How hard is the license test, in your state?

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

  1. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    In Arkansas, back when I took mine, wasn't pretty had if you have had some sort of background information. I mean, it is not likely that a person off the street that has done brick work will go in and take the exam. An fee is paid in accordance with the acceptance application. They want to know who,what,where,when, and why you want to be certified. If you are new and wanting to get into spraying, the state will not consider you unless you have worked for someone before or have had some sort of collegiate or outside experience such as OJT or classroom time.
    Most licenses around here are given to fly-boys, golf course super's, their employees, a certain select of LCO's whom have the time to study for the Core and EPA portions. If I can remember correctly, the EPA side was basic--common sense knowledge of handling, disposal, and PPE according to state regulations. The questions are tricky and do mislead the questionnaire. The Core exam is ever more loaded with questions that are meant to devour your braincells with misleading--rhetoric and off the top questions that were not on the study material (Supplied by the U of A). There was alot of background knowledge from out sources that you needed to have from field experience!
    I believe that both exams were 100 questions each and a separate part with 6 math questions: one for calculating dry powders--one for calculating acreage machinery--one for nurse tanks,etc. The exam is geared for the farmer, and if you have had no experience with farming, then it can be confusing. It took me 2 times to pass the weed control portion because of the misleading math conversion questions. The insect control and fungicide section was another 200 questions of basic, background knowledge, and handling procedures under the FIFRA guidelines. There was little, if at all, pressure to read labels, except for knowing what the skull and cross bones meant..LOL! No--You had to know certain key words and areas to look for vital information before you applied any chemical. The rest is waiting for 2 months to see if you pass, then another 2-3 weeks for your acceptance. Then you have to either prorate the costs for the year or wait until the next physical date rolls around. Oh----You cannot go out and apply anything commercially until you have the card in hand and the wall plaque to display!!!!
    Anyone under the licensed operator has to go through classroom training ( prepared by the license holder) and perform 40 or more hours on-the-job training. An agent's license can be obtained under the same guidelines as stated above.

    Then again!-----Why do we go out and do all this stuff when the products we spray are sometimes converted over to the R.U.P. and everyone can use it???? LOL!
  2. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Personally I think NY is too easy. It's about the same as the CT applicator test. I used to a teach CT/Supervisory pre-test primer course. I don't keep my trade show credits. I retest here in CT every 5 years to save time (It used to be cheaper to retest but no longer).
  3. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I guess one way to qualify how hard a test is, might be, is to look at: 1) How much material is used as reference. 2) How many questions and 3) What type of questions. I think multiple choice would be the easiest, followed, by written answers, than interview questions. I will put in my 2 cents by giving you those figures for the Florida Lawn and Ornamental exam:

    Reference material for the Lawn and ornamental exam

    1) The Structural Pest Control Act / Florida Statutes: 33 pages
    2) Rules of the Department / Florida Administrative Code: 27 pages
    3) Applying Pesticides Correctly - A Guide for Pesticide Applicators: 229 pages
    4) A label from a commonly used chemical - Always Heritage TL: 4.5 pages
    5) Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management: 340 pages
    6) Florida Lawn Handbook – 3rd Edition: 167 pages
    7) Imported Fire Ants on Lawns and Turf, Fact Sheet: 46 pages
    8) Pictures that may have to be identified: 106
    Note: I think 16 to 24 questions are based on picture Identification.

    Total of 952.5 pages to read / memorize? And 106 pictures

    200 or 250 multiple choice questions, somebody help me with this one I don’t remember.
  4. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I forgot:

    Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources in Florida: 50 pages
  5. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Great breakdown, TG.

    I did weed control and fertilization for an LCO in Little Rock for 7 years, then got out of the industry for a while. My original license was issued based on my work experience and "classroom" study. I was never required to test. I spent a few applications working as an assistant to the head of the weed control division, then ran a route for 7 years.

    Fast forward ahead, I returned to lawn maintenance, and decided the lack of ability to spray weeds and fertilize was too frustrating, so I decided to get licensed to do so. I signed up (and paid) to take the EPA, class 4, and class 5 exams, all on the same day. Which would have been fine had I studied.

    But I didn't. I told myself that just performing the work well for all those years should be enough to get me through. Alas, it was not. The first time around, I passed the EPA "core"exam, and failed class 4 and 5.:hammerhead:

    After waiting the required period for taking the test again (and studying the provided materials) I signed up for class 5 and passed. I still need to take the class 4 license again later this year. I will study this time, not rely on divine intervention to provide me with the answers.

    The class 5 exam was 50 multiple choice questions, some of which used tricky language obviously intended to confuse applicants. I was annoyed by this tactic.

    As of now, I still do not have my license. Why? the plant board doesn't prorate license fees anymore and the license runs from July 1 to July 1. So I would pay $150 bucks for a little over a month, then pay it again July 1 for a full year. Nope. I will just suffer another month.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    200 questions, but Don't forget there are At least 400 correct answers for those 200 questions. Which answer is ""more correct"" is what makes the test a real bear. BTW Thanks for the page number Totals and some of those pages have real small print with no pictures. I always said you have to read your butt off to past the Test, but I never counted the pages. I feel anyone who passes the Fla. CPO has bragging rights.
  7. spray_man

    spray_man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I talked to a guy that took the Florida Lawn and Ornamental test this March (09), and had taken the same test previous July (08). He noticed less "confusing" questions. He mentioned it to the guys giving the test; They told him: A lot of complaints, and the rise in price of taking the test, had forced them to make the test easier to understand.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Dr Sung no longer writes the test. Dr Sung was a real PITA in the fact he would be at each testing and if someone ask a question, you better believe it would be on the next test only with more correct answer choices.

    Terry Montgomery writes the test now and is or was in the Jacksonville BEPC office. He used to be the one who approved CEU courses. Terry is strict but very fair. I used to be a CEU provider and had to work with Terry to get my CEU Classes certified.
  9. vincent1

    vincent1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    UT test easy
  10. OSguy

    OSguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    What part of the state are you in Ric

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