Core and 3b are not that hard. Core is mostly safety and history. Category 3B is broken into 4 areas, but they are not separate test. Weed ID, math, Disease ID, Insect ID. It's a multiple choice test. Read your manuals with hi-liter in hand and review daily. You will get PLENTY of time for the test. There are some tricky questions like "in what month should a grub application be made, A June, B July, C August, D Sept. I had a problem with a question like that because it did not state whether we were talking curative or preventive. The Indiana test is not near as hard as some of these guys have to go through in other states.
The Core is a piece of cake. 3B is pretty easy if you read and study the book. As he pointed out there are some tricky questions, actually questions where I did not feel they provided enough information to answer it properly, but they are in the miniority.
The 3A is quite a bit harder in my opinion, but if I can pass it the first time, anyone can.
does zach talk in the 3b certification? We just took the 3a (ornamental) and I passed it. It's a pretty rough test but really pay attention to the plant names in the back of the book and listen to the oisc guy about supervision rules. Also, be sure to pay attention to the ornamental disease speaker, he's an entertaining guy with a lot of good information for the test.
I can't answer the question about Zack talking prior to the test because I did "Off Site" testing at H&R Block to save the drive to Laf. My test cost about $45.00 to take and was on a computer. I have heard Tim, Zac, Ric and Fred speak and they are well worth the price of admission.