At 10 am, I was called in to start the exam. The panel consisted of three members who introduced themselves and who explained what was going to happen. The atmosphere of the exam was relaxed - it is not an inquisition. Since Exam A is an oral exam, there is a lot of back and forth discussion.
The first group of questions were about my work experience and how my field of planning - land planning - was used in other fields. I was anxious at first, but hit my stride in no time. The exam hit all five areas discussed on the OPPI website. I had no problems answering the questions, and when necessary, took time to think about my response.
The exam was completed at 10:45. The panel deliberated and a few minutes later, called me. I was successful. I was officially a Registered Professional Planner and could use the initials MCIP and RPP after my name. The panel thanked me for my participation and were impressed with my comments on working with the public (say a group of residents) even if the public and myself did not see eye-to-eye.
Tips to anyone taking this exam in the future:
- Think about your specialization and how you would use or have used it in other areas.
- Think of some unethical situations and how you would deal with them
- Think about the public interest and that what means to you and how you deal with this concept
- Think about what planning means to you
- Think about how you advance the field of planning, the Institute and the public interest not just in your job but 'off the job' - example, explaining what Planning is to friends and family.
- Think about independent professional judgment and what that means in terms of any conflicts between planning for the public interest and planning for your employer (hint: the public interest always wins out).