CPSM® and CPSD™ Exam Overview

The CPSM and CPSD exam content address today's procurement and supply chain environment and workplace complexities such as risk, strategic sourcing, technology, and increased skills needed for supply professionals to drive value in their organizations.

Exam testing facilities are located throughout the world, and we also offer an online proctored exam option that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office.

Once you pass all exams, you are required to submit an application for the CPSM or CPSD Certification. Your exam scores are valid for four years, and you must submit your application while all exam scores are valid. You have six months from the date of purchase to take your exam.

Certification Process and Pricing  Certification Handbook

Purchasing and Scheduling Exams

  • Step 1: Purchase Your Exam From ISM.

    For exams in English, Chinese or Korean, click the exam names below to go to the product page where you can complete your exam purchase online. 

    To purchase exams in Spanish, please click here.

  • Step 2: Look for Your Exam Confirmation Email.

    Once you have purchased your exam, you will receive an email from ISM that contains information for scheduling your exam through PearsonVue. 

  • Step 3: Determine if you are Testing at a Test Center or Online.

    You have the choice to take your exam at a PearsonVue test center or online. Find a test center on the Pearsonvue webpage. 

    If you choose to take your exam online, we highly recommend that you run a system test to ensure that your system meets the technical requirements.

  • Step 4: Schedule Your Exam.

    Log into your account on PearsonVue. Your ISM login will not work on the Pearson VUE site. If it is your first time logging in at PearsonVue, you will need to create a new account.

    Select the exam you want to take, choose the test center your wish to test at or choose the “home or office” option for an online proctored exam.

    Follow the remaining prompts to complete the scheduling process. Once you have successfully scheduled your exam appointment, you will be sent a confirmation email that will provide you with your appointment details and important things to know for your exam.

    Remember, you have six months from the date of purchase to sit for an exam. If you need to cancel or reschedule your test appointment, you must contact PearsonVue at least 24-hours prior to avoid forfeiting your exam fees.  Pearson VUE will charge a fee for any appointment that is cancelled or rescheduled 48-hours prior to the scheduled testing time. This fee is paid directly to Pearson VUE.

Exam Frequently Asked Questions

What content is covered in the CPSM® Exams?

There are three CPSM® Exams. Below is a break-down of the exam by sections, with the number of questions and time allowed. See the Exam Specifications for further details.

 

Supply Management Core

Section Name                                                                               # of Questions

Sourcing                                                                                         50

Category Management                                                               10

Negotiation                                                                                   14

Legal & Contractual                                                                     21

Supplier Relationship Mgmt                                                      43

Cost & Price Mgmt                                                                      10

Financial Analysis                                                                           9

180 Questions

165 Scored | 15 Unscored

3 Hours

 

Supply Management Integration

Section Name                                                                               # of Questions

Supply Chain Strategy                                                                 25

Sales and Operations Planning – Demand Planning            10

Sales and Operations Planning – Forecasting                       25

Sales and Operations Planning – Product and Service       15

Quality Management                                                                  14

Logistics & Material Mgmt                                                        53

Project Management                                                                    8

 

165 Questions

150 Scored | 15 Unscored

2 Hours, 45 Minutes

 

Leadership and Transformation in Supply Management

Section Name                                                                               # of Questions

Leadership and Business Acumen – Strategy Development       18

Leadership and Business Acumen – Stakeholder Engagement  25

Leadership and Business Acumen – People Development and Coaching 39

Systems Capability & Technology                                                      11

Risk & Compliance                                                                                 33

Corporate Social Responsibility                                                          24

 

165 Questions

150 Scored | 15 Unscored

2 Hours, 45 Minutes

 

What content is covered in the CPSD™ Exams?

There are two CPSD™ Exams. Below is a break-down of the exam by sections, with the number of questions and time allowed. See the Exam Specifications for further details.

 

Supply Management Core

Section Name                                                                               # of Questions

Sourcing                                                                                         50

Category Management                                                               10

Negotiation                                                                                   14

Legal & Contractual                                                                     21

Supplier Relationship Mgmt                                                      43

Cost & Price Mgmt                                                                      10

Financial Analysis                                                                           9

 

180 Questions

180 Scored | 15 Unscored

3 Hours

 

Essentials in Supplier Diversity

Section Name                                                                               # of Questions

Policies and Planning                                                                37

Sourcing/Supplier Development                                             32

Finance/Budgeting                                                                    18

Metrics/Oversight                                                                      12

Training and Development                                                       11

Advocacy/Marketing/Outreach                                              10

 

120 questions

All Scored

2 Hours

How are the Exams scored? What is passing?

Each candidate must pass with a minimum scaled score of 400 regardless of the number of questions in that Exam. ISM maintains multiple versions, or forms, of the exam. While the content of the exam remains constant, the actual questions used in the exam will change. Different forms of the exam use different questions, the level of difficulty will vary slightly from test to test. To compensate for these variations, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to account for differences in test difficulty. The passing score is not calculated based upon percentages.

 

For example, let's suppose we have two test forms of an exam — Test A and Test B. Now suppose it is established that in order to pass Test A, a person must answer 32 out of 60 questions correct. Furthermore, suppose that Test B is somewhat easier than Test A. To compensate for this difference, the passing score for Test B is adjusted to prevent any "bonus" being given to the candidates taking Test B. Thus, it may be established that a candidate must get a score of 34 out of 60 on Test B in order to pass. This is test equating. It holds candidates to the same standard in terms of difficulty, regardless of which version is taken.

 

Due to this method of equating the percentage of correct answers varies from exam to exam. Then, to maintain consistency in scoring, a second statistical procedure called scaling is used. Scaling converts all scores to a scale ranging from 100 to 600 with a passing score set at 400. Thus, the scores you receive from ISM are actually scaled scores. If the scaled score on any particular Exam ranges from 100 to 390, this means you failed that Exam. If the scaled score is in the range of 400 to 600, you passed that Exam.

What do I do if I fail an exam?

If you fail an exam, you should use the score report that you receive from the test center to re-focus your study effort on any task area(s) where you did not answer approximately 75% of the questions correctly. Then revisit the study material you used to prepare for the exams and purchase additional sources if more in-depth studying is needed.

 

To re-test, you will again need to register with ISM and pay the appropriate member or non-member fee.

 

ISM has a 30-day retake policy for the CPSM® Exams. If you are unsuccessful on an exam you must wait 30 days before you are eligible to re-take that specific exam.

Do I have to pay to re-take the exam?

Yes, you will again need to register with ISM and pay the appropriate member or non-member fee. There is no discount on re-tests.

 

ISM has a 30-day retake policy for the CPSM® Exams. If you are unsuccessful on an exam you must wait 30 days before you are eligible to re-take that specific exam.

Am I able to see the questions that I got wrong on an exam?

Specific exam questions and answers are not made public. A score report for each exam is provided upon completion. The score report provides detail about the task areas where questions were missed. Task areas that you answered less than 75% of the questions correct is an area that requires more study.

How long are my CPSM® Exam scores valid?

CPSM® Exam scores are valid for 4 years from the date they are taken. If an exam score is more than 4 years old, the exam must be taken and passed again before applying for the CPSM®.

How do I register for CPSM® Exam(s)? How do I know where the closest test center is located?

Your exam registration is valid for six months from the day ISM processes your registration. Payment is required in advance. You must test by the expiration date to avoid forfeiting your exam fees.

 

Individual candidate testing is done at Pearson VUE Testing Centers and can be scheduled at your convenience.

 

Register Online

What kind of identification (I.D.) will I need in order to test?

For your exam, you must bring one valid photo I.D. with signature that exactly matches the name on your exam registration.

 

Your I.D. MUST be one of the following:

 

  • Driver's License*

 

  • Passport*

 

  • Military I.D.*

 

  • Official State, Government, or National I.D.

 

  • Employee I.D.

 

  • Student I.D.

 

  • Photo credit card

 

No other forms of I.D. will be accepted.

 

*Driver's License, Passport and Military IDs that have a digital signature encoded will only be accepted as valid ID if accompanied by another valid ID with signature.

 

Note: On the day of your exam, if you are unable to produce a valid I.D. matching the name in ISM's database, you will not be allowed to test and all registration fees will be forfeited.

 

Note: Pearson VUE uses biometrics in all test centers. Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physical characteristic and are primarily used to combat identity fraud. One such method involves the examinee placing a palm on a scanner, which results in an electronic palm print.

 

What else should I know about taking my exam at a Pearson VUE Test Center?

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. If you are late, you will be considered a "no show" and your exam fees will be forfeited.

 

  • You will be required to leave all personal belongings in a locker. This includes bags, cell phones, watches, wallets, notes, books or other materials not authorized for this exam.

 

  • An erasable note board and pen will be provided for the exam. They will be collected at the end of the test.

 

  • Calculators will be also be provided.

 

  • Wear comfortable, layered clothing. Test center temperatures vary.

How do I reschedule or cancel an existing appointment?

To reschedule or cancel your test appointment, you must contact Pearson VUE at least 24-hours prior to the scheduled local testing time. For example, an 8:30am appointment on Monday must be rescheduled by 8:30am on Sunday (all times are local). If you do not reschedule or cancel your appointment in time, all funds are forfeited.

 

Fees may apply if any changes or cancellations are made within 48 hours of the scheduled appointment time.

 

Please DO NOT call your local Pearson VUE test center to make appointments or cancel or reschedule appointments.

What are the requirements for online exams?

In order to ensure the proper environment for proctored exams, you must have a quiet, private location, a reliable computer with a webcam, access to one of the approved internet browsers, and a strong internet connection. It is your responsibility to verify your computer meets the technical requirements to take the online proctored exam. Please review the technical requirements on the Pearson Vue Online Exam page under Additional Information. It is also your responsibility to run a system test BEFORE registering for an online proctored exam. Visit the Pearson Vue online exam page to run a system test.

How do I purchase an online exam?

Whether you decide to take your exams at a testing center or online, the purchase process on the ISM website is the same. After purchasing your exam, your purchase confirmation email will contain details about how to schedule your exam through Pearson Vue. After you’ve selected the exam you want to take, choose the “home or office” option. Follow the remaining prompts to complete the scheduling process. Once you have successfully scheduled your exam appointment, you will be sent a confirmation email that will provide you with your appointment details and important things to know for your exam.

Are the online exams proctored?

Like the exams taken at a Pearson VUE testing center, online proctored exams are also live proctored. The only difference is that with online proctored exams, you are monitored by a remote proctor, along with enhanced security features and artificial intelligence technology.

What languages do the proctors speak?

The proctors speak English. In order to take an online proctored exam, you must be able to communicate verbally in English with the proctor. If you are unable, or not comfortable doing so, please schedule your exam at a local Pearson VUE testing center.

Are there any geographic limitations for taking online proctored exams?

Online exams are currently not available in the People's Republic of China, Japan, Slovenia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.

Take Your Exam From Home

Take your ISM exam conveniently from your home or office through online proctoring. A live proctor will monitor you through the webcam on your workstation to provide a secure exam experience.