9 Tips to prepare for the APICS exam!

Certification is always linked to an exam. “How do we prepare for the exam?” is a frequently asked question. Many of the people who are taking these exams have already their studying years behind them for at least a couple of years. The thought of having to go through that again is often frightening, leading to procrastination, making it every week a little more difficult to actually start studying. What can we do to prepare and feel confident about taking the exam? There are several simple tips that will assist you on your path to becoming a certified supply chain professional.


  1. Take the pre-test.  The pre-test is intended for you to take before studying or even attending a single class. This test will tell you which parts of the course will be new to you and which you already have sufficient experience with.
  1. Use the Smart Study Tool. This one is linked to tip nr. 1. Based on the answers you provide in the pre-test, this will generate a personal study schedule for you. This will give you a good idea of how many hours you need to study in order to sit for the exam.
  1. Take some time after each class to go over the course again and, if possible, do some exercises on the subject. APICS participants have access to an extensive online tool that includes flashcards, exercises, and mini-tests. If you go through the treated subjects, you will remember this information for a longer period of time.
  1. Study smart. Use all of your resources – the online tool, the books – and talk to your classmates. Sometimes by discussing an unclear topic, it will stick better with you  after it has been explained to you. You can do this during, before, or after classes, but you can also use the online tool for that. There is a discussion area where even your teacher can weigh in on these conversations.
  1. Use the 'ask the instructor' functionality. The instructor can use this option to check and respond to the participants' questions. It provides the instructor with insights into where some issues are still occurring. If he receives the same type of question repeatedly, it may be beneficial to revisit that subject in the the next class.
  1. Plan a deadline for taking the exam after the classes. This will assist you in persuading yourself to study. Without a deadline, there is a chance that you will continue to procrastinate until you are no longer confident enough to sit for the exam.
  1. Make a weekly schedule for your study time. This way, you'll know when and what to study.
  1. Use the online tool to take the post-test. These tests, of which there are several, will help you determine whether or not you are prepared to take the exam. If you pass those tests, you are ready to take the exam. Consider scheduling your post-test one week before your actual exam. If you plan it the night before, you will not have time to revise some of the less-known chapters.
  1. Don’t stress. This one seems logical, but avoid stress situations on your exam day. If you have a long drive to the test center, make sure you count sufficient time so that even unexpected traffic does not stress you out. Make sure you have your confirmation notice printed out and that you have all of the documents required to take the exam. After that, all you have to do is answer the 150 questions and see how well you did.

Good luck, and the CIMCIL-team will be there to assist you in obtaining your certification!

Author: Jan-Frederik Van Overschée, Manager CIMCIL

Read also: APICS Exam Pass Rates