Passing a Certification Exam: Advice from Jill Hays, CSCP, CPIM, CLTD

Passing a Certification Exam:

Advice from Jill Hays, CSCP, CPIM, CLTD


Are you ready to take your APICS certification exam? Are you looking for advice to ensure a passing grade? Jill Hays, CSCP, CPIM, CLTD, current President of APICS Greater Detroit Chapter, shares below her advice on passing certification exams.

I’ve passed the exams for CPIM, CSCP and CLTD, and was a Beta Tester for the SCPRO exam. (yes, I passed that one, but I’m not 100% sure about how Beta testing is measured vs when the exams are fully rolled out…)

CPIM was 5 exams (it’s condensed to 2 now), so if you add them all up, this is 8 major exams. All taken at an official testing center. Yes, I was nervous. That last moment in time, when you are waiting for the results of the test – killer on the nerves!!!!

I was fortunate when I began my journey for my CPIM certification (did I mention there were FIVE exams?!) to get some great advice about studying and taking the exam shared below.

  1. First and foremost, be intentional. When you decide to take this on, have goals set. For example, when I sign up for the class to prep for the certification exam, I have an exam date already set in my calendar as well. This keeps me from procrastinating. (I am a world class contender in procrastination!)
  2. Know how you learn best! For me, taking the certification course, using all of the tools such as the various practice quizzes and exams, and writing things down are all part of my learning process.
  3. Plan to NOT study the day before the exam. Your brain needs time to process all the data and put it in “the right files.”
  4. Plan a great breakfast with all 6 food groups. Ok, 5 food groups. (I consider caffeine to be my 6th food group).
  5. Don’t ignore the online tools! BE SURE you use the practice quizzes and exams in the online tools AND in the books! (Every person I’ve ever talked to that did not pass the first time did not use the online tools and pretty much ignored the practice quizzes and exams.)
  6. When looking at the certification prep courses, be honest with yourself. There is a self study option, a concentrated course and a comprehensive course. All of which can be used successfully… but it all boils down to how the person learns and what support they need to study. I did self study for one of my exams, it was a lot harder for me personally than if I had a class with it.
At APICS Greater Detroit we support local supply chain professionals and are here to help you advance in your career! Please reach out to us at if you have questions or would like to learn more about how we can help you.

Looking to advance your career, earn more, and help your company grow?

Check out our upcoming globally recognized certification classes below!
  • CLTD (Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution) starting on January 11th. CLTD helps participants demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a broad range of supply chain logistics topics, setting them apart from peers. Elevate awareness, professionalism, and knowledge/skills of Logistics, Transportation & Distribution practitioners with a CLTD certification.
  • CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) – starting on January 22nd. CSCP is the most sought-after certification by supply chain professionals around the globe seeking to achieve mastery and recognition in their field.
  • CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) – starting on January 18th. The perfect certification for production and inventory management personnel. CPIM provides you with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations.

APICS Greater Detroit chapter members receive discounts on all certification classes – click here to join today. We look forward to helping you in your career!

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