CDCES Practice Exam

If you need help studying for the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) exam or just want some more information about what the test is like, you’ve come to the right place.

Click below to take a free CDCES practice exam!

Exam Eligibility

Before you can register to take the CDCES exam, you’ll need to have at least 15 hours of diabetes-related continuing education within that last two years. You’ll also need to meet ONE of the following experience requirements:

  • You need at least 200 hours of DCE experience within the last year
  • You need at le4ast 2,000 hours of DCE experience within the last five years

If you meet these requirements, you’re set to begin the registration process!

What’s on the Exam?

Questions: 175
Time limit: 4 hours

First, let’s talk about the questions on the exam. There are 175 multiple-choice questions total, but only 150 of the questions will count toward your score. Why is that?

Unscored Questions
The 25 unscored questions on the CDCES exam are called “pretest” questions. These are added to the exam to determine if they’re good enough questions to add to future versions of the test.

The trick is that you won’t have any way of knowing which questions are scored and which ones are pretest. They will appear just like the scored questions throughout the test.

The time limit for the exam is 4 hours. There aren’t any scheduled breaks, but you’re free to take restroom breaks as needed.

Let’s take a closer look at the different sections of the exam.

37 scored questions

  • Self-management knowledge and behaviors
  • Learning
  • Physical
  • Psychosocial

105 scored questions

  • Person-centered education on self-care behaviors
  • Individualized education plan
  • Disease process and approach to treatment
  • Evaluation, documentation, and follow-up

8 scored questions

  • Advocation for people with diabetes
  • Evidence-based care and education
  • Population health strategies
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals
  • The impact of disparities
  • Current NSDSMES standards
  • Principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Current National DPP standards

How to Register

Once you’ve ensured that you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you can register for the exam!

To get started, you’ll need to submit an application on PSI’s website. The application will ask you for your contact information and any documentation to prove your eligibility (among other things).

When you submit the application, you’ll also need to submit the testing fee, which is $350.

CDCES Study Guide and Flashcards

Get practice questions, detailed study lessons, and complex subjects broken down into easily understandable concepts.

CDEStudy Guide

Exam Scores

The test is scored using a scaled scoring method. Here’s how it works:

For every question you answer correctly, you get one point added to your raw score. At the end of the test, your final raw score will be converted to a scaled score. This scaled score will range somewhere between 0 and 99.

You will need a score of 70 to pass the test.

The reason your raw score is converted to a scaled score is because everyone who takes the CDCES test is given a slightly different set of questions. Since everyone has a different arrangement of questions, and because some questions are harder than others, converting your raw score to a scaled score ensures a more even playing field.

Retaking the Exam

If you didn’t get a passing score on your first try, that’s okay! You can retake the test again after paying the full examination fee.



How many questions are on the CDCES exam?


The exam contains 175 questions.


What is the time limit for the CDCES exam?


The exam is timed at 4 hours.


What is the passing score for the CDCES exam?


You’ll need to get a final scaled score of at least 70 to pass.


How much does the CDCES exam cost?


The exam fee is $350.