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Level 2 – Written Exam

Overview When Level 1 recognition has been attained the candidate may take up to three years to apply for the Level 2 testing. Level 2 tests may not be scheduled until after receiving a score…


When Level 1 recognition has been attained the candidate may take up to three years to apply for the Level 2 testing.

Level 2 tests may not be scheduled until after receiving a score of 90% or higher on the Level 1 submission.

The Level 2 exam includes two sections: Document Interpretation and General Questions. The Level 2 exam lasts over four hours, with each section allotted two hours. Level 2 status is achieved by attaining a score of 90% or better on sections 1-2 of the written exam.

The candidate will use a facility computer for research and testing. The exams are open book, including the Internet.  The candidate may bring a paper and/or digital research reference guide to use during the test. The candidate’s digital research reference guide can be copied to the facility computer and will be deleted from that computer at the end of the test session. See the Preparation Resources section of the ICAPGen website for more about creating a research reference guide:

Test Sections

Section 1: Document Interpretation

The theme of this section of the test is working with documents. Candidates will be given 8 to 10 documents of genealogical value and asked to perform tasks based on those documents, including but not limited to:

  • Identify—indicate what type each document is, e.g. baptism, marriage, will.
  • Transcribe—transcribe several short texts, usually about 8-15 lines.
  • Translate— translate from a foreign language into English in most tests that include non-
    English language documents.
  • Abstract—abstract the genealogical information from a document.
  • Develop a research plan—develop a plan to further the research of a family based on a
    document that you are given.
  • Expectation—tell what information you would expect to find in documents of this type.
  • Find *this* document— explain where to access the document, with the online location preferred when available.
  • Family Group Sheet–build a family group sheet based on the information found in 2 or 3 documents.
  • Find a document—find a document based on some information that is given you.

More about Transcribe, Translate, Abstract

The candidate’s paleography skills are evaluated through these tasks. Be prepared to transcribe, abstract and/or answer questions about handwritten documents from an early time-period and with a variety of script styles from the testing region.

If the candidate is accrediting in a region in which the primary language is not English, he/she will be expected to accurately translate documents of genealogical significance from the primary language into English.

For regions that have documents in multiple languages, candidates will be required to abstract information of genealogical value (names, dates, places, events) in the languages other than the primary language of the region.

See the Language Requirements on the website for a current listing of the languages tested for each region: The table lists to what degree each language is tested: recognize, abstract, transcribe, translate.

Section 2: General Questions

This section tests the candidate’s ability to comprehend and apply knowledge of facts pertaining to the history, geography, research methodologies, and records of the region being tested. The majority of questions are short answer, but there can be some short essay or multiple-choice questions.

Topics which may be covered in this section:

  • The history or geography of your region
  • Research methodology
  • Record types in your region – content, availability, and coverage of time and place
  • Content of online sources and electronic databases
  • Content of offline sources and repositories
  • Research planning questions