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Author Topic: Forester Certification Exam  (Read 690 times)

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Offline cdjordan1

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Forester Certification Exam
« on: February 16, 2020, 11:27:39 AM »
I'm looking for tips and study partners for the Forester Certification Exam. 

I'm scouring the internet for tips and advice, and I'm not coming up with very much beyond: A) take the practice exam, and B) Read the Forestry Handbook. Please share any other tips and advice you may be able to offer, and let me know if you want to be a part of a study group. 

About me: I'm about 25 years out of forestry school, and have until the end of 2020 to take the exam. I've been working off and on with trees in some capacity since graduating, but much more from a tree id and urban design perspective. I'm taking the test because I am working to update a municipal tree ordinance, so it seems a good time to accomplish this certification I really should have obtained decades ago.

Questions:
1. Are there any conferences, webinars, etc. that are useful for test prep? 
2. I have the second edition of the Handbook, which was published in 1984. Is the exam still referencing this book primarily, or has it changed to include more recent concepts?

Thanks for reading this and thanks x 10 for any responses.
Christa

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 03:29:45 PM »
What certification exam are you taking? The SAF Certification exam?

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 08:59:29 AM »
Yes. The SAF Certification Exam. I do not plan to go for the state licensing exam, at least not at this time. 


Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 06:46:22 PM »
What school did you get your BS in Forestry degree from? If it was an SAF certified forestry program, you should do fine in the exam.

Some helpful review items are:

  • Study some of the practice exams provided by SAF.
  • Review your Forestry 101 textbook.
  • Know land descriptions/divisions and acreage calculations. Know land surveying basics.
  • A review of the Forestry Handbook would be helpful.
  • Have knowledge in applying integrated resource and multiple use management with basic knowledge of the timber, wildlife, recreation. soil, air, water, and Wilderness resources.
  • Know the silviculture applications and harvest practices for the various tree species.
  • Review your State's BMP's (Best Management Practices).


Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 08:30:19 PM »
Ron,
Thank you!! Times ten!!

I went to Clemson. It was a tough program, but I think it was well rooted (ahem) in the traditional methods. I appreciate the length and achievability of your list. I have enough to get my arms around, but it all feels doable.

I appreciate the help.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2020, 05:55:12 PM »
Clemson had a good program. I did some post graduate studies there back in 1979 and had to defend my Thesis there in Recreation Management when I was with the USFS on the Allegheny National Forest.

When and where will you be taking the SAF Certification exam?
~Ron

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2020, 03:55:59 PM »
I will be taking it some time this year. I've passed the application, and have a year to take and pass the exam. I'm reading the handbook now. I have a harder time studying when the weather is nice outside, so I'm thinking it may be in the late fall of 2020.

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2020, 03:57:45 PM »
Location will be in Greenville, SC. It's all computer-based, so I just schedule a date and time with my local testing center.

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2020, 04:15:56 PM »
Sorry for so many replies. I keep rereading your post and thinking of something more to add!

Recreation Management is an interesting field. Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management is what the degree would be called now, I believe, and it's still in Lehotsky Hall. However, it's under a different college - Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. The USFS still had a big presence on campus in the mid 90's, but that all changed in maybe 1996. I think the funding shifted, but I was too out of the loop to really know what was going on. I just remember it feeling a bit like a ghost town after they left.

Offline WDH

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2020, 09:32:10 PM »
I found the SAF Certification test to be quite confusing and impractical.  I failed the practice test twice until I figured out that once I ruled out the possible answers that were obviously wrong on a question, leaving me with say two possible choices, the one that seemed to have the least chance to be the right answer was the right answer.  Very illogical to me.

So, armed with that knowledge, I took the test and the Testing Coordinator told me that I passed and actually scored the highest score of anyone taking the test at that Test Center, which only increased my disdain for the test.  If you take the practice test and study the answers, I believe that you will see what I am talking about. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 08:31:53 AM »
 the one that seemed to have the least chance to be the right answer was the right answer.  Very illogical to me.


Same as the GA test for a CDL license.  At least two answers are correct but there is a 50/50 chance that you will pick the right one.  

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2020, 07:28:14 PM »
WDH and Six,
That is disturbing news to hear about the exam. I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the advice.

Offline cdjordan1

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2020, 04:49:41 PM »
I did find this test prep course. NC has a voluntary state exam, and NC State offers this prep course for $100. https://forestry.ces.ncsu.edu/for-professionals/ I am taking it now and plan to try the practice test afterwards. Hopefully, this will be a good way to catch up on everything I've not used since leaving school. 

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2020, 07:51:37 PM »
That should be helpful. It looks like a lot of pertinent subject matter for a helpful review.
~Ron

Offline Clark

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2020, 04:24:17 PM »
I suspect I have taken it more recently than WDH. For reference, I did not have to chisel my answers into a stone and then turn in the stone. I presume that is different than your experience, WDH?

Overall I found the test relatively straightforward and not as confusing as others have noted. There were some stupid questions (What section of the Clean Water Act...?) but overall they seemed to be decent. Since it is aimed at all foresters there will be questions on topics that dont pertain to you. That is the part that I found difficult.

Clark
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Offline WDH

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2020, 07:46:31 AM »
I took the SAF Certified Forester test in 2011.  
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Clark

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2020, 11:11:32 PM »
I read that completely wrong! I took it a couple years after you. I guess that just goes to show that either the test questions can vary considerably or the people taking the test gel with the intent of the question quite differently.

Clark
SAF Certified Forester

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Forester Certification Exam
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2020, 06:51:18 PM »
Hate to date myself since I have SAF Certification #13 and I'm sure that the test questions have gotten more varied and complex over the years due to foresters needing to know and practice more applications of multiple use, ecosystem management, biological diversity, etc.
~Ron


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