My Experience Taking the CCXP Exam

I was mentally prepared to fail the CCXP exam this past weekend, but as it turned out—it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected or feared. I was nervous there would be a lot of trick questions, questions about obscure facts, and/or highly subjective questions.

To my relief, those fears were unfounded.

There isn’t a lot of specific information online about the testing process by other CCXPs, so wanted to share my experience and observations for future exam-takers.

Wait, what’s CCXP? 

CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) is a designation given by the CXPA (CX Professionals Association). To earn the CCXP, candidates must meet eligibility requirements, work 3+ years as a CX professional, pass a 100-question exam covering 6 domains (culture, adoption and accountability, VOC, experience design, metrics, and strategy), and then maintain the credential with 20 CEUs every 2 years.

My CCXP prep process

Ugh, I hate studying. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have (and never had) very good study skills or habits. I get distracted easily when I’m required to read—and generally don’t take many notes. My note-taking style is to maintain a spreadsheet called “CX Toolkit” on Google Drive where I track and organize CX terms, tools, reference articles, metrics, etc.

I regularly consume a lot of CX books, podcasts, webinars, reports, and blog posts, and found that my work experience and foundational knowledge about CX was actually a lot more helpful during the exam—rather than the “studying” (major air quotes there) or practice tests I tried to do.

In the week before the exam, I plowed through the exam resources provided by the CXPA. However, I found most of the articles and webinars to be too abstract and not geared enough to the actual exam questions. On the morning of the exam, I re-read/skimmed The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick Dilisi. 

Side note: Outside In by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine is another book commonly recommended for the exam. It’s an excellent book, but it’s been a few years since I’ve read it and so don’t recall whether it’s specific enough for the exam.

If you’re not sure what to study or focus on for your CCXP exam, I recommend focusing on the job tasks and competencies listed in the handbook under the “blueprint” section (e.g., reward and recognition strategies in a customer-focused culture). If you can confidently write or say aloud how to do (or not do) each one—these are almost exactly the questions in the exam. 

There were many questions that asked for the “best” or the “first” or the “least.” In addition to best practices, you may want to learn about common misconceptions and mistakes made by CX teams.

My CCXP testing experience

The testing process itself was unsatisfactory. I’d give it a CSAT score of 3, on a scale of 1-7. 

First, the check-in process at the facility took almost an hour even though there were only 20 other people checking in for the same test time. I arrived at 11:50am for my 12pm test, but didn’t get seated at a test computer until almost 1pm.

Before you go to the testing facility, know that you cannot bring anything into the test room—not even a bottle of water or chapstick. The facilitators were very thorough checking me over to ensure I was not bringing anything into the test room (which was totally fine). They even inspected my eyeglasses.

At my testing site, the test UI looked like it was designed in the early 2000s. The font faces, point sizes, and layout were very fatiguing and created eye strain within a few minutes. I did like that there was a built-in calculator and a way to keep track of questions I wanted to return to later. I was also provided scratch paper, but couldn’t take my notes with me.

Out of the 100 questions in the exam, I’d estimate:

  • 50 – had one obvious answer
  • 30 – required process of elimination
  • 15 – required looking for a clue in the question
  • 2 – had no idea, so took my best guess

There were approx. 3 math questions, but the math was pretty straightforward (e.g., calculate the ROI for this hypothetical project).

At question #30 (about 45 min. into the exam), my computer suddenly rebooted. Fortunately, the test facilitator was able to successfully move me to another computer and so did not need to re-do any of the questions.

Everyone wore masks in the test room, however, there were approx. 40 testers in a small room and sitting pretty close to each other. I did not feel particularly safe—especially because most people were in the room for many hours. It took me more than 2 hours to complete my exam. Another tester told me he planned to use all 4 hours of his time allotment for his CPA exam.

One positive: I did get to instantly see my score (96%!), plus received a score for each section. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to find out which 4 questions I got wrong.

In conclusion 

Overall, I’m very happy that I took the exam and am proud to receive recognition of my work and education. I’m looking forward to the CEU requirements in the coming years, and perhaps becoming a speaker or instructor myself.

If you already completed the CCXP exam, any tips I missed?

If you’re scheduled to take the exam, I wish you the best of luck!

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX / UX researcher and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. When she's not creating customer journey maps and conducting diary studies, Kristine is either kayaking, trying new recipes, or acting silly with her house full of boys.