I just took my Pa taxidermy exam on Tuesday and I know I failed but some stuff passed. I wanted to thank Paul and John who where my examiners. Everyone that told me negative stuff about the testing experience where worng. Those two guys taught me so much in the short time I had with them about finishing each mount It would have taken me a lifetime to learn on my own. Never at anytime did I feel degraded or belittled like others have said in the past. I knew some of the problems they pointed out even before they pointed them out but they showed me a whole lot more! That poor phesent! HAHAHA. Anyway I will be back in six months to give it a go again. I was thinking those testers must have a lot of patients man! I brought them real garbage work and NOT ONCE did they seem frustrated that I wasted there time. They are good guys and I hope I have them next time so I can redeem my self. My only advise to anyone who is going to take the exam is AKS QUESTIONS and then LISTEN! you will learn a lot.
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Man... that's good to hear because I'm preparing for the exam and I'm pretty nervious about it. I'm self taught and I think I'll miss somehting because I was never shown it or didn't know about it.
What kind of questions were on the written test? What did they see wrong with your mounts? How long was the written, and oral\presentations of your mounts? Were most things they found things that customer would see?
Was it stressful?
You sound like me with all the questions. I will tell you what to do call Paul Czarnecki (sp? you can get his # for the game commission. He will help you with all you want to know. He did it for me! I just failed to listen! The written exam was mostly on everything in the book they provide. The technical you will have to really on your own experience. Questions about tanning wiring birds ETC. It was not hard at all IMHO! The biggest piece of advice I can give you is if your critters don't look like the reference photos you will fail! Just make sure your ducts are closed and the wings on your birds are where they belong and you'll be ok. The PTA usually conducts a seminar on the test it self. I did not know about it before I took it I might have passed if I could have attended. They are not looking for perfection just anatomical correctness. Make sure your birds are clean no sawdust!
Thanks much for the info! I just ordered the test prep book from the Game commission today.
I took the test in April for the first time, Big and small game animals only. I thought for sure I failed. A few weeks later I got the letter: "We are pleased..." I passed.
The critique is great; just because they point something negative out doesn't mean you failed.
The written test is easy. The hardest part for me was the hands-on. We had to set a bobcat eye. I'd never done it.
My advice is to show them that you are trying to improve and are continuing to learn.
Maybe the partial-permit is easier to get, but the test, in my opinion, is blown way out of proportion!
If you don't subscribe to Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today and don't have a clue as to the caliber of the taxidermy that is out there you will fail, and rightfully so.
I went for my exam yesterday morning. Paul and the crew were very helpful and informative. They answered all questions I had regarding my specimens and gave me tips to help improve my work. In the short 30 minutes or so it took them to go over the specimens with me, I learned quite a bit. I felt that the test was not as horrible as people on here made it out to be. There was no "tearing apart" of mounts and all that nonsense that I've heard before from various people.
The written exam was not hard at all, and anyone with any general knowledge of game laws and taxidermy techniques should have no problem with it.
The only part of the exam I felt unsure about was the setting of the bobcat eye. I knew which eye went into the form but I am not sure that I set it at the right angle with the right amount of claywork, as I've never worked on cats.
Overall I felt that the test helped me out, and I felt confident about my mounts. Nextweek or so I will know how good (or bad) I did.
Goodluck to all who took the test this week!