By Andrea Cohen, Tests.com Contributing Writer
Aspiring professional geologists must be licensed by the state in which they wish to practice, and to become licensed, a standardized exam from the National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) is required. ASBOG Geology Exams are only administered to individuals who have been determined to meet prerequisites of the state in which they are seeking licensure. Many states consider education and experience, in addition to exam results, when determining licensing eligibility, but it’s important to note that states have different eligibility requirements. Candidates should check with their home state’s geology board about test requirements before applying for the exam.
About the ASBOG Geology Exam
There are two geology exams offered by ASBOG: the Fundamentals of Geology (FG) exam and the Practice of Geology (PG) exam.
FG includes 130 multiple-choice questions related to the knowledge and skills that are usually acquired during academic study in geology.
PG includes 100 multiple-choice questions and tests skills and knowledge that would be obtained in a practice or job setting, focusing more on the ability to apply the principles of geology learned.
Questions are drawn from geology topics such as:
- Economic Geology and Energy Resources
- Engineering Geology
- Environmental Geochemistry and Hydrogeology
- General Geology, such as Field Geology, Geophysics, Graphical Methods, Imagery and Modeling
- Geomorphology, Quaternary Geology and Surficial Processes
- Mineralogy, Petrography and Petrology
- Paleontology, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
- Seismology, Structure and Tectonics
Each test has a four-hour time limit. Some state boards may also require additional testing on local geology rules, regulations and statutes that are specific to the individual state.
Scores are reported separately for each of the ASBOG exams. Credit is given for correct answers, but there is no penalty for incorrect answers. A scaled score of 70 is the minimum passing score and 100 is the highest possible score. The decision of what score meets registration or licensing requirements is determined by the individual state boards, not by ASBOG. Scores are provided to the state or authorized testing service of the state within 60 days, and candidates can contact the state board for their scores.
ASBOG Geology Exam Registration
Registration requirements, filing deadlines and fees vary among states. Individual state member boards can provide more information about testing and application forms. It is important to contact the state board to determine submission cut off dates for applications and any other required credentials needed to approve exam eligibility. Fees vary from state to state and range from approximately $350 to $400 for the two ASBOG tests. In addition to testing fees, other licensing fees may be assessed by the state boards.
The ASBOG geology exam is administered twice a year during the spring and fall (usually in March and October). Exact dates vary each year. The state board will be able to provide information about test dates and testing locations. The FG exam usually is given from 8 am to 12 pm, and the PG exam is given that afternoon from 1 pm to 5 pm.
ASBOG Geology Exam Preparation
Those registering for the test are given a copy of the Professional Geologists Candidate Handbook, which describes the format and outline of the exam. There are study guides, flash guides and courses offered by independent companies to help with exam preparation.
Test takers may bring to the exam:
- Silent, portable, non-printing, non-alpha programmable calculator
- Straight edge
- Engineer’s scale
- Colored pencils
Test takers may not bring any reference materials or calculators or electronic devices that have email, Internet or message capability, including cell phones or scanning pens.
Candidates will need to have the institution code for their college or university to include on the exam answer sheet, which can be found on the ASBOG website (asbog.org) prior to taking the exam.
Interested in becoming a licensed, professional geologist? Check out our Geology Test Directory for information about ASBOG exam preparation.
Sources: ASBOG Member State Boards, asbog.org/member.htm; National Association of State Boards of Geology, asbog.org; Professional Geologists Candidate Handbook, 2008