What can I expect on the day of the exam?

To provide a fair and consistent environment for all candidates, the exam is delivered using standardized procedures and following strict security protocols.

The CESP™ exam is a multiple-choice exam administered during an allotted time of three hours (does not include check-in time).  The exam is currently offered only in English.

The three versions of the exam all have 135 questions. If you have any issues on examination day with the testing experience, please email cesp@apse.org immediately to make them aware of the situation. CESP staff will work with you to ensure you are able to test in a fair and consistent environment.

Required Identification at the Examination Site

Candidates need to provide one (1) valid form of non-expired, government-issued identification, bearing photo and signature. The ID must be in the official language where the testing center is located.

Your first and last name and suffix (Jr., II, Sr.,) on your current, unexpired, government-issued ID must match the first and last name and suffix on your CESP application. Contact cesp@apse.org immediately if it does not.

Candidates are required to follow all exam site rules at all times.

  • While at an examination site, you are considered to be a professional and shall be treated as such. In turn, you must conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. While at the site, you shall not use words or take actions that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or that would denigrate the staff or other candidates.
  • NO conversing or other forms of communication among candidates is permitted once you enter the examination area.
  • All electronic devices used to record, transmit, receive, or playback audio, photographic text, or video content, including but not limited to: cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, Bluetooth devices, wearable technology such as smartwatches, MP3 players, pagers, cameras, and voice recorders will be allowed in the examination center. No personal items are to enter the testing center. All such items should be left in a locked vehicle or in a Testing Center locker, should such be available. It is STRONGLY recommended such items remain safely at home. APSE/ESPCC and are NOT RESPONSIBLE for any personal possession losses occurring at the Testing Center, in a vehicle parked at the Testing Center or on the grounds of the Testing Center.
  • No papers, books, or reference materials may be taken into or removed from the examination room.
  • Person(s) accompanying an examination candidate may not wait in the examination center, inside the building or on the building’s property. This applies to guests of any nature, including drivers, children, friends, family, colleagues or instructors.
  • No smoking, eating, or drinking is allowed in the examination center.
  • During the check-in process, all candidates will be asked if they possess any prohibited items. Candidates may also be asked to empty their pockets and turn them out for the proctor to ensure they are empty. The proctor may also ask candidates to lift up the ends of their sleeves and bottoms of their pant legs to ensure that notes or recording devices are not being hidden there.
  • Proctors will also carefully inspect eyeglass frames, tie tacks, or any other apparel that could be used to harbor a recording device. Proctors will ask to inspect any such items in candidates’ pockets.
  • If prohibited items are found during check-in, candidates shall return these items to their vehicle. PSI will not be responsible for the security of any personal belongings or prohibited items.
  • Any candidates possessing prohibited items in the examination room shall immediately have his or her test results invalidated, and PSI shall notify the examination sponsor of the occurrence.
  • Any candidates seen giving or receiving assistance on an examination, found with unauthorized materials, or who violates any security regulations will be asked to surrender all examination materials and to leave the examination center. All such instances will be reported to the examination sponsor.
  • Copying or communicating examination content is in violation of a candidate’s contract with PSI and the ESPCC, and federal and state law. Either may result in the disqualification of examination results and may lead to legal action.
  • Once candidates have been seated and the examination begins, they may leave the examination room only to use the restroom, and only after obtaining permission from the proctor. Candidate will not receive extra time to complete the examination.

Violation of any of the rules listed above may lead to forfeiture of fees, dismissal from the examination center, and or/cancellation of completed test responses.

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