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 GISCI Geospatial Core Technical Knowledge ExamR 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. It was developed by GISPs for the GISP Certification.

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 is 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. All questions are either multiple choice or multiple response.


Offered in the Summer (Early June) & Fall (Early December) of each year

The next Exam will be offered December 1-8, 2018

  • At PSI worldwide testing facilities  the same week of offering, 2018
  • International applications will be accepted until four 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 now open for the 2018 Fall  Exam, December 1-8, 2018 and applications are being accepted. 

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:

  • After log-in, 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
  • For North American locations:  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 
  • Scheduling for North American locations will be done directly by the applicant with PSI after payment is arranged
  • Scheduling for International locations will be done by direct request to GISCI, and requires more lead time to set up.  International locations cannot be scheduled directly with PSI

Exam Fees:

Application Fee:  $ 100 (a one-time fee paid at the time you apply for the Exam)

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 2018 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.