Tips for Your Success on ASQ's Six Sigma Green Belt Exam

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Back in October 2020, I took and passed ASQ's Certified Six Sigma Green Belt exam. Yay me! I wanted to pass in one go and so made sure to prepare and study for the exam. I didn't think I'd need all four and half hours, but I took the nearly the entire time and was able to do it from home (because of COVID, of course).

Here are some tips on preparing and testing at home as you get ready ASQ CSSGB exam.

Reference materials

The test is open book. So having a small library of materials is helpful in keeping your confidence that you'll be able to pass the exam. I'll tell you, I ended up buying too many books and only used two during the Green Belt exam:

  • The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook, 2nd Edition (ASQ Quality Press, 2015) by, Murno, Maio, Ramu, and Zyrymiak
  • The Six Sigma Handbook, 5th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2014) by Pyzdek and Keller

That was it. I had brought in seven books, but didn't crack five of them open during the exam (list of five down below). As long as you study, the test is pretty straight forward.

The study guide

The only study guide I used was ASQ's:

  • The ASQ CSSGB Study Guide (ASQ Quality Press, no publication date) by Munro, Zrymiak, and Rice

The guide was useful because it highlighted entire topics to me that I was unfamiliar with and needed to put extra time into studying. In particular, I knew nothing about measurement systems analysis, control charts, and process capability and process performance indices. I've never been in a role that required those knowledge sets.

The study guide pointed out where I had massive holes of knowledge and I was able to focus my preparation in those areas.

One problem with the study guide: There is no errata for errors in the guide. One of my projects is to go back into my notes and pull out the questions with errors and post the solutions here. The errata will most likely not be complete, but I hope to save you the hassle of discovering that there are no solutions for the errors.

One final note on the study guide. You can't bring bring the study guide into the exam. This is why the study guide isn't listed under reference materials. You can bring in your notes from the study guide, just as long as they are bound together.

Other materials I brought (but didn't use)

Here's the list of all the other materials that I brought with me to the exam. I list them here to save you some money if you're contemplating on purchasing them solely for the green belt test. They might come in handy for the Black Belt exam, but I won't know until I take that certification test.

Books that I didn't use:

  • The Memory Jogger II (Goal/QPC, 2010) by Brasser and Ritter
  • The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed (McGraw-Hill, 2004) by George, Mary, Rowlands, and Price
  • Statistical Quality Control, 7th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2004) by Grant and Leavenworth
  • The Team Handbook, 3rd Edition (Oriel, Inc., 2003) by Scholtes, Joiner, and Streibel

Materials I didn't buy

And as I'm going over my notes, there are others that I had written down, but didn't purchase. Mostly because they were other handbooks on lean and six sigma and the information would have been redundant. I list them here in case you want to check them out for yourself:

  • The Six Sigma Green Belt Primer (Quality Council of Indiana, 2006) by Quality Council of Indiana
  • Lean Six Sigma: A Handbook and Solutions Manual for Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt Process Improvement Projects (Citius Publishing, 2019) by Breyfogle
  • Six Sigma: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide: A Complete Training & Reference Guide for White Belts, Yellow Belts, Green Belts, and Black Belts (The Council for Six Sigma Certification, 2018) by The Council for Six Sigma Certification

Testing at home

I was able to test at home. It was great!

Normally, you'd take the CSSGB test at Prometric testing center. But because of COVID, you have the option of testing at home. You'll still take the exam through Prometric, but the test-at-home system is called ProProctor. Because the system uses your webcam to monitor you during the test, it's just as secure as taking a test through a testing center.

I had to make sure that my internet connection was stable (so I connected via ethernet cable rather than wifi), made sure my family knew not to disturb me during the test, and had to pass their security screening. The screening consisted of taking a picture of my face and ID and  panning my webcam around the room and my workspace. This last step was to show there was no one else with me or a recording device to record the test. Here's a link to the ProProctor FAQ and "What to Expect" video.

ASQ started the test-at-home option in May 2020, and the latest check of their website doesn't have an end date. So for the foreseeable future, remote testing will be an option for you.

Additional Resources

Finally, if you need help with prepping for your upcoming green belt exam, check out my resources page. I plan on posting my cleaned up notes that I found helpful in the areas that I was weak in (in particular, measurement systems analysis, control charts, and process capability and process performance indices!). If there's something that you'd like to get help on, send me a note!

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