Preparing for the CIT Exam

Test overview

The CIT examination is "closed book", online, and administered by a proctor who remains in the room during the test. It consists of 150 questions and should be taken in one sitting of 3-hours or less. Once a date is set for your exam, that should be communicated to, if it was not included in your initial application. Exams are scheduled weekly and sent to the proctor at that time, including the username and password to access the exam. The test covers material from the Content Outline.  The exam is rigorous by design. The Certification Board feels that applicants, regardless of how long they have been in the industry, should prepare for the exam with a minimum of 40 hours of self-study prior to attempting the exam. To prepare, ESA suggests studying IPM for the Urban Professional: A Study Guide for the Associate Certified Entomologist

General guidelines

The CIT examination is designed to recognize practicing pest management professionals who have a solid introductory grasp of the practical aspects of Integrated Pest Management. The major categories of competency covered by the exam include these four areas:

Inspection and Monitoring (25% of the exam)

Identification (25% of the exam)

Control (Management) (20% of the exam)

Evaluation (20% of the exam)

Documentation (10% of the exam)

Content Outline

The content outline is the five Domains broken into a series of Skills and Tasks. It is more detailed information on the types of materials covered in the examination. You can also access a listing of study materials.

Study Guides and Courses

Though a person can prepare for the CIT exam by reviewing most industry literature, prospective CITs are also encouraged to study and read the recommended study materials.  Additionally, you may find review courses offered by many state and national associations or others. 

After the Exam

The exam is scored immediately by the testing software and a score is sent to the applicant. Passing score is 75%.

The CIT is issued as a digital credential- holders can print a PDF of their credential if they desire. Digital credentials can be shared in the holder's mobile wallet as well as shared online. Those who did not pass may retake the exam without reapplying to the program by waiting at least 30 days but not more than one year. Retesting information should be submitted as soon as a new test date is scheduled to the certification coordinator at

All applicants must pass the exam within 3 years of their application acceptance date or the application will expire.