PGA Qualifying Test

The PGA of America does its testing through PSI Exams, which has testing centers nationwide.
PSI Exams, which has testing centers nationwide, administers tests on behalf of the PGA of America. 

Before you can register for the PGM 2.0 Level 1 Seminar, you have to pass the Qualifying Test covering three online courses: Introduction to the PGM and the Golf Profession, PGA History and Constitution, and Rules of Golf 1. It’s a combination of multiple choice and true/false questions.

As far as studying is concerned, your best bet is probably to study the flash cards and take the practice tests online at quizlet.com. Just click on the link or type “PGA Qualifying Test” in the Search Quizlet box. One of my Golf Academy classmates told me about the site (after I took my test) and he says it’s really helped him to prepare for his upcoming exam. At last check, there were 134 Study Sets from which to choose.

“You can choose multiple choice or true/false and use the flashcards for studying,” he texts. “Some questions are a little weird and have the wrong answers. Check it out, and you’ll see what I mean.”

Once you’ve finished reading over the material, you have to Schedule a Qualifying Test Session through PSI Exams, and when you’re ready to do so, you’ll see the following message:

Our records indicate that you have reviewed all the Qualifying Level Courses and are eligible to register for the Qualifying Test. You will receive an email from PSI within a few days with instructions on how to schedule your test. The Qualifying Test will consist of 75 questions and the time allowed is 90 minutes. You should bring a clean, unmarked USGA Rules of Golf book to the test center. Read the instructions on the test screen carefully before you begin. If you have questions, be sure to ask the proctor. You will receive your test results immediately at the test center. Good Luck! If you need to cancel your test, you must contact PSI at least 2 business days prior to the testing date.

Click on “Ready To Test.” Within 48 hours, you’ll receive an email confirming that you’re registered to schedule.

Cut and paste the web address from the email into the address area of your internet browser and enter the Username and Password provided. Follow the system prompts to schedule your exam. The test is offered at your local PSI Exams testing center (available nationwide).

A score of 70% is required to pass. Only then can you register for the Level 1 Seminar as a PGA Apprentice.

Test-Taker Beware
Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time before the PGM 2.0 Level 1 Seminar registration deadline to register to schedule your exam. PGM Qualifying Tests are only offered at 9:00a (never any other time) and may not be offered daily or even weekly depending on where you’re located, which is odd considering it’s only a 90-minute test. It could take weeks for the test to become available in your area.

The soonest I could schedule for my exam in Tucson (when I attempted to do so online July 4th) was nine days later: July 13th. That just happens to be the same day as the PGA Seminar registration deadline, meaning that if I took the test on that day, I would miss the deadline. It takes at least 24 hours for PSI to transfer the test results to the PGA of America so they can upload it into their system. I called PSI at 800.733.9267 to see if they could reschedule my exam for any earlier. The answer was “no.” They offer very little scheduling flexibility.

I ended up calling back and rescheduling my test for Saturday morning in Phoenix. I had to drive a total of four hours out of my way just to take the test, but that was my only option. The email instructions ask you to arrive at your testing center 30 minutes early, but because I was coming up from Tucson, I gave myself a little extra time. The sign on the door to the testing center was very specific: “Office opens at 8:30. Please wait downstairs until 8:30. All bathrooms are locked.”

I went back down and studied in my car for a few minutes, but when I came back up at around 8:25a hoping to beat the rush, the office was open, it was packed, and they were already checking people in. All you need to bring with you is a photo ID and a copy of the Rules of Golf. Everything else, including backpacks, cell phones, and even sunglasses has to be locked up. If you can, leave them at home or in your car.

The check-in area and the testing center at PSI was so hot, it felt like we were outside not in.
The check-in area and testing center were so hot, it felt like we were outside.

The lady checking me in handed me a blue colored pencil, a piece of blue scratch paper (I don’t know what for), thumbed through my Rules of Golf book looking for markings, and then told me she was keeping my photo ID until after my testing session. Once you check-in, you can enter the testing center and begin taking your exam at your assigned computer station. All of the testing is done online.

The testing center was really hot, and when I say hot I mean it was between 85-90 degrees. I’m not joking. It was miserable! You would’ve thought we were outdoors. When I’ve taken exams like this in the past, I’ve brought a jacket with me because it’s been so cold. It was so hot in the check-in area that several of the test takers were complaining about the temperature. We were told that it would be cooler once we entered the testing center, but that certainly wasn’t the case.

You should’ve seen it. We were all sweating. I happened to be wearing pants because I was working right after, and I was really uncomfortable. There’s no water allowed in the testing center either, so dehydration was a legitimate concern. I felt terrible for anyone who had to be there for several hours. Maybe this was part of the whole “testing” experience, but there’s no reason it should have felt like a hot summer day inside as well as out.

As far as the test was concerned, it was exactly what they said it would be: 90 minutes to answer 75 questions. What I didn’t know until later was that only 70 of the 75 questions were actually scored. A score of 70% is required to pass, meaning you can answer 50 of the 70 questions correctly and still pass. I answered 60 of 70 correctly and got a score of 85%. Of the 75 questions, I counted 33 Rules questions, all of which were straight out of the book. The rest of the questions covered topics such as the PGM Program, the different membership classifications (A-1, A-2, etc.), and the Constitution, Bylaws, and organizational structure of the PGA (who elects whom and who reports to whom). All told, including a review of all my answers, the test only took me about 35 minutes, and it was graded right there on the spot.

On Monday or Tuesday, I will register as a PGA Apprentice and attend next month’s Level 1 Seminar in Florida.

Cost: $40
Running Total: $298.99
Stress Level: Unnecessary

Blogger’s Note:
On another note, I recently got a call from Bill Cioffoletti (pronounced SHEFF-oletti) at PGA Education in Florida. He was following up to see if I had any questions about the steps involved when registering for the Apprentice program. Bill, you must’ve been reading my blog!

Four of my Golf Academy classmates and I passed the PAT at Ken McDonald Golf Course in March.
Four of my Golf Academy classmates and I passed the PAT at Ken McDonald Golf Course in March.

Next On the Tee
Step 3: Playing Ability Test (PAT) requirement. To register as a PGA Apprentice, you have to pass the PGA PAT.

Cost: $160 ($100 Registration Fee + $60 Onsite Fee for green fees, cart fee, range balls, and lunch)

Step 4: Register for the PGA Professional Golf Management Program (PGM). Because I’ve already passed my PAT, passed the Qualifying Test, and am eligibly employed at a PGA Recognized Golf Facility (La Paloma Country Club), I’m now eligible to register as a PGA Apprentice. This is where it gets a little hairy. You have to go to pga.org and access the Fees Calculator to determine your actual costs.

Cost: $1,129 (National Fees, Section Fees, Liability Insurance, Life Insurance, $200 Registration Fee, $560 Level 1 Online Course Access Fee)

Step 5: Register for the Level 1 Seminar at the PGA Education Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. I can do that online as soon as my PGA Apprentice Application is processed and approved.

Cost: $2,000

Previous Steps
Step 1 – In order to become a PGA member, you first have to become a registered apprentice and go through the PGA Professional Golf Management (PGA PGM) Program. It takes up to three years to complete all 11 steps. Step 1 is pretty self-explanatory. To register into the PGA PGM Program, you have to register or re-register as an apprentice and complete a Background Check. (Cost: $58.99)

Step 2 – You’re not considered a PGA Apprentice until you satisfy all the requirements at the Qualifying Level and register as an apprentice. At the Qualifying Level, applicants must complete three online courses: Introduction to the PGM and the Golf Profession, PGA History and Constitution, and Rules of Golf 1 as well as pass a knowledge test based on the three courses. (Cost: $200)

Apprentices registered after January 1, 2010, can view and/or download PGA PGM 2.0 curriculum information online.

Note:
If you’ve been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or equivalent, you should submit documentation to the PGA Membership Department to determine eligibility for PGA Membership prior to proceeding. Per the PGA Code of Ethics, certain transgressions are cause for permanent preclusion to PGA Membership.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Just registered for my PGM Test, and maybe it’s because I’m in Indiana, but they allowed me to schedule a test for 2pm. Thanks for the info on the test. I could not find a practice test on the PSI website.

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