STEP 2: CGCS EXAM
The certification exam must be successfully taken within your one-year applicant period, which begins when your application is approved.
About the exam
- The exam is free and taken online (paper exams are provided when necessary)
- A GCSAA-approved proctor will monitor during the exam.
- The exam is closed book.
- It has three parts and multiple-choice questions.
- It must be completed in one sitting within the six-hour time limit.
Scheduling your exam
To provide you with the greatest flexibility, there are several options for scheduling your exam:
- GCSAA provides the exam and a proctor at the annual GCSAA Conference and Trade Show. You must notify Stephanie Confer, manager, certification, of your intent to sit for the exam at the conference no later than three weeks prior to the scheduled date the examination is to be administered.
- For applicants taking the online exam, they may schedule the examination on a date and time they prefer. The applicant must submit an Exam Request Form no less than 10 days prior to the selected exam date. A completed Exam Request Form contains the exam date, proctor’s name, phone number and email address so that the proctor can be provided with exam procedures.
- In such cases that an online exam is not feasible and a paper version is requested, the applicant must submit an Exam Request Form no less than 10 day prior to the selected exam date. A completed Exam Request Form contains the exam date, proctor’s name, phone number, email and physical address so that the proctor can be provided with the exam booklet, exhibit booklet, answer sheets, scratch paper and pencil.
Examples of appropriate prospective proctors include school counselors, librarians, clergymen, attorneys, certified public accountants and faculty members of secondary schools and colleges. Past presidents of GCSAA, executive employees of GCSAA chapters and GCSAA field staff may also be used as exam proctors.
Retaking the exam
The exam is broken out into three parts. You may retake any failed part twice within your one-year applicant period. You must wait one week between retaking the same part of the exam. If you fail to pass a part after two retakes, you must wait one month before you may reapply to the program. For this reason, testing early in your applicant period is recommended.