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The Chicago Tour-Guide Professionals Association (CTPA) Certified Tour Guide Test was developed by the founding Board of Directors of the CTPA. Passing the test requires fundamental knowledge of Chicago history, geography, transportation, museums, cultural attractions, landmark buildings, sculpture, neighborhoods and venues of interest to visitors-the kind of information given on a three-hour Chicago city highlights tour.

In order to be eligible to take the test, the applicant must be a current CTPA member and have given their first tour at least one year prior to the Part I (written test) date.

In order to take the CTPA Certified Tour Guide Test, each applicant must:

  • Live in or near Chicago and actively work as a tour guide.
  • Be able to prove he/she has one year of guiding experience. This may be done by presenting one year old pay stubs or a letter from a CTPA member company on their letterhead attesting to more than one year of experience.
  • Have paid CTPA dues for the current year.

The test consists of three parts, which must be taken in order. Once you pass one section, you may take the next section. 

Part I is the Written Test, consisting of multiple choice, true or false, fill-in-the-blank, and matching questions. One must answer 80% of the total points correct to pass. 

Part II is the Slide Identification, consisting of ten slides. One must correctly identify and give detailed, accurate commentary for one to two minutes for each slide. A panel of three Certified Tour Guides must agree the commentary provided is a "pass" for 8 of the 10 slides.

Part III is Routing. The guide must correctly give directions between various points of the city without consulting a map. The directions must use the streets correctly and be accurate two out of three times.

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