Prepare for the exam

Listed below are resources that you may find of value as you prepare for the exam.

What's on the exam?

The exam was developed by evaluating the global practice of food science and is firmly grounded in the established, fundamental knowledge and skills food scientists apply every day in all aspects of their jobs.

How do I schedule my exam?

The CFS examination is offered in 175 countries at 5,000 different testing centers.  To find the location of an exam testing center near you, please visit

What can I expect on exam day?

Follow these quick tips to help and set yourself up for success.

Preparation Resources

The Certified Food Scientist (CFS) Candidate Handbook is a comprehensive resource for potential CFS applicants.  It contains detailed information on the exam content outline, testing windows and exam delivery information. 

Download the CFS Handbook​

Held at various locations and times, the CFS Preparatory Course is an optional course for those interested in obtaining their Certified Food Scientist credential.

Get details on the CFS Prep Course



The examination associated with this credential focuses on the practical, applied knowledge that food scientists need to be proficient professionals.

Download the exam areas

There are a number of recommended publications available to help your prepare for your exam.

Download Publications List (PDF)


Certified Food Scientist (CFS) Preparatory Course ONLINE

IFT’s mobile-friendly online course for candidates preparing to take the CFS Exam. Learn more

Upcoming CFS Exams

May 1, 2017 – May 26, 2017
Deadline to Apply: April 24, 2017

August 10, 2017 – August 27, 2017
Deadline to Apply: July 20, 2017

October 16, 2017 – November 10, 2017
Deadline to Apply: September 25, 2017