CQE Exam FAQHey There,
Many of the frequently asked questions about becoming a Certified Quality Engineer or CQE are related to the actual exam.

Check those questions out below! If you have a question abo ut the exam that I haven’t answered, shoot me an email.

What is the CQE exam?

Before you can become certified as a quality engineer, you must pass the CQE Exam that is proctored by ASQ.

The exam is meant to challenge your understanding of the CQE Body of Knowledge.

Is the Exam Timed?

Yes, ASQ gives you approximately 5 hours (300 minutes) to take the exam. That’s a little less than 2 minutes per question, so you’ll have to move quickly!

What’s the CQE exam format?

The test is a 1-part, 160 question multiple choice exam that is only offered in English.

The 160 questions are distributed across the Body of knowledge in the following percentages:

IManagement & Leadership1811%
IIThe Quality System1610%
IIIProduct & Process Design2314%
IVProduct & Process Control2516%
VContinuous Improvement2717%
VIQuantitative Methods & Tools3623%
VIIRisk Management159%

What’s the best way to study for the exam?

I got this question so much, that I created a whole separate page for it!

I call it my CQE Academy 26 Week Study Plan and it’s my personal study strategy to help you get certified.

Are There Any Exam Strategies I Recommend?


I’ve saw someone once recommend a 4-pass strategy for the exam, I tried this myself and it really worked!

The 1st Pass

On the first pass, you spend no more than 30 seconds per question, completing the ones you can, and marking the ones that will require some thought or work for later.

This will eat up the first 80 minutes of the exam and will allow you answer all the “low hanging fruit” questions.

Looking at every exam question may also help jog your memory on an earlier question from the exam.

If you’re well prepared, you should have no problem knocking out 50% of the exam questions in the first pass.

CQE Exam

The 2nd Pass

Then on the 2nd pass, spend no more than 2 minutes answering all the remaining questions that you can easily address by looking up the answer in the study material that you’ve brought to the exam.

Again, skip over any question that you’re unsure of, or that will require a detailed calculation.

If you answer another 25% of the exam questions here, you’ll be 75% of the way done with the test, and will have over 2 hours left to finish the last 25% of the exam.

The 3rd Pass

On the 3rd pass, go through the remaining questions in detail, completing the calculations or looking up answers within your resource material.

This time spend 3 minutes per question, completing the last 25% of the exam.

The 4th Pass

This will leave you an extra 20 minutes to look over the exam (4th pass).

Spend your time double checking your initial answers or perform any remaining calculations before turning in your exam!

How often do they schedule exams?

ASQ traditionally schedule 2 major exam dates each year, once in June and once in December.

Check out the ASQ schedule here which includes upcoming exams along with the exam application deadline.

You may get lucky and find that a special exam has been scheduled in your area at a different point in the year.

Where is the CQE exam held?

ASQ has many local chapters all over the Country that proctor the exam on those June & December dates. I’ve included a link here to find the nearest ASQ Chapter nearest you.

If you’re international, you’ll need to check here to find your international exam location.

Exam Resources to BringCan I bring anything to the exam?

Yes – ASQ has made the exam open book/open notes. That’s how hard the test is! You cannot bring any practice exams in that you’ve completed.

You’re also allowed to bring a non-programmable calculator and other tools (pencils, timer, etc).  I would also recommend bringing a snack to the exam.

After about 3 hours you may find yourself hungry and in need of a boost.

What do you have to do to take the CQE exam?

Before you can take exam, ASQ requires you complete an application process. I’ve created a whole page dedicated to assisting you complete the application process.

I’ve also created a whole page dedicated to frequently asked questions regarding the application & application process.

What is the experience of taking the test like?

The exam day can be stressful. Typically the exam starts at 8am and you’ll have till 1p to finish.

Typically the exam is held in a classroom with a proctor or two.

I would highly recommend bringing snacks, and also plan in a few mental breaks sometime within that 6 hour time period.

Can I retake the exam?

Yes, ASQ will allow you to retake the exam as many time as you like. Hopefully with my help, you never will.

Bonus – The exam fee is reduced for those who are retaking, but be sure to re-take within 2 years of your last attempt or this discount expires!

What about practice exams?

The absolute best way to study for the CQE Exam is to take a practice exam.

While I haven’t created one for you, ASQ has 2 different, free practice exams that you can use; the online, interactive exam, the paper & pencil exam.


I also wanted to include a link to the ASQ FAQ page in case you had additional questions.

The information provided in ASQ’s FAQ page is very general and don’t all necessarily related to the CQE exam.  I did my best to review all this information and filter it for CQE relevance.

 Like I said above, if you have a question that wasn’t covered here, please feel free to contact me!

Also for more information about CQE Academy check out my About page or get started study.

Thanks and good luck!