Preparing for the Exam

CAP and aCAP certifications independently verify an individual’s superior knowledge of the entire analytics process. As such, all certificants must first take and pass a 100-question, multiple-choice exam designed to test professional fluency with data projects and related concepts. Though the passing score for each version of the CAP examination is computed separately, it typically hovers around 70%. More information regarding exam content and resources for exam preparation are available below.

What is the CAP exam based on?

The Certified Analytics Professional examination is based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA) developed and validated by subject matter experts and practitioners and which serves as the blueprint. For the content of the CAP program, there are seven areas of responsibility: business problem framing, analytics problem framing, data, methodology selection, model building, deployment, and lifecycle management. See the Analytics Job Task Analysis (JTA).

How can I best prepare for the CAP exam?

Because the exam is based on analytics practice, there are no required courses. There is an optional CAP Prep class offered by INFORMS Professional Development. You can use our Exam Resources page for materials to help you study for the exam. These include the Analytics Job Task Analysis (JTA), a free Study Guide, and the Candidate and Associate Candidate Handbooks which have sample questions and list several reference books that may be useful in your preparation.

Downloadable Resources

Are you planning to take the Certified Analytics Professional exam and earn your CAP? Click on the button below to access free resources are available to help you prepare. In addition to these materials, INFORMS offers CAP Prep Online and CAP Prep Boot Camp courses to help boost your comfort with exam material before test day.

View Resources

Take a Sample Test

Although sample test questions will not appear on any actual CAP examination, they are intended to inform you of the types of questions that will be on the exam. Click below to access the sample test.

Take the Sample Test

CAP Prep Classes

The INFORMS CAP Preparation Course, or CAP Prep for short, is a class created by INFORMS Professional Development to help candidates prepare to take the CAP exam. It is an instructor-led online training, providing busy professionals with a flexible and affordable option to prepare for the next step in their career. We recognize that everyone has different learning styles. Some prefer the flexibility of the four-week, instructor-led online course. Others may prefer something more condensed with a shorter time commitment. CAP Prep is not required for obtaining your certification and taking a CAP Prep course does not guarantee that you will receive your certification, it is an available and optional tool like any other resource.

The CAP Prep and CAP Prep Premium course options run for four weeks and each week students participate in three, one-hour webinars. Each webinar is recorded and available in the online classroom for review as needed. The Premium option of the class provides participants with additional support to help them prepare for the CAP exam. Premium participants receive an electronic version of the INFORMS Analytics Body of Knowledge (ABOK), access to set “office hours” with their instructor, and learning boosters designed to help retain information learned in each module.

For those who would rather spend three half days focused on preparing for the CAP exam, INFORMS offers an intensive CAP Prep Boot Camp. This boot camp is a synchronous, instructor-led that covers the same content as the CAP Prep course, simply in a more concise format.

Learn more about CAP Prep Register for a CAP Prep class

Upcoming Classes

CAP Prep Course - Online

Oct. 29–Nov. 26

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CAP Prep Premium Course - Online

Oct. 29–Nov. 26

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Frequently Asked Questions


Preparing for the Exam

What is the examination based on?

The examination is based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA) developed and validated by subject matter experts and practitioners and which serves as the blueprint for the content of the CAP program. There are seven areas of responsibility: business problem framing, analytics problem framing, data, methodology selection, model building, deployment and lifecycle management. See the Analytics Job Task Analysis (JTA).

Are there sample questions?

Yes. In the Candidate Handbook there are 24 sample questions with rationale for both the correct and incorrect answers. These questions will not appear on any actual CAP examination; they are intended to inform you of the type of questions you will find on the exam. They should not be used as a self-assessment; performance on these questions does not indicate performance on the exam.

Is the exam open book?

No. No books or notes of any kind may be used for the exam.

Do I have to know a programming language?

No. The exam is software and vendor neutral and assesses only the analytics process contained in the job/task analysis.


Taking the Exam

Where and when is the examination offered?

The certification exam is offered on a continual basis at computer-based testing centers throughout the world, online via an online-proctored experience.

How do I schedule the exam?

To schedule the computer based exam:

  1. Apply and get approved.
  2. Pay for the exam using the payment link in the Prolydian page.
  3. You will receive an email instructing you how to log in to our testing partner Kryterion's Webassessor system.
  4. Schedule the exam at a convenient time for you.
How many questions are on the examination?

There are 100 four-option, multiple-choice questions on the exam.

What's the passing score?

INFORMS uses a criterion-referenced methodology for determining the passing score for its examinations. There is no grading on a “curve,” and candidates are not competing with each other. The specific methodology used is the modified Angoff technique, which relies on the judgments of SMEs to determine an acceptable level of knowledge, skill, and ability in analytics.

INFORMS may at times include pretest items in some examination forms. These items are used for developing future examinations and, accordingly, are not scored and have no impact on a candidate’s pass/fail status.

Each candidate will receive an official digital score report immediately after completing the exam. This will be the only official score report provided.

Examination scores are confidential. INFORMS will not disclose examination scores to anyone unless INFORMS is required by court order or subpoena. Unless otherwise requested, INFORMS will publish the names of all individuals who have passed the examination and who maintain current certification status

Do I have to pass each knowledge area?

Pass/fail decisions are based on the total score only.

How many times can I take the examination?

Unsuccessful candidates can retake the examination up to two (2) additional times during the first year following the approval of their application. Candidates who take the examination a second or third time will be expected to pay the reexamination fee cited in the fee section of the Candidate Handbook.