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Exam Preparation Tips


Below are some helpful preparation tips for taking the Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) and Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT) exams.

Start your preparation early
Don’t wait until the week before. Allow a few months to prepare for the exam.

  • Read the recommended review books that serve as sources for a majority of the questions asked on the exam. If you are an SME member, you may be able to borrow the recommended reading materials from your local SME chapter.
  • Review the Body of Knowledge (PDF) outline. Get a feel for the different topics covered in the exam and look at the weighting of questions for CMfgE versus CMfgT. This is key to the areas and concepts that are most likely to appear on the exam.

This is an open book and open notes exam

  • You can bring your recommended review books into the exam room. Sharing of books, notes, and other materials during the exam is not permitted.
  • Tab sections of your books/materials to make it easier to find information during the exam. You will not have time to look up every answer, so be thoughtful about what you want to access quickly and easily.
  • Some key areas you might want to tab/identify include:
    • Glossaries, Indexes, Tables, Concepts, Formulas
    • Topics that you think have a high probability of being on the exam based on the Body of Knowledge (PDF) weightings

Multiple-choice questions
There are three different types of multiple-choice questions on the exam covering topics from the Body of Knowledge (PDF). Questions will fall into the categories below with the majority being knowledge questions, some application questions, and a few judgment questions:

  • Knowledge: Fact-based questions covering general knowledge.
  • Application: Questions where you are asked to apply a principle of manufacturing to get the answer.
  • Judgment: Questions where you have to use your judgment based on your knowledge of manufacturing to select the correct answer.

Mark only one answer
There is no penalty for guessing on the exam. You have a 25% chance of getting the correct answer if you guess. Often you can eliminate one or more of the four answer choices when you review the question.

Answer questions you know first

  • Move through the first pass of the exam quickly and leave those you want to look up or come back to later.
  • During the online exam, you can check a box to mark the question(s) you would like to revisit. At the end, you will be prompted to look at your marked questions and then you can review and/or change answers choices at that time. You are also able to return to unmarked questions.
  • For the paper/pencil exam, you are allowed to write in your exam booklet to mark questions you want to revisit.

Arrive prepared

  • The night before the exam, try to get six to eight hours of sleep.
  • Arrive to the exam site 15 minutes early to allow time to check in and arrange your materials on the desk. This avoids unnecessary noise during the exam by rummaging through book bags.
  • If you are taking the paper/pencil exam, in addition to your recommended review books, you will need several #2 sharpened pencils, an eraser, and a calculator.
  • Your calculator must be quiet, hand-held, and non-broadcasting or receiving. You MUST clear all programmable memory from the calculator before you begin and after you complete the exam.
  • Cell phones or any other electronic devices are not allowed in the exam room.
  • If you are taking the exam online, have a pencil, calculator, and scratch pad handy.

You need 60% to pass
To pass the CMfgT and CMfgE exam, you will need to score 60% or higher. Unless authorized to do so, exam scores will only be provided to you. There is no need to retake the exam if you pass.

Have a can-do attitude
Although you may feel anxious, remind yourself that you have spent a lot of time preparing and that you can do this!

Good Luck! If you have any questions about preparing for the exam email us or call SME Customer Care at 800.733.4763.