February 22, 2017

Retaking the CIP

We want everyone who takes the CIP exam to be successful. At the same time, we know that with a rigorous exam, there will be some candidates who don't pass the exam on the first try, for a variety of reasons. I regularly hear from these candidates who want to retake the exam, but are unsure how to do so.

First, an unsuccessful candidate has to wait 15 calendar days to even reschedule the CIP exam. This is to deter unscrupulous individuals from simply taking the CIP over and over again, memorizing the questions, and then selling them to one of the many "brain dump" (i.e. cheat) sites available. As an aside, if you go to a website that guarantees you'll pass a certification exam on the first try, you should run in the opposite direction as fast as possible. All those sites do is cheapen the value of a certification by creating "paper CIPs", or whatever certification, that have the letters but don't actually know what they are doing. Any candidates who are unsuccessful a second time and require a third or more opportunity to pass the exam are required to wait 90 calendar days.

Second, you should review the areas of the exam in which you performed poorly. We offer a number of resources at http://www.aiim.org/cip, including:

I am happy to provide guidance on other resources for particular domains or knowledge areas.

Third, you need to pay the exam fee again. This is the norm for certifications - I haven't done exhaustive research, but some of the most well-known certifying bodies require retake candidates to pay at least a portion of the original exam fee, and some require paying the entire fee again. For example:
PMI - the retake fee is lower. See here for details.
IAPP - the retake fee is lower. See here for details.
ISACA - the retake fee is the same as the original fee. See here for details.
ARMA - the IGP retake fee is lower. See here for details.

I wasn't able to find the retake fee for the CRM on the ICRM's website, but I believe it is the same fee every time a candidate needs to retake one of the exams.

Our policy is that candidates who wish to retake the CIP exam must pay the full exam fee. Since we don't require an application fee, we don't require AIIM membership to take or maintain the CIP, and our exam cost is already among the lowest in the information management industry, we feel it's still a good value. In very, very rare cases we will waive some or all of the retake fee, but this is highly unusual and requires me to personally review and approve that waiver.

I hope this clarifies the process for retaking the CIP. Again, we want all candidates to be successful, but we also want the CIP to mean something and that means ensuring the exam and the exam process are fair but rigorous. Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions at jwilkins@aiim.org.

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