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What if I fail my exam?

Applicators can fail certification exams by scoring less than 78% on an exam. Failure is primarily caused by a lack of preparation, but other causes include fear, learning disabilities, and reading comprehension. Applicators can take exams over several times if they do fail.

If you are a prospective Commercial Applicator or Registered Technician who fails an exam and wants to retake it, you will need to reapply and receive another “authorization letter.” However, VDACS will automatically send you an application with your score report. You must wait ten days before taking an exam a second time, but you are not required to pay the fee again.

A 30-day waiting period is imposed for subsequent attempts, in addition to another fee. In each case, you must submit a new application to receive a new "authorization letter".

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Fertilizer Certification

Online Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training


Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a free online training and testing program (Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, FACT)

Upon successful completion of this online training program, users meet the requirements of becoming a Virginia Certified Fertilizer Applicator as administered through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). The link to the FACT website is and complete instructions on how to access the system, enroll in the training, complete the training and testing, and contact information for any questions are provided.

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