Professional Geologist ASBOG Examination
    Topic posted September 29, 2008 by plusone876Super Contributor, last edited January 19, 2012 
    14364 Views, 15 Comments
    Professional Geologist ASBOG Examination
    Just wondering if anyone had any study material suggestions (i.e. books to purchase, etc.)  to help one study for the Fundamentals of Geology and Practices of Geology Examinations?



    • PhilipZ
      When I took the test back in 2003 I used the Study Guide and materials put out by REG Review, Inc.

      This was a great help and enabled me to pass the exam the first time.

      Hope this helps and good luck.
      • Jack Siegel, PG
        oooh tough one. Part I, covers most of what you did in undergrad (Stratigraphy, Crystallography, Mineralogy, and  Structural); there was also a few geophysical logs, mapping. That was a real pain in the butt exam especilly if you have been out of school for a while. Did you keep any of your textbooks/notebooks?  My suggestion is to get  GRE practice test book for Geology. Also, check with your local Geological Society.  I wouild scan and send you my 100s of pages of stuff if I knew where it was.

        Part II is practical...based on what you have done or could have done as a Geologist....some regulatory questions and ethics. In 2001, when I took  the test, it was leaning more towards Environmental sceanios.
        • Ktramm

          For the PG test, ASBOG actually has study guide materials they offer (Candidate Handbook) that is helpful.  There is also an annual review study manual offered  from REG Review, Inc. ( that is very in depth by secions (intro to the ASBOG process, structural geo, map and cross section interpretation, geomorphology, rock/minerals, economic geo, field investigation, hydrology, water quality, regulations, earth material engineering, geo hazards, and engineered structures).  These are really good.

          Good Luck on the test!  kt

        • ishor


          This is Ishor.I am going to take geologist-in training exam in coming march.I have no idea how to collect the study materials because i am new in this country.So,i read your comments and suggestion on common ground.So,could you please help me in this  regard.I am from nepal.


      • geogavino

        Plenty of people have mentoned regreview. The Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists (PCPG) has a pretty good two-day review course that includes a study guide. I am in the Mid-Atlantic and those are essentially the only two options for either review courses or study guides.

    • Jack Siegel, PG
      Just saw an add on Facebook that lead to this site:

      They offer an ASBOG study guide (stinks that they want to charge so much for it though)

      Over 1400 Questions and Answers in all topics in geology including Hydrogeology, Environmental Geology, Engineering Geology, Mineralogy, Economic Geology for ASBOG exam practice.

      Also use for College geology exam review and practice.
      Your answer to Earth science, Geology and Environmental Science Success!!!
      ASBOG Study Guide $99.99
      ASBOG Study Guide (pdf Version) $89.99
    • cheletwin2

      I took the shourtcourse in Gainesville and studied the Regreview flashcards before I took the exam, and I still failed.  The second time I bought some books (geophysics, geomorphology, etc), read them, studied the flash cards, still failed.  The third time I dedicated months to studying the flash cards, still failed.  On speaking with people who have failed and who have passed, either you get it or you don't.  I have figured out, thanks to a senior friend of mine, that it is more about learning the trends, knowing the patterns of events 7 geography, etc that is important.  I have learned more from him in five minutes than I learned in months of studying.  Problem is, I went to school in Florida, work in Florida, and have lived here all my life.  As my friend puts it, I'm great as a hydrogeologist and anything Florida, problem is, this is a nation wide exam.  I don't know anything about glaciers, seismic, and mineral mining (other than phosphate).  This is the only test I have ever failed, and I failed because I dedicated my studies to memorizing the knowledge in flashcards and books instead of having a well-rounded general understanding of the events (who, what, where, and when).  I do recommend getting the GRE practice test booklet and practicing.  thats my next plan of action, if I ever feel like trying again.

      • Tom Speight

        A lot of the geologists I know are in the same situation-- you're expected to know your work area intimately, which in New England means glaciers, glaciers, and more glaciers.  Mining is pretty much nonexistent except in VT, NH, and ME, and we generally don't have the sort of vast aquifers you get down south. 

    • geogavino

      This depends on your location. For example, the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists (PCPG) has numerous short courses, including a review course for the FG/PG examination that's offered twice a year. You can look them up online if you are near PA. This is probably more common in states like Pennsylvania with a larger geologist presence.

    • Emily B

      I recently took it (in 2008-2009) for my license in Indiana.  The ASBOG is multiple choice and pretty comprehensive across geology.  My approach was to set aside a night each week and work with the study guide from REG Review (and practice tests) for a few months beforehand, just because it worked in my schedule.  I ordered REG Review's flashcards out of laziness - why make my own when I can use the pre-made? :)

      A ton of it is memorization, and a lot will not apply to where you are.  I took the PG once and the FG twice (that's what you get for being out of school for 10 years I guess) and had to re-learn some of the stuff.  If you can, get a study buddy and bust out the old textbooks, because some of what I had to learn was never in my college courses, and I went to a major university with an excellent program.  Some of it (mineralogy!) I knew in school and forgot because I never use it.

      My top secret study aid was a "So you want to learn about geology" type of book.  An intro textbook would also do beautifully for this, if you kept yours.  This will be helpful for the stuff you never learned, or have half-forgotten!

      They mention stereonets in the study materials from Reg Review, but I can say that there was no thumbtack in the exam room :)  At least, not in Indiana - by the way, what state are you going through?

      Best of luck!  And if you don't pass the first time, don't feel bad - the two FGs that I took were really different, so focus on a good general understanding (and being able to do the example problems in the study guide).

    • T_Nowicki

      I was happy to have passed it in one try but I think what really helped was that I took the FG and PG at separate times.  That way I could really study for the FG and try to remember all the mineralogy and other stuff that I never use and only have to sweat a half day test.

      In some senses, the PG is easier because it covers stuff you do every day. I think a good tack is to try and know the stuff you know inside and out so you'll ace those sections. Then try to get a handle on some pretty similar stuff or stuff you're interested in so you'll do really well in those section. Then have a passing sense of the stuff you're never going to know - read up and be familiar with the terms, etc. I'm not a mining geologist but I figure if I got 50% of those questions right with some educated guesses, the 100% I'd get from the hydrology section and 85% from the glacier stuff would make it work out.

    • meisner

      I took and passed the FG and PG on the same day, the first time.  I was the oldest guy in the room by a good decade or more, too.  What helped me the most was the outstanding review course of the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists.  I recommend it whole-heartedly.

    • Teresa N.

      REG Review study guide and practice tests were great.  After being out of school for 15 years, I studied these for a month, took both tests and passed both the first try.  I agree the hardest part was relearning subjects that I do not use in my local area, like glacial geology.  Also, being good at "educated guessing" never hurts, since our tests were multiple choice.

    • HarryC

      I took the Pennsylvania PG review course and passed both parts on my first attempt. The course isn't a guaranteed pass, but you get a lot of material and I found it helped me focus on those areas where I was weak. We are all weak in some areas of geology--and it was almost 30 since I was an undergrad.