2019 CPD Exam Open Book FAQs

The 2018 CPD Exam is open book. UPDATED SINCE THE 2018 CPD EXAM: Exam candidates are allowed to bring in and use any printed reference materials. There is no limit to the quantity of reference materials brought into the testing center. These materials may be professionally bound or printed by the exam candidate but they must remain bound during the exam. Loose paper, such as printed and downloaded publications, may be bound with ring binders, brads, plastic snap binders, spiral-bounding, or screw posts. No staples, sticky notes, and flags will be permitted. Loose notes within a book are not permitted. The books and printed materials can include:

  • Handwritten notes on the pages
  • Highlighting within the pages

Here are some common questions and answers.

What books and/or manuals are approved? There is no list of approved or disallowed books. 

What books and/or manuals do you recommend? There is no recommended list, whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Can I bring in a notebook with my handwritten notes? No.

Can my books have "stickies" or tabs placed within them for quick reference? No.

Can I bring in a three ringed binder with printed out notes? YES.

Are loose notes within the books allowed? No.

Can I have my electronic version of a book printed out and bound by a printer? YES. This change is in effect for the 2018 CPD Exam. Previously only commercially produced publications were permitted. This has since been adjusted and updated for the 2018 CPD Exam.

Are CD-ROMs or similar digital materials allowed into the testing center? No.

In the past, ASPE provided an appendix of formulas that was sent to the testing center for candidate use during the exam. Is this being provided? No. Candidates are not being provided with a printed appendix.

What books and publications are available for purchase? Click here to visit the ASPE bookstore.**


Want to know what to study? ASPE recommends the following materials. **If you wish to have a professionally bound publication with you during the exam and it is not available for purchase, only the digital version, reach out to your local chapter's President or Vice President Membership to inquire if any members can lend you their copies.

Questions? Email or call us at certification@aspe.org or 224-217-9016.