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Study Materials and Methods for the C.P.M. Exam

Because candidate backgrounds vary significantly, we recommend a course of study and the specific use of materials which are pertinent to the C.P.M. Exam. ISM offers various materials to help you in this effort:

C.P.M. Study Guide

The C.P.M. Study Guide is a detailed outline to coordinate your study. It is highly recommended and one of our top selling publications. It offers a general overview of the exam, information on test specifications, examples of the testing format and question styles and recommendations for further study. The Guide covers all modules of the exam and is designed to compliment additional study materials.

We suggest a detailed reading of the Guide in conjunction with your preparation to gain a better understanding of the exam parameters. A thorough reading also aids your understanding of the relationships between various high-level concepts and processes. Cross-reference the Study Guide with ISM's Exam Self-Study Workbook Courses, ISM's Knowledge Series and Diagnostic Practice Exam in order to gain a deep knowledge base of numerous concepts.

Item #1002
USD $59/ISM members USD$39

C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam

The C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam Volumes I and II on CD Rom, disk and in print, help you both determine your strengths and weaknesses through immediate feedback and offer insight as to how the questions are worded on the exam. The CD Rom and disk formats are similar to what you will find on the computer version of the exam and the program calculates your score. As an added bonus, the CD Rom version also comes with a C.P.M. Bibliographic Reference Key for each answer.


Use the Diagnostic Practice Exam is to assess your strengths and weaknesses. First, take the diagnostic test to see what you actually know. Focus your study efforts on areas where you score less than 75%. Make careful notes, then cross reference your findings using the C.P.M. Study Guide, The ISM Knowledge Series and additional reference material such as the Supply Management Handbook. Use these materials to look-up answers to questions you missed on the diagnostic. This method prepares you to answer questions that may be worded in an unfamiliar way.


See C.P.M. Study Materials for Item #'s

Buy 1module USD $50/ISM members USD $35
Buy 2 modules USD $75/ISM members USD $60
Buy 3 modules USD $90/ISM members USD $75
Buy 4 modules USD $105/ISM members USD $90

ISM's Exam Self-Study Workbook Courses (2004 edition) are another excellent resource. These hard-copy versions of the C.P.M. online review courses are constructed according to exam specifications, each covering a specific module. The courses include details on the C.P.M. Exam, resource articles, practical exercises and a post-test to evaluate your progress.

The Workbooks also help candidates concentrate their study efforts through practical exercise. The purpose is to not only help candidates choose correct answers, but to aid in the understanding of each concept. Use the Workbooks in conjunction with the C.P.M. Study Guide and Knowledge Series to fully prepare for the exam.

Item #5007 — Module 1
Item #5008 — Module 2
Item #5009 — Module 3
Item #5010 — Module 4
Each module is USD $199/ISM members USD $159

Buy all four modules and save more than 20%
USD $629/ISM members USD $499

ISM Knowledge Series

The ISM Knowledge Series is a comprehensive four-book series that supports the content of the C.P.M. Exam. It is an essential resource for every supply management professional and organizational reference library. Recommended as a cross-referencing tool for C.P.M. Exam preparation, the Series is most useful when used in conjunction with the C.P.M. Study Guide and Diagnostic Practice Exam.

The Supply Management Process-Volume I
Alan R. Raedels
The Supply Management Process, which corresponds directly to Module 1 of the C.P.M. Exam, centers on the fundamentals of the purchasing and the supply management field. This text reviews the critical elements of the requisition process, cost analysis and management, sourcing and supplier evaluation, the competitive bidding process, legal issues and sample contract terms and conditions. Each chapter concludes with a summary of key points as well as review questions. This volume is a must for those learning the building blocks of supply management.

The Supply Management Environment-Volume II
Stanley E. Fawcett
The Supply Management Environment, which corresponds directly to Module 2 of the C.P.M. Exam, focuses on the strategic importance of purchasing and the effect today's rapidly changing environment has on the profession. It details on the impact of globalization, time compression, E-business, resource planning systems and trends which are transforming purchasing strategies. The text addresses some of today's most critical supply management issues and is a vital resource for professionals at every level.

Supply Management for Value Enhancement-Volume III
Lisa M. Ellram & Thomas Y. Choi
Supply Management for Value Enhancement, which corresponds directly to Module 3 of the C.P.M. Exam, emphasizes the variety of ways supply management adds value to the organization. This text covers all aspects of value enhancement, well beyond basic cost saving measures. It focuses on the critical issues involved with outsourcing/privatization, inventory management, cost avoidance/cost reduction programs, forecasting, hazardous materials management, JIT inventory systems, lease-buy, net present value analysis and the development of strategies based upon long and short term market forecasts.

The Supply Management Leadership Process-Volume IV
Anna E. Flynn & Samuel D. Farney
Solid management and visionary leadership are critical to the success of purchasing. The Supply Management Leadership Process, which corresponds directly to Module 4 of the C.P.M. Exam, underscores the importance of strategic planning, applying key theories of motivation, major issues in selection, recruitment, retention and continuing education of purchasing personnel. The text is a valuable resource for emerging leaders in supply management. Each chapter includes a summary of key points and review questions.

See C.P.M. Study Materials for Item #'s

USD $85/ISM members USD $65 each book

Four Volume Set
USD $280/ISM members USD $200

The C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam, C.P.M. Study Guide, Exam Self-Study Workbook Courses and the ISM Knowledge Series are several of the most requested materials used for the preparation of the C.P.M. exam. When used together, they not only build an understanding of the concepts, but of the applications as well. Remember, the C.P.M. Exam tests your knowledge base and understanding about supply management principles, not specific facts about supply management. Don't get hung up on the details — make sure you understand the underlying fundamentals.

Articles for C.P.M. Exam Preparation (2003 Edition) is an excellent study aid and job reference tool. The text includes articles on complex supply management issues which will aid in your understanding of various concepts within the C.P.M. Exam. The 2003 version also includes retired questions from previous versions of the exam to demonstrate the types of questions you may encounter. Use the Articles to cross reference concepts with the Exam Self-Study Workbooks, ISM Knowledge Series and C.P.M. Study Guide as you work through the diagnostic process.

Item #10052
USD $47/ISM members USD $27

The Supply Management Handbook

The Supply Management Handbook has been greatly expanded to include all of supply management. The book addresses every essential issue from outsourcing to total cost of ownership to negotiations and contract management. Written by an international team of supply management experts, the handbook offers the authoritative, practical coverage you need to survive and thrive in today's ever-changing supply management world.

The handbook takes a look forward to see the field of tomorrow and where opportunities for the profession will lie. It also offers ISM's scan of the profession, from "buying" to "purchasing and supply"; discussions from leading consulting firms as to their observations of the strategic direction of the profession and a study by the A.T. Kearney Center for Strategic Supply Leadership which focuses on the profession's future leadership.

Item #4
USD $129/ISM members USD $124

ISM Glossary of Key Supply Management Terms (4th Edition)

The updated ISM Glossary of Key Supply Management Terms is a valuable reference tool for supply professionals, academics, researchers and students. The new fourth edition includes information from all components of supply. From logistics to procurement, warehousing to product service development, the glossary provides supply professionals with both an improved terminology and a greater understanding of various supply processes across the entire supply chain.

Item #GL2
USD $50/ISM members USD $30

ISM Online Review Courses offer another method for exam preparation. These courses supplement other exam preparation activities and are organized by job analysis tasks that correspond with C.P.M. Exam content. There is easy access to many sample questions with answer rationales in the "Q&A" section, as well as the ability to post questions to a Content Discussion Forum. These courses are a review of the material covered on the exam, but should not be considered comprehensive educational programs. To register for Online Review Courses, go to: Some ISM affiliates also offer face-to-face review classes. You can locate your closest affiliate using the following link:

We also suggest other resources such as a college or professional text book. To see the complete selection, go to Several of the most recommended books are:

  1. Purchasing and Supply Chain Management (3rd Edition), by Monczka, Trent and Handfield

  2. World Class Supply Management: The Key to Supply Chain Management (7th Edition), by Dobler, Burt and Starling

  3. Purchasing & Supply Management (12th Edition), by Leenders, Fearon and Johnson

A Free Informational Handout which outlines numerous study tips and suggestions for success on the C.P.M. Exam is also available. Dr. Michael McGinnis. C.P.M., provides a numbered step-by-step process on how to determine one's strengths and weaknesses in his/her own knowledge base as well as a step-by-step process on how to fill in the gaps of knowledge one may be lacking. Additionally, Dr. McGinnis provides tips on how to improve your test-taking skills as well as stress reducing techniques to relieve any test-taking anxiety you may feel. Download a PDF version of the handout.

The C.P.M. Exam Process — When you feel you're ready, register for the C.P.M. Exam with ISM. You can register in a number of ways:

  1. Register Online — This is the fastest way to register. Complete an online registration form and submit your credit card information. It's quick, simple and takes only a few minutes.

  2. Register by Telephone — Call 800/888-6276, or 480/752-6276, extension 401 and speak to a Customer Service representative. Please have your credit card number ready.

  3. Register by Fax — Transmit completed Exam Registration form, found in the online C.P.M. Exam Registration Brochure, with credit card information to: 480/752-2299.

  4. Register by Mail — Mail a completed Exam Registration form, found in the online C.P.M. Exam Registration Brochure, with credit card information to: ISM Exam Registration, P.O. Box 22160, Tempe, AZ 85285-2160.

  5. Register by Special Courier — Send a completed Exam Registration form, found in the online C.P.M. Exam Registration Brochure, with credit card information to: ISM, Attn: Customer Service, 2055 E. Centennial Circle, Tempe, AZ 85284

Next, register with Prometric Testing Centers to take the exam. Prometric is a leading provider of technology-based solutions for testing and certification, administers computer exam testing for the C.P.M. To see a list of test centers near you, visit Prometric at and select "Locate a Test Center."

How many questions are on the C.P.M. Exam? There are 95 questions for Modules 1, 2 and 3 — (Ninety questions are used to determine the candidate's score. The other five are test questions used by ISM to develop future exams.) Module 4 has 120 questions — (110 are used to determine the candidate's score. The other ten are test questions used by ISM to develop future exams.)

How much time do I have to complete each module? You will have 105 minutes to complete each of Modules 1, 2 and 3. You will have 130 minutes to complete Module 4.

If you do not pass the exam — It is not at all uncommon for candidates to fail a module or two of the Exam. The average pass rate for the modules is between 65-70%. If you are not successful in passing a module, ISM recommends that you wait at least 30 days before you retest that module.

You should use the score report that you receive from the test center to re-focus your study efforts in any task area(s) where you did not answer approximately 75% of the questions correctly. Remember, cross-referencing the above mentioned C.P.M. subject matter with the C.P.M. Diagnostic Practice Exam has proven to be one of the most effective ways to prepare for the exam. This method builds a complete understanding of concepts which have proven to be your weakest.

Testing Locations — All computer testing is done at Prometric Testing Centers and can be scheduled at your convenience. Currently there are nearly 250 domestic and more than 800 international locations. Domestic examination fees are USD $130 per module for ISM members while international fees for members are USD $175 per module. Domestic fees for nonmembers are USD $190 per module while international fees for nonmembers are USD $230.

Prices are for one exam administration. For example, if you pay $130 for Module 1 and then fail that module — in order to retake it, you would pay $130 again. Payment is required at time of registration. Once registered you will receive a confirmation letter from ISM with instructions on how to schedule an exam and locate a test center on Prometric's Web site:

After you have completed eligibility requirements and passed all four modules of the C.P.M. Exam, you may apply for C.P.M. Original Certification. Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure all requirements have been completed.

C.P.M. Original Certification Requirements — Applicants for C.P.M. certification must pass all four modules of the C.P.M. Exam. In addition, applicants must (a) have five years of full-time professional (non-clerical, non-support) supply management experience, or (b) have a four-year degree from an accredited institution and three years of full-time professional supply management experience. C.P.M. Original and Original Lifetime Certification applications are available on the ISM Web site. Go to

C.P.M. Recertification Requirements — Individuals who have earned their C.P.M. designation are required to be recertified every five (5) years. To be recertified, you must earn a total of 84 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) during your current certificate period. At least two-thirds of the hours must be educational in nature. One-third may be earned by contributions to the profession. C.P.M. Recertification applications are available on the ISM Web site. Go to

C.P.M. Original Lifetime Certification Requirements — In addition to the above certification requirements, those applying for Original Lifetime certification must document at least 18 years of full-time professional supply management experience. C.P.M. Original and Original Lifetime Certification applications are available on the ISM Web site. Go to

C.P.M. Lifetime Recertification Requirements — In addition to the recertification requirements, those applying for Lifetime Certification must document at least 18 years of full-time professional (non-clerical, non-support) supply management experience. C.P.M.s meeting Lifetime certification criteria in a current certificate period must earn CEHs through the year in which they meet the requirements for Lifetime certification, regardless of when they apply for the designation. In addition, applicants for Lifetime certification should apply as soon as they are eligible. C.P.M. Lifetime Recertification applications are available on the ISM Web site. Go to

  • Applications for your C.P.M. designation (Original Certification or Recertification) must be complete and all documentation must be submitted in English.

  • Candidates for recertification need to apply within the four-month (120 days) period prior to their current C.P.M. expiration.

  • Issue and expiration dates appear in the lower left corner of the certificate issued by ISM. If in doubt, contact ISM Certification for verification.

ISM may send a reminder to those with the C.P.M. designation regarding recertification, however, the responsibility lies with the individual to know when their certification expires and what steps must be taken in order to recertify.

CEH Categories — CEHs may be earned in the following categories:

  1. College Courses (completed or taught)

  2. Continuing Education (completed or taught)

  3. Contributions to the Profession

  4. C.P.M. Examination (Modules 3 and 4 only)

Documentation of Work Experience — ISM does not allow candidates to self-validate their work experience. You will be required to provide documentation in the form of a letter on letterhead from your current and/or previous employers stating your applicable job titles, the months and years you held each title (from and to) and responsibilities of each job title. This should be written by either your supervisor or an HR representative. ISM will not give you credit for work experience listed on the application unless we receive adequate backup documentation.

ISM has created sample work experience letters that are available on our Web site using the following link: For companies that are no longer in business, we will allow you to have this work experience documented by either a co-worker, subordinate, or even a supplier provided they can provide the requested details about your position(s). The sample letters do cover unique circumstances. If your work experience was gained in the military, ISM will accept a copy of your DD-214 as documentation of work experience.

How do I stay current on certification information? ISM created Supply Line 2055: Certification Update to keep you informed. Supply Line provides information on ISM's certification programs, updates on educational opportunities that can be applied toward recertification and related articles on various certification topics. You can subscribe to this quarterly email update using the following link:

Additional information:

For detailed information on certification eligibility, go to

For examination specifications, go to

For an overview of the distribution of questions within the C.P.M. Exam, go to

For detailed certification requirements, go to

For an overview of C.P.M. Exam preparation materials, go to

For additional exam preparation suggestions, go to

For all other questions, contact ISM Certification at, or call 800/888-6276, extension 3074.

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