ISA Board Certified Master Arborist

When you become an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® (BCMA), you are recognized by your peers and the public as having reached the highest level of certification offered by ISA. By studying for and passing the BCMA exam, you demonstrate a thorough knowledge of and dedication to correct arboriculture practices. Hiring a BCMA provides tree owners and government decision makers the opportunity to become better informed about proper tree care and their selection of services based on the expertise represented by your credential.

The written exam content is divided into 19 areas of knowledge, and the percentage next to each area below reflects the percentage of questions associated with that area.

  • Abiotic Disorders—5%
  • Biology—6%
  • Biotic Disorders—5%
  • Plant Identification and Selection—5%
  • Soil Science—6%

  • Climbing, Rigging, and Removal—4%
  • Diagnostic Process—6%
  • Installation Practices—6%
  • Plant Health Care—5%
  • Pruning—6%
  • Soil Treatment—5%
  • Support and Protection—2%
  • Water Relations and Irrigation—4%

  • Business Relations—5%
  • Inventory and Management Plans—4%
  • Plant Appraisal—4%
  • Risk Assessment—8%
  • Safety—7%
  • Tree Preservation—7%

Who Is Eligible to Apply for the ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® Exam?

The ISA Certification Board requires a candidate to be an ISA Certified Arborist® in good standing and have obtained a total of eight points from any or all of the four categories listed in the exam application that include measurable experience, formal education, related credentials, or professional experience. The point values are listed in the exam application form click here to read more:

What Is the Format of the ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® Exam?

The examination is made up of 165, multiple-choice questions. Pictures and descriptive information may be included with exam questions when necessary to further explain the scenarios being tested. Each question is multiple choice and has four possible answers listed, only one of which is correct. You will have 4 hours (240 minutes) to complete the written exam. You must pass the exam to obtain the certification.