CQM / CQA Studying for CSSBB
Joy Young
11 Posts
Looking for some help and thoughts.  I am a CQM and CQA and am now studying for the CSSBB and am really struggling with the statistics portion of the study guide.  I am even losing sleep over it.  

If you're asking why I am doing it, my position is now requesting we have it, plus it's a bonus in the workplace.  I already have my project done and approved and have my Green Belt through my company.  

What's the best study guide for the statistics portion?  I have the CSSBB Study Primer from the Quality Council of Indiana as well as the Solution Text.  

I have been in Quality for over 25 years and never used any of those manual formulas so struggling!  Suggestions, thoughts, guidance?  

What's the exam like - how many are actually statistical problems?  I am learning to use my calculator all over again!  LOL!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Joy Young
Raleigh Section Chair
15 Replies
Trish Borzon
1123 Posts
Hi Joy Young‍ - I'm so sorry to not answer sooner! There are a lot of conversations on here about the difficulties of statistics in some of the exams.
The Statistics Division does a get job - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obSupUdTjV8

I'll also tag a couple of experts that might be able to assist - Joseph Basala‍ , Duke Okes‍ , Gary Gehring‍, Mindy Hotchkiss

Good Luck!

The Analyze phase accounts for roughly 15% of the exam. It contains Hypothesis Testing which most people find to be challenging. While I am sure it varies some with the exact exam configuration, calculations should likely not account for more than 30% of the exam.

I personally find it beneficial to practice statistical problems in parallel with performing them in a statistical software package. This way I can verify quickly if I got the right answer. Also, try to understand the big picture before getting lost in the detail.

In taking the exam, I have found it beneficial to do the exam in multiple rounds. First only answering the questions I know the answer to. Secondly to go through the exam and answer the questions where I know the material is in my reference books. Thirdly work on calculations as these can be the most time-consuming.

Hi Joy:

I passed the exam in 2009 and have not taken it since. If I remember correctly, the statistical focus was on hypothesis testing, reliability mean time before failure, mean time to repair, design of experiments. What was the most beneficial to me was purchasing the CD from the Indiana Council of Quality with the 1,000 question exam. I practiced and answered those questions over and over until it became second hand. The cost is about $70, but is worth its weight in gold. Best of luck.

Mark Orozco, CSSBB, CQE, CQA
Joy Young
11 Posts
Thank you soooo much. Sorry for the delay in my answer but I couldn't find my Discussion feed to see if anyone had responded!

Right now I have the CSSBB manual from Indiana Council. the Answer guide and I just got the Flash Drive with the tests.

I'm working hard but I am definitely NOT a statistical whiz. At this point in my career, this is all done for me by software and Quality Engineers!

Joy Young
11 Posts
Thank you! Yes, that's exactly how I have tackled the other 2 ASQ exams I have taken. It's a good reminder!

Joy Young
11 Posts
Thanks Mark!

Right now I have the CSSBB manual from Indiana Council. the Answer guide and I just got the Flash Drive with the tests. One of the BB's in my section highly recommended the flash drive with the tests so I will tackle that once I finish the last chapter in the book.

Joy Young
11 Posts
I have the same and have been studying with these. Went through the book and took 4 notebooks of notes from Oct-Dec, then started the flash drive. Have found errors in the answers and was really disappointed that one of the question's answer said I had to know the weight of iron ore in order to logically get the right answer. That was ridiculous! LOL! But I'm on my 3rd go-round on the flash drive and I'm feeling a little more confident that I MIGHT pass. :) I take the exam on 3/29 and will let you know.
Trish Borzon
1123 Posts
Joy Young‍ - good luck!!!!
The in-person ASQ "Stats for BB" class was a well taught class! I think our fabulous instructor's name was Karen Young. It was a multi-day workshop.

Meta Brown
8 Posts
I used Quality Council of Indiana guides for self study on my certifications and liked them, but I'm a statistician, so what suits me may not be what suits you.

Look at the materials for the certification, and you'll see, along with the Body of Knowledge, there's a list of references. Those books are used by the teams that prepare exam questions. So check that list and find those books. They will give you an idea of what range of statistical methods may be covered, as well as an explanation of those methods and problems you can use to practice.
Hi Joy Young‍,

I took the exam in January and I used the Certified Six Sigma Handbook and the ASQ CSSBB Study Guide to study for the exam. I am also a CQE and the statistics on the CSSBB are nothing compared to the statistics on the CQE. I felt that the handbook and study guide were adequate to study from. I also purchased the question banks from ASQ as a final study aid leading up to the test. They were helpful, too. In my opinion, many of the questions on the CSSBB test I took seemed to be easier than many of the practice questions.
Hi Joy;
If I understand your post correctly, the stats are hard and you are re-learning how to use your calculator. Be sure it is a good calculator with a training book of questions. I tutored someone who was trying to do the calculations from long equations because they didn't have a calculator with stat functions. It isn't possible in the timeframe of the exam.
Invest in a good calculator! Mine stays on the desk top for quick reference when reading other stat anlysis....
Joy Young
11 Posts
I just wanted to let everyone know that offered advice to me on the BB exam that I passed! I am now a CSSBB, proud and excited! It was a rough go there but well worth the effort!

Thanks everyone!
T Kubiak
3 Posts
I am happy to hear that you found the handbook useful.


T. M. Kubiak, co-author of the handbook
Congrats on your CSSBB! Great to see how your strategy for success (handbook, question banks etc) paid off.