Chartered Data ScientistTM is the highest distinction in the field of data science. This program is organized by the Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci). To achieve this distinction, one needs to take the exam first. The candidates who pass the exam and meet certain conditions are awarded this charter. In this article, we will discuss how an aspirant can prepare for the Chartered Data ScientistTM. Along with that, we will also recommend some useful free study resources for better preparation. 

For better understanding, we can take this process in a few steps. To achieve the distinction of Chartered Data ScientistTM, an aspirant needs to follow the below steps:-

  1. Enrol to the Program and Register for Exam: A candidate needs to register for the CDSTM exam by visiting the ADaSci website. The candidate can select an appropriate date and time for the exam based on their choice.
  2. Take the Exam: After successfully registering for the exam, the candidate needs to appear for the exam. This exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions to be completed in 3 hours. 
  3. Show the experience: After successfully passing the CDSTM exam, you need to show that you have two years of experience as a data scientist. After verifying all your details, the CDSTM charter is provided. If the candidate is not having the two years of required experience, they can move ahead with the exam results and can obtain the charter at a later time when they attain the experience. 
  4. Receive the Charter: After successful completion of the above steps, the Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) confers the award of Chartered Data ScientistTM.

How to prepare for the Chartered Data ScientistTM Exam

To achieve the Chartered Data ScientistTM distinction, the candidate needs to pass the exam. Here we have listed a few tips for preparing for this exam:-

  • Exam Delivery: The exam for Chartered Data ScientistTM is offered via online mode only. It can be taken up at any time of the year and from any location as per the candidate’s convenience around the world. This exam is offered in the English language only. 
  • Exam Pattern: This exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions and the duration of the exam is 3 hours. It follows an adaptive testing pattern where the difficulty level of the questions gets changed automatically during the exam. This means that if the candidate has submitted an answer correctly, the next question thrown to the candidate will have a higher difficulty level. Similarly, if the candidate has submitted an answer incorrectly, the next question thrown to the candidate will have a lower difficulty level.
  • Curriculum: According to the CDSTM curriculum, this exam covers questions from 10 different sections. These 10 sections comprise all the important verticals of data science. Out of 150 questions, there is a fixed number of questions from each of the 10 sections depending on the weightage of that section. The candidate needs to make note of the contents of all the sections.
  • Reference Material: Along with the curriculum, the list of reference textbooks is also given. You should prepare all the topics across the sections by taking reference from these books. Although you are not bounded to these books only, you can take reference from your own study materials to prepare for these topics.
  • Time Management: The average successful candidate reported spending 200 hours studying to prepare for this exam. So, you can manage your preparation time according to your potential. Since studying for CDSTM exam is self-paced, candidates spend varying amounts of time preparing for the exam depending on how long they have until their exam date. For example, if a candidate spent a year preparing for the CDSTM exam, the candidate would have needed to study about 25 hours per month.
  • Practice Set: To practice for the exam, you can use the sample question set that is available on ADaSci website. However, this practice set does not exactly reflect the difficulty level of questions in the main exam, but it helps the candidate to get a guess about the exam structure.
  • During Exam: At the time of the exam, on average, you should allow approximately 60 seconds for each multiple-choice question. You may need more or less time, depending on the question and how well you understand the topic.

Study Resources

As the Chartered Data Scientist is a self-study program, it gives the flexibility to the candidate to prepare on their own with a detailed curriculum. However, a candidate can prepare very well by following the curriculum, we are also adding the section-wise a few suitable study resources that can help in preparation.

Probability Theory, Statistics and Linear Algebra:

An Introduction to Statistical Learning: With Applications in R, Daniela Witten, Gareth James, Robert Tibshirani, and Trevor Hastie, Springer Publication. 

Data Engineering and Databases

Fundamentals of Database Systems, Elmasri Navathe

Exploratory Data Analysis

Practical Statistics for Data Scientists: 50 Essential Concepts, Peter Bruce and Andrew Bruce, O’Reilly Publication.

Supervised Learning and Unsupervised Learning

Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning, Christopher Bishop, Springer Publication.

Machine Learning, Tom M. Mitchell, McGraw Hill Publication.

Neural Networks and Deep Learning

Neural Networks and Learning Machines, 3rd Edition, Simon Haykin, Pearson Publication.

Natural Language Processing

Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, Christopher D. Manning and Hinrich Schutze, The MIT Press.

Computer Vision

Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications, Richard Szeliski, Springer Publication.

Deployment and Model management

Building Machine Learning Powered Applications, Emmanuel Ameisen, O’Reilly Publication.

Python and R

Python Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering Python 3, 3rd Edition, David Beazley & Brian K. Jones, O’Reilly Publication.

R for Data Science: Import, TIDY, Transform, Visualize, and Model Data, Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund, O’Reilly Publication

Business and Data Science

Business Analytics: Principles, Concepts and Applications


Time Management

If you are planning to take this exam, you should register in such a way that you can get enough time for preparation. As we have discussed above, on average it takes around 200 hours to prepare for the exam. So based on this information and how many hours you can devote in a day to prepare for this exam, you should consider taking days in advance for preparation. The preparation should be such enough that the candidate can achieve a high score in the exam as this exam declares successful or unsuccessful on the percentile basis and not on the percentage basis. 

2 Comments
  1. Mohammad Shehran Siddiqui 4 months ago

    Is it compulsory to have 2 years of experience? I am a final year student of computer science, can I approach this exam within this year?

    • Khadeer Akbar 2 months ago

      You can write exam, you will get result. But you will be awarded as Chartered Data Scientist after 2 years of experience

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