1. Q: How many questions are on my exam, and how long do I have to complete it?
A: Below is a chart showing the total number of questions and the allotted time for each of our exams.
2. Q: How should I prepare for my exam?
The free resources available on our website
- The Body of Knowledge on the page linked above serves as the main guide as to what topics will be covered on the exam. The exam is created based on this exact document, so nothing will appear on the test that isn't on the Body of Knowledge.
- That same page also includes the Exam Blueprint. The Exam Blueprint helps you understand the format of the exam. It explains how the exam will be broken into sections as well as the minimum and maximum number of questions on each topic that you may see on the exam.
- The Glossary of Privacy Terms is a list of commonly used words in the world of privacy and their meanings.
No one paid resource is required to pass the exam, nor does any one paid resource serve as a catch-all-study guide to passing the exam. The paid study materials we offer should serve as tools to help you learn the information in the free resources. If you feel like the textbook or training will be helpful in your studies based on your preferred learning style, you can find them in our online store.
3. Q: How are training and exams connected?
A: Training is one step you can take to learn material covered on the exams (especially because training and exams are based on the same topic outline—what we call a Body of Knowledge), but be please be aware that courses are not purely test prep, nor does taking training guarantee you’ll pass your exam.
Why not? IAPP’s certifications are ANAB-accredited under the ISO standard—an international mark of quality and rigor. To maintain accreditation, ISO requires a separation between the IAPP’s certification and training departments. This means that while our training developers and instructors know which topics will be covered on an exam, they cannot see the tests or answer questions about whether a specific item will be on a given exam.
4. Q: What are some additional resources available for information regarding IAPP certifications and exams?
- For general information, download The IAPP Certification Candidate Handbook.
- For information on our certifications, please find that here.
- Refer to our Body of Knowledge or Blueprint for each certification program here.
- Need textbooks or training? You can find those here.
- For IAPP Continuing Privacy Education information, please read through the CPE Policy.
For general IAPP certification questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Q: What should I know before taking a remotely proctored exam via OnVue?
Our remote proctored testing option uses Pearson VUE’s OnVUE software. Due to the inherently less-secure nature of a home-testing environment, OnVUE exams have restrictions on testing environment and candidate behavior. The virtual exam proctor will interrupt the test taker to reinforce these rules if broken and may revoke the exam if the rules are not followed. There are more rules and restrictions than those, listed below. Please see the IAPP OnVue Page for more information.
- All additional programs must be closed when running OnVue software.
- No External monitors are allowed.
- No talking or whispering to yourself is allowed.
- If you leave the view of your webcam while not on your scheduled 15-minute break, your exam will be revoked.
For general IAPP certification questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
6. Q: How do I reschedule my exam?
As our exam scheduling and delivery is managed by our testing partner, Pearson VUE, changes to your exam appointment must be made through the same platform where you originally scheduled. To make a change, please follow these steps:
- 1. Navigate to the My Purchases section of your MyIAPP portal.
- 2. Click the green button next to your exam to access Pearson VUE’s scheduling platform.
- 3. Here you can follow the prompts to cancel or reschedule your exam appointment.
Once you have successfully cancelled or rescheduled your exam appointment you will receive official email confirmation from Pearson VUE.
Please note although you may cancel or reschedule your exam as many times as needed, you will need to complete your exam within one year of purchase. Additionally, Pearson VUE requires at least 48 hours notice in order to cancel or reschedule your appointment.
As Pearson VUE's policies require at least 48 hours notice in order to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you won't be able to use their online scheduling assistant to change your appointment at this time. However, Pearson VUE is able to make exceptions to their policy in extenuating circumstances such as illness or family emergency. If you have extenuating circumstance that may permit an exception to their policies, please contact their customer support team who can work with you to manually alter your exam appointment.
7. Q: How do I request a special accommodation to test with? What accommodations can be provided?
To get started, please fill out the Special Testing Accommodation Request Form located on the Certification Forms and Related Guidelines page. The second page of the form must be completed by a licensed health care provider. When filling out the form our Certification Team asks that you please clearly explain the accommodations required and ensure that the accommodations match the requested accommodations on page one.
Our typical accommodations that we can provide are as follows but not limited to:
- Extra Time
- Frequent Breaks
- Glucose testing meter
- Hard candy
- Separate room
- Separate room with reader and/or recorder
*Please be aware that not all accommodations can be implemented for remotely proctored exams with OnVue.
8. Q: Why doesn’t Pearson VUE have my correct address and phone number in their system?
As a privacy organization, keeping our customers' personal data secure is a top priority. To limit the amount of your personal information that we share with third parties we send our own address and phone number to Pearson VUE in place of yours. This is done for all IAPP exams and will not impact your ability to schedule or take your test.
9. Q: I am a non-native English speaker. What options and resources are available to me?
The CIPP/E and CIPM exams have been translated into French and German. Additionally, the CIPM is offered in Chinese. While taking these exams, an IAPP developed word to word translation dictionary will be available on the screen throughout the exam as a resource.
No outside word to word translation dictionaries are allowed within the testing centers for exam security. The allotted time of the exams has taken into consideration non-native English speaker needs.
To purchase a foreign language exam, please visit the Certification section of the IAPP Store.
10. Q: What is the wait time for my results?
With computer-based testing, you are given your results immediately after completing the exam. You will also be sent an e-mail with your results. If your exam is taken at a physical testing center, your exam results will be provided to you with a confirmation print out. All results are able to be found in Pearson VUE’s system that can be accessed through your IAPP portal.
11. Q: How are the passing scores of the exams determined?
Exam scores are solely based on the total number of correctly answered scored questions. There is no scaling, nor are questions weighted differently, nor are there performance requirements for individual sections of the exam. All that is required to earn a passing score of 300+ is answering a set number of questions correctly, out of all the scored questions on the exam.
The cut score of the exam is determined after a beta testing period and rigorous psychometric analysis, which is then reviewed by our Exam Development Board of experts. The Exam Development Board looks at the exam as a whole and also each individual question to determine the minimum number of scored questions a test taker should answer correctly to earn the certification. This cut score is set as 300 on our scale and the remainder of the scale is built around it.
12. Q: How do I interpret my score?
Because there can be slight differences in the difficulty of exam forms, all raw scores (i.e., the number of questions answered correctly) are converted to a common scale ranging from 100 to 500. The passing score for all IAPP exams is 300 (which does not represent 60%). For further information, please refer to our Certification Candidate Handbook Exam Information section beginning on page 10.
13. Q: I passed my exam! Now what?
Congratulations! Although you have passed your exam, you haven't yet completed all of the requirements to become certified. Part of earning a certification is purchasing either an IAPP membership or a Certification Maintenance Fee (CMF). You'll need to purchase one or the other in order for your certification to be considered valid. Until that time, you won't see the certification on our website or be sent a certificate.
An IAPP membership is $275 per year and includes free and discounted web conferences, free access to KnowledgeNet chapter meetings, discounts on training, events, and books, access to our complete Resource Center and more. The CMF is $250 for the entire 2-year certification term, but does not include member benefits. You can purchase either on our website here. I would also encourage you to read through our Certification Candidate Handbook, which details our policies surrounding becoming certified and maintaining your certification in the upcoming years. It can be useful information for a newly certified individual!
14. Q: Can I find out how many questions I answered correctly?
The IAPP does not provide test takers with the number of questions they answered correctly. However, you are provided with a section breakdown after the completion of your exam, which indicates the percentage of your correct answers per each blueprint domain. Candidates who fail can use this information to determine which domains they need to focus on when studying for a retake exam. Please note, however, that an overall score cannot be determined by averaging these percentages, as blueprint domains do not all contain the same number of questions and therefore do not make up equal portions of the exam.
15. Q: Will candidates who fail be given the opportunity to review their incorrect answers?
No. While the desire to review incorrect answers is understandable, IAPP exam questions are considered secure material, and cannot be distributed outside of the testing environment. This policy is meant to ensure the integrity of our exams by preventing content from being circulated.
16. Q: What is required to maintain my certification?
To maintain the credential(s) in good standing, the holder must meet the minimum CPE requirements and pay their certification maintenance fee (CMF) or membership dues. If the credential holder fails in either of these obligations, the credential will be considered suspended, and the holder must undergo the process of reinstatement in order to restore their credentials to active status. This can be found in our Continuing Privacy Education Policy.
17. Q: How do I submit my CPE credits?
CPE credits for IAPP events and webinars will be automatically added to the certified individual's account. For all other activities, certified individuals are required to self-report using the CPE Submission Form, accessible through your IAPP account. From the Certifications tab on your IAPP account, you are able to manage your CPE submissions, read the certification terms, and keep track of your credits. CPE Submission accessible through your IAPP account. From the Certifications tab on your IAPP account, you are able to manage your CPE submissions, read the certification terms, and keep track of your credits.
18. Q: If I am already certified in one designation, is there a discount on the exam price for an additional designation certification?
Yes. if you currently hold an IAPP certification, any additional first-time certification exams will receive a discounted price of $375. Additionally, if you would like to retake a previously failed exam, those are also discounted to the price of $375.