Preparing for the Commercial Certification Exam

By Glenn Nice, UW PAT Pogram.

If you have been certified before, this article may not tell you anything new.  However, if you are new to this whole process, or you can’t remember how this process works, please read on.

We recommend that you give yourself plenty of time study the material before taking the exam.  We suggest a 30-study schedule, which you can find in the Introduction section of your manual.  There is a lot of information to cover and 30 days gives you time to study, look over and review the material.  Even I would not want to read the whole book in a few days.

If this is not your first rodeo then you may only need to hit the chapters that you need review on.  Bur, be aware that often subtle details can change so reviewing the learning objectives that begin each chapter can help zero in on these changes (the exam questions are all based on the learning objectives).

To schedule a commercial certification exam, go to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) exam scheduling web site.  Select which testing center you want to do your test at, it will let you know the dates and times, and fill out the form. If you are unable to do the online scheduling, you can call 608-224-4548.

In the case of commercial exams, you will be sent a receipt with directions to the testing center.  Please do not send people to the address where the book is published or to the UW PAT program office, we do not give the test at the UW PAT office.  Please go to the address provided in the receipt.

Some things to keep in mind when getting ready for the exam.

  • You will need the certificate you received when you purchased the printed book, PDF or online course. If you have lost it, it will cost $10 to get it reissued. We can only reissue it to the address provided on the original order.
  • DATCP requires you to show photo I.D. to take the exam. They need to make sure you are who you say you are.
  • You will need to provide your Social Security Number.  If you do not have photo ID or a social security number please contact DATCP.
  • Bring a calculator. It will make you feel better when having to do the math.  Cell phones and programmable calculators are NOT allowed.

The commercial exam is a closed book test.  So, study up.  You need to get at least 70% correct to be certified.

If you do not pass, no worries. Schedule it again and take it again.  There is no additional cost, but there are some time frames for waiting to re-test if you fail more than once. This is in the hopes that you will put more time into studying.

  • 1st failure: 24 hours
  • 2nd and 3rd failure: 30 days
  • 4th failure in a 6-month period: 6 months

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the UW PAT Program [ ] or DATCP [ ].