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ASQ® CMQ/OE [2020] How to Pass Your Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence Exam?

The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (ASQ CMQ/OE) is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives.

The certification is not focused on any specific industry. The CMQ/OE could lead the improvement initiative in a small, medium, or large organization in any industry.

The Body of Knowledge (BoK) for this certificate was updated in September 2019. I have a separate post highlighting the changes made to the BoK. The critical update made to the BoK is the removal of the Constructed Response (essay) part of the exam.


Before applying for the ASQ CMQ/OE certification, you might want to check if you qualify for this exam.

You need to have a minimum of ten years of work experience in the area of this certification (quality management or improvement). Out of this, five years should be in the area of decision making.

However, a portion of the experience years can be waived off depending upon your educational qualification. For example, if you have a Bachelor's degree, then four years of experience can be waived off.

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

Exam Details

The computer-based ASQ CMQ/OE examination consists of 180 multiple choice questions, a four-and-a-half-hour exam and is offered in English only. 165 multiple choice questions are scored, and 15 are unscored. You will not know whether a question is scored or not scored.

It is an 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 CMQ/OE 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 by the total number of questions. Instead, ASQ does the balancing to ensure that the particular exam's difficulty is taken into consideration. 

ASQ CMQ/OE Body of Knowledge

Here is the break down of questions:



Number of Questions


Section 1




Section 2

Strategic Plan Development and Deployment



Section 3

Management Elements and



Section 4



Section 5




Section 6

Supply Chain Management



Section 7

Training and Development



As you would have noticed, Sections 1, 3 and 4 have the most number of questions allocated to them. These are the area you will need to provide more focus when preparing for the exam.

Suggested Study Material

I would strongly recommend the ASQ  The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook for study.

In addition to this, I will also recommend my CMQ/OE Exam Preparation online course available on Udemy. This course is based on the ASQ CMQ/OE Body of Knowledge and covers all topics in plain and simple language.

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 Manager of Quality & Organizational Excellence  (ASQ CMQ/OE)

Experience Required

Ten years of experience

Experience Waived

Up to five years depending upon the qualification

Number of questions

165 questions scored and 15 unscored

Exam Format

Multiple Choice Questions

Exam Time

Four-and-half Hours

Passing Score


Fee - Non members


Fee - Members


Fee - Retake


Study Material

Sample Questions

Preparation Course