Test Tips

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Test taking tips ? Learned the hard way! Please excuse if they have been posted before.

General Test Session Tips

Bring at least (2) two calculators to the test session. My calculator of choice died within the first two minutes of beginning the test. I was very glad I had a backup.

Make sure your calculators are ?battery powered? as well as solar powered and that you have fresh batteries in them. My testing room was too dark for the solar power feature.

Take several extra sharpened #2 pencils with you.

Take a drink of some kind with you (water, soft drink, etc.)

Try to relax ? and ?. BREATHE! Stretch your arms, legs, and neck muscles periodically.
Go to the restroom to take or take a short break at least once during the session. My session lasted 4 long hours!

Learn About the Test Beforehand

Well before taking the exam, try to get as much general information about the test from the testing authority. This is not cheating, but wise use of readily available information. For example, my test consisted of 50 multiple choice questions worth one point apiece and 10 calculation questions worth 5 points apiece. This tells you that the test is highly weighted in favor of calculation questions for credit. The passing score was 80%. Thus, if you miss four calculation questions and only one multiple choice question, you?ve failed the test. Also, find out if partial credit is given for the calculation questions. For example, you may arrive at the wrong answer, but get some credit for correct calculation along the way. Every point counts! Call your testing authority or search online for this information about your particular exam.

Find out what materials are allowed in the exam and BRING THEM!!! For example, for my ?open book? test, I was allowed to bring the NEC 2008 Code Book (with tabs), the Ugly?s Reference Manual, and a Keyword Index. My exam referenced information only found in the Ugly?s manual (tables, formulas, etc.). I would have missed these items without the Ugly?s manual. Also, the Keyword index is very valuable because it is much easier to use than the subject index at the back of the Code Book.

Question Specific Tips

In my opinion, the multiple choice questions primarily tap your skill at referencing the code book. Developing speed and competence at this ?referencing? task requires much practice, which in turn, develops familiarity with the code book. The many study aids available with practice exams serve this purpose nicely. It gives you the practice you need to find things in the code book ?quickly.?

Warning!!! Once you ?think? you have the answer, read-on in the section and re-read the question! Make sure you have understood the question and make sure you haven?t overlooked something in the answer section you?ve found. Make sure you have read and understood the exceptions and read any footnotes, references to other sections of the code, and any asterisked (*) information. Many test questions (especially) calculation questions are written to ?trip-up? the unwary or the lazy. For example, many calculation questions refer to formulas or calculation procedures which themselves may have exceptions or alternate formulas in certain cases. Check to see if your calculation or solution falls into one or more of these ?exceptional? categories before being satisfied with your response. Several of my calculation questions fell into this category (i.e., negating the obvious solution).

READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY!!!! For calculation questions, only give responses that are asked for. From my experience, these questions were often filled with ?extraneous information? that served to distract you from what was being requested. For example, a dwelling unit calculation question that only asks for the small applicance demand load, but provides information about square footage, laundry, and fixed appliances.

Check and re-check your basic math using a calculator, by hand, and in your head. Simple ?math errors? can cause you to fail the test, even though your procedures were correct. Get an idea of the range the answer should be in and re-check if something seems fishy.

In order to prepare for the calculation questions: PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

Best Wishes and Good Luck!
how did you do on the test? Sounds like WV's test.
Yes. It was the WV test. Unfortunately, I didn't pass due to some careless math errors on the calculation questions. I will definitely be more careful next time (a hard lesson to learn). When taking this exam, it's quite easy to be overwhelmed by anxiety and then to make stupid mistakes. Be well-prepared and then try to relax!



Staff member
Retired Electrician
I know I have posted this before, but in NC you can't take anything into the exam room or leave with anything.

The calculator, pencils, scratch paper, and code book are furnished.



Senior Member
In Texas.. Going to take Masters this weekend. PSI...

Anyone taken this test for Texas?

If so, whats it like?
Is it harder than the ICC test? Can you take in anything beside your codebook?
Let me know...
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