We are excited to announce the most significant change to the CDCES Exam in the past 30 years (besides moving to computer testing from scantrons). If you plan on taking the CDCES exam after June 30, 2024, there will be fewer total questions and an increased focus on diabetes care and interventions.
The Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE) handbook states that only 175 questions are needed, instead of 200, to evaluate if an individual has adequate expertise and mastery of the test content.
If you are taking the test through June 30, you can expect the same number of questions, 200 multiple-choice questions, using the current CDCES test outline.
Starting July 1, there will only be 175 test questions based on an updated test outline.
Regardless of when you take the exam, certain things will remain the same.
There will still be 25 questions that are NOT counted in the final test score. These questions are scattered throughout the exam and allow for collection of meaningful statistics about new questions, but are
not used in the determination of individual examination scores.
In addition, this exam results are based on a “scaled score” to ensure that different exam versions are equally challenging. The CBDCE has made no mention of a decrease in the four hours to complete the exam, and certificants can still take the exam at a testing site or choose live remote proctoring.
With the current CDCES test outline, effective through June 30, 2024, here is how the counted 175 questions are divided by content (There are 200 questions, but only 175 count toward the final score)
For more details, please see the current CDCES Exam Content Outline | January – June 2024 page 21.
Starting July 1, 2024, the test outline will have significant changes. Here is how the counted 150 questions are divided by content (There are 175 questions, but only 150 count toward the final score)
For more details, please see the CDCES Exam Content Outline | July 1, 2024
A lot of the changes are under “Care and Education Interventions” sections on the exam content outline effective July 1, 2024. For complete eligibility and certification information, the 2024 Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators Handbook contains detailed instructions on applying, study resources, and exam content outlines.
This is a great question, and Coach Beverly suggests carefully self-evaluating your testing style. If the thought of muscling through 200 questions seems overwhelming and question fatigue is an issue, consider taking the shorter version in July. However, as with any new exam, there may be some kinks to iron out, and there could be a slight delay in receiving test results in the first few months after the exam’s release, based on my experience. When there has been a test update in the past, the CBDCE took a few weeks to send the test results to test takers for a short time period.
Coach Beverly suggests basing your decision on your level of readiness. After reviewing the exam outline content, if you feel very familiar with the topics listed, plus you are scoring 80% or greater on practice exams, moving forward with the exam is a great choice. Keep in mind that the exam covers a wide breadth of information, from birth to death, plus during pregnancy, and addresses chronic and acute care in various settings. This means you will need to create a study plan that assesses knowledge gaps along with a plan to address those gaps.
Take a self-assessment short survey, “What Study Tools are Right for Me”
to help create your study path.
Yes, absolutely. We carefully consider the exam content outlines coupled with Coach Beverly’s test-taking experience when updating our program content.
Our online course content is updated each year based on a review of the latest ADA Guidelines and the CBDCE’s exam content outline. If the ADA Standards include new or updated information that is listed in the exam outline, we plug in these new medications, MNT approaches, goals, screening guidelines etc. into the course content. A big chunk of the changes starting in July are under the “Care and Education Interventions” section. The good news is that our library of courses already focus on person-centered care and the interventions that are outlined in section II, in the Exam Content Outline | July 1, 2024.
Coach Beverly also retakes the exam every renewal cycle for her certification so she can have a student’s perspective on sitting for the exam while developing course content. We try to focus specifically on material that is relevant for the exam, considers the overall ADA Standards of Care and ultimately improves quality of care delivered to people living with diabetes.
Our goal is to provide evidence-based, clinically relevant content that will also prepare participants for exam success. We’ve got you covered.
Our company Diabetes Education Services has no relationship with the CBDCE. All of the information posted in this blog is based on Coach Beverly’s careful review of the 2024 Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators Handbook.
Accreditation Information: Diabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.* The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.
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The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.