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New Computer-Based Testing Now Available

Computer-based testing is now an option for Pesticide Applicator, Consultant and Trainee testing in Oregon. ODA, the pesticide testing centers, and Metro Institute (a tech company out of Phoenix, AZ) teamed up to bring this idea to reality over the last several months. All pesticide exams, including category exams, have been converted to computer format and testing is available (or will be soon) in most of the pesticide testing centers. Computer-based testing will greatly benefit applicators, trainees, consultants and operators who want faster test results.

What is computer-based testing?

Computer-based testing is simply another format to take pesticide certification exams. Instead of filling out a bubble-code scantron sheet, the test-taker views each question on a computer screen and uses the mouse to click their answer choice.

Can I do computer-based testing at home?
No. The exam continues to be closed-book and ODA must verify the identity of the test taker. Thus, the exam must be proctored at a test center.

Is computer-based testing more difficult?
On the contrary, we feel that doing the certification exams on the computer is actually easier than on paper. There's no more flipping between pages to answer the label questions. Also, there's less of a chance to transpose incorrect answer choices to the scantron sheet.

Does the computer-based test take more time?
No. Since the test-taker does not have to fill out each score sheet, computer tests are typically completed in 1/2 to 3/4 of the time required to complete the paper test.

What are the other advantages of taking the test on computer?
The test-taker can schedule at any of our locations by calling a single phone number: 1-877-533-2900*.
The test-taker gets instant feedback after completing the test. They will know right away if they passed or failed the exam.
The test-taker gets a score breakdown at the end of the test session. With the computer-based testing, we have the ability to give a more fine-tuned section analysis than with our paper tests. We will work to improve section analyses for all certification tests over time.
The test-taker will get an application form by email if they pass the required exam(s).
The computer-based process typically shaves a week or more off the turn around time to get a pesticide license, letting the applicant get to work faster.
Computer-based tests cannot get lost in the mail.

What is the basic process for going to take the computer test?
Call Metro Institute at 1-877-533-2900*. Most testing centers need you to call at least one day before you intend to test. Schedules vary by testing center.
They will schedule you for a test and take a credit card payment over the phone*. They will give you a code number to bring to the testing center.
Go to the testing center at the time of your appointment. Make sure to call at least one day in advance if you will not be able to make the appointment. Metro Institute will reschedule you.
After signing in and having your photo taken you will be taken to a computer to take the test. Enter your code number to start your exam.
Answer all the questions on the tests. Blank questions will count against you, just like the paper test, so answer all of them.
The computer will show your score at the end of the exam.
ODA will email you a copy of the results (usually the next business day). If you passed all of your required exams, we will email you a form to fill out. If you are really in a hurry and know you passed all of the required exams, you can download a blank form from our website.
Remember, a test taker is not considered licensed until the license has been issued. Just passing the tests is not enough!

*In addition to registration over the phone, Metro Institute will be implementing an online registration system for Oregon in the near future.

ODA hopes the new computer-based format better fits the needs of test takers, who often are in a hurry for test scores. We chose to pursue this technology based on input from leaders in the pesticide application industry and we feel it will benefit both test-takers and the companies who hire them. Starting in July, ODA will begin a phase-out of paper-based testing by limiting the frequency of paper-based testing sessions. Please consider computer-based testing when scheduling recertification exams or scheduling new employees to take the exams.