GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge Exam

To investigate the Exam description, download the Exam Candidate Manual.

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, generally consisting of between 175 and 195 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 next Exam will be offered June 2-9, 2018

  • At PSI worldwide testing facilities from June 2-9, 2018
  • International applications will be accepted until six weeks before the first exam date.
  • Applications for North American locations will be accepted until two weeks before the first exam date.

The online application process is open for the 2018 Summer  Exam offering, June 2-9,2018. 

The Summer 2018 applications are now being accepted for testing June 2-9, 2018.
You can apply through your registration log-in to the site, and you will encounter the Exam Submission button as you advance..   

 Use your existing log in information, if you have already registered on our site.

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

 Exam Application Procedure:

  • Access the Online Application Link and submit
  • 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 PSIOnline, 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, with no prerequisites. 

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 come from the  Knowledge Categories below:

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

Current Exam pass rates have reached 60%.

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.