Has anyone taken the ISA Arborist Certification exam? If so, do you have any preparation tips to share or reports on what to expect? Thanks.

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I was working with a few arborist a few years back and one suggested that I take the exam and give it a try. Took it the first time without studying and only passed 3 sections. Got the ISA study books and eventually passed it after a few more attempts. The disease and pathology sections can be tricky since some of the same symptoms can indicate the same malady . The tough part is keeping you certification active once you get it. ISA requires 30 CUE's every two years to maintain the certification which need quite a bit of time to earn. It was a worthwhile endeavor - good luck if you proceed with it.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Your tips are very helpful.

I will add that ISA has gotten stricter on what they accept for CEUs. They recently did not accept: ASLA National Conference, PLA study or exam, AICP study or exam, Certified Nursery Professional study or exam. I am waiting to see if they accept SITES AP and CPTED certification. I am currently of the opinion they only accept CEUs purchased from ISA. I will update if I discover this not to be the case. Also, their review of CEUS takes weeks, requires you complete one of their detailed CEU forms, requires a detailed agenda, and proof of attendance. It's a cool credential to have, it has helped me to get a job, and the courses they provide do get into technical details, which is nice. However, they are currently rather frustrating to deal with.

SITES AP is also not accepted. I just re-upped my membership and read many articles and completed the quizzes. I like learning, especially about trees, but their refusal to accept outside experience is frustrating and wrong-headed. Heads up to anyone seeking this credential. 

I took and passed the exam a few months ago. Similar to what Christa said, initially, they denied my application to take it, but I reached out and actually talked to someone and they deemed my previous experience acceptable. The only thing I studied was the guide they sell on their website. I think if you read through that book a few times and have a solid LA background, you will be OK. As for credentials, I know they include a learning quiz in each Arborist News publication that I think is worth 1 CEU, which is an easy way to earn some of the 30 you need every 2 years.


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