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Preparing for the Certified Applicator Exam

Applicator Certification

This is a professional level certification. You will need to study and prepare for the exam to ensure that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a certified pesticide applicator.

Core Exam

All applicators must pass the Core Exam with a score of 70% or higher. The Core Exam covers basic pesticide knowledge, state regulations, and label comprehension, which all pesticide applicators must be familiar with.

Category Exams

Applicators must also pass at least one Category Exam. The categories are based on the application site and the type of work being performed. Learn about the categories and their descriptions.

Preparing for the Exam

  1. Determine which categories you wish to become certified in.
  2. Get study materials for the Core Exam and the Category Exams you chose.
  3. Study. You will need to have a thorough understanding of the information in the study materials.

Exam Format

Exams

All applicators must pass the Core Exam, which includes three sections: General Knowledge, State Regulations, and Label Comprehension. You must receive at least 70% on each section to pass. There is a time limit for each section.

All applicators must pass also at least one Category Exam. Category Exams include a General Knowledge section, and most also include a Calculations section. You must receive at least 70% on each section to pass. There is a time limit for each section.

Locations

Pesticide Applicator Exams are offered at online testing centers in several locations throughout the state. Online proctored exams are available during normal testing center business hours.

If you are unable to take an exam at an online testing center, we will try to arrange a proctor to administer the exams to you in a paper and pencil format.

Both online and paper/pencil exams contain the same questions, which include multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, and calculations.

When you are ready to take the Pesticide Applicator Certification Exams, follow the steps below:

Taking the Certification Exam

  1. Fill out the Pesticide Applicator Exam Registration Form (PDF)
    • Do not leave any blanks on the form.
  2. Send your registration form to the Pesticide Control Program
    • Print the form and mail it to:
      • Pesticide Control Program
      • 1700 E Bogard Rd., #B103
      • Wasilla, AK 99654
      • or
      • Scan and email the form to mariah.jerman@alaska.gov
    • Once the Pesticide Control Program receives your registration, we will email you with an exam approval and details about how to contact the testing center in your area to schedule a time to take your exams.
    • If you are unable to take an exam at an online testing center, we will try to arrange a proctor to administer the exams to you in a paper and pencil format. There may be a delay in locating and arranging a proctor for these exams. We will contact you with information about where and when to take your exams.
    • If you need special accommodations for the exam, please call us at 907-376-1870 to discuss how we can help you.
  3. Schedule your exam
    • Exams can be scheduled at the online testing centers throughout the year.
    • You must take the exam within 100 days of your approval date.
    • Online testing centers charge a fee to administer exams. You will pay this fee directly to the testing center when you go in to take the exam. Fees vary, but are generally between $30 and $50 per test.
  4. Study for the exam
    • You will need to have a thorough understanding of the information in the study materials.
  5. Take the exam
    • Cell phones and other electronic devices are prohibited in the testing area. Please do not bring them into the testing areas. (Exception – simple calculators).
    • Bring the following items to the exam:
      • photo ID
      • simple calculator (you may not use your phone calculator; you may not use a calculator with graphing capability)
    • You are allowed up to 1 hour 20 minutes for the Core Exam. Many people finish in much less time.
    • Plan on taking additional time for each Category Exam. Amount of time required depends on which Categories.
    • You may not leave the testing area until you have completed and turned in your exam. Make sure to take care of restroom breaks and other needs before you begin.
    • The exam proctor will provide you with a copy of the state pesticide regulations, any exam handouts such as labels and example signage, and a formula sheet for category tests. No other study materials are allowed.
    • You may not take any study materials into, or out of, the testing area, including exam attachments or notes taken during the exam.
  6. Get Your Results
    • You will see your score immediately after taking each section of each exam. A score of 70% or higher is required on ALL sections of the exams.
    • If you take the exam in a paper and pencil format, the exam proctor will mail the exam back to us for grading. You will receive your results within 4 weeks. Please do not call to check on scores unless at least 30 days have passed since your exam.
  7. If You Do Not Pass
    • If you fail the Core Exam or Category Exam, you may retake the test the next day.
    • If you fail an Exam three times within a one-year period, you must wait 12 months to re-test.
    • The testing center will charge you each time you take the exams.
    • If you attempt to retake an exam before the waiting period is up, this will be considered an automatic failure, regardless of the score reported by the computerized test.
    • Intentional cheating will result in failure and disqualification from re-taking the certification exam.
  8. If You Do Pass
    • Congratulations!
    • We will email you an invoice for the $25 DEC fee and a reminder to submit proof of liability insurance (Unless you designate as a Private Applicator).
    • Once we receive those items, we will mail your Certified Pesticide Applicator card to the address provided on your form.
    • If you pass the exams but do not submit the $25 DEC fee and proof of liability insurance we will hold your card until you submit the required items.
    • You are not certified until DEC has issued you a certified pesticide applicator number and you have received your certified pesticide applicator card.

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