Hello all! I've been an ASQ member for about a year now and I am sitting for my CQE exam in December. Do you have any tips for preparation? It seems very math heavy and Statistics was not my favorite subject in college. Any help at all is appreciated.
Not knowing where you are in your journey to CQE certification and given the fact that the body of knowledge is quite extensive, I can only suggest a few generalizations.
First, I see that the BOK has been updated as of this October. ASQ has provided a table with some explanation to point out differences between the 2022 version and the 2015 version which I took. See the link below (Also provides the breakdown for the number of questions applicable to each section).
Assuming that you have a copy of either the 2015 version or the 2022 version (if it is available - I did not check) this is where the meat of the BOK is covered. The fourth edition (Burke and Silvestri) is quite good as, in addition to providing a review of a great deal of information, the authors provide decent explanations for the content where required.
- Having said this I suggest that you read the book. Some of the exam questions, especially those not requiring quantitative analysis “require” that you know the ASQ definitions (e.g., takt time is generally considered to be the time required to complete an “order”. I have however been given by Customers other definitions - basically the same arithmetic but differently phrased) so be sure to use the ASQ phraseology.
- Also, with respect to the book of review questions also available from ASQ, I recommend this also as a guide to determine which area(s) need further study. Note that I did find a number of, let's say “typos”, in this workbook but overall, it provides for good practice
- This may be a happy note(?), I found that there was significantly less requirement to do arithmetic than I anticipated (actually I like the arithmetic because it leads to a definite end point sans linguistic subtleties)
- I labeled my CQE handbook with tabs for the index as well as a number of pages referring to hypothesis testing and a few other topics to which I wanted to have quick access. You can also check out the web pages for CQE Academy - you should be able to find there a collective “cheat sheet” - no, it is not cheating as the test is open book! - with the formulae for hypothesis testing, SPC, etc.
- For myself I also constructed a notebook which included all of the references and formulae that I felt I need to have at hand (such a notebook is subject rules regarding its construction)
- One big thing for me, when i took the practice tests I was able to successfully complete each in 1 to 1.5 hours less than the full allotted time for the official test. However, when I sat for the exam, I found myself “saving” too many questions to return to later. My suggestion is, if you think that you simply don't or won't have a good response to a question just pass it. If you feel that you should know the answer but might want to take extra time to consider other responses these should be marked to be reviewed later (the exam provides a “parking lot” for this)
Hope this helps - good luck with your exam
Hey @Brandon Piper!!
I might be a bit biased here, but check out CQEAcademy.com, I've got a TON of free resources to help you plan and prepare to take the CQE exam!
I also have free courses and practice exams!
Hello Brandon, one important step in taking the Certification exam itself, is to leave the reference books, notebooks etc. closed - and go (skim) through the exam completely, with the goal of answering any and all questions first - those which you are absolutely certain of the correct answer.
Next step then, is to go back through the exam - to research and find the answers to any and all unanswered questions. This approach will save a lot of time, so that you are not panicked or rushed through the last 30 minutes or so.
CQA, CQE, CQIA, CQT
Please check out bullet point #3 in my earlier post where I referred to your CQE Academy as a source for helpful information regarding the CQE exam BOK. And, heck, I'm not even trying to sell anything!
@Brandon Piper my first recommendation is to delay your CQE by 6 months and write a less stringent ASQ exam first (CQT or CQPA are examples).
if you insist on doing the CQE in 9 months, then you should devote at least 5-10 hours per week, ramping up to 20 immediately prior to the exam.
I supplemented my handbooks and study guides with this excellent reference.
Brandon I have say for 8 ASQ certification exams including CQE, CRE and CSQE and have a 100% pass rate. I used the Quality Council of Indiana materials and software. My approach was to start about 90 days out and start with having the software generate 25 to 50 question exams each day and have it report your deficiencies then study a topic or two from that list . As you get about 30 days out, start doing 100 question tests several times a week which will further pinpoint your weaknesses. Since the engineer exams are sort of like an endurance test or marathon, about two weeks out, start doing one full length test each week most to get timing for questions and what to skip. The week before the test do a full length simulated test at the same time as you will sit for the test. Do a full length test two days before the test and then rest the day before the test. Do not do any last minute cram or you will be fatigued and tend to loose focus during the test. Also make sure that you have looked over the test site before you go for the test. The week before the test I suggest that you dry run getting to the test site at the time of the test. This will give you representative traffic and remove last minute guess work. Take your Quality council of indignant notebook with the “forbidden” pages removed, a most recent copy of the quality Engineer hand book and a copy of the Juran handbook as minimum references. Take two legal calculators and a bunch a pencils.
Bill Harwood PE CQE, CRE, CSQE, CQM, CQA, CQI, CQT, CCT
I did not love math and statistics in college either. I failed the test the first time, but added CQE Academy before my next attempt. Passed with no problems, I highly recommend the classes and resources.
Other than Andy's site, know the layout of the BoK, take the ASQ classes and pre-tests.
@Brandon Piper: Hello Brandon … Best wishes to you on your exam prep and test. It's a huge achievement, and one very much worth earning.
In my opinion, the stats is the hardest part of the test. And even though the other sections like risk management and quality systems take up a much larger portion of the exam, preparation for those sections is simply reading, highlighting and practice exames. Whereas preparing for the stats portion requires a different type of understanding.
If you're looking for low-cost, video-based help on the stats section, this class will get you there:
It's a total of 13 hours of video, broken up into bit-sized lecture. It follows line-for-line through the Section VI. Quantitative Methods and Tools of the 2022 BoK. Plus it includes a ton of Excel templates that will help you long after the exam.
Hope that helps. And again, best wishes to you.