GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam

For a look at Exam locations, visit our Exam Testing Locations page.  To investigate Exam preparation materials, visit our Exam Preparation Info page.

The exam is a groundbreaking development in the geospatial profession, software-agnostic, based upon a job analysis from a four-year experience level, informed by the GIS&T Body of Knowledge, guided by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and centered upon the six key knowledge areas shown elsewhere on this page.

The Inaugural GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge ExamR was offered mid-November 2015 at PSI testing centers across the US and was a great success!   A score necessary to pass has been set at 75% of items answered correctly, and that score will apply to all subsequent Exam offerings. 

The length of each Exam will be 4 hours, consisting of between 170 and 192 questions, 100 of which will be scored.  The remainder of the exam questions will be those undergoing  evaluation for use as scored questions on a later exam.

Exam Dates:   Offered in the Summer & Fall of each year

The last 2017 Exam session will be the Fall Exam: (Now Closed)

  • At PSI worldwide testing facilities from Dec 2-9, 2017
  • International applications will be accepted until Oct 16, 2017
  • Applications for North American locations will be accepted until Nov 20, 2017

 We have the online application process in place for the 2018 Summer  Exam offering.  The Summer 2018 window is now open for testing in early June.
You can apply through your registration log in to the site (see top right), and you will encounter the Exam Submission button as you advance..   

  PSI has added  testing locations for Canadian and International applicants in 2017.  Current testing locations can be found here:   Exam Testing Location

Use your existing log in information, if you have already registered on our site. The Exam Application will appear as you move forward to access your account.  You will be given the opportunity to update your contact information, if you have not already done so.

Otherwise, register on the Home Page and the online Exam Application form will appear as you access your account.

Exam Candidate Manual - Available Here

 Exam Application Procedure:

  • Access the Application and fill out and submit through the automatic online process
  • You will receive an email confirming your successful application
  • GISCI will contact you for payment of Exam fees
  • After payment confirmation, you will receive a email contact from PSI, our test delivery provider, (from to allow you to arrange for selection of exam time and location 

Exam Fees:

Application Fee:  $ 100 (if you paid an Application Fee with a Portfolio Review, you will not pay a second time)

Exam Fee:                   Testing Location:               US & Canada  $ 250            International - $ 300  (US Dollars)

Existing, active GISPs are specifically excluded from taking the Exam.  Those whose certification has expired and  have exceeded the one year grace period will be required to take and pass the Exam to be reinstated.

Anyone can sign up to take the Exam at any time in her/his career. 

The exam is a groundbreaking development in the geospatial profession, based upon a complete job analysis from a four-year experience level, informed by the GIS&T Body of Knowledge and guided by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM).

The Exam and Portfolio Review are offered independently of one another, but both must be completed in order to receive GISP Certification. When you have started with either the Exam or the Portfolio Review, you have up to six (6) years to complete the other before you have to start over.

 The exam questions will cover from the  Knowledge Areas below:

  • Conceptual Foundations (12%)
  • Cartography & Visualization (14%)
  • GIS Design Aspects & Data Modeling (29%)
  • GIS Analytical Methods (17%)
  • Data Manipulation (15%)
  • Geospatial Data (13%)

For more information on these areas, consult the Exam Candidate Manual, available as a download higher on this page, or consult the UCGIS-produced GIS&T Body of Knowledge (available from the AAG) for more specific references from each Knowledge Area.  We anticipate that additional exam prep materials will become available from GISCI and other organizations  in 2016 and beyond.

For other questions, contact Bill Hodge, Executive Director

 The following map is provided for general reference to determine possible PSI testing locations.   For accurate, updated locations, please confirm with GISCI or PSI;  testing locations are in a constant state of flux.