CIPM Exam Formats and Topic Weights

Study Session Outlines

Get an overview of the current readings and topics covered for each exam level:

CIPM Principles Exam

The Principles exam emphasizes the conceptual foundations of performance measurement, attribution, and appraisal. 

  • Format: 100 multiple choice questions; each question has three answer options
  • Time: Three hours (180 minutes)
  • Formulas: You need to know and be able to apply all formulas that are contained in the Principles curriculum. (No formulas will be provided on the computer screen during the exam.)
  • Examples of Principles exam questions (PDF)

CIPM Expert Exam

The Expert exam emphasizes performance evaluation and presentation, including application of the appropriate tools and inputs in more complex situations and the GIPS Standards.

  • Format: 80 item set questions (20 scenarios followed by four multiple choice questions each); each question has three answer options
  • Time: Three hours (180 minutes)
  • Examples of Expert exam questions (PDF)

2016 Topic Area Weights

Major Topic Area Principles Level Expert Level
Performance Measurement
30% 10%
Performance Attribution 25% 15%
Performance Appraisal and Manager Selection
20% 40%
Ethical Standards
15% 15%
Performance Presentation and GIPS Standards 10% 20%
Total 100% 100%

Note: These weights serve as a high level guide for the curriculum and exam development processes. Actual exam weights may vary slightly from year to year. Please note that some topics are combined for testing purposes.