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Preparing for the Exams


Before you begin: Are you eligible and willing to pursue certification?

Professionals must have at least five years of full-time, related work experience in the talent development profession or equivalent.

The Preparing for the CPLP Interactive Guide is a road map for the CPLP process. Use the program and the included self-assessments to determine your eligibility and readiness.

Ready to begin: What is the best study preparation method for you?

Candidates typically spend 80+ hours preparing for the Knowledge Exam and another 40+ hours to prepare for the Skills Application Exam.

Recommended: The ATD Learning System is the official learning resource for individuals preparing for the CPLP certification exam.

  • Purchase the online Learning System as a stand-alone option for individual study.
  • Add a print option for a hard copy in a tabbed binder for an additional fee.
  • The Learning System is $300 for members/$400 non-members for a 12-month subscription.

Optional: Preparation Programs

CPLP preparation options are offered in one of three formats: instructor-led live workshop, online workshop, or self-paced on-demand course. You may also join a study group offered by select ATD Chapters.

SAE Study Preparation Tools
Looking for the Skills Application Exam sample exams?

pCPLP Practice Exam

The purpose of the pCPLP is to help CPLP candidates prepare to take the CPLP multiple choice exam. There are 50 test items. There are no penalties for guessing so it is recommended that you answer all of the items. The pCPLP assessment will take approximately 50 minutes to complete.

Take the pCPLP Practice Exam. This link will direct you to the ATD Skill Tracker. Please sign in with your credentials and select the Practice Test for CPLP from the menu when you are ready to begin.




Planning Your Path to the APTD

Get started early. Our first group of successful APTD candidates took 41-60 hours to prepare for the APTD exam. To see the primary and secondary areas of expertise and foundational competency covered on the exam, take a look at the APTD exam's content outline.

Check your knowledge and get a feel for the type of questions that will be on the exam by taking the 30-question practice exam. This link will direct you to the ATD Skill Tracker. Please sign in with your credentials and select the Practice Test for APTD when you are ready to begin.

Use the APTD Learning System, an essential resource for study for the exam. The APTD Learning System is an online textbook covering all areas of expertise tested on the APTD exam. Interactive quizzes, reference lists, tips, stories, cases, and cross-chapter links are included to support learning.

Register for the APTD On Demand Course, which adapts in real-time to your performance—so no two learning sessions will ever be the same. This course is available to all APTD candidates. For more information about this course, see the full description here.

Register for the APTD Instructor-Led Workshop. This NEW two-day workshop reviews the three AOE's covered by the APTD certification exam and outlines exam-taking and preparation strategies designed to help you succeed.