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Exam Item Writing

INCOSE’s knowledge exam is a multiple-choice test based on the content of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook. The exam is developed through the use of volunteer Systems Engineering Professionals (SEPs) and expert psychometricians.  Exam development is run every few years as a project. Watch eNote, LinkedIn, and email for requests for volunteers.

Developing exam content is one of the best ways to learn about the INCOSE SE Handbook, and many volunteers report that the Subject Matter Expert (SME) review teleconferences are their favorite professional development activity. Writing and editing are both independent, remote, asynchronous activities, while the SME review sessions are group activities scheduled for two hours each. Review sessions are typically held from 12pm to 2pm Eastern time. If a sufficient  number of volunteers request another time of day, we will schedule a session at another time.

Those who help write, edit, and review the exam content are prohibited from sharing information about the questions or the question-writing process for two years after their work completes. This includes serving as paid or volunteer instructors or advisors for those taking the exam.  Exam volunteers may teach other systems engineering courses not focused on exam preparation.

We ask for a commitment of 6 or more hours from each volunteer. Each volunteer must be a current ASEP, CSEP, or ESEP and must sign and submit a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). NDA’s should be submitted to