Tips for the APICS CSCP Exam

Tips for the APICS CSCP ExamA while back, I took and passed the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) exam. Since then, I’ve had a quite a few people ask me what it’s like and what advice I have. I’ve consolidated and summarized my experience in the article below.

Is the APICS CSCP Exam Right for Me?

Which Certification Should I Pursue?

The first thing you need to do is determine whether the CSCP exam is the right certification for you. Certification is definitely a plus in the supply chain profession. There are quite a few different options, most of which are summarized in this excellent chart on Wikipedia. To begin my journey, I spent a lot of time looking at these different options.

For me, it really came down to which organization I wanted my certification from. In my opinion, the two strongest options are APICS and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

APICS offers two certifications. The CSCP is an overall look at supply chain management. The CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) is more focused on inventory and production at a detailed level. ISM offers one main certification, the Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM). The CPM is primarily geared toward procurement.

Certification Job Search

Next, I began searching and other job sites to see what types of opportunities these certifications might unlock. I was quickly surprised how many jobs said “APICS certification preferred” or “CSCP preferred” – especially jobs that appealed to me. From this, I decided to go for the CSCP. If I were more interested in just buying, then ISM’s Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) would make sense.


Is Certification Worth It?

The cost of the study materials and test made me pause for a moment. Some employers are happy to help out with the $1,000 to $2,000 total cost. Mine wasn’t, but the investment made sense. I was also looking at business school programs at this time, and I was surprised to learn how strongly some MBA programs promote this same certification, sometimes even for their current students. While I didn’t want to take on extra studying as a MBA student, the fact that the schools were recommending these certifications sealed the deal for me.

What Materials Should I Use to Study?

Only two roads made sense to me if you’re serious about earning your CSCP: self-study or a class.

About the APICS CSCP Learning System (and How to Get It for Less)

The APICS CSCP Learning System is definitely the way to go for self-study. While they can’t claim that the system teaches everything that’s on the test – it gets pretty darn close. Unfortunately, it has a steep price tag of $1275. To reduce that, purchase an APICS membership. Student memberships are free, and professional memberships are $200 per year. Being a member gives you an instant $330 discount on the Learning System. If you have friends who also want to study, you can get a discount when you purchase more than one set at the same time. For instance, I saved $100 by purchasing my study materials at the same time as a friend. Search online forums and try to find someone to go in together with – it could save you a few hundred dollars.

Buy A Used APICS CSCP Learning System

BuyUsedCSCP 2Another option is to buy a used CSCP Learning System. A friend of mine has a network of people looking to sell their used CSCP Learning System sets for half the cost of a new set. You can contact her for more information through the inquiry form on this page: Used APICS CSCP Learning Systems For Sale.

Local or Online Class

The other option is to prepare for the test through a class that essentially walks you through the APICS Learning System as a group. Local APICS chapters will sporadically offer certification classes for a variety of prices. If you can, find one that doesn’t charge more than the books. Classes are very helpful for people that need an outside motivator that will help them study the materials. If you know you won’t be able to read 1,000 pages of text without having to attend a weekly class – then this is the route you should go. In addition, you’ll meet others studying the same material – so if you’re a social learner, this may be the key to your success.

Getting Through the Material

The textbooks are incredibly dry (at least the 2013 versions were). They just spit out facts with no stories and hardly any diagrams. At first, this was very frustrating and horribly boring. However, after a few hundred pages, I began to appreciate this style. The books cover a vast amount of materials in close to 1,000 pages. If they had more fluff, then that number would obvious increase dramatically.

Applying the concepts to my current job also helped. Whether it’s writing in the margins or discussing the concepts with your team, applying what you learn is the best way to really remember it. I help make quite a few changes in our department while studying the CSCP concepts.

For the most part, I had to sit down and force myself to read an entire textbook section in one sitting. Otherwise, I found it very difficult to find the motivation to come back to the section. Luckily, the textbook is broken up into fairly short sections. Each section has an online review quiz. This is where the Learning System really shines.

The online portion of the APICS Learning System is what saved me. The quizzes help me remember the key points from the chapter. I was often frustrated by the quiz questions – some are very poorly written and the correct answers are often debatable. They hopefully fixed those questions, but be warned that some may still be ambiguous. I was very worried that the test questions would be just as ambiguous. Don’t worry though – I thought all the test questions were very straightforward.

The online tools are accessible by smartphone, tablet, or desktop. However, I found that my smartphone was the least frustrating method of taking the tests. The tests seem to be much slower and harder to navigate on my desktop. So even when my laptop was available, I usually used my phone instead.

As great as the online quizzes are, the absolute best help are the flashcards. So much of the test depends on whether you know the vocabulary. I printed out flashcards and used them regularly. A friend of mine stumbled on another method if you find paper flashcards less motivating:

A Free Online APICS Flashcard Game

Screenshot of APICS Flashcards Game

While it’s not quite as awesome as Call of Duty or Little Big Planet, it’s a more fun way to learn the vocabulary quickly.

How Long Does Studying for the APICS CSCP Exam Take?

It took me three months to complete the APICS Learning System. Now to be fair, my first child was born during this time, so that slowed me down a bit. However, if you read for an average of an hour each day, you can finish in three months or less.

Looking back, I probably studied a bit too much. If you can pass all the online quizzes with 80% or more, then I would feel pretty confident that you’ll pass the exam. I actually thought the real test was a bit easier than the review quizzes in the CSCP Learning System.

I’ve heard rumors that most of the people that fail the exam do not speak English as their primary language. So if you are not a native English speaker, you may want to study a bit more and understand all the words in all the online quizzes.

What was Your Method of Studying for the APICS CSCP Exam?

This was my detailed routine of study for the exam:

  • Take the pretest to see what the questions would be like
  • Read one section (1A or 1B for example)
  • Take the quiz for that section (Quiz 1A)
  • If I didn’t get over 80% on the quiz, then I retook the quiz and read up on the questions I missed
  • Once I got over 80% and understood the questions I had missed, I’d move onto the next section
  • After I finished all the sections in the three modules, I’d take the test for the entire module. I’d review the questions I missed until I felt comfortable moving on.
  • Once a week, I’d run through all the flashcards – even if I hadn’t reached those words in the book yet. After a few weeks, I knew all the words very well.
  • After finishing all three modules, I took the post-test
  • Right before the test, I took a day off work and reviewed all of the books again. This was probably overkill, but I really didn’t want to shell out the extra money to retake the test.

I had a friend studying at the same time, so we would compare notes every few days. Mostly, having someone else kept me on track – and complaining about poorly written quiz questions together made it more fun. I brought the current book I was reading with me everywhere and sometimes had  my wife read the text aloud to me when we had a few extra minutes (like waiting at the doctor’s office). I’m happy to report that I didn’t study at all in the hospital when my daughter was born.

What’s the APICS CSCP Test Like?

Save the Date

The test itself is straightforward. It’s given in the same facility as GMAT and other standardized tests. Since the CSCP exam isn’t a wildly popular test, scheduling is often quite limited in some locations. I scheduled my test about two months in advance. This was good because the deadline motivated me to push through the texts. My friend didn’t schedule the test for some time and ended up dragging out her study period to eight months. If this might be a possibility, I recommend reserving early in your study process.

Test Day

My advice is to just stay cool on test day. Honestly, if you’ve read all the text, know the flashcards, and have received an 80% on the post-test, then you’ll pass. Don’t overthink the questions – there weren’t any trick questions that I remember. Eat a good breakfast, go to the testing center, and take care of business. You’ll do just fine.

Still have questions? Check out my article on Frequently Asked Questions about the APICS CSCP Exam to find more information about the exam process.

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    53 thoughts on “Tips for the APICS CSCP Exam

    1. Rafael

      Thank you very much for taking time to share your experience.
      I am also preparing myself to take the exam and your tips were very useful!

    2. Naomi

      Thank you so much for this informative post. I actually scheduled my exam today which is 2 months from today and so I’m really motivated – and a little apprehensive. Your experience is very close to a colleague who also took the CSCP exam – especially the remarks regarding the flashcards.

      Thank you!

    3. Barry


      i currently work in the field and for some reason am having a hard time grasping all the many definitions and processes. My exam date is Dec 15 would you recommend memorization. I have been doing pretty poorly on the online quizzes and was looking for any type of feedback

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Barry,
        I really think the key to the APICS CSCP exam is the vocabulary. Printing out the vocab cards and memorizing those couple hundred terms will absolutely be your best return on time. If you’re familiar with the supply chain concepts at all, then the specific wordings that APICS uses will be the only barrier from getting a passing grade.

        If most of the supply chain topics covered in the book are unfamiliar to you, then I would recommend really studying the books they provide, reading up on the concepts on Wikipedia or other reference sites, and consulting a few of the introductory supply chain textbooks they reference.

        Some of the quiz questions are worded poorly, so don’t worry too much if you score low at first. The test questions are worded much more clearly. Redoing the quizzes a few times will help you prepare for the test, since many of the test questions are very similar (or easier) than the quiz questions.

        Good luck with the December test!

    4. Yvo

      Does anyone know if one can access/pay for just the online portion? I paid for and attended the instructor led classes for 10 weeks in Fall 2013 but due to scheduling challenges could not take the test right after. I have all the written material, but no access to the online tests any more. Don’t want to pay again for everything…

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        I would give their sales department a call – they are very easy to work with:

        Call +1-888-266-9079 (US, toll-free) or +1-651-905-2664 (worldwide).
        8am-5pm Central Time
        Monday – Friday

        You could also try emailing Bobby Quickstad at He does corporate rates, but he could point you to the right person if he can’t help you.

    5. Paulo Frutuoso

      Hi Alex,

      I’m very grateful for your shared.
      I going to start my preparing to exam and find you words was a “Gifts from Gods”.
      I’m not a native English speaker than a need more effort, it was a very good warning!
      Thanks again.

      Paulo Frutuoso.

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Paulo – I’m glad you liked the article, and thank you for your kind words. Best of luck with your studies.

    6. Mr Jones

      I failed the exam in December. I studied really hard.
      It is really deflating to pay a fortune for the course material and then the exam and fail it.

      I have lost a lot of confidence in myself. I tried reaching out to my local APICS instructors for help but they basically gave me the cold shoulders. I know we are adults and it is our own responsibility to ensure our own success. However I feel it was an extreme insult to pay for the course, online material, membership fees and just to have the say thank you and show you the door and wave. This is a lot of money they collected and this was how I was treated.

      I have reregistered again for a retake. I will try my best, however I am not sure what else I can do to improve my ability and chance to pass.

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Mr Jones,
        Definitely a disappointment – I’m sorry. Was your score close to passing?

        Sometimes APICS offers special deals where they’ll let you retake your exam for free depending on when you register. Usually those deals are toward the end of the year. It might be worth contacting them and see if they have a retake opportunity that is less expensive than their published retake rate.

        Also – do you think the Vocab or the questions tripped you up? Once I had all the flashcards down, the online practice quizzes helped me the most.

        Good luck on your next attempt. Let us know when you pass.

        1. Mr Jones

          Thanks for your advice and support Alex.

          I was really close. I believed it was a combination of both vocab and questions that threw me off. However my experience in regards to support from my local APICS chapter really left a bitter taste in my mouth.

          I am not a young man any more. It is getting more difficult to memorize all the flashcards. I can imagine how much more difficult it would be for those that are not as proficient in English. However, I am going to try to memorize more vocab, and quiz questions in hopes of being able to pass the test.

          I will also try out the apps that you have recommended to review the flashcards.

        2. Rahul Gupta

          Hi Alex,
          The study material seems to be quite expensive. Are there any cheaper resources available?

          1. Alex Fuller Post author

            Hi Rahul,

            Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to spring the money for the study materials. Sometimes you can find the books on eBay, but it won’t include the online system. You can try that route, but the way APICS uses its vocabulary makes using their material almost essential to passing the test.

            Good luck!

    7. karmegam

      Dear Friends,

      My Qualification is Computer Science. I having 2 years Experience in supply chain ( Non -Technical).
      I would like to move in to supply chain IT side. So please suggest me Which certification will help me to get IT job in supply chain. Is it possible to move in IT side through any supply chain certification?
      I am totally confused. please help me. ( I Having ORACLE11g certification)


      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Karmegam,

        I would recommend you do the following:

        1 – Search for jobs that you are interested in and see what certifications they mention
        2 – Talk to companies offering roles you’re interested in and ask what training they recommend

        While APICS or ISM certification would show that you understand the concepts of a supply chain role, focusing more on what the precise IT skills a company is looking for would be a much better course of action.

        I hope that helps you in your search.

    8. Victor

      Hi Alex,

      really great your article! I have just purchased the the APICS CSCP Learning System and will start to self-study it. I have more than 12 years of logistics and supply chain experience in my current job, and many terms and situation in the books are really familiar for me.
      APICS says that they can’t claim the system teaches everything that’s on the test, that is why they recommend to read external bibliography (books/ articles) to expand the knowledge for the exam (they give some of them)
      Is this really necessary? I asked you because I would not like to expend a lot of time reading extra literature that, perhaps, it’s not contributing so much to pass the exam.
      Thanks for your feedback and your tips!


      1. Alex Fuller Post author


        APICS sets up the test and the learning system independently. Essentially, one group uses all those external sources to write the test, and another group uses all those external sources to build the learning system. The two groups do not coordinate so as to preserve the integrity of the test.

        That being said, your experience combined with thorough study of the learning system should be more than enough to pass. If you read all the course material and master all the online quizzes, then you should be just fine during the test. The flashcards are definitely the most useful tool since it sets out exactly how APICS uses that set of vocabulary – which is sometimes different then how I learned some of the vocab.

        If there’s something completely strange to you in the learning system material, it might be worth reading more about it (I’d start with Wikipedia before the external sources), but again, the learning system does a really good job of covering everything fairly well. In the actual test, there was only one or two questions that were a little outside what I had been studying. Even then, they weren’t terribly difficult at all.

        Good luck to you and let us know when you pass!

    9. suku

      Thanks Alex. This is a great article and very helpful. I decided to do certification only today and good that I found your article. I will reach out for more questions. Thank you

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Scott,

        The questions are weighted differently, so it depends. I felt like you had to get the majority right (perhaps 80% or more), but I didn’t see my results on each question. Having completed the learning system, I felt very confident on about 70% of the questions, fairly confident on 20%, and not very confident on 10%.

    10. Panos


      thanks for your article, and sharing your method. I am confused, what is the best for myself to take CSCP or CPIM certification. do you have any idea about? apart of what the job market needs more often. In Europe I have noticed that the employers ask for CPIM more often. Do you know any source to give me more ideas what i should choose ? or your personal opinion.


      1. Alex Fuller Post author


        Good question. I recommend doing a search of job postings to see which certification your target jobs prefer. If you see CPIM come up a lot, then that might be the way to go. My impression of the CPIM is that it’s more technical – so if you are wanting to become a master scheduler for a factory, then CPIM is probably better. CSCP is more focused on the global supply chain strategy and is much more qualitative. CSCP is also one test versus multiple tests for the CPIM – so if they’re just looking for some sort of APICS certification, CSCP may be less of a time commitment.

    11. Gojya

      Quite an insightful article, for someone who is completely new to this. I am sitting on the fence here, unable to decide whether I should be taking the plunge , and whether it would help me.
      I have spent about 8 years building , maintaining and tweaking ERP systems for a north American engineering giant. Initial years purely as a code monkey. I am thinking of using this certification as a stepping stone to move on to the more business end of things (business analyst comes to mind here), however, not sure if I can completely comprehend it or even get me to where I want to.
      I played the game you linked to ( :) ) , just get a general feel of things, and was pleased with myself that I got most questions right in a reasonable amount of time.
      All said and done, this is certainly not knowledge that will be wasted, its just that I need to now make decision on whether the cost to benefits ratio would be worthwhile. Wish the entry cost was cheaper and the local library stocked some APICS material.

      1. Alex Fuller Post author


        It’s true, it’s a decent monetary and time commitment. I would definitely recommend talking with potential employers and looking at job postings you’re interested in to see if they would value APICS certification. If you have a working knowledge already, then you may be able to start out without the certification.

        On the other hand, a few months of studying and about $2,000 in total costs in order to really get a feel for the field could certainly be worth it. I’m pretty sure you can deduct the costs from your taxes (although I’m not a tax accountant, so please don’t take that as legal or tax advice), and it’s much less involved than a college degree in supply chain.

        Overall, I feel that talking with people in jobs you’re interested in is definitely the wisest course of action.

    12. Greg

      Hi Alex – Congratulations on passing the test and becoming a CSCP.
      One question though
      The maintenance of this certification seems pretty tough & costly affair. Do you have any thoughts or ideas you can share with me? We have to get 75 points every 5 years. Are there additional fees involved later on as we pass this exam?
      Thanks in advance

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Greg,

        Great question. You are correct, to maintain certification you need to earn 75 points. The easiest way to earn points is to maintain your APICS memberships and go to APICS events regularly. That’s a decent monetary commitment ($200 per year for membership), but it could be worth it if you network well with people at the event and/or get your company to cover some of the cost.

        However, there are other ways to maintain certification. Here’s a list of qualifying point-earning activities: APICS Professional Development Activities.

        They emphasizing continuing education, so if you go to conferences, listen to business speakers, or take classes on a somewhat regular basis, then you can definitely keep the certification up to date.

        Another factor to consider is whether you need to keep the certification current. I know several people who get their APICS certification so that they can qualify for a job in supply chain. Once they have the job, some feel that their experience is probably much more important on their resume than an APICS certification. Just something to think about…

        Let me know if you have any other specific questions. The APICS site does a pretty good job detailing how to earn points. Also, while APICS does have a site for employers to check if you have passed the APICS exam, last I heard was that they are still working on a site for employers to check if your certification is current. They could have that already though.

      2. Roberta McPhail

        Just joining APICS gives you 6 points per year x 5 years = 30points! If you do a 1 day seminar per year that is 8 points x 5 years = 40 points. APICS is very liberal in accepting any seminars or classes for continuing education points. Easy Peesy.

    13. Bob Dole

      I am currently a master production scheduler, but I have no idea if CSCP is right for me or the CPIM? Anyone doing my job in a similar issue or anyone have thoughts? I have 4 years experience and a college degree.

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Bob,

        What job are you looking to move into/be promoted to? CPIM definitely does a lot more with production scheduling. If you feel like you have that down though, CSCP might help move up to more strategic positions.

        What do others think?

    14. Roberta McPhail

      Well done, as a Master CSCP instructor your guidance is exactly what I tell my students. Note that: Everyone does learn differently and a one size fits all method does not work. But I do like your approach and the 80% testing guidance.

    15. Rekha

      Hi Alex,
      Your article is very helpful.
      I have few questions for you.
      I have a bachelors degree, but I never worked. I somehow found interest in Logistics and supply chain. Will I be eligible for Apics certification?

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Rehka,
        With a bachelors degree, you should qualify. The specific eligibility requirements are found on the APICS eligibility guidelines. To take the CSCP, you have to have either (1) three years of supply chain related work experience, (2) a bachelor’s degree or international equivalent, or (3) CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM, SCOR-P, C.P.M., CSM or CPSM designations.

        They will check your qualification when you try to sign up for a test. It’s a pretty straightforward procedure. Then you pass the test and you’re good to go.

        Good luck!


      Dear friends,

      I have a question concerning maintaining the CSCP certification. If someone has taken 3 exams of CPSM and passed. Does he earn some points for maintaining this CSCP certification or otherwise?


    17. Armida

      I am in the process of taking an instructor led course. When I reviewed the Exam Content Manual (ECM) along side the books, it seems to skip some of the topics. Is this to say that the exam will NOT include those specific topics since the exam is based on the ECM?

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Armida,
        I’m not on the inside of the exam, and I haven’t reviewed the ECM, so I can’t tell you. Does the ECM skip many topics?

        To be safe, I would read all the learning system material. I didn’t feel there was too much in the learning system that wasn’t covered in the test. You could be right though, the ECM may be a better guide of what’s on the test.

    18. Alpesh Mehta

      Thanks Alex for a detailed note on your experience. It touched every critical subjects.
      The used material availability which you referred will also include the access for online study material/ quiz ? or is applicable for only printed material.

    19. Anthony

      Just passed my CSCP in May with a score of 317 , just wanted to thank you for this page it was definitely an asset during my preparation!

      Best of luck to all the future CSCP’s , lets continue to give this certification a good name and add value to it!

    20. Pushkar

      Hello Alex,
      Thanks for the article! I have a fair experience in strategic sourcing and while going through some of the websites i think CPSM from ISM is better suited for me. Can you point me to someone who has taken that one, if you know?
      Also I believe the total cost for both CSCP (APICS) and CPSM (ISM) is more or less the same, can you confirm that from your search? I could not find any webesite which gives a crystal clear information about the total cost from the start till certification.
      Also most of the websites dont talk about recertification frequency and their costs. I believe CPSC needs to recertified every 5 yrs while CMSP is every 3 years. but again I could not find a crystal clear information on the recertification costs.

    21. Anupam

      Hi Alex, hope you doing good…!!!

      as you already earned the CSCP certificate so can you plz clarify me about some point.

      1) I have 4 years of working experience in Freight Forwarding and International transport by Air and Sea. So how useful it will be for me and relevant it will be as per my job experience.
      2) how good is the course as i am looking for change in supplychain department in manucturer or retail oe E-commerce…? is CSCP course is helpfull in getting a good supplychain job ..??

      Anupam Dey

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Anupam,
        With your experience, you probably know quite a bit of what the test covers. Whether it helps your career really depends on what future employers are looking for. I highly recommend looking at job postings or talking with companies you’d be interested in working for and ask them what they think about the certification. Your experience may very well be enough for some jobs.

    22. Kingsley osondu

      Hi Alex,
      Great Article, this has challanged me to sit up and stop pushing this certification any further. Please i would like to ask this question. A colleague gave me his 2012 CSCP books can i use that to study for the 2015 exams? how long does these book last before the are changed? I can do self study so i have not problem with that. I would also like to purchase questions online from real world supply chain or other 3rd parties who have their own question set from the 3 modules, whats your take on this?

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Kinglsey,

        They update the test and the readings every year. I’m sure it’s not by much, but I can’t tell you exactly how much both change from year to year. The principals were pretty straightforward in 2013 when I took it and I can’t imagine the questions changed too much in the past couple years. I would consider going with the 2012 books, taking the test, and if there were a bunch of foreign concepts, consider upgrading. You could also check out some of the resources here: CSCP Refrences/a>. I’d look at some of the free downloads, those are probably the topics that update most frequently.

      1. Alex Fuller Post author

        Hi Max,
        Great question. It potentially could be enough – although it’s probably at least twice as much material as the learning system. I was able to get through the learning system in about 3 months. Tackling those four books and other materials with some of the books being more than 500 pages seems like it would take a bit longer. For its ability to condense the material into the essentials, the learning system was the way to go for me. A few extra hundred dollars for two or more less months of studying…

    23. Jack

      Hi Alex,
      I stumbled upon your article back in May of this year. I decided to proceed with the investment of my time and money with the end goal of obtaining the APICS CSCP designation. My experience is in regards to the Logistics side of the Supply Chain. Both export and domestic. So, lots of this information was new to me. I used your words and advice as the backbone for how I would approach my studies. I made a plan to begin my studying in June. Made a weekly strategic plan on how I wanted to approach the material and when I wanted to complete all of the related material and quizzes. It took time, lots of time and dedication to fight through the 5 text books and complete all of the quizzes. I studied for an hour before work and after every day. Quiz questions in the 2015 learning module are still frustrating, however, I kept plugging away. Hammered the vocab, reviewed the quizzes and material. Happy to report that I have indeed passed. Such a great feeling. It took me right around 3 months. I just wanted to personally say thank you. Your words of encouragement as well as your detailed breakdown of what to expect were spot on. I am now officially CSCP certified. Thank you for going out of your way to assist people in their desires to take the next step.

    24. Arjay

      Hi Alex. I have been following your site since last year when I bought the learning system. I passed the exam on 28th May 2017 with a score of 314. Given that the exam score range is from 200 to 350, and that there are 150 questions, if my estimate is good, I got 114 correct answers out of 150 (76%).

      I was really not confident to take the exam because the very morning before I took the actual exam (my exam schedule was at 1 PM), I scored only 43% on the practice test of the learning system. Also, in the per-chapter quizzes, I usually got 50-70%. Over the course of my self-study sessions, I felt that I was not that confident to take the exam. I felt that I need to have a score of at least 80% to gain much confidence to pass the exam. In fact, the learning system indicated that the students should at least have an 80% rating across the quizzes, posttest, and practice exam to be confident to pass the actual exam.

      There were super enormous efforts that I had in the review. I started reviewing the materials in May 2016. Since I was working full time in the industry, I was usually exhausted by the time I finish a day’s work. To make it worse, I teach part-time in my home university every weekend. I sometimes would sleep only 4 hours because I had to stay late studying. The past three weeks was the worst emotionally because I felt I was already cramming and the formulas, terms, and enumeration stuffs were already difficult to absorb. What I did was to read the difficult terms aloud in my room. Terms like heijunka, maquiladora, sogo shosha, jidoka, seiketsu, and shitsuki were most memorable weird terms.

      The most difficult to deal with was the tons of enumeration that I had to memorize. For instance, there are 5 phases in the S&OP process. I need to map all the details of each process from product planning until the last step and take note on what happens per phase, who is responsible (e.g. demand manager), and what are not included in each phase. It took me over 3 hours to perfectly map just this section in my mind.

      I can say that studying the materials by heart actually was a proven success for me. When I memorize the concepts, I don’t memorize emptily, but I close my eyes and put myself is a scenario in the actual supply chain where I was acting out that concept. I was so difficult at first but I learned a lot.

      All the best with those who will be taking the exam soon.


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