Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The entry level exam for a position with the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides will be offered on Saturday December 4 in the classrooms of the Harrisburg Community College building in Gettysburg. Fifty bucks will get you a desk, a chair and an exam.
The exam consists of three short essay questions that if you don't get correct, then you fail the test and your answers to the 200+ are not valid. As a matter of fact your 200+ answers are not even checked. Pass the essays and get about 92%+ of the 200+ questions correct and then move to the second level. In January a 16 hour course is offered which includes the 'perfect' tour offered by the guides. The guys who miss zero questions on the test then get first crack to take a NPS ranger on a two hour tour of the battlefield. Fail it and you get a second chance. Fail the second chance and go get in line for the 2012 test.
If you get above a 92% or one of the top 15 scores then you go through the 16 hour course and if the first two guys pass the oral tour exam, then it is over. No GLBG badge for you. You don't take the final oral exam. Go get in line for the 2012 test. The current number of guides at about 165 and the GLBG Association is not looking to add more than two or three guides every other year.
So should you take exam? Of course. CWL took it in 2006 to discover what he knew and didn't know. Mission accomplished in 2006. CWL wanted to improve his score in 2008. Mission accomplished with a 5% increase. Now on to 2010! The goal is to get close to 90% The goal is not to become a GLBG but to test myself against myself. That's it. Improvement. So after 2010 and a 90% score what is next? The Antietam Licensed Battlefield Guide Exam, of course.
By the way small eruptions among the test takers are common during the test. Some of the exam directions and questions are unclear and may be read in two ways. Clyde Bell and assorted GLBGs huddle like NFL refs in the front of the room and decide on what the exam writer wants and then, going room to room, they make an announcement. CWL wonders whether the NPS and the GLBGs need an experienced educator to review the test for clarity.
Photo Source: Clyde Bell, GNMP ranger and exam proctor.Gettysburg Daily