Online Testing: A Closer Look

Overview

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has partnered with University of Illinois Extension to provide remotely-proctored online Pesticide Applicator/Operator certification exams. These exams are offered as an alternative to those who cannot or choose not to attend traditional in-person testing sessions. Exams appointments may be scheduled 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Scheduling an Exam
  1. Starting on the PSEP Training & Testing page, click either the orange Commercial Exams button or the blue Private Exams button. This will take you to Learn @ Illinois Extension, the site where all exams are hosted.
  2. Locate the exam you need and click on its name. If you need to take multiple exams, select the one you plan to take first (i.e. General Standards Exam). You will complete these steps again for any additional exams.
  3. You will be prompted to Login to the site if you have not already. If you already have an account on Learn @ Illinois Extension (from an online training course or other exam), log in using the credentials you already created. If you do not yet have an account on Learn @ Illinois Extension, choose the Create New Account option.
  4. After logging in, you will be taken to an Enrollment Options page. Under the Self-Enroll section, click the blue Enroll Me button.
  5. You will be taken to the exam instructions page. This page will walk you through preparing and testing your equipment, then it will provide a link for you to schedule an exam appointment. It also lists the information and items you will need for the exam.
  6. Follow each step of the exam instructions in order. The vast majority of folks who have had problems with their exams failed to follow one or more steps in the instructions.
What To Expect On Exam Day

At the time of your exam appointment, you will need to have both of the following pages open in the Google Chrome browser:

  1. The exam instructions page (See Scheduling an Exam above). This requires you to be logged-in to the Learn @ Illinois Extension site.
  2. Your ProctorU dashboard (The page you see immediately after logging in to ProctorU which shows your scheduled exam appointments. This requires you to be logged-in to the ProctorU site).

At the scheduled appointment time, you will click the Start Session button next to the exam name on your ProctorU dashboard. You will then be connected to a live proctor who will guide you into the exam. Throughout the exam, your microphone and webcam will be used to monitor the session to ensure un-permitted materials or outside assistance are not utilized.

You will be permitted a calculator (not on a phone/tablet) and a single sheet of blank scratch paper. You will be provided a digital copy of the equation sheet during the exam; you will not be permitted a printed paper copy.

At all times throughout the exam, you will have access to a chat window in the event you need technical support. It is important to know that your proctor does not have an answer key to the exam and cannot help clarify the content of the exam, but they can help with questions about exam procedures or technical matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for an online exam? See the Scheduling an Exam section above.

How much does it cost to take an exam? There is a $12 fee per exam attempt. This is paid to the proctoring service when you schedule your exam appointment. If you schedule an exam less than 72 hours in advance, you may be charged up to an additional $12. Please note that no portion of any exam fee goes to the Illinois Department of Agriculture or University of Illinois Extension. All fees are strictly for the proctoring service itself.

Can I take an exam right now... like right now? Yes. Exam appointments are typically available with start times every 10-20 minutes, 24/7. 

I need to retake an exam, do I need to pay again? Yes. You will need to schedule a new exam appointment just as you did your original attempt (see the Scheduling an Exam section above). Alternatively, in-person testing is available, free of charge, on a limited basis through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Registration for in-person exams is available on the IDA Website or by phone at 800-641-3934 or 217-785-2477. You will not be allowed more than 3 attempts per exam.

I need to reschedule my exam or request a refund. Any questions about rescheduling, payments or refunds for exams should be directed to the ProctorU Website where you can submit a request, or over the phone at 1-855-772-8678.

I can't login to the ProctorU Website, it won't take my username/password. You will need to create a ProctorU account (in addition to your Learn @ Illinois Extension account) to schedule/take an exam. If you are sure you have created a ProctorU account, you can use the "forgot password" option on their login page. If you still have issues, submit a support request via the ProctorU Website or contact them by phone at 1-855-772-8678. 

What are the system requirements for the online exams? You will need a Windows or Mac computer with internet, a camera, a microphone and the Google Chrome browser for the online exam. You will have the opportunity to perform an automated test of your equipment prior to scheduling an exam. For a detailed list of system requirements, please visit the ProctorU Website.

How much time is given for each exam? You will be given 3 hours to complete any exam. This does not include the time spent with your proctor prior to the exam. The 3-hour timer will only start once you see the first demographic question on your actual exam. On average, people complete the general standards exam in 2 hours, private applicator exam in 1 ½ hours, and commercial applicator category exams in 1 ½ hours.

Do I have to pass my general standards exam before attempting an applicator category exam? Yes, you must pass the general standards exam before attempting an applicator category exam.

Can I schedule exams back-to-back? Yes, but we'd advise against it. Once your exam appointment starts it can take 15-25 minutes for the proctor to initiate your exam. It may take longer if you have technical issues. If you really do want to take multiple exams in a day, we advise scheduling them at least 4 hours apart.

When will I receive my exam score? Your score and whether you’ve passed will be shown on the screen immediately after completing the exam. You will be able to print/save a receipt of your exam results. See next item for how to review your score. The results are automatically sent to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. They will mail your license application to you.

I've taken my exam. Where can I find my score? Starting on the PSEP Training & Testing page, click either the orange Commercial Exams button or the blue Private Exams button. This will take you to Learn @ Illinois Extension, the site where you took your exam. Click on the exam you took, and you will be prompted to log in. Once logged in, you will see the exam instructions page. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see your exam results and/or print/save a receipt of your exam results.

What am I allowed to have during the Exam? A calculator (not on phone/tablet), a single sheet of blank scratch paper and a writing utensil. You will be provided a digital copy of the equation sheet during the exam; you will not be permitted a printed paper copy. 

Are bathroom breaks allowed during the Exam? Yes, one bathroom break is allowed per exam.

What if I'd prefer to take my Exam In-Person? In-person testing is available, free of charge, on a limited basis through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Registration for in-person exams is available on the IDA Website or by phone at 800-641-3934 or 217-785-2427.

Where do I get information regarding licensing? Visit IDA website or call 800-641-3934 or 217-785-2427.