ASQ® CQIA [Aug 2020] How to Pass Your Certified Quality Improvement Associate Exam?

The Certified Quality Improvement Associate (ASQ CQIA) has a basic knowledge of quality tools and their uses and is involved in quality improvement projects, but doesn't necessarily come from a traditional quality area.

This post is based on 2020 Body of Knowledge for the CQIA exam, which is effective from August 2020.

The Certified Quality Improvement Associate (ASQ CQIA) must have two years of work experience, or an associate degree or two years of equivalent higher education.

The exam consists of 110 questions, and out of these only 100 questions are evaluated for scoring.


Before applying for the ASQ CQIA certification you might want to do is to check if you qualify to appear in this exam.

You need to have a minimum of ​2 years of ​work experience. There is no requirement related to the field of working. For some other certifications ASQ requires the experience in the field of auditing or improvement. However for ASQ CQIA certification it just requires 2 years of work experience.

​However ​the requirement of two years of experience years can be waived off if you have an associate degree or two years of equivalent higher education..

So in summary this certification is for those people who want to start their career in the field of quality and process improvement.

​For more details on the minimum qualification and experience to take this exam, please refer to this link.

If you qualify for the exam, then submit your application for the exam. ​

Exam Details

The computer-based ASQ CQIA examination ​consists of  1​10 multiple choice question, ​three-and-a-half-hour exam and is offered in English only. 1​00 multiple choice questions are scored, and 10 are unscored. You will not know whether a question is scored or not scored.

​It is the open book exam. You can take any book or binder in the exam. Loose sheets and multiple choice questions are not allowed in the examination room.

ASQ CQIA Exam Passing Score

​You need 550 marks out of 750 to get certified. However these marks are not calculated simply by dividing the correct answers divided by total number of questions. Instead ASQ ​does do the balancing to ensure that difficulty of the particular exam is taken into consideration. ​

ASQ CQIA Body of Knowledge

​Here is the break down of questions:



​Number of Questions


​Section 1

​Quality Basics



​​Section 2

​Team Basics



​​Section 3

Continuous Improvement




​​Section 4

​Supplier Relationship



​​Section 5

​Customer Relationship



​As you would have noticed from the section break-down, most of the marks in the exam are concentrated in the first three sections. Also the section 3 (​Continuous Improvement Techniques) consists of ​40% marks in the exam. These are the area you will need to provide more focus when preparing for the exam

Suggested Study Material

I would strongly recommend the  ​​Certified Quality ​Improvement Analyst Handbook for study.

In addition to these two resources, I will also recommend my ​CQIA Exam Preparation online course available on Udemy. ​This course is based on the ASQ CQPA Body of Knowledge and covers all topics in plain and simple language.

I also a have a CQPA Exam Preparation Quiz where you can attempt ​10 random questions at a time. You have free access to this quiz. ​

Another important consideration for the exam is to have a right calculator. ASQ has restrictions on the type of calculator you can use in the exam. My suggested calculator for the exam is TI-30Xa. I have created a YouTube video on using this calculator for statistical calculations. Make sure that you are very familiar with the use of the calculator.



​Certified Quality Improvement Associate


​​Experience Required

​Two years of ​experience

​​Experience Waived

​Up to ​two years depending upon the qualification

​​Number of questions

​100 questions ​scored and 10 ​unscored

​​​Exam ​Format

​​Multiple Choice Questions

​Exam Time

​Three-and-half Hours

​​Passing Score


​​Fee - Non members


​​​Fee - ​Members


​​​Fee - ​Retake


​Study Material

​​Sample Questions

​​Preparation Course

a few months ago in ASQ