Certification Exam FAQ


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (click on 'read more' to access):

What are some test-taking tips?
What is the format of the certification exam?
What time do the exams start and what is the time limit?
Is the exam open-book?

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Watch this FREE webinar and get the inside scoop on taking an ASQ certification exam: Certification Exam Preparation - Tips, Tricks, and Traps


What are some test-taking tips?

  Time Management
  • Not only is it important to answer questions correctly, but it’s just as important to manage the exam time wisely. Ideally, you would complete the exam in 75% - 80% of the allotted time. This leaves time to review answers and look up 6-10 questions using your reference materials.
  • Pick two or three reference books from the list provided for the certification exam. The certification exam questions require application of knowledge and experience and therefore you won’t have time look at a trunk load of reference materials.
  • Take time to organize your reference materials and bookmark important pages that contain tables, graphs, example calculations and key definitions, including the Code of Ethics (so you don’t have to memorize). 

Taking the Certification Exam 

  • Read all of the choices. ASQ certification exam questions are multiple choice, and are typically constructed with one distracter, two plausible answers and one best answer. The BEST answer is the more comprehensive answer, while the plausible answer may only answer one aspect and is not the BEST answer.
  • It helps to identify keywords and underline them. Pay attention to the NOT questions.
  • Plan to take no longer than 60 seconds to answer the first round of questions. If you think the answer will take longer than 60, mark your first answer, mark the question on the side, and return if you are able. Be sure to erase the marks on the side.

What is the format of the certification exam?

All examinations consist of multiple-choice questions that are carefully designed, reviewed for correctness, and computer-scored. The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence exam also contains two constructed-response (essay) questions.

The exams take three to five hours, depending on the certification. If you complete your exam early, quietly take your exam booklet, answer sheet and any scratch paper you have to the proctor.  You may then leave the exam room.

What time do the exams start and what is the time limit?

Most exams have a four-hour time limit, with the exceptions of CQIA (three hours), CQA (five hours), CQE (five hours), and CMBB (five hours).

Is the exam open-book?

With the exception of the constructed-response portion of the Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence exam, exams are still open-book. Personally generated materials and notes from training or refresher courses are allowed, under the following conditions.

  • All notes must be bound and placed in a three-ring binder.  No loose notes!
  • Each examinee must make his/her reference materials available to the proctor for review.
  • The proctor is the final authority on the admissibility of all reference materials.
  • Absolutely no collections of questions and answers or weekly refresher-course quizzes are permitted. Reference sources that contain such copy are not allowed unless the questions are removed or obscured.
  • Examinees are responsible for abiding by applicable copyright laws.

Testing Aids-- These items will be provided for you by Prometric on the day of the exam:

  • Calculators are built into the CBT exam and will be provided to those candidates by request. Candidates can use a personal calculator that is on the approved list
  • Erasable board and markers

Prohibited items from the Testing Center:  

You may NOT bring anything or anyone into the testing area or to the desk where you take the exam. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • food
  • beverages
  • bags
  • coats
  • luggage
  • eyeglass cases
  • pagers
  • cellular telephones
  • tape recorders
  • watches
  • wallets
  • medication
  • any other personal items

Items such as sweaters and jewelry may be worn into the testing center, but cannot be removed once you have entered the testing room.

You will be provided with a locker on the day of your examination to store your personal belongings. Once your items are stored, you will be unable to access your locker until you have completed your examination appointment.

If you will require any personal items in the testing room due to a medical condition, such as food, beverages or medication, you will need authorization from ASQ prior to scheduling your examination appointment. Please review the Special Accommodations policy at www.prometric.com for additional information on obtaining authorization.

You may be dismissed from the Testing Center:  

The test center administrator/supervisor or proctor is authorized to dismiss you from an examination administration and the ASQ Certification Department may cancel your scores, or take other appropriate action, when there is a reasonable basis for concluding that you have engaged in any of the following conduct:

  • Using or attempting to use someone else to take the test
  • Failing to provide acceptable personal identification, as outlined on the preceding page
  • Having access to or using notes or any prohibited aid related to the test
  • Creating a disturbance (disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated; the test administrator/supervisor has sole discretion in determining whether specific conduct constitutes disruptive behavior)
  • Communicating, in any manner, with another person other than the test administrator/supervisor or proctor about the test during the administration, including attempting to give or receive assistance
  • Attempting to remove scrap paper from the testing room, or tearing the scrap paper in any way
  • Eating or drinking in the testing room
  • Leaving the testing room or test center vicinity without permission
  • Removing or attempting to remove, examination-related material, or portions of a test in any format from the testing room
  • Attempting to tamper with a computer
  • Engaging in any dishonest or unethical conduct, such as cheating
  • Failing to follow any other examination administration regulations set forth in ASQ Certification Program policies given by the test administrator/supervisor, or specified in any examination materials

The ASQ Certification Department reserves the right to take all action including, but not limited to, barring you from future testing and/or canceling your scores, for failure to comply with the test administrator/supervisor's directions. If your scores are cancelled, you will be notified of such action and its basis, and your examination fees will not be refunded.

Although tests are administered under strict supervision and security measures, examination irregularities may sometimes occur. You are required to contact ASQ as soon as possible to report any observed behavior that may lead to an invalid score. Examples include: someone copying from another test taker, taking a test for someone else, having access to test questions before the examination, or using notes or unauthorized aids. All information will be held in confidence.

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