CPIM: What are the Most Frequently Asked Questions that we receive during our classes?

During the preparation and examination process for the APICS CPIM exam, you will  acquire a wide range of general knowledge, skills and 'best practices' that will allow you to  apply, monitor and possibly improve certain processes within your organisation. In order to be well prepared and to help you during the studying process of the CPIM exam, we have listed the most frequently asked questions that we have received from  our students. Here we go:

1.  How can the CPIM learning system benefit my career and is it worth the price?

Yes, we regularly receive feedback from our students that obtaining a CPIM certificate is definitely worth it. The certification is a demonstrated commitment to advance in your career and improve your company’s operations. For example, someone with a certificate has a 65% higher chance of being recruited and on average, graduates see an increase in their salary of 25%. The CPIM training offers a general approach in terms of concepts, tools, terminology and techniques, ranging from long-term planning to the delivery of the products. The course is helpful for everybody who wants to start a career in supply chain.

2.  Are the APICS CPIM bundles (parts 1 and 2) sufficient to boost your career and/or are there other courses we can follow as well?

CPIM part 1 and part 2 are certainly already a good basis within supply chain, but you can also follow the CLTD, CSCP and SCOR courses.

The APICS CLTD (Certified in Logistics, Transportation & Distribution) training program meets the needs of professionals and employers by reducing the pitfalls in the industry related to transport and distribution by helping employers to develop their staff. It provides insight in your supply chain by analyzing different transportation methods and logistics network designs.

With the APICS CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) training program, the focus is mostly on the interaction with external supply chain partners, highlighting all the stages of the supply chain from the supplier to the final customer.

As far as the SCOR (Suppy Chain Operations Reference) model is concerned, this course will teach you how to improve your supply chain performance by linking business processes, performance techniques, working methods and human skills into one uniform structure.

3.  Are there any apps which I can use to prepare for the exam and how helpful are they?

While here are plenty of useful apps, there is only one official APICS app! This app is called the APICS Dictionary and it is free. The other unofficial apps contain many practice questions and tests but you have the risk that the content is not up-to-date.

4.  What other tools can I use to prepare for the CPIM exam?

Besides using  the dictionary app and the textbooks, you also have the APICS online study tool. This tool comes free with the purchase of the course.(note: this tool is only valid for 1 year).  It contains a pre-test, as well as several post-tests to see if you are ready for the exam. In addition, the Smart Study Tool gives you an accurate idea of how much time you need to study for each topic.

The best way to prepare is to study several hours per day, using a combination of the APICS dictionary, the apps and the online tests. 

For more tips on how to prepare for the exam click here. 

5. How is the CPIM exam structured and what type of questions will we receive?

You can be sure that there will be questions from each chapter. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and you get 3 hours to take the exam.  Always try to give an answer because there are no penalties for wrong answers. This doesn’t mean you can pass the exam by guessing all the questions. APICS has several questions on the same topic in the exam. By doing this they are checking the consistency of your answering pattern.

6. Is it important to learn the abbreviations of certain supply chain terms by heart?

Yes, the questions regularly include abbreviations of typical supply chain terms. You can always consult the APICS Dictionary app for help.

7. What are the success rates of the CPIM APICS exam?

If we look at the figures of 2019 for the CIMCIL students: For the CPIM Part 1 module (BSCM) we achieved a success rate of no less than 92%, which is 13 % more than the average worldwide.  For CPIM Part 2 (SMR, MPR, DSP, ECO) the success rate of CIMCIL was 78%. With this score, CIMCIL students are again 17% above the global average.

8. How much time do you need to prepare for the CPIM part 1 exam?

Again, this depends on the individual, but count on 2 to 4 months to fully master the course. 

9.  What exactly is CPIM part 2 about and is it more difficult than part 1?

The CPIM part 2 is not necessarily more difficult than the CPIM part 1, but certain topics are more detailed.  This course  is divided into 4 modules:

Module 1 Strategic Management of Resources (SMR): The SMR module is the basis of the CPIM program. It includes higher-level thinking on strategic planning and ways to embed this into your operations.

Module 2 Master Planning of Resources (MPR): The MPR module is one of the core competencies modules of the CPIM program. The module includes concepts such as transforming sales, marketing and business requirements into a feasible 'operations plan' in various environments.

Module 3 Detailed Scheduling and Planning (DSP): This module focuses on the various techniques for material and capacity scheduling. It includes detailed descriptions of Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP), Inventory Management practices, procurement and supplier planning.

Module 4 Execution and Control of Operations (ECO): ECO focuses on three main areas: execution of operational plans and schedules, control of the release of work to the operational area assigned and setting up efficient and qualitative processes.

For more information about the APICS CPIM course, please click here.