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A better world through a systems approach

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 multiple hours each. Review sessions are scheduled at times accessible for global attendance and will be scheduled in response to interest from volunteers balanced with availability of the psychometric consultant.

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. Volunteer work to write, edit, or review knowledge exam questions earns 2 PDUs per hours of work.

We ask for a commitment of 5 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