The CAE examination is fair but challenging, designed to assess the ability of test takers to apply fundamental knowledge to scenarios drawn from real-world association management challenges. The CAE Exam Content Outline is updated every five years.
Current Exam Outline
The current CAE Exam Content Outline is based on research and input from subject-matter experts for a job task analysis study conducted in 2013-2014. The outline, which applies to CAE exams through June 2020, reflects the increasing sophistication of association executive considerations, including a broadening of business models beyond membership, and increased competencies in brand management, diversity and inclusion, and globalization.
The outline presents 159 competencies organized into nine knowledge domains. To provide candidates with authoritative materials on these topics, the CAE Commission has identified several CAE Core Resources.
New Exam Outline
In 2018–2019, the CAE Commission oversaw a practice analysis that resulted in the identification of 119 essential association management competencies organized into eight knowledge domains. The new CAE Exam Content Outline takes effect with the December 2020 exam and continues through the May 2025 exam. The outline presents the content covered in the exam; the amount of the test devoted to each area is indicated in parentheses.
Australasian Pilot Test Exam Outline
In conjunction with the December 2020 CAE exam, ASAE will be conducting a pilot test with the Australasian Society of Association Executives. The Australasian CAE Exam Content Outline is similar to the standard U.S.-centric outline but with some variations to account for differences in meaning, practice, or laws.