Tip #139 Review All Questions in the Electrical Exam

One of the true and tried pieces of advice I can pass along to you is to review all of the questions in the electrical exam and do the following:


  1. Answer the questions you know - without a doubt- get them out of the way.
  2. Mark or tag the questions you might know but aren’t sure and need to reference the NEC book for the answer.
  3. Skip the ones that are too hard then come back to those after you answer the ones you marked.

Why should you answer, mark and skip?  The electrical exam is a timed exam and you have roughly about 3 minutes per question.  If you are too hung up on question #5 and you spend a good chunk of time on it and still can’t figure it out, buddy you will be running out of time before you even had a chance at answering the easy questions.


If you do 3 passes of the exam, you will have the opportunity to answer the easy questions within a few minutes leaving you enough time to answer the ones you marked then spend more than 3 minutes per question on the hard ones.  Once you get to the third step and you see you still have some time to work on them, you will be less stressed and less likely to make silly mistakes like referring to the wrong table on the NEC or messing up on your math for calculation questions.  Yes, most of the questions that are skipped and left until the end are calculation questions.


If you have any tips you want to pass along that you think might help other guys, please send us an email!




Thanks for reading & good luck!


7 More Exam Prep Tips from College Students

Last month we spoke to some college students and picked their brains for their exam prep tips. We figured who better to help us with this article than professional test takers.  Here are 7 more tips these students shared with us so that you can add them to your exam prep study routine for the electrical exam.


•Get good rest

Do not drink or eat anything with caffeine the night before. Don’t fight with the wife, she will be right at whatever she says the night for the electrical exam, don’t go out with the buddies for a beer, keep your head clear, drink plenty of water the day before (NOT at night, cause you’ll have to get up several times), and eat a nutritious dinner.  Do not go out for greasy foods, you will regret it the next day.

•Designate a study place

Carve out a little spot in your home for study only.  There is a psychology behind this. Some students say that when they are stuck on a question, they close their eyes and remember where they were when they were reading that particular subject.  Only use this spot for studying, not for watching Netflix or football.

•Designate a time

Most college students set a particular time for a particular subject they are studying. This helps your brain get conditioned to know that you mean business from 6 pm to 7 pm and you will only focus on the electrical exam.  (Or whatever time you choose) Some people study better in the morning, some better at night. Play around with the time until you find a good time for you.

•If you have test anxiety

Watch this video on YouTube.  7 Exam Anxiety Tips: https://youtu.be/FyBdA61GmJ0

•Study in most efficient way, not for hours.

Do not spend hours and hours studying or cramming the night before.  College students know the importance of breaking up their study time. Most agree that studying for 30-60 minutes per session is more efficient that studying for hours.  You can have 2 to 3 study sessions per day if you break them up in between. Realistically, after work and family, can you really do 2 to 3 study sessions per day? Probably not, that is why we urge you guys to start studying at least 6 months before the exam!

•Put away phone and distractions

I really don’t have to get into this one, do I? Common sense guys.

•Brain dump at the exam

We tell our guys at the seminar, if you are given a scratch sheet of paper, dump everything you have in your brain, formulas, calculations, article numbers, ohm’s law into that piece of paper as soon as you sit down.  This will lower the risk of forgetting something important and you'll have it handy when you sit for the exam.


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Good luck!

NEC Book Markup to help you pass the electrical exam

There are certain pages that will be absolutely the most common pages you turn to over and over again.  You can tag and highlight your code book all you want and eventually you’ll have a ton going on in your book.   


If your book is more decorated than Evil Knievel, go ahead and start tabbing the bottom pages so long as those pages are extremely important.  Also, if allowed in your state exam, and you can write notes, tab the page that has your formulas on them and make a note next to them.

Eventually, you’ll use those pages that are so important a few times during your exam prep and you’ll remember where they are, but you don’t want to risk forgetting that on the day of the exam due to pressure.


If you have several tables on one page, you want your eye to go to the one that is important and forget the rest of them, so you can add a star next to the table that is the important one and add a tab if you have one or dog ear fold it.  Again, if it’s allowed in your electrical exam, it’s always a good idea to notate your notes, if that makes any sense.


For example, a few tables that will be necessary during the electrical exam such as the Small Conductor rules, breaker sizing, tap rules for fixture and normal, should already be tabbed on your book but if you have so much going on that it’s hard for you to locate, then tab those pages at the bottom of the NEC.  Notice how there are a lot of things going on in just those pages.


Thanks for reading and good luck.  If you have any questions or need help preparing for the exam in Texas check out of live seminars.

Flashcards for the electrical exam?

Remember making flashcards in high school for science class?  And you thought you would never ever need to write in some index cards and carry them around everywhere!  That’s right, making and reviewing flashcards is helpful to you as you study for the electrical exam.   Consider making flashcards for anything you are having trouble […]

Study for the electrical exam in the most efficient way, not for hours

The most common mistake many electricians do when studying for their electrical license exam is spend hours upon hours of studying in one sitting.  There are a lot of reasons why this is a bad idea and I’ll list them briefly here so we can focus on what you should actually be doing.


  • Tiresome
  • You will stop learning after 30 minutes -60 minutes
  • You’ll become overwhelmed and will find excuses to not study later
  • Your mind will start wandering off to other things


Do not spend hours and hours studying for weeks and do not even think of cramming for the electrical exam the night before.  College students know the importance of breaking up their study time and you should too. Most students agree that studying for 30-60 minutes per session is more efficient that studying for hours.  You can have 2 to 3 study sessions per day if you break them up in between. Realistically, after work and family, can you really do 2 to 3 study sessions per day? Probably not, that is why we urge you guys to start studying at least 6 months before the exam.


Good luck!

6 Exam Prep Tips from College Students

We all know that college students spend about 40 hours per week studying, taking notes and going to class.  They also take exams...lots of exams. So we asked a few students around and got a few tips that you can use for the electrical exam!

These guys are expert test takers, here are a few of their top study tips that you can apply towards you electrical exam prep whether you are preparing for the journeyman electrical exam or the master electrical exam.

  • Gather all your study notes and materials and books

    That means if you have attended our Live seminar in Texas, get your crash course book, 2 week homework material, the notes you took in the seminar and your NEC book.

  • Make a planner

    The best thing you can do is break up the subject categories and give yourself a week or two to practice each one.  Obviously, you want to spend more time on the subject areas you have issues with. Here is an article with the general breakdown.

  • Practice exams 1-2 days before test

    We actually think you should take more practice exams throughout your preparation so you know what areas to focus on next.  Don’t forget that practice exams for the electrical exam will also help you become familiar with the NEC book. Practice exams help you increase confidence and will point out errors...now is the time to make mistakes so you can learn from them.  Any practice exam book you can get your hands on will work, but this one and this one are the best ones.

  • Ask professors or colleagues for stuff you don’t get

    This one can be a little tricky if you don’t belong to an electrical association or enrolled in any classes or seminars.  However, you can always talk to the Master electrician where you work or other colleagues for advice. When you sign up for our Live seminars in Texas, you don’t just walk away from the seminar with 2 day’s worth of knowledge and 2 week’s worth of homework material, you also walk away with the instructors personal cell phone number so you can call or text with any questions you have.

  • Table of contents can be used as a revision sheet

    We have said it a million times but here it is straight from a college student...use the TABLE OF CONTENTS of the NEC book!

  • Only highlight keywords not the whole book

     I’ve seen guys highlight the NEC from front cover to back cover...stick to only highlighting major keywords, articles, tables and terms/articles in the index.

If you follow these tips from college students, you should be in good shape.  Remember you WILL need to create a study plan, use exam prep guides/books and learn the layout of the NEC.

Best of luck!

PSI Retaking the electrical exam

Electricians who fail the Texas electrical exam are able to retake the test as many times as they need until they pass.  This may not be the most economical way to get your licence, but it can be done. PSI exams will allow you to sign up for your retest as early as 3 days after your last exam.


Here are some things to keep in mind when you attempt to retake your electrical test:

You will have to pay for the exam each time you take it. 

This is why we strongly suggest you invest in a study program.  A study program will help you learn what you need in the electrical exam and you have a greater chance of passing the test on the first attempt.

 There is no waiting period.  

You can reschedule you test as soon as you want.  We strongly suggest you take the test within the next 7 days while the test is still fresh in your head.

Keep your Score Report from the first failed exam.  

This will break down the categories of the questions you missed which will help tell you what to study for the retake.


If you didn’t take a prep course or practice exam before, now is the time to do it.  Jade Learning has an electrical practice exam program that has questions like in the exam and also breaks down your results just like the test.  This way you’ll see your improvement before you go sit for the real deal.

Finally, don’t get frustrated and don’t quit.  I’ve seen guys just a point short of passing and I know it’s frustrating but hang in there.  You’ll get it.


You can always find all of the rules and procedures on PSI and TDRL.


Best of luck!

How using exam prep questions helps learn the NEC book

With hundreds of practice exam prep books out there, who will you know which ones will have the questions that will appear in the actual exam you will be taking in a few months?  What if you buy one and none of the questions are in the electrical exam? What if it’s not specific for […]

Which tabs are allowed in the Texas Electrical Exam?

There have been some confusion lately as to which page tabs are accepted at the exam site for the Texas electrical exam, so I wanted to clarify in a mini rant.  Read on...


In the good old days, as they say, or once upon a time, you pick your favorite… but a while ago (not that long ago.  Ok I’ll get to the point.) Up until recently you were able to make your own tabs and stick them to your NEC book as long as the tabs you used were permanent.  Back then electricians would buy Reditabs and hand write on them the articles and tables that were going to be widely useful during the exam. In the state of Texas at least, you might want to check with your municipality or state, that is no longer the case.  Now you are only allowed to bring in 1 type of tab otherwise they make you sit there and tear off one by one your homemade tabs.


Ain’t that a b***. (Nancy says I shouldn’t cuss cause it’s not professional but dang it, this pisses me off!)


The only tabs that are accepted in the exam room in the state of Texas for the electrical exam are the NFPA tabs.  Now don’t get me wrong, those tabs are made of durable material and they are very adhesive but they are not specifically made to help you point out any particular or special article for the exam.  These tabs are made to separate each article and table.

NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC®) or Handbook Tabs, 2017 Edition

So, don’t be the guy they pull off to the side to do the tab tear of shame.  Just go along with the rules and buy the NFPA tabs to be on the safe side. I will give you some tips though and here they are:  


  1. DO NOT apply ALL of the tabs on the set.  Get yourself to a seminar so you can see what articles you will absolutely need to pay attention to for the electrical exam.  Then use tabs for THOSE articles.
  2. IF you cannot make it to our seminar, buy yourself an exam prep book and download the exam bulletin so you can see what categories you have to focus on.  The study books will give you a clear idea of what you might see on the exam. If you see article 250.4 more than a few times in your electrical exam prep book, I would find that tab or a tab that is close to it and tab it on that article page.
  3. TABLE TABS- stick your table tabs on the TOP of the page.  Don’t let them get lost with the articles on the side of the book.  This will save you some time during the electrical test.
  4. No one ever said anything about dog ear folding your NEC code book, so if you don’t have a tab for an article you think you’ll need, dog ear fold it and write yourself the Article on the corner of the page and highlight it, that way, when you are flipping through your pages, it will catch your eye.


We are just as frustrated that more efficient tabs aren’t in the market for you but we are going to continue working on providing you with tips and advise that are sure to help you prepare for and pass that dang electrical exam.


Let me know if you have other tips I didn’t write down here so we can share with the other guys.  If you already passed your exam let us know what your grade was and how you did it!


This may be the last post Nancy lets me write and share.