Last week I received an e-mail from Mark Stanifer, Chief, Compliance Branch, Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Office of Water Quality that included the passing rate for the Wastewater Operator Exams given in 2016. Class I-SP and A-SO are lagoon only facilities. Class I-SP, I, II, III, IV are considered Municipal (non-industrial) and Class A-SO, A, B, C, D are considered Industrial licenses, and in the State of Indiana our highest licenses are the IV and the D. There is also an Apprentice Class – they can sit for the exam (any level) at any time with no experience, however, when they pass the test they hold an Apprentice license not a Certified Operator License. That means they cannot be the Certified Operator in Responsible Charge until they fulfil their hands-on time need for the level they are Apprenticed in and they keep up on their contact hours as needed for the level of Apprenticeship they hold. (There is no breakdown of how many Apprentices took the test or for which level) I wish I could say it was a great year for the Operators who wanted to become certified, but I can’t, as you will see by the numbers below:
368 exams have been taken. 159 passed and 209 failed.
Class I-SP: 14 total, 3 passed, 11 failed
Class I: 112 total, 31 passed, 81 failed
Class II: 68 total, 34 passed, 34 failed
Class III: 43 total, 24 passed, 19 failed
Class IV: 23 total, 11 passed, 12 failed
Class A-SO: 13 total, 10 passed, 3 failed
Class A: 28 total, 17 passed, 11 failed
Class B: 35 total, 13 passed, 22 failed
Class C: 17 total, 7 passed, 10 failed
Class D: 15 total, 9 passed, 6 failed
As you can see there is a breakdown somewhere in what the operator is understanding and what the tests are asking. The Class I, B and C look like there is something out of whack. Having a 50 % pass rate or slightly higher isn’t bad, but these three need work.
IDEM and I are asking you – the operators in Indiana who have taken the exam – what is going on? If you took the test and passed, was there portions or questions on the exam that you feel were off, or not asked well? If you didn’t pass the first time (or even the second time), why not? Were the questions out of left field, ask things you never heard of, not worded well? Did you not study enough, thinking it would be like your work place and it wasn’t? Were you given the wrong information or not enough of the right information for the exam level you were taking? Do you just have test anxiety and you just freeze any time you take a test no matter what? Both IDEM and I are asking for your help.
Message me on FB, fill out a Contact Us form or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what can be done to make the test (not easier – you don’t want to take a test that ANYONE could pass) better for those studying.