Pesticide Applicator Testing

Computer based pesticide applicator testing is available through Evaluation and Testing on Hawkeye’s Main Campus. In order to test, please go to the Make-Up Testing Center in Hawkeye Center.

Pesticide Applicator testing is available by appointment. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.

All exams are multiple-choice varying in length from 35 questions for category exams, 50 questions for the Core Manual, Private Applicator and Aerial Reciprocal exams, and 125 questions for the full aerial exam. Exams range from 50–60 minutes to complete with the exception of the full aerial exam which will allow two hours.

There is a $20 fee payable by cash, check (made out to Hawkeye), or card per day for testing. You may take as many different exams as you need for that fee, but each exam may only be taken once.

Before You Test

Know What Certification You Need

You are responsible for knowing which certification exams are necessary for your employment. Discuss with your employer if you are unsure of what you need. See the detailed description of the certification categories if you have questions. Specific questions regarding what test(s) you need to take should be referred to the Pesticide Bureau.

Prepare for the Test

Preparation materials and certification manuals are available through the Iowa State University Extension Publications Distribution Center or your local County Extension Office.

We highly recommend you study for your exams prior to coming to take your test(s).

Please keep in mind that it is NOT possible to review missed questions at the end of your exams.

Create a Quia Username and Password

To ensure a smooth testing process, create a Quia username and password prior to arriving for your test.

If you do not have a username and password created prior to arriving, you will not be denied testing, but it may delay your testing.

Request Special Accommodations

If you need special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you must document and submit your request in writing to the Pesticide Bureau, Iowa Department of Agriculture. Your request must be made at least 21 days prior to the date of your exam. Staff at the Pesticide Bureau will notify you if your request is approved or disapproved.

On the Day of Testing

You will need to bring a valid, current, government-issued photo identification, required to sit for an exam. Acceptable photo identification documents include a driver’s license (or a non-driver photo identification document), passport or immigration green card. If you take a break between exams, you will need to provide your ID again to complete any remaining exams.

Hawkeye will provide all required items (other than your Quia username/password) needed to complete your exam.

No other items brought with you, except for your photo ID, will be allowed in the testing room. This includes:

  • Any books (all exams are closed book), study or training materials, review notes, note pads or any other paper.
  • Any electronic devises (i.e. cellphones, computers, etc.)
  • Food or drink.
  • Hats, coats, wallet, purse, etc.
  • Items on your person for work purposes.

We do have lockers available for storing some items, but if possible, it is best to leave personal items at home or in your car. The Pesticide Bureau, Hawkeye Community College, or any exam proctor is not responsible for the loss or damage of any personal property. If disallowed items are discovered during testing, your exam will be ended and the situation will be passed on to the Pesticide Bureau.

Instructions Given by an Exam Proctor

You are expected to follow all instructions given by an exam proctor. Failure to comply with any exam instructions or requirements may result in your disqualification, failure of your exam and dismissal from the exam room.

Testing Room Rules

  • Please be respectful of others testing in the room and do your best to not disturb or distract them.

  • The only person you should ask questions to or ask for clarification from is the proctor. Please raise your hand if you need assistance and wait for them to come to your station.

  • Please be prepared to complete each exam without leaving the room once you begin. If you are taking multiple exams, breaks can be taken in-between exams.

  • Before closing the test and leaving the exam room you must notify the proctor so your test score can be verified.

  • Please remember Hawkeye is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on campus including parking lots.


Do not talk with other candidates while the exam is in progress or give or receive any type of exam assistance. Any evidence of cheating will result in your immediate disqualification, failure of your exam and dismissal from the exam room. You may not seek help from an exam proctor to interpret an exam question. An exam proctor will not provide this type of assistance.

Exam Checkout

Remain seated until you complete your exam. When you complete your exam, please raise your hand and wait for a proctor. The proctor will verify your score. If your score is not verified by the test proctor at the end of the test, you will not receive proof of your passing score at the testing location. It will be necessary to contact IDALS for proof of your passing score which will delay your paperwork to apply for certification. All materials, including used or unused scratch paper, must be returned to the proctor at the end of your testing period.

Exam Security

You may not keep any exam materials after the exam.

Your Exam Score(s)

Your exam will be scored immediately at the completion of the exam. Each exam you take will be verified by the exam proctor and recorded for you on the certification form provided to you. If you do not pass an exam you will not receive any forms.

Passing the Exam

The minimum passing score for each commercial exam is 80% correct.

The minimum passing score for private applicator exams is 70% correct.

If you pass your exam(s), you will be issued a certification application form at the end of your examination session. This form will be signed by the exam proctor and will verify each exam you have passed. Please keep these forms in a secure place and make a copy for your own records.

Upon passing all the exams required, you may submit copies of the certification application forms showing which exams you passed along with the appropriate fees to the Pesticide Bureau, Iowa Department of Agriculture to the address listed on the form. You are only eligible for certification as a commercial or public applicator when employed by a licensed commercial or public applicator.

Retaking Failed Exams

If you fail your exam(s), you may take any exam once per day. You may re-take the same exam no earlier than the next business day, and you will be assessed another $20 test fee for the day

Challenging an Exam Question

All exam questions have been professionally prepared and reviewed. If however, you wish to challenge an exam question, you should contact the Pesticide Bureau, Iowa Department of Agriculture and ask for an Application to Challenge a Pesticide Applicator Exam Question. You will not be allowed to review your exam to prepare a challenge to an exam question.

Evaluation and Testing

Student Services
Hawkeye Center 208
Email us

Wearing a mask is required while on campus, including while testing.

Regular Hours — Spring 2021

Monday 7:30am–4:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am–6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am–6:00pm
Thursday 7:30am–4:30pm
Friday 7:30am–4:30pm

Testing is by appointment only. Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

If campus is closed, the Testing Center is also closed. This includes weather related closings. See the Academic Calendar for scheduled college closings.

Pesticide Bureau

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (IDALS)
Henry A. Wallace Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-005
Email us

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