Funeral Service Exam
The Funeral Service examination is a challenging and comprehensive assessment for men and women who want to enter the funeral profession. There is a national examination, and many states have their own examinations as well. The content of the national exam is typical. It has two main components: arts and sciences. The arts section includes questions about sociology/funeral service history (18 items), psychology (21 items), funeral directing (27 items), business law (18 items), funeral service law (24 items), funeral service merchandising (18 items), and accounting/computers (24 items). The sciences section includes questions on embalming (42 items), restorative art (42 items), microbiology (15 items), pathology (24 items), chemistry (12 items), and anatomy (15 items). As you can see, the funeral service exam covers a broad range of topics.
Funeral Service Exam Practice Questions
1. A will is an instrument for the ordered disposition of real and personal property that is to take effect upon death. Which of the following is a requirement for a will to take effect?
A. The will has a codicil.
B. The deceased was of legal age.
C. There was intestacy on the part of the legatee.
D. Both B: and C:
2. The Funeral Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has many provisions. These include mandated disclosures and restrictive actions. At the very start of a face-to-face discussion with the public regarding the selection of funeral goods or services and/or the prices of them, the funeral director is required to give the consumer:
A. The GPL for retention upon collection and signed receipt of the Consumer Protection Fee
B. The price for each item the consumer requests on dated company letterhead
C. The GPL for retention, and the casket and vault price list for reference only
D. The casket price list and vault price list for retention, and the GPL for reference only
3. The person with the authority and duty of final disposition who may or may not have “actual” custody (physical possession) of the deceased at a particular moment is considered to have what kind of custody?
A. Caveat emptor
4. An insolvent estate is an estate of a deceased person whose assets are insufficient to pay the estate’s debts, taxes, and administrative expenses. It is the state statute that controls the priority of these claims. In most states, though, the priority of claims—from top priority to lowest—is ordered as follows:
A. Taxes, funeral expenses, and medical bills
B. Medical bills, taxes, and funeral expenses
C. Funeral expenses, administration expenses, and taxes
D. Administration expenses, funeral expenses, and taxes
5. A federal government agency created to promote consumer protection, encourage free and fair competition, and prevent what regulators determine to be anti-competitive business practices is called:
6. What group of chemicals is used in funeral preparations in extreme cases, such as bodies with edema or ones exhibiting advanced decomposition?
A. Low index fluids
C. High index fluids
D. Water conditioning
7. When is the correct time to inject tissue builder with a hypodermic syringe?
A. After embalming
B. Before closing the mouth
C. After disinfecting
D. Before embalming
8. A written record and sketch diagram of the condition of the body upon arrival to the funeral home, the method of embalming, treatments, the times at which the body arrived and preparations were completed, and the license numbers of the embalmers and assistants is called the:
A. Putrefaction case report
B. Sanitation case report
C. Decomposition case report
D. Embalming case report
9. Admittance to the preparation room while a deceased is present should only be granted to:
B. Those authorized by the family or the state
C. Pre-need counselors
D. Both a and b
10. The difference between the potential pressure reading and the actual pressure reading indicates the:
A. Vacuum pressure
B. Rate of flow
C. Differential pressure
D. Both b and c
1. B: The deceased was of legal age. This requirement must be met for the will to take effect after the demise of the individual. A will completed by a minor who dies while still a minor is not recognized as a legal will. A codicil is a formal addition to a will, but it is not a requirement for a will to take effect. The legatee is the person who is to inherit the personal property specified in the will. Intestacy is the condition that occurs when a person dies and has no will.
2. C: The GPL for retention, and the casket and vault price list for reference only. The General Price List (GPL) is provided to the consumer for their retention. The funeral home cannot charge the consumer for a copy of the GPL. The casket and/or vault price list need to be handed to the consumer for reference as the products and prices are discussed, but the funeral director is not required by law to distribute them for retention. The Consumer Protection Fee applies to pre-need contracts. There is no requirement to compare prices requested by the consumer on dated company letterhead.
3. B: Constructive. Constructive custody in funeral service is the term applied to the custody rights that supersede actual custody rights, and they include the right of a party to control the disposition of the deceased. The person with actual custody may sometimes be a third party (such as a livery or public carrier), but someone else would maintain constructive custody at all times. Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” Consignment refers to merchandise shipped to an agent or to a customer. It does not take place as a result of an actual purchase, but under an agreement obliging the consignee to pay the consignor for the goods within a certain period of time once the merchandise is sold. Endowment refers to a permanent fund of property or money that is established to benefit an institution or person. An example is the sale of perpetual care cemetery property.
4. C: Funeral expenses, administration expenses, and taxes. In most states the funeral expenses of the deceased take top priority. This claim is immediately followed by the administration fees associated with settling the estate. Taxes come last. Taxes are not a preferred claim expense over the funeral expenses of the deceased in most states. Medical bills owed do not supersede taxes or funeral expenses in most states. Administration expenses are given less priority than funeral expenses and taxes in most states.
5. A: FTC. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the government agency created to promote consumer protection and fair competition, and also to prevent anti-competitive commerce practices. The ICCFA is a national trade association for funeral homes and cemeteries, and serves as a resource for cemetery/funeral service professionals and the public. OSHA is the Occupational Safety Health Administration, and is a government agency created to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health. The NFDA is the National Funeral Directors Association. It is not a government agency but a trade association for funeral directors. It serves as a resource for funeral service professionals and the public.
6. C: High index fluids. High index fluids are for situations in which the preservation demand is high due to the condition of the deceased. These chemicals usually have an index higher than 30. The harsher the conditions of the body, the stronger the primary solution should be. Low index fluids typically have a formaldehyde index in the range of 10 to 18, and it is not advisable to use them in high demand preservation circumstances. The use of these fluids results in the tissue remaining moist and natural with a soft to medium-firm texture. It is not wise to use them in situations where there is high water retention. Humectants are chemicals that increase the tissues’ ability to maintain moisture, and aid in preventing dehydration. It would not be advisable to use them in situations where there is already too much moisture, as this would only further inhibit preservation. Water conditioning is an additive agent to remove or render ineffective various chemicals in water that may inhibit drainage or preservation. It does not specifically address the needs that are present in high-demand preservation situations.
7. A: After embalming. Tissue builder doesn’t contain embalming fluid so it must be used after a corpse has been embalmed to shape treated tissue. If it was used before embalming, the subsequent embalming treatment would not be capable of effectively reaching the tissue that had not been preserved.
8. D: The embalming case report. The embalming case report is the all-encompassing written record that includes a drawn sketch diagramming the condition of the body. It identifies the deceased and the embalming practitioner, as well as the chemicals used, the time elapsed, and the funeral home procedures performed. Putrefaction is a term used to describe the decomposition of proteins by diverse enzymes as well as the actions of anaerobic bacteria. It is not the title of a case report. Decomposition is the breakdown of compounds into simpler substances by microbes and autolytic enzymes. The level of decomposition is one finding listed in the embalming case report. Sanitation refers to the documentable efforts to provide for personal and environmental hygiene while working around a corpse. The body and its immediate environment are unsanitary, and create a hazardous condition that could result in an infection to the embalming practitioner. Sanitation is not addressed in a separate report, but the use of chemicals should be listed in the embalming case report so that there is a record of sanitization efforts.
9. D: Both A: and B:. Licensees and those authorized by the family or the state. Any person who has a license to perform work in the preparation room in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state in which they are practicing and the authorization of the business is allowed to be in the prep room. Additionally, any approved family member or state authorized personnel is permitted to be in the prep room. Pre-need counselors typically have no authorization to enter the prep room. They are business agents authorized to represent cemetery and/or funeral products and services to clients in advance of a death.
10. D: Both b and c, differential pressure and rate of flow. Differential pressure is the difference between the potential pressure reading and the actual pressure reading. It is a gauge of the rate of flow, which is the amount of embalming solution that enters the body in a given period. A vacuum breaker is an accessory device that prevents water from flowing backwards into an unintended water source, which would result in contamination or pollution.