View Full Version : Just finished my irrigators class

09-17-2011, 02:09 PM
This is by far going to be the hardest test I think I have ever taken. Im a firefighter/EMT and I was pretty convinced that was hard but seems like a walk in the park now. Any advice on how to study? Im making up some flash cards today and am just gonna do hydraulic calculations until I feel super comfortable with them.

Lite Headed
09-17-2011, 02:49 PM
Don't sweat it. They've dumbed down the test...I think the failure rate is now down to around 70% from 80%. :laugh: And you dont have to do the design in the test any longer either. When I took it in '84, you had to worry about whether there was going to be a drafting table available to finish the design on time.
Seriously, I'd concentrate on the hydraulics and backflow sections of the test.
Good luck!

09-18-2011, 03:18 PM
Take the test forward and then backward.
Memorize your formulas.
Take the book with you and have it in your vehicle so you can go back and check on anything your not sure about during the lunch break.
Good luck!

09-18-2011, 08:54 PM

09-19-2011, 07:23 AM
I made a 95+ on all the sections... except backflow but I did pass the first time. I did not realize there was going to be so many specific questions about it and did not study at all for them. I guess I did not think they would ask so many questions about something that anyone can look up quickly in the real world.

Be sure to go over all the details on installation, and the applications for all the backflow valves.

09-20-2011, 12:28 AM
My understanding is the year I took the test was the hardest most difficult test ever. We had to memorize Dr Watkins book on turf irrigation as well as do an extensive design. College grads with master degrees flunked it.
I passed it with flying colors and they've been dumbing it down ever since.
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09-20-2011, 12:40 AM
Is there a online course anywhere?

09-20-2011, 10:17 AM
I am a college grad with a masters... And I was one question away from failing the backflow.

If you do fail a part of the test you only have to re-take that portion. I think that is also a change. You do the design part of the test in the class now.
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09-20-2011, 10:30 AM
Back when I took the test (although not as long ago as Pete - did you really have to turn in your slate and chalk at the end?), of the 79 people in the room I remember hearing at least 60 of them where in some process of re-testing due to earlier failures.

Of the 19 left four of us passed the first time. Apparently the hang up was the design part which was then included during the exam process, which was the easiest for me.

Actually the test wasn't difficult at all until my calculator crapped out and I had to long hand compute the hydraulics. However, bear in mind I have an undergraduate in Turfgrass Agronomy and a minor in Fluid Dynamics plus a completely different degree so taking an exam wasn't difficult for me - I had seen all of this stuff before in greater detail than the exam covered.

I would suggest in order to prepare for the examination that you study the hydraulics, become familiar with computing friction loss/pressure variations then just take it slow and easy. However, I took the exam over eleven years ago, I am certain the exam has changed since then.

09-20-2011, 11:23 AM
How did the demo derby go?
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09-20-2011, 02:07 PM
Got my ass handed to me last Saturday. Not as bad as my divorce with the only difference being my ex-wife hit me harder than the other guys.
Long story short, set my car up for a dry/firm track and ended up mud bogging in a loose/saturated track. Wrong tires, wrong suspension = me being the pinata instead of the bat.
Go to you tube and search for the Spicewood Texas Demolition Derby 2011 - find the purple ghetto sled caddy number 00 and that's me.

09-20-2011, 04:43 PM
It hasn't been very long since I took the exam and honestly I found it pretty easy. I finished all 4 sections by about 11:30 so I went to lunch, came back and looked over it but I felt good about my answers so I turned it in. I was the 2nd person to complete that day,even ahead of pretty much all the people that were only retaking a single section, and I had a funny exchange with the proctor.

Proctor - You done?
Me - Yes.
Proctor - You sure you're done?
Me - Yeah, pretty sure.
Proctor - OK, I'll see you next time.
Me - Sounds good.

Got my results and the lowest I scored on any section was a 94, got a 100 on hydraulics.

This stuff isn't that complicated if you know the math, the laws and backflow. They don't ask any of the hard stuff like how to locate a shorted solenoid or how to determine if a zone has even DU or how to convince a customer that the reason 1/2 his yard is yellow and the other 1/2 is brown is because it wasn't hydrozoned worth a damn. Just review the book the night before, write down your formulas on a piece of scrap paper as soon as you sit down and double check your math and you should do fine.