Certified Diabetes Educator Exam

For those seeking certification as a Diabetes Educator or CDE, this is the required exam you must pass.
This exam demonstrates that you have mastered the knowledge and specialty
practices of this field with professionalism and dedication. This is not an entry-level certification process but is a
practice-based one, requiring professional experience as well as academic

Who is Eligible?

Applicants for the CDE exam must meet requirements in four


Have a current, valid, and unrestricted license as a:

  • Clinical psychologist
  • Registered nurse
  • Occupational therapist
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician
  • Podiatrist


A registration or
certification as a dietician or dietician nutritionist, PA, exercise
physiologist, or health educator


Be a healthcare
professional with at least a master’s degree in social work

Professional Practice

At least two years of experience in the discipline you are
applying through and a minimum of 1000 hours of DE experience with 400 of those
hours being in the last year

Continuing Education

A minimum of 15 clock hours of continuing education
activities related to diabetes within the last two years

Application Fee

There is an initial exam fee of $350.

When and Where is it Taken?

Applications can be submitted to the National Certification
Board for Diabetes Educators or NCBDE at any time. Once they are approved,
exams may be scheduled year-round, Monday through Saturday by AMP/PSI. It is
important to note that once your application has been approved, you will have a
90-day testing window that you must schedule and pass the exam in.

AMP/PSI has about 300 test centers located throughout the
U.S. and several international sites. You will be given a full list of
available dates, times, and locations during the registration process.

Be sure to register for the exam as early as possible to get
your preferred time, date, and location as space may be limited and is filled
on a first come, first served basis.

Special accommodations are available for those who may not
be able to test under normal conditions. This request must be made at the time of
application and will be reviewed appropriately.

You may reschedule your appointment for any reason up until
two days before your scheduled exam. You may do this once during your testing
window without additional fees. Changes made within those last two days will
not be accepted and you will forfeit any fees paid.

What Should I Bring?

It is important that arrive at least 30 minutes early for
your scheduled exam, as there is a check-in process to be completed before you
can begin the exam. those who arrive late will not be allowed entrance and will
have to reschedule and submit another exam fee.

You will need to bring two forms of identification for the
above-mentioned check-in process. These must be valid and current and must
contain your signature and your full name as it appears on your
application/registration information. One of these IDs will need to contain a
recent and recognizable photo as well.

No personal items such as cell phones, cameras, food,
drinks, or outerwear are allowed in the testing area. A designated locker will
be provided for your wallet and keys to be kept in a separate area during the
exam. A battery operated, hand-held,
nonprogrammable calculator is allowed, and
pencils and scratch paper will be provided for you at the testing center.

What is Covered?

This is a computer-administered
exam made up of 200 multiple choice questions. 25 of these questions are
classified as unidentified pretest questions that will not be scored or counted
in your total. Each question is directly linked to a specific task, testing
whether or not you have the knowledge and abilities essential to completing the
task or the application of such a situation.

The exam is broken into three major categories. Below you
will find a brief outline and description of each, along with the number of
questions found there.

Assessment of Diabetes and Prediabetes (60

Learning/self-care behaviors, medical/health/psychosocial
and economic status, and current knowledge and self-management skills

Interventions for diabetes and prediabetes (89

Patient/family/caregiver/healthcare team collaboration,
counsel/teaching principles of care, evaluate and revise care, documentation of
care, and referrals and follow-ups

Disease Management (26 questions)

Education and program standards, diabetes advocacy, and clinical

You will be given a total of four hours to complete the entire exam. You will be allowed to skip questions and return to them later or bookmark them for review. There is no penalty for guessing so you are encouraged to answer every question.


How is it Scored?

Score reports will be given to you at the completion of the
exam by the proctor. These include your raw score (number of correctly answered
questions) and your scaled or total score. This ranges between 0 and 99. You
must achieve a scaled score of at least 70 to be considered passing.

Your score report will also include your raw scores for each
of the three major categories of the exam.

In the event that you do not pass, you can retake the exam
as many times as necessary. A new application and fee will need to be submitted
each time.

Those who pass will be sent your official certificate and wallet cards about three months from your passing exam date.

How Can I Prepare for the Certified Diabetes Educator Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: November 9, 2023