Top of Page

LEVEL 3 – Written Exam and Oral Review

Back          Table of Contents          Next

LEVEL 3 – Written Exam and Oral Review



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


Level 3 includes a written exam with two sections, and an oral review. The oral review is scheduled after the written exam is passed with a score of 90% or better. Level 3 status is achieved with a score of 90% or better on section 3 of the written exam and by passing the Oral Review.


The written portion of Level 3 exam lasts over four hours. The candidate will use a facility computer for research and testing. The exam is 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: Research Planning


This section is allotted one hour to complete. Research Planning tests the candidate’s ability to analyze a research problem and plan effective research. Candidates will be asked to list the sources they would search to research each problem and explain what they would expect to find in those sources. This exercise does not include any actual research.

Candidates will need to use localities and dates from the provided question, basic pedigree or document presented on the exam to develop a proper research plan. An understanding of the importance of name variations and the ability to recognized date inconsistencies (e.g. the child’s birth date listed as before that of a parent) are needed to do well on this section of the exams.

Candidates may consult their own resources, Internet resources such as: library catalogs, wikis, or search engines for possible records and availability.


Section 2: Research Project


The Research Project gives the candidate the opportunity to prove expertise by producing high quality research in three hours, recreating a real-world experience. The candidate’s abilities in data analysis, research planning, methodology, and report writing is tested through a practical genealogical problem that will be given to the candidate at the beginning of the exam. The candidate needs to create a research plan, conduct research and write a report as if to a client within a four hour time limit. This exam section is not only about finding new information but also about the research process. It is not unusual for only ⅓-½ of the allotted time to be used for actual research, and the rest for assembling the other parts of the project.


The report should state a research objective, detail the results of the candidate’s research, give a summary of results, and make recommendations about research that needs to be done in the future.


As expected with any client research project, the following elements must be turned in at the end of allotted time for the Final Project:

  • The completed client report
  • The completed research log
  • The completed pedigree chart
  • All family group sheets
  • Photocopied or electronic documents found during research


These items may be created digitally on the provided computer, or handwritten on the provided forms, or in any combination of digital and handwritten. In addition, all notes you have written and scrap paper used during the test, and the research problem and instructions must be turned in at the end of the exam.


The grading rubric for the Level 3 Research Project can be found in the Appendix of this guide. Use the rubric to understand what is expected in the project to ensure you are prepared for the Level 3 exam.


Oral Review


Candidates are scheduled for an oral review after passing the written exams at 90% or better for Level 2 and 3. The Oral review is considered part of Level 3, so no separate fee is required. Oral reviews last about two hours. Oral reviews for candidates who tested off-site will be done via a video chat service such as Skype or Google Hangout and scheduled during a quarterly oral review day. During this interview, a few AG professionals in the region of interest will ask questions to determine the candidates overall readiness for accreditation.


Questions may include the following topics:


  • The four-generation project submitted with the initial application.
  • Questions the candidate missed on the written portion of the exam.
  • Questions related to the region of interest along with questions on general genealogical principles.
  • Candidates may also ask questions concerning the test or the testing process.

Back          Table of Contents          Next

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes