Fundamentals Exam

People applying to become a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) are required to have a tertiary qualification as well as at least four university courses in soil science at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Applicants who hold a tertiary qualification but lack the four soil science courses may use a successful result in the SSA Fundamental Soil Science Examination to satisfy the academic requirements.

The Fundamentals Exam (jointly developed / owned by Soil Science Australia and the Soil Science Society of America) consists of 150 multiple choice questions on the topics listed in the Performance Objectives. Soil Science Australia considers the Performance Objectives to contain the minimum professional competencies required by soil scientists working on environmental and agricultural problems in Australia.

The cost, location and date(s) on which the exam is offered is set each year. As a guide, the cost is approximately US$200 and registration is via the Soil Science Society of America web site. The registration portal is opened each year after the exam date is set, and advice on dates and details will be posted here. Late registrations are not accepted and refunds are provided only in exceptional circumstances.

Contact the CPSS administrator for more information.

Fundamentals Exam 2019​

The 2019 SSA Fundamental Soil Science Examination will be held on ONLINE between 4 and 7 December


Exam Registration: 1 October to 8 November

Exam Scheduling: 20 November to 5 December

Exam Week: 4 to 7 December


Approximately two weeks after registration has closed an email with a link to schedule their exam date will be sent to those that have registered. Exams can be taken at any time during the designated exam week.

Examinees should schedule their exam at least 24 hours in advance. Examinees should schedule their exam date as early as possible.

Soil Science Australia Exam Page

Frequently Asked Questions

You should base your preparations for the examinations on the Performance Objectives.