Soil Science Australia Soil Fundamentals Exam


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

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

The Soil Fundamentals Exam is jointly developed and owned by Soil Science Australia and the Soil Science Society of America and 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) of the Soil Fundamentals Exam is set on an annual basis. As a guide, the cost of sitting the exam is approximately US$200. The Soil Fundamentals Exam is currently offered online (an additional US$60 is charged for the exam proctoring service) and registration is via the Soil Science Society of America website.

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.

Please contact the CPSS Officer for more information.

Soil Fundamentals Exam 2020

The Soil Fundamentals Exam was offered ONLINE from 1 December to 5 December, 2020. 


Exam Registration: Registrations have now closed

Exam Scheduling: Scheduling has now closed.

Exam Week: 1 December to 5 December, 2020

Information link: 2020 Fundamentals Exam Information

Approximately two weeks after the registration period 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.

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 page for Australian applicants, or contact the CPSS Officer for more information.

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