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Are You Ready for Certification?


To be successful, an applicant for certification needs sufficient experience in dealing with the full range of problems a genealogist may meet, and sufficient knowledge and judgment to distinguish competent from unsatisfactory work by other genealogists. While the Board sets no minimum level of experience or education as pre-requisites, it realizes education is an important factor in preparing a certification portfolio. In fact, surveys of successful applicants have shown that most have some years of experience in intensive genealogical research, and have availed themselves of structured learning opportunities above the introductory level--institutes, conferences, workshops, or distance learning courses by mail or online. They tend to have broad interests beyond genealogy, preserve their research findings in written accounts, and during their research and writing they have at hand and regularly consult five or more standard reference works on genealogical methodology.

The following self-scored quiz can be one step to help you determine whether you're ready to apply. A score of less than 20 points indicates an experience level below that of most successful applicants.

1. How long have you been intensely doing genealogical research, writing, and compiling?
Score one point for each year you have done at least 250 hours of serious research.
(Maximum: 4 points) Score for question 1:

2. How many institutes, conferences, workshops, and courses have you attended during the past five years?
Score one point for each one lasting three days or 24 class/contact hours or longer.
(Maximum: 4 points) Score for question 2:

3. Have you researched on site at courthouses, archives, and major genealogical libraries?
Score one point if you are experienced with all three types of repositories.
Score for question 3:

4. How many journals containing peer-reviewed research or case studies do you regularly read?
(Examples: NGSQ, TAG, NEHGR, NYGBR, The Genealogist)

Score one point for each journal read regularly for two years or more.
(Maximum: 5 points) Score for question 4:

5. How many reports or articles have you written that describe fully a genealogical problem of identity or relationship for which there is no direct evidence or else the evidence conflicts? The reports may be for yourself or a client (paying or pro bono). Count the projects only if they fully resolve their problem and are completely documented.
Score one point for each report.
(Maximum: 5 points) Score for question 5:

6. Review up to five of your reports and articles against Genealogy Standards and determine how many meet all applicable standards, and how many meet only some of them.
Score two points for completing this review, however it turns out.
Score for question 6:

If your total score is 20 points, you have reached the experience level from which most successful applicants come. Applicants with less experience tend to be less successful in presenting applications that meet certification standards, although some are able to do so. Please remember that your application is judged on the materials you submit, not on the score of this quiz.
Total Score:


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