How to prepare for CMQ/OE?
Dear Members,
I am a new member in ASQ.
I need to know how to prepare for certification of Certified Quality Manager/Operational Excellence.
Looking forward valuable advice from all experts.
19 Replies
As an ASQ Member, you should be able to navigate to the Member Gift page:

From this page, go to the November 2020 Member Gift: Resources and Strategies for Managers of Quality:

Included in this page is a downloadable sampler of the CMQ/OE Fourth Edition. CMQ-OE e1447_Sampler (1).pdf

As I was able to download it, I have attached it to my response, and it is available for others viewing this thread.

Please do not limit your study preparations to this single book, but explore other related materials as well.
Aside from the CMQ/OE handbook, 4th edition previously noted, there is a good resource in the Quality Council of Indiana which helped me through CQA last month.

If you have access to someone in your organization who is a career quality professional, mentorship can be invaluable.

There are also websites that offer snippets of sample tests for you to understand the types of question ASQ pose during the exams.

Good luck!

What a GOOD Question Rizwan Ahmed,

I should have asked this question long ago. I am on my third round of taking a certification exam. The first time I went in cold, hadn't even reviewed the material for certification. Obviously, I failed miserably.

The second time, I studied like a champ, brought no reference materials, improved my score, and missed the certification by such a small margin.

This time I have read through the information found here.

The certification is open book. I recommend buying the latest hardcopy ($97) of your preferred certification and a question bank ($99) to simulate the exam. For each question you get wrong, make an underlined notation, or highlight the referenced material in the hardcopy. Go through the question bank and hardcopy, until you know the hardcopy and your notations in the hardcopy as though they were the streets of your childhood town. Then you will be ready.

Good Luck!

Good morning!
I am preparing for the exam also. Thanks everyone for the responses. I am studying the CMQ-OE handbook, 4th edition.
Dear Rizwan- ASQ has a page on their website for each certification with lots of helpful informsation and links to resources. I teach CMQOE for ASQ and I know what helps the most is:

- Discussion with others about the MANY topics in CMQOE; especially those you are least familiar with; take a class. (study buddies!)
- question practice, practice, practice, and more practice; understand how to eliminate 2 answers and choose BETTER of the 2 remaining. Aim for minimum of 80% right. ASQ does not expect you know everthing; thus the reason for continuous learning and recertification after 3 years.
- organizing materials, including the book (note a new 5th edition is coming out around Feb 2021); the BOK changed in Q4 2019 so you have to catch up per the latest version of the BoK if you are using the 4th edition of the book.
- Read the book! Know how to tab pages for quick access.

Pace is key in the exam: 180 questions in just over 4 hours; and you need to leave time at the end to go back and review questions that you were taking too long to figure out... you are smartest at the end of the exam so going back pays off. Leave at least 20 minutes!

Keep asking questions; many CMQOEs have tips to share!
Lu Gan
5 Posts
Dear Rizwan,

I also recommend CMQ/OE primer from Quality Council of Indiana. They also provide Certified Manager of Quality Exam USB Flash which contains 1000 questions for your practice.

Good Luck!

Excellent responses, especially practice questions.
Here are some practical suggestions. Make sure you visit the site where you will be taking the test so that you know beforehand how to get there. Allow extra time for the drive; get there early and practice calm breathing, something to help quiet your nerves. Wear comfortable clothes. Bring water and a quiet snack with some sugar in it (if you're not diabetic); sugar actually helps fuel brain function. Bring a NON-PROGRAMMABLE calculator. If the one you brought is programmable, they will not let you use it.
I did a mock test a week before the real thing. I timed myself to know how many questions I wanted to be through each hour, leaving time at the end for the ones I struggled with so I could go back.
Some people recommend reading through the entire test first. I do not recommend that approach. I figure if I read a question and I know the answer right then, why wouldn't I capture the answer? Make sure to read all the answers before selecting one. Most questions have answers that are close to being right but are not. If you grab that one before reading through the alternate choices, you will be wrong.
Stop studying at least a day before. If you have been studying for 5 or 6 months before the exam, you will know the information. Get a good night's sleep, keep a positive attitude and you will do well.
Cindy Aylen, ASQ CMQ/OE, CQE, CQA
Jerry Rice
56 Posts

I good place to start that will introduce you to the topics is the Quality Management Body of Knowledge right here in the QMD myASQ community. It follows the CMQ/OE exam body of knowledge and provides some useful resources.



Congrats on joining ASQ. I would say the best way to prepare is to 1) start studying the ASQ CQM/OE handbook (currently on the 4th Edition) and 2) take either the instructor lead or self lead training course. Here is additional information on the test and resources:

For the book:
For the classes:
(Instructor led)
(Self led)

Good luck!
Also don't discount your own experience as well to prepare for the exam. I'm also working on this. Also take on other responsibilities to gain experience. I recently volunteered to be a project manager (one of the facets required for the exam) to help me gain a better understanding of project management. In this situation both my company and myself benefit from this.

Hope this helps!
I used the self-paced online training class from ASQ and the ASQ test bank along with the Indiana Quality council reps. I also made it a "group event" with two co-workers. We scheduled twice weekly lunch meetings to study, took turns mastering each chapter of material and then taught each other. We also took the sample tests and essays and reviewed them together. What part of the world are you based in? You might be able to create a virtual study group.
I will advise you to get the CMQ/OE handbook and also use the Udemy course for total insight and understanding.

The author has done justice to the handbook and also you should print the summary material and bind it as well to use for the exam. This is one of the best training material I have seen online and it cost less. He explained every topic in details and you won't need to read the whole CMQ/OE handbook in details but just to make reference to it.
David Woods
34 Posts
Good Day Rizwan,

Hope you are doing well. When preparing for a certification exam I do the following:

The ASQ Handbook
The Quality Council of Indiana Primer
The ASQ Question Bank

1. Take the first practice exam in the ASQ Question Bank to determine your weaknesses.
2. Hit the Handbook and Primer hard on your weak areas.
3. After you study up on through a weak section(s) of the body of knowledge take the test at the end of the Primer for that particular section.
4. After all of your weak section(s) have been studied and you have taken the tests for those sections in the Primer, then take the second practice exam in the ASQ Question Bank.
5. Determine weak points again and repeat. If you have made marked improvement, then proceed to study those area which you did okay on.
6. After you have studied all sections take the last practice exam in the ASQ Question Bank.
7. Study some more but get good rest prior to taking the exam.

This is the method I have used to study for and pass the CMQ/OE and CQA certification exams on the first attempt. Please don't hesitate to contact me for clarification or questions. Happy studying and best wishes on the exam.

Kind Regards,

David Woods
Currently I´m preparing for the exam; I guess that is a good idea to create a virtual study group. I from Mexico and I´m interested to share my kwoledge I learn from other people.
I read the guidebook cover to cover and took some practice tests on Udemy. Passed the first time with no issues.

I think the key was knowing the guidebook and where to go for answers. The test wasn't terribly difficult.
Some points I'd like to make:
  • You need to remember that an Ebook cannot be taken into the exam!
  • The Quality Council of Indiana material is good, but I find the ASQ materials are more expensive but better. Price them and see if you can afford the ASQ materials.
  • While 4th edition handbook is good, the 5th edition based on the current BoK is due out in a few weeks.

One more thing: several here have suggested questions banks for self study. While the Quality Council of Indiana is good, the ASQ question bank is not much more at $99. Either one gives you a chance to try questions by category, then you must study on the ones you miss to really gain a grasp of the materials.

As an instructor for the ASQ CMQ/OE prep course (offered live - online) I would be remiss if I did suggest the course to those who have a hard time with self-study. Of course, the question of time and money may be the deciding factor here.

One more thing about the exam itself: Prometrics has a take-it-at-home option as their testing centers are at limited capacity due to Covid-19. I have heard bad things about this option. If your internet 'blips' while you are taking it, or someone enters the room as you are taking it, the proctor who is watching you via webcam will shut it down, and you will lose your exam. This option is dependent on stable internet connections. I would not do it that way myself. I would wait for an opening at a Prometrics testing center.
All good points Doug,

I have wasted money on Ebooks for the exam. While they are useful for personal reference, no electronic devices are allowed in the exam. No tablets, no phones.

Older editions of handbooks may be cheaper, but the tests are updated to match the current practices.

I appreciate the caution for Prometrics at-home option. I have had nothing but good experiences with this. As you have said, be certain your internet connection is good. With proper planning and household reminders, a prospective candidate for manager certification should have no issues with uninvited guests.

I am interested in the on-line course you have presented. I am new, is it against policy to post prices with dates and times?
It is an ASQ course, so there is no problem with posting. Here is the link to the virtual CMQ//OE prep courses set up so far:
Doug mentioned the live courses. I took the live ASQ CQE preparation course (in person - remember those days?). It was absolutely one of the best courses I have ever taken (really). It was well prepared, well taught, and my classmates were thoroughly engaged. I spent many hours each night after class working through problems. I probably came into the class with a better understanding of process control and statistical testing than others in the class, but it was still really valuable. I also used the CQE Handbook and the ASQ Online practice exams.

No problem with the exam, but the whole point of the learning experience was to learn the material.

I had planned to take the CMQ/OE prep course live, but I may break down and use the virtual format.

As an added bonus, I met Doug Wood over a beer at the bar!

Tim Whetten