Preparation for the Supply Management Certification

Randall Mauldin
11-21-11 12:15 PM Comment(s)

Preparing for Supply Management Certification takes time and planning. 


To begin, we need to have a firm understanding of how the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM).

Fortunately, there are several tools which test takers can use in order to prepare themselves for the CPSM exam. 

ISM does not require test takers to complete any preparedness materials or courses, however they are recommended to help review and further grasp the content of the CPSM exam. 

Here are some of the preparedness materials that test takers often use:

  • Participate in CPSM Review Course
  • Utilize various business, supply, and trade publications to get informed on current trends in the supply management industry
  • Review the CPSM study guides or  ISM professional series books
  • Use the CPSM Diagnostic Kit to take practice tests to refresh their knowledge
  • Study the CPSM Supplementary Reading List and certain supply management student textbooks

While there have been plenty of test takers who become CPSM certified studies suggest that practicing and refreshing knowledge before the exam can result in higher finalized scores. 


Keep in mind that the more sources you are able to gain information from the more prepared you will be for the various questions on the exam.


CPSM study guides will not contain the exact questions from the CPSM exam.


Preparation Materials


We are going to take a more in-depth look at some of the preparedness options that examinees have the option to participate in prior to taking their CPSM certification exam.


Participation in CPSM Review courses.


When you participate in review courses you are going to be in a classroom setting discussing the techniques and strategies of supply management professionals with other students. This method of preparation is recommended if you are taking the course with a certified professional who can speak to their experiences in taking the exam and are familiar with all the content.  All information covered in these types of courses should be up to date and they should be packed full of test taking skills and comprehension activities.


Utilizing business, supply and trade publications


Utilizing business, supply and trade publications to study up on new technologies or practices in the supply management community is a great idea. These journal and research articles can help you gain a firm understanding of new practices that you may perhaps otherwise be unaware of.  When relying on information from publications it is important to note the credibility of the author or company providing you with the information.  Mere website content does not count as a publication and can provide you with some misleading information, so it is best to always use credible sources.


Reviewing CPSM study guides


CPSM study guides and preparation materials that have been provided by ISM are perfect methods to help you prepare for the material you will see on a test. These guides will often contain tips on how to study material that will be covered in the test and how to read the questions that you will see on examination day. Some of these study guides will even offer you information on the specific knowledge that you should focus on when studying for CPSM certification. Just as with the website content it is important that whatever study guides you use are from a reputable company that is familiar with the CPSM exam.  Choosing from the many ISM study guides will ensure that you are getting quality information from those who specialize in the CPSM exam.


Utilizing practice tests


It is always recommended, before you enter into the CPSM exam, that you use practice tests to check your understanding. These tests are created using actual questions from previous tests and will use the same skills necessary to succeed in your upcoming exam. Practice tests can help you gauge your preparedness for the exam and pinpoint the supply management components and concepts that you may be struggling in so that you can focus your study time on them.  The best part of taking practice tests is that you can evaluate yourself based on the score of the diagnostic exams.  If you take a practice test and are satisfied with your score then you know you are more than likely going to succeed in the exam. On the same note, if you take a practice test and are not happy with the score then you know you need to work a little harder on understanding the material to be covered.


Supplementary Reading List


The supplementary reading list is a compilation of all the textbooks and literature pieces that contain useful information that could be on the exam.  These texts vary in topic, however they have been cited as containing crucial information that a prepared supply manager will use on the examination.  While some of these texts must be special ordered, there are plenty that you can find online or at your local library.


Regardless of which study method you chose it is in each examinee’s best interest to utilize one method of preparedness. 


Our CPSM Boot Camp is the perfect culmination of several of these preparedness opportunities and seeks to provide you with all the information you will need for the exam in one location.  There is a lot of content and information for the supply management industry, and the CPSM Boot Camp aims to clarify all of it for you.