The National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG) administers a licensure examination twice a year for those pursuing licensure as a geologist.
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ASBOG Exam Eligibility
The eligibility requirements for the ASBOG exam differ depending on which state you take it in.
Generally, the requirements include graduation from an accredited college/university with a degree in geology or a related geological science.
ASBOG Exam Outline
The ASBOG exam is split into two separate tests, Fundamentals of Geology (FG) and Practice of Geology (PG). Both tests must be passed in order to pass the full exam.
Fundamentals of Geology (FG)
The FG test contains 140 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 4 hours. The test is split into eight sections:
- General and Field Geology (21%)
- Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry (11%)
- Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, and Paleontology (12%)
- Geomorphology, Surficial Processes, and Quaternary Geology (13%)
- Structure, Tectonics, and Seismology (11%)
- Hydrogeology (12%)
- Engineering Geology (11%)
- Economic Resources Geology (9%)
Practice of Geology (PG)
The PG test contains 110 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 4 hours. The test is split into eight sections:
- General and Field Geology (20%)
- Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry (5%)
- Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, and Paleontology (6%)
- Geomorphology, Surficial Processes, and Quaternary Geology (8%)
- Structure, Tectonics, and Seismology (8%)
- Hydrogeology (19%)
- Engineering Geology (19%)
- Economic Resources Geology (15%)
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ASBOG Exam Registration
Before you can take the ASBOG, you must apply for approval. To do so, you will need to fill out an application and mail it to your state board, along with the application fee. Then, the board will approve your application for both exams, allowing you to move on to the next stage, which is taking the exams.
If you are denied, then you must reapply for the next time the exam is offered. After approval, a Candidate Request Form is authorized and must be signed by the state board administrator.
The Candidate Request Form (CRF) is sent back to the applicant for completion. This only occurs in 12 states in the nation. If your Board mails you the signed CRF, then you must fill out the form, provide your signature and mail it back to ASBOG.
Available options to pay the application fee are check, credit card, PayPal, or cashier’s check. Boards that do not send you the CRF will send you a notice with instructions on how to successfully register for the ASBOG exams. Be mindful that examination requirements, filing deadlines, and fees differ in every state. It is your responsibility to contact the state member board examination administrator for the information that you need, in order to move forward in your process of taking the FG and PG.
You should arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes early to allow time for the check-in process. When you arrive, you will be asked for a valid form of government-issued photo ID and your candidate admission letter. If you arrive late or without your ID, you will not be able to take the test.
After the check-in process is complete, you will be asked to leave all prohibited items behind, such as cell phones, watches, purses, hats, coats, bags, and food items. You will be allowed to bring a protractor/ruler, scratch paper, pencil, and non-QWERTY calculator into the testing room.
Once a representative has confirmed you are ready, you will be led to the testing room and given a short introduction to the testing station before the exam begins.
How the ASBOG Exam is Scored
Your ASBOG exam score is calculated by taking your raw score (the number of questions you answered correctly) and converting it to a scaled score on a scale of 0 to 100. Points are not taken away for incorrect answers, so there is no penalty for guessing answers you don’t know.
The set passing score is a scaled score of 70 for each test (FG and PG). You will be notified of your pass/fail status within 45 days of testing, but you will not be given your numerical score.
Retaking the Exam
If you failed the exam and wish to retake it, contact your state board to see what their retesting rules are.
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How many questions are on the ASBOG exam?
There are a total of 250 multiple-choice questions on the exam. The FG test contains 140, while the PG test contains 110.
How long is the ASBOG exam?
The total time limit for the exam is 8 hours (4 hours for each test).
What is the passing score for the ASBOG exam?
To pass the exam, you must achieve a scaled score of at least 70 on each test (FG and PG).
How much does the ASBOG exam cost?
The cost of the exam differs depending on your state board’s requirements.
How hard is the ASBOG exam?
For first-time test-takers, the FG pass rate is 65% and the PG pass rate is 76%.