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Bridge Exam



What is the CPSM Bridge Exam?

The Bridge is a single exam for C.P.M.s in good standing who wish to earn the CPSM designation. The Bridge Exam covers contemporary content and material not covered in the current C.P.M. Exam. It is comprised of 180 questions (all scored) and candidates will be allowed three (3) hours to test.

A Bachelorsí degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years of full-time professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) supply management experience are also required to bridge to the CPSM.

Who is eligible to take the Bridge Exam?

C.P.M.s in good standing are eligible to take the Bridge Exam. A Bachelorsí degree from a regionally accredited institution and three years of full-time professional (nonclerical, nonsupport) supply management experience are also required to bridge to the CPSM. The individual must be in good standing at the time of Exam registration, the time of testing and when they apply for the designation.

How do I know if I am a C.P.M. "in good standing"?

You are a C.P.M. "in good standing" if your certification is current at the time you submit both your registration for the Bridge exam and your application for the CPSM Qualification. If your C.P.M. has expired, even if you are within your one-year grace period, your C.P.M. is NOT in good standing.

Lifetime C.P.M.s are always considered in good standing because their certification never expires.

To check your C.P.M. status: http://www.ism.ws/certification/CPMSearch.cfm?navItemNumber=15543

What knowledge will the Bridge Exam test?

Section Name

# of Tasks

# of Questions










Social Responsibility






Supplier Relationship Management









Materials & Inventory Management



Organization/Department Assessment






Product Development



Project Management









Risk and Compliance



Strategic Sourcing




Total Tasks:

Total Questions:

What kinds of study materials are available for CPSM Bridge Exam preparation?

ISM has developed the CPSM Study Guide and the ISM Professional Series (a 3-volume series of books supporting the content) to help you prepare for the CPSM Exam.

In addition, ISM has compiled a CPSM Supplemental Reading List to help candidates prepare for their exams. The books on the list have been chosen because of their focus on the expanded components of supply management. More books may be added to this list as they are identified, this list is maintained on the web.

Additional support materials such as the ISM Supply Management Handbook, the ISM Glossary of Supply Management Terms are available.

How do I register for CPSM Bridge Exam? How do I know where the closest test center is located?

You must contact ISM to register for an exam:

Register Online
Phone: 800/888-6276, or 480-752-6276, extension. 401
Fax: 480/752-2299

Attn: Customer Service
PO Box 22160
Tempe, AZ 85285-2160

Special Courier:
Attn: Customer Service
2055 E. Centennial Circle
Tempe, AZ 85284

Your exam registration is valid for one year from the day ISM processes your registration. Payment is required in advance.

All our computer testing is done at Pearson VUE Testing Centers and can be scheduled at your convenience.

Examination fees are $180 per exam for ISM members and $265 per exam for nonmembers.

Within 24 hours of processing your registration, you will receive a confirmation letter from ISM with instructions on how to schedule an exam and locate a test center on Pearson VUE's Web site: http://pearsonvue.com/ism/

An alternative to Pearson VUE is onsite testing:

How do I reschedule or cancel an existing appointment?

To reschedule or cancel your test appointment, you must contact Pearson VUE at least 24-hours prior to the scheduled local testing time. For example, an 8:30am appointment on Monday must be rescheduled by 8:30am on Sunday (all times are local). If you do not reschedule or cancel your appointment in time, all funds are forfeited.

To reschedule or cancel, please visit www.pearsonvue.com/ism and select the appropriate link.

Please DO NOT call your local Pearson VUE test center to make appointments or cancel/reschedule appointments.

What kind of identification (I.D.) will I need in order to test?

For your exam, you must to bring one valid photo I.D. with signature that reflects the name on your exam registration.

Your I.D. MUST be one of the following:

Driver's License*


Military I.D.*

Official State, Government, or National I.D.

Employee I.D.

Student I.D.

Photo credit card

No other forms of I.D. will be accepted.

*Driverís License, Passport and Military IDs that have a digital signature encoded will only be accepted as valid ID if accompanied by another valid ID with signature.

Note: on the day of your exam, if you are unable to produce a valid I.D. matching the name in ISMís database, you will not be allowed to test and all registration fees will be forfeited.

Note: Pearson VUE uses biometrics in all test centers. Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physical characteristic and are primarily used to combat identity fraud. One such method involves the examinee placing a finger on a scanner, which results in an electronic fingerprint.

Can I bring a calculator to the exam?

You may not bring a calculator into the exam room. Instead, there is an on-screen calculator for your use.

What else should I know about taking my exam at a Pearson VUE Test Center?

Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will be considered a non-refundable "no show."

You will be required to leave all personal belongings in a locker. This includes bags, pagers, watches, wallets, notes, books or other materials not authorized for this exam. Items such as a cell phone, BlackBerry, or PDA are also prohibited.

An erasable noteboard and pen will be provided for the exam. They will be collected at the end of the test.

Wear comfortable, layered clothing. Test center temperatures vary.

How are the Exams scored? What is passing?

Each candidate must pass with a minimum scaled score of 400 regardless of the number of questions in that Exam. ISM maintains multiple versions, or forms, of the exam. While the content of the exam remains constant, the actual questions used in the exam will change. Different forms of the exam use different questions, the level of difficulty will vary slightly from test to test. To compensate for these variations, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to account for differences in test difficulty. The passing score is not calculated based upon percentages.

For example, let's suppose we have two test forms of an exam ó Test A and Test B. Now suppose it is established that in order to pass Test A, a person must answer 32 out of 60 questions correct. Furthermore, suppose that Test B is somewhat easier than Test A. To compensate for this difference, the passing score for Test B is adjusted to prevent any "bonus" being given to the candidates taking Test B. Thus, it may be established that a candidate must get a score of 34 out of 60 on Test B in order to pass. This is test equating. It holds candidates to the same standard in terms of difficulty, regardless of which version is taken.

Due to this method of equating the percentage of correct answers varies from exam to exam. Then, to maintain consistency in scoring, a second statistical procedure called scaling is used. Scaling converts all scores to a scale ranging from 100 to 600 with a passing score set at 400. Thus, the scores you receive from ISM are actually scaled scores. If the scaled score on any particular Exam ranges from 100 to 390, this means you failed that Exam. If the scaled score is in the range of 400 to 600, you passed that Exam.

What do I do if I fail an Exam?

It is not at all uncommon for candidates to fail an Exam. The average pass rate for the CPSM is 65-70%. You should use the score report that you receive from the test center to re-focus your study effort in any task area(s) where you did not answer approximately 75% of the questions correctly. This will most likely entail obtaining additional reference material to supplement those task areas.

In order to re-test, you will again need to register with ISM and pay the appropriate member or non-member fee. There is no discount on re-tests.

ISM has a 30-day retake policy for the CPSM Exams. If you are unsuccessful on an Exam you MUST wait 30 days before you are eligible to re-take that specific Exam.

How can I take CPSM Exams at my company or affiliate?

ISM offers companies onsite testing of the CPSM Exams. Currently these exams are only available via paper and pencil testing format. To request more information regarding on-site testing please contact a member of the ISM Sales team for more details. Kathy Braase at kbraase@ism.ws or Patricia True at ttrue@ism.ws .

Who can proctor the CPSM Onsite Exams?

How do I apply for the CPSM?

Once you have passed the Exam you will need to apply for certification. You can obtain the appropriate application in the Certification Forms section on our Web site. Complete and sign the application, attach the required backup documentation and mail the application along with the appropriate member or non-member fee. ISM recommends that you maintain a copy of the entire application. ISM will accept either your original Exam score reports or copies of them. If you do submit copies of your score reports we ask that you maintain the originals in a safe place.

All documentation must be submitted in English and ISM will NOT accept incomplete applications nor will ISM put an application on-hold, pending an exam score or work experience letter.

I already have my C.P.M. and have passed the Bridge Exam, what documentation do I need to submit?

As a C.P.M., you will not need to re-submit your work experience because ISM already has it on file.

Everyone will need to submit a copy of their Bachelorís Degree ó either a photo copy of the diploma or a transcript that shows completion.

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