For a qualification to be taken seriously as a true expert, how could it be less? This is not just a test of facts, it's real day to day knowledge of the application, and dealing with the ordinary and extraordinary challenges of it in use. Just express learning of the app won't make a real expert.
No, two year experience of Photoshop is not mandatory, just a guideline. Many years ago, someone failed the exam, bought our exam aid for Photoshop, and failed again by 1%! After many exchanges of emails, he admitted he had been using Photoshop for....3 Months!
As long as you know Photoshop fairly well, and adequately prepare for the exam, you should pass. I had used it for approximately a year before using the book Exam Cram: Photoshop 5. That book is no longer available, BTW, but checkout our Adobe Photoshop CC ACE Exam Aid. It has prepared thousands of people since 2001).