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Operator Exam FAQs

What you need to know

Q:  Special exam certification testing is now computerized, why the change?
A: The change will provide operators with several benefits:

  • Open year round
  • Ability to schedule the test at a time convenient to you (Monday through Saturday, at 9:00 AM or 1:30 PM)
  • A better testing environment, and
  • Ability to get your test results immediately

Q:  When does the change take place?
A: Computer-based testing for special exams starts November 1st, 2009.

Q:  What does it cost to take a computerized operator certification exam?
A: The cost is the special fee amount. The price reflects the costs and services provided for computer-administered examinations.

Q:  Does the filing deadline change?
A: The filing deadline is 90 days before you wish to take the exam. You must meet all the certification requirements by the application deadline. The Drinking Water Services (DWS) Operator Certification unit must still approve your application before you can schedule to take the exam.

Q:  Does the certification requirement deadline change?
A: Yes. For Special Exams, you must meet all the certification requirements by the application deadline.

Q:  When are Special Exams?
A: Exams are given all year long. However, the application will not be reviewed during the renewal period (November, December and January).

Q:  What are the new exam dates?
A: There are no designated exam dates. You schedule when you want to take the exam. Exam times are Monday through Saturday, at 9:00am or 1:30pm, depending upon availability at the exam site.

Q:  How do I apply to take the exam?
A: There are no changes in applying to take the exam. See the following for more information:

Q:  What happens after I apply to take the exam?
A: Your application must be approved by the DWS Operator Certification unit. After full approval, you will be sent an email or postcard with instructions on how to schedule the certification exam.

Q:  Who runs the exam sites?
A: Exam sites are run by Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). For more information on AMP and the testing service, visit AMP's website.

Q:  How do I pay the exam fees?
A: You pay the required administrative fee to the DWS Operator Certification unit. You pay the exam fee to AMP. It is recommended to confirm the correct fee amount when scheduling the exam.

Q:  How do I schedule my certification exam?
A: Applicants can schedule an appointment on-line (24 hours/7 days a week) or by calling AMP's PSI Candidate Support Center toll-free at 888-519-9901.

Q:  Where are the exam sites?
A: The current exam locations in Oregon are located in Bend, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Medford, Salem, and Portland. The exam locations are subject to change; see AMP's PSI Candidate Services for all locations.

Q:  Are directions provided?
A: Directions to each site are provided on AMP's website and included in your confirmation e-mail (only if an e-mail address isprovided to AMP).

Q:  Is there parking at the exam site?
A: In most cases, this information will be included in the directions provided at the time your examination appointment is scheduled.

Q:  Are restrooms available at the exam site?
A: Yes, restrooms are available at each location.

Q:  What do I bring to the exam site?
A: Two forms of identification (one must be a current government-issued photo ID with signature) and a non-programmable calculator. Pencils and scratch paper will be provided. No other writing instruments or personal belongs are allowed. If you wear special glasses when working at a computer, you should bring those glasses.

Q:  What if I am late for my 9:00 or 1:30 exam time?
A: Just like the written exam, plan on arriving about 15-30 minutes early to allow for traffic or unforeseen problems. AMP policy allows candidates to still take the exam even if they are 15 minutes late. If you are later than 15 minutes, you will not be allowed to take the exam.

Q:  What if I can't make my scheduled exam time?
A: You may reschedule an appointment one time without penalty if you contact AMP a minimum of two business days prior to your scheduled examination date.

Q:  Has the certification exam changed?
A: No, the exam remains the same as the current written exam. There are 100 multiple-choice questions. The minimum passing grade is still seventy-percent (70%).

Q:  How long do I have to complete the exam?
A: As with the written exam, you have three (3) hours (running time) to complete the exam.

Q:  Can each exam site accommodate applicants with disabilities?
A: ?The sites comply with all federal, state and local laws regarding use of public buildings, ensuring accessibility required under the American with Disabilities Act and accommodating applicants with disabilities. AMP does require individuals with a disability to provide advance written documentation to AMP of their condition.

Q:  I'm not familiar with computers or computer testing. Will that hurt my ability to pass the exam?
A: Before starting the exam, you may complete a short exercise to become familiar with the computer, question layout and features of the computerized testing. You choose the correct answer by using a mouse or typing the appropriate letter. Operators with limited computer skills had no problem completing the exercise. PDF DocumentSee the new exam format here.

Q:  When do I get my results?
A: Your results are printed and given to you immediately after completing the exam.

Q:  How does DWS get my exam results?
A: The results are sent electronically to DWS in Portland.

Q:  After passing, what do I need to do to get my certificate?
A: Nothing. DWS will process your certificate once we receive the results from AMP. It will take 3-4 weeks to receive your certificate and wall document.

Q:  If I don't pass, how do I retake the certification exam?
A: To retake a certification exam, complete a new exam application for either a special exam or a regular exam and pay the required fees.

Q:  Does this change affect my ability to get reciprocity in other states?
A: No, the computerized exam is still an ABC certification exam, just like the written exam. With any reciprocity, you must still meet all the requirements of the state you are applying to for certification.

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