Prepare for the Certification Exam

Each certification exam is based on the appropriate category-specific training manual (for example, Turf & Landscape, Field & Vegetable Crops, etc.). Within each category, the exam questions address the learning objectives that are listed at the beginning of each chapter in the manual. Obviously, then, reading and studying your manual will best prepare you for the exam.

Exams consist of approximately 70 multiple-choice questions.

How to Schedule Your Exam

Self-Study (not attending a training / review session):
Commercial applicators who purchase the training materials and do not attend a training session will need to schedule an exam with DATCP online. Exams are offered year-round in various places around the state [To see DATCP testing locations]. There is no cost to take the exam at one of these DATCP locations. It can take 2-3 week for you to receive your exam results, especially during the busy season. The UW-Madison campus does NOT have a testing center.

If you are Attending a Training / Review Session:
If you register for a training session, you will be automatically scheduled to take the exam at the end of the session. (Note: you are NOT required to take the exam at that time; it’s OK to attend a training session but take the exam at a later date if you feel you need more time to learn the material.)

Want your results faster? There is now another option for the certification exam.

DATCP has partnered with a private testing company, Pearson Vue, that will offer more options for the exam. Pearson Vue is a private testing company that does testing for many different groups. They offer computer based tests at one of their testing centers. Pearson Vue also offers an official online proctored test. If you have the proper equipment, a quiet place to take the test and good internet capabilities, you can take the test online from anywhere. Pearson Vue has over 50 testing centers in Wisconsin you can go to. Get your results immediately after the test and your credentials within 3 business days of testing!

Pearson Vue Testing – You can create an account with Pearson Vue and take the commercial test either at one of their testing centers or online. Some things to be aware of:

  • To find out about Pearson Vue, sign in or set up an account [ Go to Pearson Vue ]
  • You get your results immediately after the test and your credentials within 3 business days of testing. Your card is sent via email.
  • Has over 50 testing centers in Wisconsin.
  • Exams taken through Pearson Vue cost $45.00. The same cost applies to retakes due to failure.
  • Will need your PAT number from the certificate or E-Ticket to sign up for a test. If retesting due to not passing, then you do not need this, enter “retest.”
  • The online test has some technical requirements (a webcam, mic, and a lock browser will need to be downloaded and used during the test). A quiet room to take the test is also important. If you do not have these or a great broadband connection, do not do the online test. Going to one of their testing centers would be best.
  • A calculator is also provided in the computer based test.
  • The test is closed book for commercial applicators.
  • Passing grade is 70%.

Please note that Pearson Vue charges $45 per test. DATCP still offers the exams at their testing centers at no charge. However, if testing with DATCP (Commercial), it may take 2-3 weeks (or longer during the busy season) to get your results and credentials in the mail.

To create a Pearson Vue account or sign into your account or find a testing center in your area

Information and Instructions about Pearson Vue tests

Things to Bring to the Exam

  • Photo ID: The exam proctor will not issue you an exam without a positive ID (such as a driver’s license).
  • Social Security Number: Federal and State law require this number from anyone who is seeking a state certification or license. You don’t need your SS card, just your number. If you do not want to provide this on the test or you do not have one due to religious reasons, you will have to contact DATCP.
  • Your Training Registration Form: Provide either the training registration certificate from the manual or if you ordered a PDF or online course E-Ticket. Proctor will need that PAT number on either of those two items. DATCP cannot grade your exam, nor grant you certification until the form is collected.
  • Calculator: You may use a calculator for the exam. However, cell phone calculators, programmable calculators, or those with alphabet keypads are not permitted. Do not bring a calculator that must be connected to AC power. DATCP test proctors will usually have a few calculators for people to borrow. If taking the test with Person Vue, a calculator is provided on the computer you are taking the test on.

Exam Score

Commercial Applicators
DATCP will send your exam score by mail. This can take 2 to 3 weeks depending on the time of year when you take the exam. DATCP’s certification and licensing program staff CANNOT give out your exam score over the phone. If testing at the Madison DATCP testing center your score and card is given at the time of completing the test. If you have not received your results within 30 days, you can inquire with DATCP [datcppesticideinfo@wi.gov].

When you pass the exam:

  • If you take and pass the exam at DATCP headquarters (Madison location), you will be given a certification card on the spot.
  • An individual applicator license application form will accompany your exam score and certification card (your license is different than your certification card: see a podcast about the difference: The Difference Between Certification and Licensing). You must be licensed to use or direct the use of restricted-use pesticides or pesticides containing metam sodium or to use or direct the use of any pesticide as a commercial applicator for-hire.
  • If you are testing with Pearson Vue, you will get your score at the end of the test. Your credentials will be sent to you via email within 3 business days.

If you failed the exam, instructions for scheduling the retake the exam will accompany your exam score. You must observe the following waiting periods before retaking the exam:

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

Please do not take the exam before this waiting period is completed. DATCP will not accept that attempt and you will have to take the test again once the wait period is completed.

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