The Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) exam, which is administered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), measures your knowledge of the essential principles and practices of energy management.
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Certified Energy Manager Exam Eligibility
To be eligible for the Certified Energy Manager exam, you must meet at least ONE of the following requirements:
- You must have a four-year degree in engineering or architecture, or you must possess a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) license with at least three years of energy engineering/management experience.
- You must have a four-year degree in physics, earth science, environmental science, or technology and have at least four years of energy engineering/management experience.
- You must have a four-year degree in business (or another related degree) and have at least five years of energy engineering/management experience.
- You must have a two-year associate degree in energy management and have at least six years of energy engineering/management experience.
- You must have a two-year technical degree and have at least eight years of energy engineering/management experience.
- You must have at least ten years of verified energy engineering/management experience.
Certified Energy Manager Exam Outline
The CEM exam contains 130 multiple-choice and true-or-false questions, and you will be given a 4-hour time limit.
To ensure that you are well-versed in the wide range of diverse experience and background of an energy manager, the exam contains 15 sections, all of which are mandatory.
- Codes and Standards (3%-5%)
- Energy Accounting and Economics (6%-10%)
- Energy Audits and Instrumentation (8%-12%)
- Electrical Systems (9%-13%)
- HVAC Systems (9%-13%)
- Industrial Systems (6%-8%)
- Building Envelope (3%-5%)
- CHP Systems and Renewable Energy (4%-6%)
- Fuel Supply and Pricing (2%-4%)
- Building Automation and Control Systems (7%-11%)
- Thermal Energy Storage Systems (2%-4%)
- Lighting Systems (6%-8%)
- Boiler and Steam Systems (3%-5%)
- Maintenance and Commissioning (8%-12%)
- Energy Savings Performance Contracting and Measurement and Verification (3%-5%)
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Certified Energy Manager Exam Registration
Before you can register for the examination, you must first attend a mandatory approved preparatory seminar for training. Once you have completed your course of training, you must submit an application to AEE along with a $500 application/examination fee.
Once your application is approved, you will be sent a confirmation email with details on scheduling and taking the exam, whether in-person or remotely.
You should arrive at the testing center 15-30 minutes before you’re exam is scheduled to begin. Once you arrive, you will be asked to sign in and show a valid, government-issued form of photo ID. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late or arrive without a valid ID, you will not be permitted to take the exam and your examination fee will be forfeited.
The exam is open-book, so you are welcome to bring your own reference materials and notes in an organized binder (you cannot reference notes on your phone or laptop). You are also required to bring a scientific, financial/business, or graphing calculator. Your calculator cannot have internet capabilities, and you cannot use the calculator on your phone or laptop.
Before the exam begins, you will be given scratch paper or a whiteboard to take notes on, and a five-minute instruction period will commence.
You are permitted breaks during the exam, but the timer will not be stopped while you are away.
Before the day of the exam, you must download the computer-sharing technology from ProctorU so the proctor can set up and monitor your exam.
On the day of the exam, you should log in to your ProctorU account 5 minutes before your scheduled exam time to begin the check-in process with the remote proctor. You will be asked to show a valid, government-issued form of photo ID, and you will need to scan your surroundings using your webcam.
The exam is open-book, so you are welcome to have reference materials and notes in an organized binder (you cannot reference notes on your phone or laptop). You are also allowed to use a scientific, financial/business, or graphing calculator. Your calculator cannot have internet capabilities, and you cannot use the calculator on your phone or laptop.
You are allowed to use a whiteboard or scratch paper to take notes during the exam.
How the Certified Energy Manager Exam is Scored
Your Certified Energy Manager exam score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly, so there is no penalty for wrong answers. The number of correctly answered questions is converted to a scaled score, ranging from 0 to 1,040. The passing score is 700.
You will receive your score report within 30 days of testing.
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How to Pass the CEM Exam
How to Study Effectively
Your success on CEM test day depends not only on how many hours you put into preparing but also on whether you prepared the right way. It’s good to check along the way to see whether your studying is paying off. One of the most effective ways to do this is by taking CEM practice tests to evaluate your progress. Practice tests are useful because they show exactly where you need to improve. Every time you take a free CEM exam practice test, pay special attention to these three groups of questions:
- The questions you got wrong
- The ones you had to guess on, even if you guessed right
- The ones you found difficult or slow to work through
This will show you exactly what your weak areas are and where you need to devote more study time. Ask yourself why each of these questions gave you trouble. Was it because you didn’t understand the material? Was it because you didn’t remember the vocabulary? Do you need more repetitions on this type of question to build speed and confidence? Dig into those questions and figure out how you can strengthen your weak areas as you go back to review the material.
Additionally, many CEM practice tests have a section explaining the answer choices. It can be tempting to read the explanation and think that you now have a good understanding of the concept. However, an explanation likely only covers part of the question’s broader context. Even if the explanation makes sense, go back and investigate every concept related to the question until you’re positive you have a thorough understanding.
Comprehend Each Topic
As you go along, keep in mind that the CEM practice test is just that: practice. Memorizing these questions and answers will not be very helpful on the actual test because it is unlikely to have any of the same exact questions. If you only know the right answers to the sample questions, you won’t be prepared for the real thing. Study the concepts until you understand them fully, and then you’ll be able to answer any question that shows up on the test.
Strategy for CEM Practice
When you’re ready to start taking practice tests, follow this strategy:
- Remove Limitations. Take the first test with no time constraints and with your notes and CEM study guide handy. Take your time and focus on applying the strategies you’ve learned.
- Time Yourself. Take the second practice test “open book” as well, but set a timer and practice pacing yourself to finish in time.
- Simulate Test Day. Take any other practice tests as if it were test day. Set a timer and put away your study materials. Sit at a table or desk in a quiet room, imagine yourself at the testing center, and answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible.
- Keep Practicing. Keep taking practice tests on a regular basis until you run out of practice tests or it’s time for the actual test. Your mind will be ready for the schedule and stress of test day, and you’ll be able to focus on recalling the material you’ve learned.
How many questions are on the CEM exam?
There are 130 multiple-choice and true-or-false questions on the exam.
How long is the CEM exam?
The time limit for the exam is 4 hours.
What is the passing score for the CEM exam?
To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 700.
How much does the CEM exam cost?
The application/examination fee is $500.