Prepare for your exam

On this page we collected a number of frequently asked questions on the COSMIC certification exam. If you have a question that is not in the list you can contact the Certification Chair.

The Chair of the Certification committee is Jean-Marc Desharnais. If you are interested in organizing or taking an exam, please contact him at


How many questions are there in the certification exam?

The certification exam contains 100 questions, all based on the contents of a specific version of the Measurement Manual.


What is the format of the exam questions?

The format of the exam questions is 84 True-False questions and 16 Multiple Choice questions.


How much time do I have to take the exam?

The time you have to take the exam is 90 minutes, unless the exam language is not your first language. In that case you will have 120 minutes to take the exam.


If the language of the COSMIC exam differs from my native language, can I get extra time?

Yes, if the language of the exam differs from your native language or from a normal business language of your country, you will get an extra half hour to take the exam (maximum total time allocated = 2 hours). This extension must be agreed with the Proctor before starting the exam.


Is the COSMIC exam an open book exam?

Yes, it is an ‘open-book’ examination, so you will be allowed to refer to the Measurement Manual. However, you will need to have
understood and learned the method thoroughly before taking the exam, as there will not be enough time to look up all the answers in the
Measurement Manual during the exam.


Are any of the questions specific to a particular software domain?

No, none of the questions specific to a particular software domain, e.g. business applications or real-time software. You should not need detailed knowledge of any specific domain to answer the exam questions.


What is the pass-level for the exam?

The pass-level for the exam is that 75 percent of the questions must be answered correctly.


What is the expiry date of the certificate?

There is no expiry date for the certificate. The certificate is valid for the COSMIC version for which you took the exam, and only for this

We have made an exception for those who passed for COSMIC version 3.0 and 3.0.1. Their certificate will also be valid for version 4.0, since there are not many differences in the content of both versions.


What can I do if there is no exam organized that is convenient for me?

If you want to take the exam but there is no exam organized that is convenient for you, it is possible, subject to strict conditions, for any organization or even an individual to organize a COSMIC exam. If you wish to discuss the possibility of organizing an exam, please contact the COSMIC Certification Chair.


What is a typical exam question?

A typical exam question could be:
For which software domain(s) is the standard COSMIC measurement method designed to be applicable?

The answer could then show a choice of possible domains, e.g. business application software, mathematically-intensive scientific software, etc. The candidate must tick the correct answer(s).
Alternatively the question could be phrased so that the answer could be ‘true’ or ‘false’, and the candidate must choose the correct answer.