APICS Test-Taking Tips

APICS wants you to succeed in your efforts to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills. If you’re not sure how to prepare for an APICS exam, we have outlined successful strategies to help you feel more confident on testing day. The following tips will help you develop a study plan, improve your test score and work toward your APICS certification. 


1. Choose your exam preparation resources

APICS Exam Content Manuals. We highly recommend that every candidate review an APICS Exam Content Manual (ECM) before taking an APICS exam. Did we mention that every candidate should review an APICS ECM before taking an APICS exam? OK, you’ve got the point. Updated annually, the ECMs provide an outline of the exam’s body of knowledge, key terminology and references. You’ll also find the number of questions, time limits and question formats to expect on the exam—all in one comprehensive resource. Whether you choose to study independently or with an instructor, the ECM is simply the best way to start preparing for your exam. 
Order the CPIM ECM.
Order the CSCP ECM.

APICS Dictionary. Master terms and definitions that you’ll find on APICS exams with the current edition of the APICS Dictionary. This is the most comprehensive reference for supply chain and operations terminology—one you’ll find yourself turning to time and time again throughout your career. APICS members receive a free edition.

Review Courses. The APICS review courses—developed by APICS designees and subject matter experts—provide an in-depth review of topics found on the APICS CPIM and APICS CSCP exams. Review courses are offered through APICS chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico and our international partners outside North America. Choose from online, classroom, instructor-led and independent study options.

APICS CPIM Study Tool. This online study tool is designed to help you master the core concepts in the APICS CPIM modules. We couldn’t possibly fit all the benefits of the APICS CPIM Study Tool here. Log in to your account to access this comprehensive resource. Users have access to this tool for one year. 

The APICS CSCP Learning System. More than 90% of users recommend this APICS CSCP certification preparation resource. Combining print and online resources, the APICS CSCP Learning System is the most comprehensive certification exam study tool available. Users have access to this resource for one year. Still not convinced? View a demo of the APICS CSCP Learning System to learn more.

2. Prepare for the exam 

Create a study schedule. Candidates take, on average, approximately 100 hours to study for each exam. Keep in mind, however, this is merely an average. Candidates may need more or less time, depending on their levels of experience, amount of class time, study preferences and other factors. The amount of study time also depends on which APICS certification exam(s) you’re taking. One way to determine how many study hours you will need per week is to study one chapter in the APICS CPIM or APICS CSCP modules; use this to determine how much time you’ll need to adequately review the material.

Connect through the APICS Supply Chain Channel. Find a study group. Start a discussion. There are many ways to connect with other members of the APICS community through the Supply Chain Channel, the APICS online community at apics.org. The APICS community is here to support your efforts to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills.

3. Plan your exam date

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule the actual exam. You’ll want to take the exam while the information is still fresh in your mind. If you’re taking the APICS CSCP, have you checked your eligibility? Have you determined when and where you’d like to test, and checked the testing windows, if applicable? Try to take all five CPIM modules in the recommended order within a one-year period. The APICS CSCP Learning System and the APICS CPIM Study Tool licenses are both valid for one year after purchase. A little planning ahead of time will make the road to certification much smoother.

4. Request an Authorization to Test

APICS CPIM exams are offered year-round in North America and during specific testing windows outside North America. APICS CSCP exams are offered worldwide during specific testing windows. When you’re ready to test, go to apics.org/att to request your Authorization to Test. APICS has partnered with Pearson VUE as its sole testing vendor in North America; Prometric is its sole testing vendor outside North America. Check our website for current testing windows and locations.

5. Take the exam

Stay calm and focused during the exam. Use the entire time allotted for completing the exam. If you find that the first few questions are giving you trouble, flag them for review and move on until you find one you can answer with certainty. This will build your confidence and enable you to get the “feel” of the exam. Pay particular attention to the wording of the exam questions. Read carefully! If possible, allow sufficient time to go through your answers a second time at the end of the exam.

Good luck on your exam!