National Park Service hopes to make battlefield guide tests easier to pass

By JENNIFER WENTZ | The Evening Sun, Hanover, Pa. | Published: March 9, 2014

The National Park Service hopes to make battlefield guide licensing tests easier to pass, according to a news release.

Although the park service has not announced any specific changes yet, it plans to examine its current testing process and, eventually, increase the success rate of candidates who hope to become licensed.

Currently, guides must pass a written exam, participate in a training session and then pass a final oral exam. This process has remained relatively unchanged for the past 20 years.

Many candidates who pass the written exam, however, fail the oral exam and do not become licensed. Over the next year, the park service will explore options for addressing this disparity.

"We want to develop a licensing process that increases the success rates for interested candidates," Ed Clark, Gettysburg National Military Park superintendent, said in the release.

In anticipation of possible testing changes, the licensing exam tentatively scheduled for December 2014 will not be offered. The next written examination for future licensed battlefield guides will be hosted by the park in the winter of 2015 and 2016.

"We feel the park has an adequate number of guide candidates to meet our needs since 12 of the 20 successful candidates from the last written exam are still waiting to go through the final phase of the licensing process," Clark said in the release.

In 2015, the Association for Licensed Battlefield Guides will celebrate 100 years of service.

Throughout the next year, the National Park Service will work with the guides and interested members of the public to plan a celebration of the association's service on the Gettysburg battlefield.

To contribute ideas or request more information, email Supervisory Park Ranger Angela Atkinson at Angela_Atkinson@nps.gov.


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