Getting Started with CAP
What is the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) credential?
CAP is the premier global professional certification for analytics practitioners. Those who meet CAP's high standards and pass the rigorous exam distinguish themselves and create greater opportunities for career enhancement. For organizations seeking to enhance their ability to transform data into valuable insights and actions, CAP provides a trusted means to identify, recruit and retain top analytics talent.
What is the Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) credential?
The aCAP is for recent graduates or entry level practitioners who lack the practice experience that is essential to earn the CAP.
Why should I get certified?
Certification can advance your career by setting you apart from the competition, enabling you to derive personal satisfaction from accomplishing a key career goal, helping to improve your overall job performance by setting you on a course for continual professional development, and recognizing the investment you have made in your career.
Where can I find downloadable informational slides about CAP and the Job Task Analysis?
View the CAP Professionals Information slide.
View the CAP Organizations Information slide.
View the aCAP Information slide.
View the Job Task Analysis Information slide.
The CAP credential is designed for analytics professionals in early- to mid-career. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in an analytics related field with 5 years of professional analytics experience or a master's degree with 3 years of experience. If you do not have an analytics related degree then you need a minimum of a bachelors degree with 7 years of analytics experience. All CAP Candidates sign an ethics code, have their effectiveness confirmed by a third party and take the examination. Please review the graphic below for a more detailed breakdown. See the CAP Candidate Handbook for more information.
The aCAP credential is designed for recent graduates or entry level practitioners. Applicants must have a masters degree in an analytics related field with less than 3 years of professional analytics work experience in order to qualify for the aCAP exam. All candidates sign an ethics code as part of the application process. See the aCAP Candidate Handbook for more information.
If I'm not in the U.S., can I take the examination?
Yes. Exams are administered either online via an online proctored experience or at computer-based testing centers throughout the world; check Kryterion for exam sites.
Can eligibility requirements be waived?
Waivers of the education requirement for those having extensive experience will be considered. See the CAP Candidate Handbook for more information.
Application and Fees
What does it cost?
The base price for CAP certification is $695. For individuals who are members of INFORMS the price is $495.
The base price for aCAP certification is $300. For individuals who are members of INFORMS the price is $200.
Team pricing is available for organizations. Organizations interested in team pricing should contact email@example.com.
How long does it take to approve my application?
Within seven business days after you submit your application you’ll be notified.
Can veterans be reimbursed through the GI Bill?
Yes. Effective May 1, 2015, veterans and other eligible individuals can seek VA reimbursement for fees associated with applying for and recertifying the CAP credential. Please visit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Licensing and Certification page to find out more.
What is the quickest way to get college or university transcripts?
Check with your college or university to see if they have electronic transcript services, or check out the National Student Clearinghouse to see if your college or university subscribes to their electronic transcript delivery service. INFORMS will accept electronic transcripts. A copy of your diploma cannot be substituted for the transcript.
How are soft skills confirmed?
As part of the application you will identify a current or a previous employer to confirm your skills. An email will be sent to that person with links to the soft skills confirmation site. Notification that the email has been sent will go to you.
Self-employed consultants may request a soft skills confirmation statement from a recent client. Individuals who are unable to contact an employer or client may submit a detailed written summary of a recent analytics project describing in detail the application of soft skills in the successful completion of the project and in the implementation of its findings. See the Candidate Handbook for more information or contact INFORMS.
Preparing for the Exam
What is the examination based on?
The examination is based on the Job Task Analysis (JTA) developed and validated by subject matter experts and practitioners and which serves as the blueprint for the content of the CAP program. There are seven areas of responsibility: business problem framing, analytics problem framing, data, methodology selection, model building, deployment and lifecycle management. See the Analytics Job Task Analysis (JTA).
How can I prepare for the exam?
Because the exam is based on analytics practice, there are no required courses. There is a CAP Prep class offered by INFORMS which can help you prepare for the exam however it is not required to take the exam. You could also review the Analytics Job Task Analysis (JTA). The Candidate Handbook has sample questions and lists several reference books that may be useful in examination preparation. There is a free, downloadable CAP study guide. Download a copy of The Road Map to Becoming a Certified Analytics Professional.
Are there sample questions?
Yes. In the Candidate Handbook there are 24 sample questions with rationale for both the correct and incorrect answers. These questions will not appear on any actual CAP examination; they are intended to inform you of the type of questions you will find on the exam. They should not be used as a self-assessment; performance on these questions does not indicate performance on the exam.
Is the exam open book?
No. No books or notes of any kind may be used for the exam.
Do I have to know a programming language?
No. The exam is software and vendor neutral and assesses only the analytics process contained in the job task analysis.
Taking the Exam
Where and when is the examination offered?
The certification exam is offered on a continual basis at computer-based testing centers throughout the world, online via an online-proctored experience.
How do I schedule the exam?
To schedule the computer based exam:
- Apply and get approved.
- Pay for the exam using the payment link in the Prolydian page.
- You will receive email instructing you how to log in to our testing partner Kryterion's Webassessor system.
- Schedule the exam at a convenient time for you.
How many questions are on the examination?
There are 100 four-option, multiple-choice questions on the exam.
What's the passing score?
The passing score is criterion referenced and set by a panel of subject matter experts, led by a psychometrician. The method used is the modified-Angoff, an industry best practice. This requires that a panel of experts evaluate each individual test item (or question) and estimate the percentage of qualified analytics professionals (link to eligibility requirements) would answer the item correctly. These estimates are analyzed for consistency and consensus and are used to produce the passing score.
The passing score for each form the CAP examination has been computed separately. Thus, to ensure consistency of reporting the results given to an unsuccessful candidate do not include the passing score but do include the percentage of test items correct for each of the seven (7) domains of practice. The passing rate has hovered around 70% since the beginning of the program, varying only slightly depending on the number of exams taken in any one day.
Do I have to pass each knowledge area?
Pass/fail decisions are based on the total score only.
How many times can I take the examination?
Unsuccessful candidates can retake the examination up to two (2) additional times during the first year following the approval of their application. Candidates who take the examination a second or third time will be expected to pay the reexamination fee cited in the fee section of the Candidate Handbook.
How long does this certification last?
The CAP is good for three years at which time it must be renewed.
The aCAP certification is good for three years and may be renewed once. It is required that all aCAP certificate holders transition to the CAP certification within six years of receiving their aCAP certification.
How can I recertify?
All CAP certificants will be required to achieve a total of 30 Professional Development Units (PDUs) over the initial and subsequent three-year renewal period. The PDUs may be achieved in several different categories including: formal professional education courses, self-directed learning, creating new analytics knowledge or content, volunteer service, and analytics professional work experience. In general, one hour of activity equals one PDU. There are various thresholds and limits for PDUs in the various categories. See the CAP Candidate Handbook for more information.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those less technical skills that are essential for successful analytics practice. They include partnering with business clients, framing problems with stakeholders, working in project teams, interviewing subject matter experts, eliciting information from groups, communicating results to decision makers and creating value for the employer or client.
Is the exam only in English?
Yes, the exam is presently only available in English.
How can I arrange special accommodations for testing?
We comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will arrange special accommodations for those who require them. Either fill out the form below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for those arrangements.
If I have to reschedule, do I need to reapply and pay again?
You must notify Kryterion at least 72 hours prior to the test at which time you may reschedule free of charge. If you reschedule a computer based test less than 72 hours before, you may be liable for a retesting fee. You will not have to reapply.
I am currently an aCAP and would like to be upgraded to a CAP, are there any fees associated with this transition?
No. The transition fee to transition from the aCAP certificate to the CAP certificate is being waived at this time. This is subject to change in the future.
How can I add my CAP certification to my LinkedIn Profile?
Download instructions to add your CAP Certification to your LinkedIn Profile.