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Contractor’s License State Board Practice Exams

CLSI can guide you to the right contractor's practice exams and also refer you to the best seminars to help ensure that you pass the law and trade exams. And, here are our Top Ten Recommendations for how to prepare for your Contractors Exam and Masters or Journeyman Licensing Exams.

1. Find the list of books recommended by the State Contractor’s Licensure Board. Then schedule personal study time and stick to it. Not having regular study sessions are so often neglected when it comes to preparation for a State Board Contractor's License Exam. Also purchase any and all books necessary, and READ them. In order to assist exam takers I've worked through the math problems related to the trade exams. And, most importantly, purchase the Code book and begin to understand the Code and to fully comprehend the reason for the Codes.

2. Contact your State Licensure board for the application.
The preparation for a state Contractor, Master or Journeyman license begins with your contacting the state licensure board to request an application for a license and/or examination. When requesting exam information be sure to ask for any and all recommended study materials. Most exams are based upon a technical book or a Code book. The investment in these books or materials, is invaluable as a resource not only for exam preparation but as a good guide in the contracting business. It always pays to learn from the experts.

3. Apply for the correct classification.
When you apply for a "license" you'll need to know the correct classification for which you need licensed.

For example, a contractor's license in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico requires the passing of two exams: the trade exam and a business & law exam.
In Colorado, there is a statewide Plumbing license for Residential, Journeymen and Masters and a statewide electrical license for residential Wireman, Journeyman, and Masters. In New Mexico there are many Journeyman and Contractor license classifications. For example, if you are an electrician only installing low voltage wiring, you'll need a Journeyman Low Voltage License (JES3), however, if you are a contractor soliciting business from the public at large and NOT doing any of the work of installation, you'll need a Contractor's License (ES3). In Texas the Electrical licenses have several classifications such as Journeyman, Master, and Signs. The Air Conditioning license has two classifications. The "A" license is unlimited tonnage of airconditioning. The "B" license is limited to 25 ton systems or less. In Utah there is a statewide Electrical and Plumbing license for Residential, Journeyman and Masters. Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark County requires an Electrical and Plumbing Certificate similar to a journeyman license.

4. Have the full amount of documented experience required for your classification.
We had a very knowledgeable businessman in our class recently to study for his General Builders License. The classification required 5 exams that he promptly took and passed with no problem. He called to let us know how much he appreciated our help in his licensing process. A few weeks later he called to say that he did not have enough documented experience to qualify for the license and his application was denied. Being hasty in your licensing process may cause you to over look a circumstance like this one that may seem obvious.

5. Fill out and send application for exam or license.
This step is a crucial step in the exam process. The worst thing you can do is show up for an exam and you're not on the examiners' schedule. The time loss and expense can be devastating. Do not presume that someone else has registered you for an exam. If you haven't received a confirmation from the examining agency, pick up the phone and call them yourself to confirm your exam. Some jurisdictions require the application to be notarized.

6. Purchase minimum recommended books.
Many exams are based on a code book. Modern construction techniques for general Building, fire protection, painting, plastering, roofing, concrete, masonry, Electrical and Mechanical are based on building codes, electrical codes, mechanical codes and plumbing codes. Any construction professional should have at least a library of one book that contains a Code addressing his trade. The next level of books that you should have in your library are books written by construction professionals describing particular aspects about your trade. It's really OK to learn from others in your industry who've taken the time to document what they've learned. Access to specific subject books has never been easier. Once you've obtained a list of recommended books, search the internet for the titles.

7. Familiarize yourself with code books and other books purchased.
After purchasing your books, OPEN THEM long before any exam. We've had many in our classes wait until the day of the exam to open their books only to find out that an open book exam can be much more difficult than a closed book exam. An open book exam requires you to look up information in a book to find a particular section or table to answer a question. If you are not familiar with how to look up or read a table, precious minutes tick away reducing your chances of selecting a correct answer. I agree that opening a code book, reading and understanding it is about as exciting as watching paint peal. However, with a little practice you can learn to use a code book as a valuable tool.

8. Utilize exam study guides and tutorials.
One of our frequently asked question is "Can you recommend any additional study material?" If you search the technical bookstores or bookstores that specialize in construction related books you will find books that are written just for exam preparation. In my opinion these study guides are great training tools for learning both the trade and the types of questions that can be asked on the exam. This is especially true for the study guides published in conjunction with the Code. These tutorials have been written with some key features that won't be found in other publications. Exam questions written in our tutorial have appeared on past and present exams. Questions that are based on a Code requirement have the Code reference shown along with the question so you can easily look up the section in the Code. Questions that are referenced from other recommended books have the reference as well. Questions that require math have the solution. Unlike other study guides, these state specific tutorials will prepare you for the exam. Contact for more information on available tutorials.

9. Attend exam preparation seminars and classes.
You should look for a class that covers thoroughly the information that will appear on your specific exam. The content of any class would not be complete if references to books on the list of recommended books were not given as a part of the class time. Any construction math, electrical math or plumbing math should be explained in easily understood terms. Contact us for more information on available classes.

10. Consider CBT Exam Preparation.
Computer-based training is fast becoming the chosen preparation format for the construction professional. Software can be purchased that when installed on your desktop or laptop you can study at your convenience. The format is question with multiple choice answers. You can give yourself tests and you can study as much as you like. This type of exam preparation is cost effective because you can arrange your schedule to study without having to be away from the office or project site to attend class. This type of exam preparation is not for everyone, but if convenience is what you're looking for, then CBT is for you. Contact us for more information.

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