The exam for child development associates includes multiple-choice questions covering six competency areas established by the child development associate national accrediting program, CDA. One competency area is establishing a safe, healthy learning environment.
A second competency area established by CDA is advancing physical and intellectual competence, with the specific dimensions of physical, cognitive, communicative and creative competence. A third competency area covered on the exam is children's social and emotional development and how caregivers can provide positive guidance.
The exam also includes questions about a fourth competency area, establishing positive and productive relationships with children's families. The fifth competency area is ensuring that programs are well-run, purposeful and responsive to participant needs. The sixth competency area is maintaining a commitment to professionalism.
CDA sells a textbook and workbook for candidates to use in preparing for the CDA exam at CDAcouncil.org.
The CDA exam is made up of 65 multiple-choice questions, five of which include scenarios with short narratives and photos for test-takers to evaluate. CDA exam candidates have up to one hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam, which is administered on a computer.
CDA exams are administered at testing sites run by Pearson Vue. Those wishing to schedule an exam can do so at PearsonVue.com/CDAexam, as of January 2016.