Common Questions & Answers

What is the difference between Associate and Specialist level certifications?

Associate certifications assess fundamental agriculture knowledge and typically require one year of study, or 150 hours, or more to gain the knowledge needed to earn certification.

Specialist certifications assess specific knowledge and skills needed within specific agricultural industries. These certifications require two years, or 300 hours, or more to gain the knowledge needed to earn certification.

What is the difference between Primary References and Secondary References?

Primary references are AEST’s recommendations to help one prepare to sit for a given certification exam. These references include content for all, or a majority, of the industry readiness indicators that will be assessed on a given certification exam.

Secondary references are free resources to help one prepare to sit for a given certification exam. Some of the items provided as secondary references for a given industry readiness indicator may cover the same concept, providing options for learning the same concept. For this reason it may not be necessary to study everything provided.

Is there a charge for creating an account with AEST?

No! AEST only charges for proctored certification exams. Exam pricing information is available at https://aest.ag/certify/.

Do I need to request an account with AEST?

AEST requires all Users to register with an account. Three account types are available –Candidate/Student, Teacher and Proctor accounts. A table summarizing the Permissions of each AEST User account type is available. Go to https://aest.ag/certify/ and click “Request Account” for more information on user accounts.

How can I set up a school account?

AEST school accounts are required to administer certification exams at a school. If your school wants to offer AEST industry certifications email AEST@ffbf.org to request a school account.

How can I get an estimate for exam credits?

Printable estimates for exam credits can be generated through the exam delivery platform, https://fbaest.com, using the Exam Price Estimator. Estimates can also be obtained by emailing AESTbilling@ffbf.org.

What payment options are available?

Exam credits may be purchased using three payment options: invoice, purchase order or credit card. Invoices will be generated for purchases made using the ‘Invoice’ and ‘Purchase Order’ options. Invoices are sent electronically to the email address specified during the purchasing process and allow payments by check or credit card. Receipts for exam credit purchases are provided electronically.

Can I take an exam for a certification if I already have the certification?

No! Once a candidate earns a specific industry certification, they are not permitted to take an exam for the same certification, providing the certification is valid.

Can I retake an exam if I was not successful the first time?

Yes! There is no limit to the number of exam attempts one may take for a certification area following failed attempts. Retake discounts for Specialist certifications only apply to the second and third attempts; the fourth attempt and beyond require 85 exam credits.

Is there a charge for scheduled exams that are not administered?

No. AEST charges for exams during actual exam delivery. AEST charges for exams by deducting credits from the school account when the proctor ‘seats’ the student on exam day. If a student is scheduled for an exam but does not show up, the proctor should not ‘seat’ them, thus credits will not be deducted from the school account for the exam.

Does AEST have a required waiting period between exam administrations?

Certification candidates who do not earn a passing score on an exam may retake it following a 24 hour waiting period. The waiting period is calculated by adding 24 hours to the previous attempts submission time. Please note, this is AEST policy and may not meet other requirements, including those set by Florida’s State Board of Education CAPE certification process.

Who can serve as an AEST proctor at a school site?

A third-party designated proctor must administer all AEST certifications. Third-party proctors for AEST certification exams cannot be agriculture teachers or teachers who provide direct instruction for the content being assessed on the certification exam. Acceptable third-party proctors within a school district include school administrators, computer lab coordinators, media specialists, guidance counselors, testing coordinators, teachers not affiliated with the agriculture program, other non-instructional support staff or school district officials.

How do I report a testing issue or violation – fire alarm, internet outage, cheating incident, etc. – that occurred during an exam session?

In the event an incident occurs that interrupts exam delivery, a report must be filed with AEST. The information provided in the report helps us take the appropriate actions to rectify any problems that may have resulted from the incident. More information on Reporting AEST Testing Irregularities is available in the exam delivery platform’s ‘Quick Tips Toolbox.’

Are there training materials available for Proctors?

Yes! Training tutorials are available in printable and video formats. These materials can be found on the Teachers and Proctors pages of our website, https://aest.ag/certify/, under ‘Resources.’