Taking the CRM Exam

Attaining the Certified Records Manager (CRM) designation is based on educational background, professional work experience and successful completion of a six-part examination consisting of:

Parts 1 through 5 each consist of 100 multiple-choice questions. Part 6 is an essay question and requires a well thought, detailed response in a business case format. All examination questions are in English. The answers to Part 6 must be written in the English language. The multiple-choice questions in Parts 1 through 5 are chosen as equally as possible from all parts of the Examination Outlines

The questions in each part are based on fundamental records and information management practices, and are meant to represent the best practices in the industry. Questions are NOT included in the test bank if they refer solely to the practices of a specific country, vendor or company.

If English is not the Candidate’s native language, they are entitled to an additional 20 minutes of test time for each of Parts 1 through 5, and an additional one hour of test time for Part 6. Candidates requiring this additional time should request approval from the Regent for Exam Administration (examadmin@icrm.org) prior to registering for an exam.

Registering for Exams
Once approved through the application process, a Candidate is eligible to register for exams during the next open registration period using the ICRM Prolydian site. Registration for an exam happens in two steps.

  1. Once your application is approved, your examination records will be automatically created within the Prolydian system. You will need to wait up to 24 hours for the information to be transferred to Pearson VUE. 
  2. Once the status of the examination record is “Authorized”’, you will receive an “Authorization to Test” email with instructions for registering and a direct link to the Pearson VUE ICRM landing page. You can then schedule your exam and arrange for payment directly with Pearson VUE. Consult the ICRM website for dates, deadlines, and check payment options.

Examination Fees
Registration to take specific parts of the examination is done automatically through the ICRM Prolydian site An applicant must be accepted as a Candidate before their registration records are created by the system. A Candidate must pass Parts 1 through 5 before the Part 6 registration is created. Examinations are given by Pearson VUE, a third-party independent testing service. A fee per examination is charged for each of Parts 1 through 6. A candidate must have their Candidate ID (included in the Authorization To Test email) to schedule the exam and pay the exam fees on the Pearson VUE site. These fees are only refundable if an applicant cancels a scheduled exam with Pearson VUE more than 24 hours prior to the examination. Registration and fees must be submitted to Pearson VUE, the testing service, by the deadline established for each examination. All payments must be in United States currency. Please click here for a listing of the current examination fees.

Taking the Examination
A Candidate may sit for all of Parts 1 through 5 of the examination during the same testing week, or they may take as many, and in any sequence they desire. Part 6 can be taken only after the candidate has passed the first five parts. Candidates may retake any part of the examination as often as necessary, however, an exam can only be taken once during a given exam cycle. (See “Completion Time Required.”)

Examinations are administered by Pearson VUE, an independent testing service. Pearson VUE has over 4,000 Pearson VUE owned and independent third-party testing centers worldwide.

Part 6 Test Administration
Part 6 is an essay type examination administered by Pearson VUE. The test is administered on a computer, however, there is no spell check and formatting such as cut and paste is very limited. Bullets, underlining and bolding are not available. There are erasable notepads available at Pearson VUE centers. Part 6 is restricted to Pearson VUE owned and controlled testing centers. These testing centers provide an optimal testing experience. Alternate sites can be opened for Part 6 if necessary.

Part 6 tests are timed, and allotted 240 minutes (four hours). However, the first five (5) minutes are designated for administration issues such as reading and responding to the non-disclosure agreement. Once they agree to the non-disclosure agreement, the Candidate has 235 minutes to complete the exam.

During the exam you will be presented with three 50 point case studies from which you will select two cases to answer. You will have a total of 235 minutes to read the cases and complete the exam. Once you complete the first case study you can review your answer. When you confirm you have completed the first case study you will automatically be given a 10 minute break. When you return from break, select one of the two remaining 50 point case studies to answer. When you confirm the second case study is completed, the exam is over.

As you are composing your answer you may use the “Exhibit Button” to enable a view of the entire case study. If you are unsure of your response, mark the essay item as a reminder for additional consideration during review. To mark an essay item for review, use the mouse to click the flag in the upper right corner of the item. A solid flag means the essay item has been marked for review.

You may use the navigation button at the bottom of the screen to move forward and backward through the essay items. However, you will not be able to navigate back and forth between case studies.

At the conclusion of each essay, you will have the opportunity to review and make changes. Do not press the “End Review” button until you are ready to submit your essay. Once the “End Review” button is pressed, you will not be able to go back to review or change your essay. .

The passing score for each part of the examination is 70%. Candidates taking Parts 1 through 5 at a Pearson VUE testing site will receive their exam results immediately upon completion of testing. Part 6 exam answers are graded by current CRMs who are qualified graders. Each exam is graded by two graders and the higher of the two scores is counted. Candidates will be notified via email by the Regent for Exam Administration and Grading once all Part 6 exams are graded and confirmed. This process takes approximately 6 weeks to complete.

Examination Dates
Parts 1 through 6 are offered via Pearson VUE testing centers on a year round schedule. Candidates may select the day, time and location that meet their particular schedule. Candidates who have passed Parts 1 through 5 may, if a test site is available, may take Part 6 in the same cycle after they passed the last of Parts 1 through 5. (Due to the short time frame for this extended registration, there is no guarantee a site will be available.) Part 6 is offered Monday thru Friday in the first and second full weeks of February, May, August and November each year.

Examination Schedule
Candidates are allowed 80 minutes for each part when taking Parts 1 through 5, including 5 minutes for administrative purposes. Part 6 has a four hour time period, including 5 minutes for administrative purposes. The 10 minute break is not include in the four hour time frame.

Candidates can cancel exams up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam by calling Pearson VUE directly. Candidates failing to show up for scheduled exams, or calling less than 24 hours prior to their scheduled exam, forfeit any fees paid.

Part 6 Appeals
A Candidate who fails Part 6 by less than eight points (63%–69%), and who has a legitimate reason to believe that there was a grading error, may make a written request to appeal the failing grade. Appeal deadlines vary by cycle and will be provided in the exam results notification.

Review of contested grades will be performed by the Appeals Committee and shall be processed within 30 days following receipt of the appeal by the Committee. Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final. The Appeals Committee does not provide feedback on appeals.

Feedback is provided to Candidates who are unsuccessful in passing an examination part. The feedback for Parts 1 through 5 is individualized and provided before the Candidate leaves the testing center. Feedback consists of the outline parts of that particular part that contained the questions missed. Candidates can then use that feedback to guide their further study.  

Feedback for Part 6 is also individualized and provided by the graders who graded each question (each exam is graded by different people). Feedback is in narrative form providing information on how the Candidate performed in technical knowledge, writing ability, problem analysis and appropriateness of answer.