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How hard is the license test, in your state?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by spray_man, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. grapeford

    grapeford LawnSite Member
    Posts: 104

    I think paying for the prep course is worth it. They give you study questions that are on the test. *This is Mass.
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Once again, I'll ask. Where are these statistics of these percentages coming from?
    I would like to see a link that shows me the pass/fail rate per state since these percentages are being thrown around. In your first sentence you say there are no statistics, but then you know the percentages of the pass/fail rates. Are you basing those numbers on what people post here as to their own personal experience with taking the test? I don't get it.
  3. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    I've taken the Massachusetts test three times and passed it all three times. Why three times, you may ask? I took it in 2001 for my General Applicator's License and passed. Then in 2003, I took it again to become Certified in Trees and Shrubs and passed that. In 2006, I took and passed it to become a Dealer.

    I also took the Rhode Island test back in 2002 and passed that as well. I've since let that license expire because I no longer have a need for it.

    All in all, none of them were really hard but like any test of magnitude, the nervous jitters never stop until your results have been given. It all comes down to the studying. If you take the time to read and have someone quiz you on a regular basis, you should pass with no problems. It's a multiple choice test with 125 questions. Don't let the multiple choice part fool you! On some questions, you'll have four answers to choose from. One of them you can throw out the window, the 2nd one you'll think about and then throw it out, and then you'll be left with two choices. Out of those two, they BOTH could be the answer. You have to choose the one that makes the most logical sense or is the most important answer.

    The part I had the most trouble with, dealt with the LABEL. Halfway through the test, I came upon four or five questions in a row where I couldn't figure out the answers at all. I filled out what I though was the answers but didn't feel comfortable with ANY of them. I made little stars next to them so that I could review them at the end of the test. I then turned the page and there was a label. I then read the label and it all became clear. THOSE QUESTIONS ON THE PREVIOUS PAGE, dealt with the Label! I erased my answers and then chose the correct ones, based on the label on the following page.

    I've often wondered how many people got those questions wrong because they couldn't figure out that they pertained to the label on the following page. I think that the Pesticide Bureau is testing us not only on what we know, but on how we can figure things out on our own as well.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    Sure I have. While there are a few states known for Telephone pole family trees, let us not go there. This industry already attracts illiterate individuals such as non English speaking, because they can survive in this industry without an education. I would like to blame testing levels of different states on insect pressure and welfare politics.

    As for any statistics on state tests, I can't remember ever seeing such a study. However Florida requires 3 years working for a Certified & Licensed company or a college education and one year working for a certified & license company to even sit for the test. Even with those requirement, there is still a less than 50% passing rate. Each category test is 200 questions and as stated before the multiply choice answers may all be correct, Which answer is more correct is what makes Florida tests so hard. BTW Florida Aquatic, road & rideaway and a few other certifications are idiot type tests that any one can pass.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    So back to your first post, you based your answer of the 3 hardest tests on your opinion. thank you.
    And while I do agree that the state of Florida makes it difficult for a green industry professional to obtain a license, I can not agree the ACTUAL TEST is hard unless I would take it.
    Did the state of Florida tell you the pass/fail rate? Or do you sit outside the testing room asking each applicant after they are done, "hey,do you think you passed or failed?"
    To wrap this up, I conclude there is no such thing as a hard test, anything can be studied and memorized.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    Trying to argue with a moderator is a lose lose situation. I have been told by my college professors and others in the industry, Florida Certification testing is the hardest in the nation. I have taken the certification tests in Florida and can guarantee they are not easy.

    The Past-Fail ratio is public information and all universities and CEU education providers have excess to that information. The pass fail is broken down according to education or experience qualification for sitting for the test. Those with college educations have a much higher pass rate as would be expected.

    BTW It took me a little more than one week end of study to pass on the first try. But then this is Florida and not the Commonwealth of Penna. I am told by your old buddy Lawrence Stone, the Penna test is (In His Humble Opinion) a Joke. He claims the Commonwealth of Penna is only interested in Applicators having Insurance and paying their licensing fees. But then you might of confirmed his statement by admitting you only studied for one week end in order to pass.

    PS A fact of Life is Certification and Job performance are not necessarily related. We all have seen educated idiots and uneducated genius. I had an employee who forgot more about irrigation than 20 year techs knew, yet he couldn't pass the irrigation test.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    BTW I had a college PhD professor who took the L&O certification test and failed. He scored very high on the L&O but failed the core part which had Florida Law which he didn't study. He never re-tested. This is the same guy who I have on speed dial as my main "go to guy".
  8. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    poor guy..;)
  9. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    Just a note about PA...the Core test is closed book, but the turf and ornamental tests are open book. If you never took the time to read the study material you would never be able to answer all the questions in the time they give you, even with the open book!
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    You are exactly right on that one. Saying it's open book is misleading, because you are screwed if you didn't study that book. Just not enough time to find the answers otherwise.

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