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Certification Events

Can’t make to a scheduled event? See the “Registering for an Exam” section below to request a different date/venue.

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Available Certification Exams

Family-Level Exam

The family-level exam includes aquatic insects only with image collages drawn at random from a bank of images. There is a family-level practice quiz available here.

Genus-Level Exams

Four genus-level exams are available:

  • Group 1: General arthropods (specimens), East and West* testing. Genera of Crustacea and arthropods other than Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT, see Group 2) and Chironomidae (see Group 3). Immatures and adults as appropriate.
  • Group 2: EPT (images), East and West* testing. EPT genera (nymphs and larvae only).
  • Group 3: Chironomidae (images)**, North American. Chironomidae genera (larvae only).
  • Group 4: Oligochaeta (slides)**, only North American genera.
  • Group 6: Diatoms

*“Eastern” genera will be those occurring east of the Rocky Mountains and “Western” genera will be those occurring in and west of the Rocky Mountains. It should be noted that geographic and phylogenetic coverage of this examination may be modified as testing protocols are improved. Candidates should be prepared to identify genera from throughout the examination region.

**Chironomidae and Oligochaeta exams are not divided into Eastern and Western genera.

Registering for an Exam

Taxonomic certification exams are available at designated testing centers† and may also be administered in connection with a course or workshop (see Upcoming Events above), or upon request to the Taxonomic Certification Program Coordinator.

There is limited availability for online exams March through June. Exams during that period are most often scheduled on Fridays.

  • Complete the interest form† and choose from the list of scheduled exams. If you cannot attend one of the scheduled exams, you may request a test date at the testing center† nearest you. Questions? Contact the Taxonomic Certification Program Coordinator.
  • If your examination is specimen based, you will need to sign up and confirm a supervisor a month or more before your requested examination date. Image-based tests may be set up closer to your requested date.
  • Payment must be received prior to testing. Review the Fees and Payment Options. Discounts are available for Society for Freshwater Science members.

†These links may be blocked by some firewalls. If you cannot reach them, please email to request an exam date and location.

Want to know what to expect? View the exam instructions.