Prepare for the Exam

The first two steps in becoming certified are to find out whether you need to be certified and, if so, how to register for the program to obtain the necessary training. If you have not already done so, you can get this information from the ‘Certification’ page.

Each certification exam is based on the appropriate category-specific training manual (Turf & Landscapes, Field & Vegetable, 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 consists of approximately 70 multiple-choice questions.

How to Schedule Your Exam

If you are attending a Training Session
If you register for a training session, you will be automatically scheduled to take the exam at the end of the session. (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.)

Commercial applicators who do not attend a training session will need to schedule an exam online. Exams are offered year-round in Madison and Eau Claire, Green Bay, Waukesha, Spooner, and Wausau. The PAT program office will provide detailed information on exam procedures and directions to testing sites in the “Green Sheet” accompanying your training manual (the Green Sheet is also available on the ‘Applicator Tools > PAT Tools’ page).

Private applicators can contact their county Extension office to register for training programs or book an appointment for taking the exam.

Things to Bring to the Exam

  • Photo ID. The exam proctor will not issue you an exam without 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.
  • Your Training Registration Form. Complete the Training Registration Form that immediately follows the front cover of the manual or is sent to you using UPS (pdf manuals and online courses) and turn it in to the exam proctor. The WDATCP 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.

Exam Score

DATCP will send your exam score by mail. This can take up to 30 days, depending on the time of year when you test. 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 is given at time of completing the test.

Private Applicator

After you take the exam at your county Extension office, the exam proctor will mail your answer sheet to the WDATCP.  Please allow up to 30 days for results to be mailed to you. If you have not received your results within 30 days please contact WDATCP .

If you passed the exam, your new certification card will be included in the mailing with your exam score. Be sure to sign the card and carry it with you whenever you perform any activity for which certification is required (e.g. purchasing, mixing and loading, applying). Meaning you MUST receive your card BEFORE you can perform any applicator duties.

If you failed the exam, contact your county Extension office to retake the exam.

Commercial Applicator

If you take the exam at WDATCP headquarters in Madison, your exam will be graded while you wait. If you take the exam at any other testing location, or at a live training session, your exam will be sent to the WDATCP headquarters for grading.

If you passed the exam, the procedure is the same as described above for private applicators with two exceptions:

  • If you take and pass the exam at WDATCP headquarters, 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). 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 failed the exam, instructions for scheduling to 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