FAQs: State Water Boards Computerized Operator Certification Exams

FAQs written by SWRCB OOC, Certifications, Wastewater Life
Who is providing the computer-based testing?

Prometric is partnering with the State Water Resources Control Board to provide computer-based Operator Certification testing for the Drinking Water Treatment (T1-T4),Drinking Water Distribution (D1-D5) and Wastewater Treatment (I-V) examinations.

I already applied in 2020, will I have to reapply?

If you already applied for an exam in the spring or fall of 2020 and didn’t take an emergency exam, you don’t need to reapply. If you’ve already been approved for an exam, we will be sending you details on how to schedule your exam. If you’re unsure of your exam status, please contact the Office of Operator Certification at [email protected] for Wastewater examinations or [email protected] for Drinking Water examinations.

My exam was cancelled in 2020. Am I eligible for computer-based testing?

Yes. Applicants approved for Spring and Fall 2020 exams are approved for computer-based testing. We will be sending you details on how to schedule your exam, and you don’t need to submit any additional items.

What are the application deadlines?

There are no deadlines to apply for the exams. You can submit an exam application at any time. However, there is a 60-day filing period for Wastewater Treatment exams(section 3701 subdivision (a) of Operator Certification regulations). That means the earliest an applicant can take a Wastewater Treatment exam is 60 days from the date we receive their application.

When will the exams be held?

Exams are available year-round at Prometric computer testing centers throughout the state. Most testing centers accept appointments Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to5:00 PM. Some testing centers may have availability after 5:00 PM or on Saturdays.

How do I schedule an exam date and time?

After you submit your application, we will notify you by email within 30 days whether you are approved to take the exam. You will be provided a 90-day window in which you will have to schedule and take your exam using Prometric’s website.

How will my testing date and time be determined?

You will be provided a 90-day window in which you will have to schedule and take your exam. You must schedule your exam online at www.prometric.com. The dates and times available will depend on testing center availability.

Do I need to bring a calculator?

No. The computer platform has built-in calculators for use during the exam.

How soon will I receive my results?

You will be emailed your results within one business day after you complete the exam. If no email address was provided, your results will be mailed.

I failed my exam. How soon can I reapply?

You may submit a new exam application immediately after receiving your results. There is a 60-day filing period for Wastewater Treatment exams (section 3701 subdivision (a) of Operator Certification regulations). That means the earliest you can retake the Wastewater Treatment exam is 60 days from the date we receive your new application.

How do I change my exam appointment?

Contact Prometric to change your exam date. There may be an applicable fee to reschedule. Most applicants will be able to reschedule their exam through the Prometric website.

Does computer-based testing increase my exam fee?

We do not anticipate raising exam fees in 2021. To receive updates on future exam fee increases, please subscribe to the Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Email lists.

What security measures are used at the computer-based testing sites?

The testing centers use various security measures. In addition to providing a valid, government-issued photo ID, applicants must have their picture taken at check-in. Testing center staff closely inspect eyeglasses, jewelry, and other accessories for camera devises, and testing centers are monitored by in-person and remote proctors via video monitoring. Additional security details can be found on the Prometric test center security page.

What COVID-19 safety measure are in place at testing centers?

The testing centers have various measures in place to help minimize COVID-19 exposure. Applicants displaying symptoms will not be admitted. Staff and test-takers are required to wear masks. Gloves and sanitizer are available for test-takers. During check-in and the entire examination, social distancing is required. All surfaces including workstations, pens, lockers, locker keys, are cleaned and sanitized between each user.

Detailed information can be found on the Prometric website.


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Do you have more questions about the State Water Board’s new computerized tests? Be sure to contact the Office of Operator Certification, please do not contact CWEA member services. We are not involved in administering the State’s exams in any manner. If you want to share an update or your experience taking the exam please email Alec Mackie, CWEA’s Director of Communications.