Each certification has a Body of Knowledge (BoK) that describes in detail each subject and subtopic related to that certification. This information provides useful guidance for candidates preparing to take the exam. The subtext is not intended to limit the subject matter or be all-inclusive of what might be covered in an exam. It is intended to clarify the type of content to be included in the exam. The BoK also details the number of questions contained in each subject. The descriptor in parentheses at the end of each entry refers to the highest cognitive level at which the topic will be tested. A more comprehensive description of cognitive levels will be listed at the end of each BoK. Please visit the ASQ certification webpage to view the BoK specific to your certification.
Each certification exam program has books and materials listed under "references" that are used to create the exam questions on the preparation page for each exam. There is no one resource. The subjects you need to know are listed in the BoK. A thorough understanding of the BoK and the subjects it covers are the basic requirements for passing the exam. ASQE offers several certification preparation resources, available on each certification page. The ASQE Certification Council does not endorse any one reference source and is impartial.
You can also visit the prepare page to view additional paid certification preparation resources such as preparation courses, question banks, study guides, and handbooks.
ASQ certification exams delivered via CBT consist of 85 to 180 multiple-choice questions with the exception of the MBB. Each multiple-choice question has only one correct answer. Of the total questions presented to candidates, 10-15 are considered pretest questions. Pretest questions do not affect your score and are used to collect statistics on questions to be used on future exams. All questions will be in random order. These questions will be presented in addition to the number of questions defined in each unique program's BoK. The pretest questions will cover all areas of the BoK for each program. For more information on the use of pretest questions, visit this Prometric website.
Computer-Based Test Exam Time
The time given to candidates for each exam program has been established using the total number of exam questions including the pretest questions and a short tutorial. The clock will start once you are seated at your exam computer and your exam is launched by Prometric staff. (The exam time does not include the check-in process.)
There are no planned breaks while you are taking the exam. Candidates are allowed to take a break during the exam; however, the clock on the exam will not be paused. Remotely proctored examinees are allowed a maximum of three ten-minute breaks during their session. Examinees are not allowed to leave the camera view without first notifying and being acknowledged by the proctor. Upon return, a full security scan will be conducted prior to resuming the exam. The table below details the breakdown of time allotted for each exam program.
*Note: In September 2022, along with the pilot of the new SSYB Body of Knowledge, the SSYB examination will increase by five questions for a total of 90 questions (80 scored, 10 unscored) for computer-delivered exams, and 80 questions (80 scored) for paper and pencil delivered exams.
**The CMBB exam is split into two parts. The first portion consists of a 110-question multiple-choice test and is two hours and 30 minutes long. The second portion is a performance-based assessment that measures comprehension of the CMBB BoK and is three hours long.
Paper-Based Tests (PBT)
ASQ certification exams delivered via PBT consist of 75 to 180 multiple-choice questions with the exception of the MBB exam. Each multiple-choice question has only one correct answer. Paper-based tests do not have any pretest questions.
Paper-Based Test Exam Time
The time given to candidates for each exam program has been established using the total number of exam questions. There are no planned breaks. Candidates are allowed to take a break during the exam; however, the clock on the exam will not be paused. The table below details the breakdown of time allotted for each exam program.
**The CMBB exam is split into two parts. The first portion consists of a 100-question multiple-choice test and is two hours and 30 minutes long. The second portion is a performance-based assessment that measures comprehension of the CMBB BoK, is closed-book, and is two hours and 30 minutes long.
All computer-based exams feature a basic scientific calculator on-screen in the exam. Prometric Test Center Administrators can provide you with a hand-held basic calculator upon request.
With the introduction of tablets and palmtop computers and the increasing sophistication of scientific calculators, ASQE has become increasingly aware of the need to limit the types of calculators permitted for use during the examinations. Any silent, hand-held, battery-operated calculator with no programmable memory will be permitted. Programmable calculators tend to have graphing capabilities, the ability to store text/alphanumeric data by the input of the user, and a function (fn, F1, F2, etc.) button.
Calculators such as the Texas Instruments TI-89 or similar are absolutely not allowed because they are programmable. The examination is written so that a simple calculator will be sufficient to perform all calculations. Examinees are allowed to have a backup calculator if necessary.
All reference materials (e.g., including all forms of notes) must be bound and remain bound during the exam. Bound refers to material permanently bound by stitching or glue and materials fastened securely in its cover by fasteners, which penetrate all papers (e.g., ring binders, spiral binders, plastic snap binders, brads, or screw posts). Manually or hand stapled documents that are not securely fastened in their covers are not allowed. The size of workspace area at Prometric test centers is limited. The approximate desk dimensions are 48" in length and 24" in width.
Before you enter the exam room, the Test Center Administrator (TCA) will inspect all references. "Post-Its" will be permitted as book tabs only (must be attached prior to entering the test center). Items strictly prohibited in the exam area: hand stapled or paper-clipped materials, blank writing tablets or tablets containing blank pages, unbound tablets, unbound notes, slide charts and/or wheel charts (hand-held cardboard or plastic calculating devices with rotating or sliding pieces).
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.
Examinees are responsible for abiding by applicable copyright laws.