Preparing for the AMS Exam

The AMS exam is a customized exam that includes questions randomly selected from all 15 courses in the Core Curriculum you select. This can be an intimidating amount of content, so you’ll need a plan of attack to ensure that you are ready for the AMS Exam. We've compiled information and tips to help you prepare.


  1. Know the exam. The AMS Exam is a 105-question multiple choice exam. It is a “closed-book” test  no notes or materials are allowed in the testing area. You have 90 minutes to complete the test, and a passing score is 72% or higher. This means that you can miss 29 questions and still pass the test.
  2. Set and maintain a timeline. If your company hasn’t set a study schedule for you, set your own. Decide how soon you plan to take the AMS Exam, and create a study schedule to ensure that you’re ready. For instance, if you want to take the exam at a date that’s seven months away, you have about 33 weeks to prepare – that means you’ll need to complete one course every two weeks and then set aside time during the final weeks to review all the courses. As you estimate your study time, keep in mind that:
    • It typically takes up to an hour to read one course.
    • After you read the course, you’ll want to take the online course test to check your retention.
  3. Read the courses in your selected Core Curriculum. The most important study method is simply reading each course slowly and attentively – don’t just skim. Most people who fail the AMS exam say they just didn’t complete all the courses.
  4. Complete the progress checks. The progress checks found within the modules are a great way to test yourself as you study. The answers are supplied for your convenience. If you reach a progress check and the concept is not familiar to you at all, go back and reread the section with more focus.
  5. Look out for “testable” points. The AMS Exam is multiple choice, a format that works well for factual points such as definitions, acronyms, formulas, and short lists. You may want to print the course for study and use a yellow marker to highlight “testable” points as you encounter them, and then be sure to review those points when you prepare for the exam.
  6. Utilize the online course tests. Once you’ve read a course thoroughly, go back to the course overview page and you’ll find the online course test, a multiple-choice practice test in the same format as the final AMS test. You can retake course tests as many times as you like, and you may get different questions each time. If you find that you consistently score 80-85% or above on a particular course test, you have probably mastered the content in that course and you are likely to be ready for that material on the AMS Exam. Practicing with the online course tests will also make you familiar with the format and functionality of the AMS Exam, ensuring that you are comfortable when the testing date arrives.
  7. Involve a group. Study groups are not just for college students! Consider having a study partner or small study group get together and quiz each other on the material. This is a great way to learn from your peers and to develop ways of remembering terms and fundamentals from each course. (Make sure your study partners are working on many of the same Core Curriculum courses that you have selected.)
  8. Don’t rush it. Remember, you want to do more than pass the test – you want to learn the information and apply it to your sales efforts. You may be more successful if you take it slowly, and allow time to think about how the insights in each course can be applied in the field.
  9. Schedule a prep session shortly before the exam. Put time on your calendar a day or two before you are scheduled to take the AMS exam to go back and do a final review. Take the online course test for each course and make sure you’re ready, and if you do poorly on any of them, be sure to go back to the course material for another review.
  10. Relax. Yes, this is a lot of material. But being well prepared and confident of your knowledge is the key to success. Being nervous is perfectly natural, but being overly anxious and stressed out can lead to poor test taking.

Contact Kendall Lemmert, Lemmert@HIDA.org, 703-838-6138

Contact HIDA if you have any questions leading up to the testing date. Please remember exam applications are due two weeks prior to the test.

Good luck preparing for your exam!

AMS FAQs
How should I prepare for the exam?

In addition to reading, studying, and reviewing each course in your curriculum, particularly helpful are...[more]

Can I take the practice tests more than once?

Sure, you can take them multiple times. Since test questions change...[more]

What is the format of the exam and what does it cover?

While the exam format is always multiple choice, content is...[more]

When should we register for the AMS exam?

Please email exam applications two weeks before test date. To request a date...[more]

What is the fee to take the AMS exam?

Exams are free for candidates from companies with current AMS Sales Training licenses, however...[more]

Can I consult notes during the exam?

No. The AMS honor code states that AMS candidates may not refer to notes, check online resources, or receive...[more]

Who can serve as my exam proctor?

Ideally, your direct manager or training manager will be your exam proctor. If that person is not available...[more]

What happens if I fail the exam?

Retakes are available, subject to a waiting period and retest fee...[more]

May I get a copy of my test to see where I made errors?

To protect the integrity of the AMS exam over time, HIDA does not...[more]

If I retake the exam, are the questions the same?

The exam format and the content covered are the same every time, but the exact questions vary to ensure...[more]

How do I maintain AMS accreditation?

AMS accreditation is active for at least one year after the date when you pass the AMS exam. After that...[more]

Can I get my accreditation back once it lapses?

To regain accreditation, you have two choices. You may either...[more]