Fundamentals Exam – online

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 2020

The 2020 Soil Science Australia Fundamentals Exam will be offered ONLINE between 1 April and 7 April 2020.


Registration: 10 February to 6 March 2020 (see link below)

Scheduling: 27 March to 6 April 2020

Exam Week: 1 April to 7 April 2020

Registration link: 2020 Fundamentals Exam Information and Registration

Approximately two weeks after registration has closed, an email with a link to schedule an exam date will be sent to those who have registered. Exams can be taken at any time during the designated exam week however, examinees should schedule their exam date as early as possible and at least 24 hours in advance.

Examinees should base their preparations for the exam on the Soil Science Australia Fundamentals Exam Performance Objectives.

Note: if you are concerned about your technical setup, it is best to schedule your exam early in the period so that the online technical staff can assist you.

If you require further information prior to registering, please visit the Soil Science Society of America 2020 Fundamentals Exam Information and Registration page for Australian Applicants, or contact the Soil Science Australia CPSS Officer.

For more information on CPSS accreditation, please visit the Soil Science Australia CPSS Program page.