New Distribution Exam Coming

Thanks to Subscriber Raffy for letting me know about this huge change coming to the Water Distribution Operator certification exams here in California.  You can get the official information at:

The proposed changes are labelled as “Draft,” but don’t expect any significant deviation from what the Department of Public Health has posted.  I say that because the changes that they are proposing are consistent with similar changes that they made to the Treatment exam a couple years ago — we have been expecting something like this.

What does this mean to you, California Water Distribution Operator?  If you’re taking the next exam on March 17, there will be no change.  The proposed changes are to take effect in the September exam.

Come September, the biggest change is the length of the exam — it will be 100 questions, 15 of which will be math calculations.  Percentage-wise, the math will be essentially the same as in the past, but you will need to solve 3-5 more math problems than previously.  And for the non-math questions, there will be up to 35 more than in the past!  Despite this significant increase in the number of questions, the exam duration will not change — it will remain at 3 hours.

My advice on the Distribution exam is going to change: I used to tell folks to take your time, because three hours is plenty of time for the 60 – 70 questions of the existing exam.  No longer!  The new exam will require you to proceed very swiftly — your speed will be an important factor in your success.  I have heard back from several of you that have taken the “new and improved” Treatment exam, and this has been the biggest complaint.

The second biggest concern is that the “Expected Range of Knowledge” has also been revised.  This document — which you should definitely print out and study thoroughly — is supposedly the full scope of questions that may appear on the exam.  It can be quite vague in areas, so it’s far from perfect, but it is the best available guide to answering the question: “What’s on the test?”  And we see huge changes in this document.

I had been planning to produce some online Distribution exam review courses this month — something many of you have requested.  I am going to wait on that now, until we see the final plan from the State.  So I will have something for you here at  MOST as you prepare for the September Distribution exam.

For those of you getting ready for the March 17 exam, I recommend starting with the Water Math courses here at MOST.  For the D1 and D2 levels, the first four courses and WM-8 are a good starting point — and remember that you can take these courses as many times as you want, at no extra cost.  For the higher levels, these same courses are also important, but add to them WM-5, 6, and 7.  I will be completing the last three water math courses shortly, so you can use them to prepare.

I also hope to complete the courses in our Water Distribution series to help you as you prepare for March 17.  I hope that you will find us the MOST beneficial and economical online resource for certification exam preparation.

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