The Application Process: Level 3

checklistLevel Three of the application process consists of a written exam in two sections, plus an oral review.

Click here to access a PDF of the “Guide to Applying for an Accredited Genealogist® Credential.”


When you have achieved Level 2 recognition, you may take up to three years to apply for the next level of testing.

One Saturday a quarter has been scheduled for the written exams. A person may take one level exam (Example: either Level 2 or Level 3 or retake of Level 2 or retake of Level 3) during this scheduled test day. After Level 2 is passed those wishing to test sooner than the next quarterly scheduled test day may request “Custom Onsite Testing,” Additional charges apply. See Fee Schedule for details.

The written portion of Level 3 has two sections lasting over four hours with a break between them. After passing the Level 3 written tests, an oral review will be scheduled at a later date. You will attain Level 3 status by achieving a score of 90% or better on sections 5-6 of the written exam and by passing the oral review.

Level 3 sections cover the following material:


You will be tested on your ability to analyze a research problem and plan effective research. You will be asked to list the sources you would search to research each problem and what you would expect to find in those sources. This exercise does not include any actual research.

You will need to use localities and dates from the provided question, basic pedigree or document on the exam to develop a proper research plan. Be sure to understand the importance of name variations and be able to recognize date inconsistencies (e.g. the child’s birth date listed as before that of a parent).

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

Preparation Tip: Practice developing a research plan under a time constraint. Select a research question. Then set a timer for 15 minutes. Write down between five and ten resources you would consult to answer your question. Include what you hope to learn from the resources. The resources should be different record types.


Your abilities in data analysis, research planning, methodology, and report writing will be tested in a three-hour research project. You will be given a practical genealogical problem for which you will conduct research and write a report as if to a client. Your report will detail the results of your research and make recommendations about work that needs to be done in the future.

This exam section is not only about finding new information but also about the research process. In addition to the completed report, you will need to turn in a research log, pedigree chart, all of the family group records on which you recorded information, and photocopied or electronic documents.

Preparation Tip: To prepare for this portion of the test practice researching a limited, three-hour project in the region of interest. Focus on research beyond browsing online family trees. It is not unusual for only one third of this time to be used for the actual research. Allow sufficient time for planning, documentation, and report writing. (Some researchers write as the research progresses.) It important to include in the report suggestions for future research.


At a later date, you will be scheduled for your oral review after you pass the written exam at 90% or better for Level 2 and 3. 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. During this interview, a few AG professionals in your chosen region will ask questions to determine your overall readiness for accreditation. Questions may include the following topics:

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

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