Is the ServSafe Manager Exam Hard? (2023)

Is the ServSafe Manager Exam Hard? (1)

The food service industry is expected to reach $898 billion in sales in 2022 and is projected to create an additional 400,000 jobs by the end of the year. Many people who work in food service choose to take the ServSafe Manager exam. They may be the owner or manager of a food establishment, or they may be taking it to expand their employment opportunities.

Do you need to take the ServSafe Manager Exam? Are you wondering whether the ServSafe Manager exam is hard?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Whatever your reason for taking the exam, it’s important to know what to expect to help you pass the test with confidence. To become certified, you must have the skills and knowledge to efficiently manage a food service operation.

Find out what might be difficult about the ServSafe Manager exam and discover the best ServSafe exam tips for success.

Is the ServSafe Manager Exam Difficult?

The first question people ask before taking the ServSafe Manager exam is how hard it is. This is a reasonable question given how difficult exams can be.

The answer? Yes, it is challenging. But don’t worry, most people pass.

The ServSafe Manager exam tests your knowledge of several categories of food safety in a commercial foodservice environment. They include:

  • Foodborne Microorganisms and Allergens

  • Purchasing, Receiving, and Storage

  • Facilities, Cleaning/Sanitizing, and Pest Management

You will also be tested on Personal Hygiene, Preparation, Cooking, Serving, and Regulatory Authorities.

If you must complete this certification to work in a management position, you will also need to know and have the skills required for the Food Handler test. The ServSafe Manager exam builds upon the Food Handler test content. As a result, there is a lot of material to cover to pass the test successfully.

If you have not taken a previous food safety course, there is a higher chance that you will fail. However, studying early and dedicating enough time to learning the content will put you in good shape to pass the exam.

The ServSafe Manager exam has 90 questions, and you are graded on 80 of them. There are ten pilot questions for research purposes only. You have a limit of two hours to complete the multiple-choice questions, and you must score at least 75% to pass.

The test is available online and in a written version for your convenience. A certified proctor must be present during testing regardless of how you take it.

If you fail the ServSafe Manager exam, don’t despair. While failing isn’t ideal, it certainly isn’t the end of the world. The worst part about failing is having to hit the brakes on your managerial career.

The good news is you only need to wait 24 hours before retaking the test. If you fail another time, don’t worry. You can take the test as many times as you need to pass.

(Video) How Hard Is The ServSafe Exam? | Restaurant Management Tips

The only rule? You can only take the test twice within 30 days. So, if you fail twice in that period, you’ll have to wait at least 60 days.

To avoid failing on multiple occasions, it’s essential to prepare for the exam. Take as many practice tests as you can to identify the areas you need to improve and those you have sufficient knowledge of.

How to Pass the ServSafe Manager Exam

To pass the ServSafe Manager exam, you need to score at least 75%. This means you must answer at least 60 questions right within a two-hour timeframe.

If you have completed the training course and studied the relevant materials, you should pass the exam. However, here are a few extra tips and tricks to help you pass the exam:

Even if your state does not require course completion before taking the ServSafe Manager exam, it pays to do it anyway. They cover the most recent up-to-date information and terms that may be new to you.

ServSafe Manager Exam Study Tips

Studying for the ServSafe exam is no walk in the park. The good news is it doesn’t have to be difficult either. With the right study tools, you can walk into your exam feeling confident and ready to succeed.

Here are some of the best ways to prepare for your ServSafe manager exam.

ServSafe Practice Test

Practice tests are the ultimate way to prep for an exam. Here are just some of the reasons why practice tests are crucial to your exam success:

  • Improve your endurance

  • Identify knowledge gaps

  • Learn to pace your timing

  • Overcome test anxiety

    (Video) ServSafe Exam Tips Tricks To Pass It

  • Track your progress

  • Retain information

  • Cement knowledge

  • Learn the quirks of the test

Union Test Prep’s Free ServSafe Manager Practice Test is designed to help you get the edge. The types of questions in the practice tests are similar to what you will see on the actual exam. You can also create a free profile to track and save your progress and scores.Like the actual exam, our practice test questions are multiple-choice. When you respond to the question, the correct answer will pop up and tell you whether you got it right or wrong. It will also explain the correct answer and provide you with a hint to help you on the next try.

ServSafe Flashcards

Flashcards are an excellent supplementary study material alongside practice tests. Here are just some of the reasons why flashcards are a fun way to retain material:

  • Engages in active recall

  • Enriches vocabulary

  • Enhances creativity

  • Stimulates memories

  • Creates lasting connections to the material

  • Promotes spaced learning

Union Test Prep’s Free Flashcards for the ServSafe Exam are a quick and easy way to study concepts and terminology. Whether you’re short on time or looking to add another study method to your exam prep, flashcards are for you.

When you think you have the correct answer, press the “flip” button and find the correct answer. We also briefly explain what makes this answer the right one.

The ServSafe Manager exam requires knowledge in almost all aspects of the foodservice industry. Our flashcards cover all the different sections of the ServSafe, including:

  • Alcohol Service

  • Allergens

  • Cleaning and Sanitizing

    (Video) Practice Test for the ServSafe Manager Exam

  • Facilities and Equipment

  • Food Preparation

  • Food Safety and Regulations

  • Food Service

  • Pest Management

The ability to have a broad understanding of the foodservice industry is an important requirement for passing the ServSafe Manager exam. Using our flashcards in tandem with practice tests will give you the best chance of passing the exam.

ServSafe Study Guide

Do you need a concise overview of the information you need to know to pass the ServSafe exam?

If the answer is yes, you need a ServSafe study guide. Our free study guide for the ServSafe Manager exam will give you the right information to simplify your study.

A study guide acts as a condensed textbook highlighting only the most essential concepts relevant to the exam. For example, our ServSafe Manager Study Guide is compiled of six pages that address advanced concepts you’ll need to know. They include:

  • The Provision of Safe Food

  • Food Contamination

  • Safe Food Handling

  • The Flow of Food Basics

  • The Purchase, Receipt, and Storage of Food

  • Food Preparation

  • Food Service

  • Systems of Food Safety Management

  • Facility Safety and Pest Management

    (Video) ServSafe Manager 7th Edition Study Guide - 2023! (56 Questions with Explained Answers)

Our study guides will allow you to memorize key material and think critically about the main terms and concepts.

Other Study Tips

Apart from the above, there are many other exam preparation tips to help you successfully pass. Some study tips that you may not have considered yet include:

  • Start study prep early

  • Organize your study time wisely

  • Eat a healthy diet

  • Get plenty of sleep

  • Vary your revision techniques

  • Vary your study locations

  • Take regular breaks

  • Set study goals

  • Ask for help

  • Plan your exam day and sleep well

The night before your exam can be stressful. While you might want to spend more time cramming, it’s generally not worth it. Instead, focus on letting your mind rest and getting a good night’s sleep.

You will feel refreshed and nourished by morning and (hopefully) have a can-do attitude!

Are You Ready to Sit for the ServSafe Manager Exam?

In order to become certified under the ServSafe Manager exam, you must have the skills and knowledge necessary to manage a foodservice operation. The exam will help determine your ability to work unsupervised and expand your employment opportunities.

Once you have your certification, it will be good for five years. So, what’s stopping you?

Union Test Prep is here to help give you the edge. Our ServSafe free study materials are designed to help you pass your exam for free.

Want to go the extra mile? Take our customizable Cram Course to learn everything you need to know to pass the ServSafe.

(Video) How hard is the manager's food safety exam

Ready to take the next step in your food service career? Build a career you love and get started with our free study materials today!


How do I pass the ServSafe manager exam? ›

How to Pass the ServSafe Manager Exam. To pass the ServSafe Manager exam, you need to score at least 75%. This means you must answer at least 60 questions right within a two-hour timeframe. If you have completed the training course and studied the relevant materials, you should pass the exam.

What is the ServSafe Manager exam like? ›

The ServSafe Manager exam involves 90 multiple choice questions. In order to pass, you must achieve a score of 75 percent or higher. You'll have approximately 90 minutes to finish the exam—it is important for you to complete all answers as any question left blank will be scored as wrong.

What happens if you fail the ServSafe Manager exam? ›

Certification Process

What can I do if I do not pass the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Examination and need to retest? You can retest only if you did not pass the examination, or if your current certification is expiring. You will need to purchase a new exam each time you need to retest.

How many questions can you miss on the ServSafe manager test? ›

Top ServSafe FAQs

What is the passing score for the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Examination? A passing score is 70% or higher. This is obtained by answering at least 56 out of 80 questions correctly. The exam has 90 questions; however there are 10 pilot questions that are for research purposes only.

How long should you study for ServSafe? ›

An ideal training schedule is one 1-hour session every other workday at approximately the same time of day. For longer courses, we recommend that you view the entire course within three weeks.

What is the best way to study for the ServSafe test? ›

One of the best way to prepare for the ServSafe exam is by taking free practice exams. Our free practice exams cover all subjects that will be tested on the ServSafe exam. Our free practice tests also include answer explanations to help students learn as much material as possible.

Is the ServSafe manager exam multiple-choice? ›

The ServSafe exam will consist of 90 multiple-choice questions. You need to pass the exam with at least a 75% score in order to receive credit for the class and receive the ServSafe Manager certification from the National Restaurant Association.

How do I know if I passed my ServSafe exam? ›

You can view your exam results online by logging in to and accessing your dashboard. Then click on the student icon and scroll down to My Exam Scores to select the exam results you want to view.

What is the difference between ServSafe manager and food handler? ›

Certification Process

The ServSafe Manager Certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the Conference for Food Protection Standards. The ServSafe Food Handler Certificate verifies basic food safety knowledge and is for individuals in food handler employee-level positions.

What is the passing rate for ServSafe? ›

Certification Process

A passing score for the ServSafe Alcohol Primary Exam is 75%. This is obtained by answering at least 30 out of 40 questions correctly. A passing score for the ServSafe Alcohol Advanced, Proctored Exam is 80% or higher.

Is the ServSafe test proctored? ›

A: The ServSafe Food Protection Exam with online proctoring is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Can you take the ServSafe exam more than once? ›

No more than four attempts to pass the exam are allowed in a year, and a 60-day waiting period is required between the second and third attempt and again between the third and fourth attempt.

What must a food handler do to a thermometer before using it? ›

When using thermometers:
  1. Wash, rinse, sanitize, and air-dry thermometers before and after using them.
  2. Calibrate them before each shift to. ensure accuracy.
  3. Make sure thermometers used to measure the temperature of food are accurate to. ...
  4. Only use glass thermometers if they are enclosed in a shatterproof casing.

At which sink should garbage containers be washed and rinsed? ›

Wash floor mats, kitchen mats, filters, and garbage cans in a mop sink, janitor's sink, or near the kitchen floor drain. This will ensure that the wastewater will flow to the wastewater treatment plant and will not wash into a parking lot, alley, sidewalk, street, or storm drain.

Which item must be cleaned and sanitized? ›

Any surface that touches food, such as knives, stockpots, cutting boards, and prep tables, must be cleaned and sanitized.

How many modules are in ServSafe? ›

Content: The five sections are Basic Food Safety, Personal Hygiene, Cross-contamination and Allergens, Time and Temperature, and Cleaning and Sanitation. You must complete these sections before the assessment is available. There is an optional "Job Specific" section that your manager may want you to complete.

How long is the ServSafe proctored exam? ›

The Proctor will enter their Proctor Access Code so you can start the exam. Once exam has started: You will have 2 hours to complete your exam.

Which is a correct food safety practice diced tomatoes? ›

After being washed and cut, tomatoes are considered potentially hazardous food requiring time/temperature control for safety (TCS) and should be refrigerated at 41°F or less to prevent any pathogens that may be present from multiplying.

How do I proctor an exam on ServSafe? ›

How do I Proctor an Online Exam? To proctor an online exam you will need to schedule an Online Exam Session and obtain the Proctor Access Code. You'll then want to make sure the examinee has an Exam Access Code and a User ID and Password for

What is the newest edition of ServSafe? ›

ServSafe Coursebook (7th Edition)

Where should ground fish be stored in a cooler? ›

One way to arrange food when concerned about temperatures is to put potentially hazardous foods like meats, fish, poultry and dairy products in the back of the cooler and produce closer to the front; or store potentially hazardous foods on shelves below the raw food.

What must you do immediately after thawing food in a microwave? ›

After thawing in the microwave, always cook immediately after, whether microwave cooking, by conventional oven, or grilling. Foods thawed in the microwave should be cooked before refreezing.

What is the format for ServSafe exam? ›

The ServSafe® Exam is available in multiple formats: paper-based exam with an in-person proctor, online exam with an in-person proctor, online at a testing center, or online with a remote live proctor.

What is the format of the ServSafe exam? ›

All exams are multiple choice.

How many questions is the ServSafe final exam? ›

The ServSafe Manager exam is given in a proctored environment and has 90 multiple choice questions. You are required to score 75% or better on the exam to receive certification.

How long are ServSafe exam codes good for? ›

Yes. Unused courses are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

What is the ServSafe exam access code for? ›

An Exam Access Code is a unique code that verifies that you have purchased the exam and enables you to access and take an online exam. If you do not pass the ServSafe Alcohol state specific quiz, you will be able to reuse the original exam access code until you take the online examination.

What is the purpose of ServSafe manager? ›

Becoming ServSafe Manager Certified means that you have successfully completed the ServSafe Manager training and exam. This certification verifies your knowledge of the course contents, including safety practices and procedures for managing a restaurant establishment and protecting the public from food-borne illnesses.

What is the difference between ServSafe and ServSafe manager? ›

If you are a restaurant owner, manager, or employee and are responsible for food safety, then you need the ServSafe® Food Manager Course. If you are not a manager but still an individual who will be handling the food in your establishment, then you need the ServSafe® Food Handler Course.

What is ppm ServSafe? ›

Concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). A test kit is used to measure strength, and the kit should be made for the sanitizer you're testing. Make sure kits are available to all staff at all times. Change the sanitizer solution once the water gets dirty or low.

What are the benefits of Servsafe certification? ›

It protects both your employees and customers, as being exposed to rotten or contaminated food can risk the health of everyone involved. It can also contribute to the success of your business, as very little ruins the reputation of a restaurant faster than food that makes the customers sick.

How frequently must proctors retake proctor training? ›

How to Maintain Your Proctor Status. All proctors must review the Proctor Manual and other materials and pass the online quiz every two years. Proctors who have not administered at least one written certification exam within a 12-month period must retake and pass the online quiz to maintain proctor status.

Is Servsafe required in Arkansas? ›

Is a Food Handlers Permit Required in Arkansas? No. Arkansas does NOT require a basic food handlers card for common kitchen employees. This means that all Arkansas food handlers (i.e. line cooks, food preps, servers, bussers, etc.)

Can you take ServSafe without a proctor? ›

The ServSafe Food Handler online assessment does not require a proctor, so you can take that exam by yourself. For the classroom/print version food handler assessment an instructor must administer the assessment. Use the Find a Class locator on to find a food handler instructor/proctor.

Can you make money being a ServSafe proctor? ›

How much does a ServSafe Proctor make? The average yearly salary for a Servsafe Proctor in the United States is $56,364 per year as of October 10, 2021. If you need a quick salary calculator, that works out to about $27.10 per hour. This works out to $1,084 every week or $4,697 per month.

How much can I charge to proctor a ServSafe exam? ›

At the completion of the exam your Proctor can access your score within a few minutes. For this option you pay the Proctor's fee ($99.00)plus mileage (at current IRS rate) to the location you choose. Paper-based ServSafe exams are low-tech - you only need a No. 2 pencil and a quiet place.

When can food prepared at home be served in an operation ServSafe? ›

Food "prepared in-house" for immediate service may be consumed at, or reheated to any temperature if it was cooked and cooled correctly. Food "prepared in-house" to be hot-held must be reheated within two hours to an internal temperature of 165℉ for 15 seconds. Then it must be held at 135℉.

How long does a ServSafe certification last in Florida? ›

If the exam you took is a Conference for Food Protection Examination like ServSafe®, then yes, your certification is valid in Florida for 5 years from the date of examination.

How long should food handlers scrub their hands? ›

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

What is the minimum temperature cooked rice should be held at ServSafe? ›

Minimum internal temperature of 135℉ (57℃) applies to: Commercially processed, ready-to-eat-food that will be hot-held for service (cheese sticks, deep-fried vegetables). Fruit, vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), and legumes (beans, refried beans) that will be hot-held for service.

What is the maximum number of hours that pizza can be held? ›

After 4 hours, the product must not be served and must be discarded. Procedures: 1. Cook to the required minimum temperature: Pizzas must be cooked to 165oF.

Which food should be rejected during receiving? ›

The quality of the food you are purchasing is very important. Make sure to reject food if it's moldy or is the wrong consistency (e.g. moist foods should never be delivered dry). Never accept a product that shows signs of pest damage. Any food that has an abnormal smell or color should be rejected.

What item must a food handler remove before working with food? ›

Prior to handling food, employees must put on clean clothing, appropriate shoes and a clean hair restraint or hat. They must also remove jewelry from hands and arms. Only a plain wedding band should be allowed.

What is the temperature danger zone for Servsafe? ›

The temperature danger zone is between 41°F and 135°F. TCS food must pass through the temperature danger zone as quickly as possible. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Always use a thermometer to check internal food temperatures.

What are 3 surfaces that need to be cleaned? ›

When to Clean Surfaces in Your Home
  • Clean high-touch surfaces (for example, light switches, doorknobs, and countertops) regularly and after you have visitors in your home.
  • Clean other surfaces in your home when they are visibly dirty or as needed.

What are 3 surfaces that need to be cleaned and sanitized? ›

Which surfaces and objects do I need to clean and disinfect? To prevent the spread of infection, you should regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often. For example, in your house, this would include countertops, doorknobs, faucet and toilet handles, light switches, remotes, and toys.

Is the ServSafe manager exam all multiple-choice? ›

The ServSafe exam will consist of 90 multiple-choice questions. You need to pass the exam with at least a 75% score in order to receive credit for the class and receive the ServSafe Manager certification from the National Restaurant Association.

Is the ServSafe manager test multiple-choice? ›

The ServSafe Manager Certification verifies that a manager or person-in-charge has sufficient food safety knowledge to protect the public from foodborne illness. Individuals that successfully pass the 90-question, multiple-choice exam will receive a ServSafe Manager Certification and wallet card.

What is the new passing score for ServSafe? ›

There are 80 questions on the exam. What is the minimum passing score? You will need a minimum score of 70% to pass the ServSafe Exam.

Why should an ice cream scoop be stored? ›

A dipper well is a perpetual-flow sink often used in coffeehouses and ice cream shops to rinse utensils. Ice cream scoops and other food-preparation utensils can be placed under the continuous stream in order to remove allergens and protect against bacterial growth.


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