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About the Exam  /   Paper Exams  /  Paper Exam Events  / Host An Exam  /   Special Accommodations  /  Candidate Agreement  /  Training Providers  


About the Exam

Sample questions / 2015 Exam Update / INCOSE Knowledge Exam Learning Objectives

The INCOSE knowledge exam is a multiple choice test based on the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook. It is required for candidates for ASEP and CSEP certification, unless they have taken an alternate route such as Academic Equivalency

The INCOSE Knowledge Exam is offered in-person, only. Testing opportunities may be limited by local conditions. Candidates whose exam opportunities were unexpectedly affected by testing site closures have been given extensions to their eligibility dates, as communicated to them in email. To check on Prometric testing center availability, go here:

The INCOSE Knowledge Exams are available on the computer or on paper. Prometric, our computer testing provider, has facilities worldwide where INCOSE ASEP and CSEP applicants may schedule appointments for the knowledge exam.  INCOSE also offers paper exams, hosted by Expert Systems Engineering Professionals (ESEPs). Both options are based on the INCOSE System Engineering Handbook 4.0.

Cost for exams ranges from $30 for paper exams to $160 for computer exams in some locations.

To find a Prometric location near you, go to You will be able to schedule an exam through Prometric only after you have submitted an application. For Prometric cancellation policy, please click here

Individuals are limited to 3 exam attempts per 12-month period, including both paper and computer exams. Current SEPs are not allowed to participate in any exams.

Paper Exam

Interested in taking the certification knowledge exam on paper, rather than at a computer? The paper exam has the same format as the standard knowledge exam, with 100 multiple-choice questions in 100 minutes for the paper exam, contrasted with 120 items in 120 minutes for the computer exam. Candidates with special needs may be given additional time. In both cases, candidates will need to arrive thirty minutes prior to the exam’s start to show ID and receive instructions. Details on timing and locations are listed at each link. All candidates will use an answer sheet to record their answers for the paper exam. Here is a sample answer sheet.

Here are the rules for taking a paper exam.

Paper Exam Events

Paper exams may be canceled if minimum registration limits are not met or for other unforeseen reasons. INCOSE will make an effort to offer another paper exam in the same location within two months of the cancellation but cannot guarantee this. INCOSE will issue a refund if your exam is canceled but will not offer refunds for other reasons. INCOSE will not reimburse for any costs incurred to participate in a paper exam, whether it is canceled or occurs as planned.

*If you already have an INCOSE account, please login before using link*  

Register and attend one of the following events:


Host an Exam

Chapters and INCOSE-Sponsored Events may request to host an exam locally to invite members and non-members to take the exam at a lower cost and get one step closer to certification at the ASEP or CSEP level. The Chapter or Event will require the following:
 - Approved ESEP to proctor the exam
 - Facility large enough to hold up to 30 candidates with one meter between each candidate 
 - Facility must be available for at least 2.5 hours (20 minutes for instructions, 100 minutes for most candidates, and 30 extra minutes for non-native-English-speakers)

If you are an interested in hosting an INCOSE Knowledge Exam, please  fill out the Knowledge Exam Request Form and send to the Certification Program Manager for approval.  All paper exam details must be finalized at least three weeks prior to the exam date.

Special Accommodations

INCOSE’s Certification Program has worked with our computer testing provider, Prometric, to establish two aids for candidates who are not native English speakers. These individuals may request an additional thirty minutes of exam time (in addition to the standard 120 minutes) by submitting a Special Accommodations Request form to the INCOSE Certification Program office. All candidates are also now allowed to bring in a translation dictionary to their exam. This dictionary may not have any notes or modifications, as interpreted by the exam official. These benefits are also available for individuals taking the paper exam and must be requested prior to the start of the exam. The Special Accommodations Form is found here: /systems-engineering-certification/certification-forms#Special 
*Please note Special Accommodations cannot be added once an exam has been scheduled through Prometric. Please submit form and wait for confirmation before scheduling exam.* 

Candidate Agreement

Each candidate will be asked to read and sign a Candidate Agreement before being allowed to take the exam. The Candidate Agreement details appropriate behavior during and after the test. Please note there are periodical changes made to the agreements. The printed versions the candidate will sign before taking the exam will supersede the online sample. Questions on this topic may also be sent to

Training Providers

INCOSE does not endorse any training providers or programs. However, we have a list of known-providers to serve as a collection of data for the candidates' convenience. Please click on Training Providers to download our current list (last updated 5 April 2019)

For more information, write to