watch, or stream the lessons via iTunes (an iPod, iMac or iPad is not required as the course is compatible with PCs, iOS Android). A list of compatible devices is available on their website.
Includes 37 Contact Hours: 21 contact hours are required to sit for the PMI-ACP exam, and 37 contact hours are built right into the Agile PrepCast Video Workshop, so you will not have to find another way to complete them before you take your exam. The course also qualifies for 37 Category A PDUs in case you are already PMP certified.
Low Cost: If you are on a budget, you will appreciate the lower cost of this course. For $179, students get unlimited access to high quality videocasts, a practice exam, the online forum, and contact hours or PDUs. Project management scholarships to pay for PMI-ACP certification are also available for you. See the PMPrepcast website for details and eligibility requirements.
Money Back Guarantee: You have 90 days to decide whether this course is a good match for your needs. The general refund policy is available on the PMPrepcast website, and includes a full refund if you are eligible. For added convenience, you can use Paypal to purchase the course, and group discounts are available for 5 licenses or more.

Bottom Line: Agile Prepcast appeals to prospective students with its generous trial offer and low cost. Then it meets their educational needs by providing 37 contact hours in a highly portable study package.




Velociteach PMI-ACP (Rank: #2)


Bite Sized Lessons: Velociteach understands that it can be tough to fit study time into your busy life. That’s why they’ve made sure that lessons can be split up into brisk 30 minute study sessions. This ensures that you’re never asked to do too much at a time and makes it easy to slot lessons into your schedule.
Mobile Friendly: All Velociteach courses can be completed on mobile devices as well as computers. This is an extension of their efforts to make sure their content is accessible and easy to fit into your busy schedule.
Free Trial: Each Velociteach PMI-ACP course comes with an in-depth free trial. Decide for yourself if the course is right for you before putting any money down!
Limited Contact Hours: Unfortunately, Velociteach’s PMI-ACP courses only reach up to 21 contact hours. That’s a bit less than others on this list, although the quality of their materials makes up for it.

Bottom Line: Velociteach is a great choice for a modular review course. Lessons can easily be fit into gaps in your schedule, such as lunch breaks or while commuting. Because of that, they’re a perfect option for someone with a busy schedule.


GreyCampus PMI-ACP Exam Prep (Rank: #3)

Grey Campus PMI-ACP Review


Instructor-Led Training: Students who sign up for the GreyCampus Live Online Training or Traditional Classroom packages will receive two to three days of training led by an instructor. This hands-on approach is a very effective way to explain complicated concepts and address problem areas for students who need some extra motivation.
Return Policy: In the event that a student is not satisfied with the quality of their educational course, GreyCampus offers a generous refund policy. For Live Online Training and Traditional Classroom packages, dissatisfied students can obtain a refund if they contact support within 24 hours of their session. Online Self Learning students have a bit more leeway with a 3-day grace period.
Simulated Exams: One of the best ways to increase a student’s chances of passing the PMI-ACP is to provide a replica that is as accurate to the real thing as possible. Fortunately for students who enroll in GreyCampus’ prep course, they will be given not one but two simulated exams to help them be better prepared. As a result of this, students who take this course feel much more confident in their abilities to pass, even when it’s their first try.
Limited Compatibility: Many students who have other responsibilities that vie for their time may find it difficult to put aside dedicated study time for the PMI-ACP. While other prep courses address this issue by providing mobile apps to allow for studying on the go, GreyCampus offers no such amenities.

Bottom Line: GreyCampus’ PMI ACP training programs with live instructor assistance are terrific for preparing students to pass the PMI-ACP certification exam. Unfortunately, they offer limited support for mobile devices.


Grey Campus PMI-ACP Review Discounts & Promo Codes

CyberVista PMI-ACP Exam Prep (Rank: #4)


No Regrets: If you enroll in CyberVista’s PMI-ACP prep course, you don’t have to worry about wasting your money. They have a Certify Pass Guarantee that ensures you’ll be compensated in any situation where you fail to become certified after using their course to study for your exam.
Shows Their Work: When practicing with one of CyberVista’s customizable quizzes, you’ll always receive a detailed explanation of the correct answer if you make the wrong selection. This ensures that you’re never confused about what you did wrong and will help you refocus your study efforts.
Stress-Free Study: The core goal of CyberVista’s PMI-ACP review course is to provide you with a stress-free study experience. This means that you’re free to approach the material at your own pace, on whatever device you want, and with a generous window of time.
Practice Tests: The tests themselves aren’t bad— in fact, they’re one of CyberVista’s strongest features. However, the fact that you need to pay for practice tests separately is disappointing and artificially inflates their full course price.

Bottom Line: If you pay for both the training course and practice tests, CyberVista is an extremely powerful learning tool that can have a positive impact on your career. But if things don’t work out with them, you can at least get a full refund through their guarantee.


Simplilearn PMI-ACP Exam Prep (Rank: #5)



In-depth Training: As the largest certification PMI ACP training provider in the world, Simplilearn offers courses that are well-organized and cover the necessary material. The PMI-ACP online learning program includes 26 hours of instruction that cover all six agile domains in detail, 47 tools and techniques (50% of the exam), and 41 knowledge areas and skills (50% of the exam).
More Practice Exams: Simplilearn’s course is ahead of the competition when it comes to the number of practice tests included in the price. The 6 PMI-ACP Simulation Exams are rated highly by users for being as challenging or even harder than the actual exam.
Low Price for a lot of Content: The entry-level online self learning course costs $200 for 1 year course or $280 for 2 years of complete access. The price includes nearly 26 hours of content, 21 PDUs, 16 examples from real-world industry, 1 case study, Tips and Tricks videos, 25 chapter-end quizzes, and 6 Simulation Exams in total.
Limited Money Back Guarantee: Although there is a money back guarantee, you only have three days to contact Simplilearn by email to request a full refund. You cannot have accessed more than 50% of the course if you would like to obtain a refund. Please see the Simplilearn website for details.

Bottom Line: Students may have a tough time getting their money back if they encounter a problem with SimpliLearn. However, the product itself offers enough content at a low enough price that this isn’t likely to be an issue.

Velociteach Review: PMP, CAPM, PMI-ACP Prep Course Analysis

Earning a project management certification is a complicated process.

There’s a lot to study for— after you’ve already decided on which certification to pursue, that is.

Whether you choose to be a Project Management Professional (PMP), a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), or an Agile-certified PMI-ACP, the tests for all three are tough to pass on your first try. That’s why it’s so important to find the right way to prepare for them.

But which prep course should you choose? Consider this:

Velociteach offers a wide range of courses that cover many different certifications. These will help get you where you need to go in your career. Velociteach PMP, CAPM, and PMI-ACP Review has something that will interest you no matter what your future plans are.

Keep reading to learn more:


Overview of Velociteach

Velociteach was founded by Andy Crowe in 2002. He was a strong leader in IT project management, but he wanted to share his expertise with the world. That’s why he created his company that was dedicated to providing the best instructor-led PMP exam prep materials possible.

That dedication paid off when Velociteach earned widespread recognition and praise throughout the industry. They’ve won many awards for their achievements in project management: the Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award, Sam Olens Community Service Award, and much more. These accolades make it easier to trust this company with your academic future.

Here are a few features you can expect from Velociteach:

  • Online Courses
  • Tutoring
  • Group Study
  • Textbooks
  • Flashcards
  • Reference Guides
  • Live Classrooms
  • Video Content

What’s Included With Velociteach

Online Course

Each online Velociteach course covers roughly 32 hours of material. During that time you’ll have access to an extremely comprehensive overview of everything that will appear on your licensing exam.

Velociteach’s PMP exam prep classes consist of a series of worksheets, practice exercises, and lectures. Also, you can set your own pace by scheduling your course to be 1,3, or 6 months long. You have the freedom to make your own study choices.

Essentially, the most essential management certifications are represented in Velociteach’s catalog: PMP, CAPM, and PMI-ACP content. You can also use these courses to earn some PDUs for maintaining your status.

No matter where you are in your career, there’s something to be gained from Velociteach’s course content.

Group Training

Velociteach offers group training for their PMP, CAPM, and PMI-ACP study courses. These sessions allow you to work with your friends or coworkers as you prepare to take your certification test.

Group sessions are excellent for studying because they keep you accountable and allow people to share ideas and study methods. Plus, the expert instructor will help you work through difficult course concepts as a group. They’ll also encourage discussion with your peers. Doing so makes the course more personal and less dry, which goes a long way towards keeping everyone engaged in their learning.

Self Study

Self study options are available for Velociteach’s PMP exam prep course. These include textbooks, flashcards, reference guides, and more. Each of these works great as supplementary materials for another prep course, and they’re accessible offline.

Velociteach Pricing

What course do you plan on taking? Whether you choose an online course, group tutoring, or self study, your final price tag can vary significantly.

  • To start, their self-study exam prep materials are fairly cheap— each textbook costs around $60, and flashcards are only $8. The best deal here is their all in one kit which only costs $150.
  • Next up are online courses. Each course can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on their content. Typically these courses are 32-47 hours long and include a wide range of study materials.
  • Finally, the in-person classes are the priciest option and cost about $2500. Each class is four days long and includes expert instruction and study materials. This option is expensive, but you’ll find it well worth your money in the end.

Velociteach Pros & Cons

You might still be on the fence about these courses. If so, make sure to check out these pros and cons for this project management training company:

  • Pro – PMI Aligned: All PDU courses from Velociteach meet each side of the PMI Talent Triangle. Because of that, it’s very easy for you to maintain your certification.
  • Pro – Expert Teachers: Every instructor is highly trained and has years of experience teaching. You’ll always have access to the highest quality materials and instruction when preparing with Velociteach.
  • Pro – Individual Activation: When you buy a bundle, each course is activated individually. Extended access in this way means you’re never forced to complete multiple courses in the same time frame.
  • Con – Separate Bonus Materials: Unlike their competitors, Veloteach’s self-study materials don’t come bundled with online courses. It doesn’t cost much more, but the need to purchase them separately can be annoying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still curious about Velociteach? Check out the answers to these questions if you want their help to pass the PMP exam.

Q: What is Velociteach’s return policy?

A: If you’re dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply contact Velociteach within 5 days of your payment. You’ll receive a full refund. Bear in mind that you can’t receive a refund if your certificate of completion has been generated.

Q: Are Velociteach courses mobile friendly?

A: Yes. You can complete any and all Velociteach courses on any device. There are no limits to your learning in this regard.

Ideal Customer

Still don’t know if this PMP exam prep course is the right fit? Read these final recommendations to see if you’re the ideal customer for this content.

  • If you like to learn in a group, this is the course for you.
  • If you enjoy live content, this is the course for you.
  • If you like to supplement learning with self study, this is the course for you.
  • If you only want to study offline, this isn’t the course for you.

Final Recommendation

Velociteach is one of the best options for certification courses— whether you want to be a Project Management Professional or earn some other PM certification. Each course is well designed and expertly instructed, and you have a ton of choice in what format you use.

At the end of the day, Velociteach is well worth your time and money. Check them out today and see for yourself!