CDM, CFPP Exam Prep Study Materials

Q: What exam study materials are right for me?

A: Are you preparing for the CDM Credentialing Exam? Utilize the chart below to compare of the tools the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers offers to help you succeed!

Download the Comparison Chart

Q: When will the exam be given?

A: The exam is available year round. Exams are administered by appointment, Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments may be scheduled based on availability.

Q: What is the test format?

A:  The exam is a multiple choice question/answer format and will be taken on a computer. You will see one question per page. You will be checked into the test center by the proctor and given scratch paper and a pencil for notes.

Q:  How long is the test?

A:  There are 160 multiple choice questions. You will have three hours to complete the test.  There are 140 scored items on your examination. The examination also includes 20 unscored items that are being pretested for future examinations. Pretesting is a standard process that allows CBDM to evaluate the quality of new items, which allows for the issuance of score reports on the day of the examination administration.

Q: Will I be able to return to questions I was not sure about during the test?

A:  Yes, you will be able to return to questions if time permits. It is important to answer every question as only completed answers will be scored. If you are unsure of an answer you should mark the one you believe to be the best answer.

Q:  Am I required to take the entire exam, or if I receive a certain percentage correct, will the computer stop the exam?

A:  You need to take the entire exam. Any unanswered questions will be scored as incorrect.

Q:  How do I apply for special accommodations?

A:  Download and print the required form. This form is to be completed by you and an appropriate professional and submitted with your application at least 45 days prior to your requested examination date.

Q:  Where will I go to take the exam?

A:  The exam will be administered by PSI, a professional testing company, which has over 300 sites in the United States. Sites (which may be subject to change) can be viewed on our website - Exam Sites.

Q:  How will I know when I am supposed to take the test?

A:  When your registration is completed ANFP will send you a confirmation via e-mail and submit your name to PSI, who will in turn send you an e-mail inviting you to schedule your testing appointment. Check your spam folder if you have not received PSI’s e-mail when anticipated.

Q:  Will I receive confirmation of my appointment?

A:  Yes, another e-mail will be generated shortly after you schedule your appointment. This e-mail will include directions to the test center and a reminder of what you need to bring with you.

Q:  What do I do if I need to reschedule my appointment?

A:  If you need to reschedule your appointment please refer to your scheduling email for instructions or call PSI’s Candidate Support System at 888/519-9901. You will forfeit the application and all fees paid to take the examination under any of the following circumstances:

  • You wish to reschedule an examination appointment but fail to contact PSI at least two business days prior to the scheduled examination session,
  • You want to reschedule a second time,
  • You appear more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, or you fail to report for your appointment.

A complete application and appropriate fee are required to re-apply and schedule an exam date, time and location with PSI. 

Q:  What do I need to bring with me?

A:  To gain admission to the Assessment Center, you must present two forms of identification. The primary form must be government issued, current and include your photograph and signature. You will also be required to sign a roster for verification of identity. NOTE: Examinees who fail to provide acceptable identification will not be admitted for testing.

  • Examples of valid primary forms of identification are: driver’s license with photograph; state identification card with photograph; passport; military identification card with photograph. No temporary IDs allowed.
  • The secondary form of identification must display your name and signature for signature verification (e.g., credit card with signature, social security card with signature, employment/student ID card with signature).
  • If your name on your registration is different than it appears on your identification, you must bring proof of your name change (e.g., marriage license, divorce decree or court order).
  • You may also consider bringing a nonprogrammable, battery-operated calculator with no print capabilities. 

Q:  What will it be like at the test center?

A:  Test centers may have multiple testing workstations in one room; all tests are proctored and recorded. There may be other examinees in the room taking different tests.

Q:  Do I have to wait until everyone is seated before I start my test?

A:  No, computer based tests are independently timed.

Q:  When will I find out if I have passed?

A:  You will receive official results when you finish taking your exam. ANFP will be notified of your official test results within 7-10 business days.

Q:  Can I get a copy of my exam or the questions that I missed?

A:  For security purposes, we cannot release copies of the examination, or the questions that were missed. Examinees who do not earn the minimum standard for passing receive a report that shows the number of questions answered correctly in each of the five content areas. This enables examinees to determine the areas where they are strong and the areas where they are weak. In preparing to retake the Credentialing Exam, examinees should focus attention particularly on the content areas where they had difficulty.

Q:  When do I get my certificate?

A:  Those individuals who took the exam as ANFP members will be receiving their certificate, card and additional information about their certification in approximately 3-4 weeks. They will not be charged any additional upgrade fees. All other examinees must first pay a fee to activate their certification. They will receive a mailing from ANFP explaining the benefits of membership and the fees. They do not receive certificates or certified cards until they have responded to the mailing.

Q:  Do I have to pay again to retake the exam?

A:   Yes, you do have to complete and submit a new application, fully meet the current eligibility requirements, and pay full exam fees each time you want to sit for the exam.

Q:  What is the passing score?

A: The passing score is 96. This is not a percentage score. Please see next question for how the passing score is determined. Your score report will indicate the exact number of correct answers required to pass the exam, out of the possible 140 correct answers. It will not provide a percentage score on your score report. Individuals who do not pass the exam will also receive a breakdown of their scores by exam content area.

Q:  How is the passing score determined?

A:  Periodically, every organization that offers a credential conducts a job analysis study to develop the content outline upon which exam forms are based. The passing score is determined by a cut-score study called a modified Angoff procedure. This study relies on subject matter experts – in our case, CDM, CFPPs and Registered Dietitians (RDs), to estimate the difficulty of each question for a ‘minimally competent practitioner,’ or dietary manager that is considered entry level. Other forms of the exam are then selected to match the same level of content distribution and overall statistical characteristics of the form on which the study was performed. Because all of the exam questions have been pretested and therefore have performance statistics, we can estimate the overall difficulty of each form of the exam. When the forms can be documented to be equally difficult, the passing point can remain the same. However, if one form is slightly more or less difficult than another, it could necessitate a slightly higher or lower passing point. Because the passing point is established prior to the administration of the form, this process is known as statistical pre-equating. Pre-equating ensures that everyone is taking an exam of equivalent difficulty. For additional information about the Angoff passing score study, please contact a Certifying Board for Dietary Managers representative at 800.323.1908.

Q:  What are the exam statistics?

A: Pass/fall statistics will be reported twice per year.




1/1/15 - 6/30/15



7/1/15 - 12/31/15



1/1/16 - 6/30/16



7/1/16 - 12/31/16



1/1/17 - 6/30/17



7/1/17 - 12/31/17



1/1/18 - 6/30/18



7/1/18 - 12/31/18




Q:  How many individuals are currently certified?

A: As of May 31, 2018, there are 12,293 individuals holding the CDM, CFPP credential.

More questions? Please contact Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals at 800.323.1908, or send e-mail to:

Credentialing Exam FAQ