Did you know there are ways to study and prepare for the licensing exam without spending thousands of dollars or more? It seems that everywhere you turn someone is asking for almost your entire paycheck just to learn something you already know how to do. Heck, that's how you earned that paycheck in the first place. You're on the field day in and day out, cold, hot, wet or dry. You come home tired and hungry and let's not kid ourselves, we come home smelling a lot manlier than we want to sometimes. Yet there are companies online and even locally that have the guts to ask for upwards of $600 dollars for a class that promises to help you ace the exam.
There is no two ways about it, the exam in Texas is hard to pass even for the brightest bulb in the warehouse, the sharpest tool in the shed, you get my drift. I'm not calling anyone dim or dull, let's just be real, we spend our days in the field: Not inside an office or school classroom all day practicing our reading and comprehension skills. I would love to watch a lawyer or doctorate professor try to wire and completely install a breaker box ready to switch on. They can't. That's why the state shouldn't expect a hard working electrician to sit in a cold test room with stress and a timer to take a test that doesn't even challenge us on the things we do everyday. The test is about reading the law and answering questions based on the law written in that book. On top of that, we have to figure it out within 300 minutes or less. Some guys walk into the room more often than the exam center's own employees do.
What we suggest you do:
When you finally decide it's time to upgrade your license and become a master or journeyman, give yourself a deadline and a budget. Let me tell you that we see guys renew their application for the same license type for years and they still have their exam pending because life gets in the way and they can't study, work and provide for their families all at the same time. If you set realistic goals and realistic deadlines, you will save time, money, and most of all frustration.
Set a budget
- Include a budget for license applications, exam fees, study books and/or seminars and travel expenses if you go to a live seminar.
Apply for your License
- Make sure to turn in everything they have asked for completely filled out and keep a copy for your records.
Prepare for your Exam
- Find your study method. How do you learn the best? Find the proper exam prep material or course and immerse yourself in it.
Set a deadline
- TDLR gives you 1 year to take the exam before your application expires. We suggest you give yourself no more than 6 months to prep and pass. The longer you give yourself, the longer you will procrastinate.
Take the exam
- If you fail...try, try again. Just don't do it alone. PSI will give you a score report which will give you a percentage on the categories you failed. Our instructors can help guide you so you only spend time preparing with the material that will help you improve on those categories.
TEE has several resources for free test taking, practices, and even low cost and payment plans for material that will help you prepare for the exam. A longer more detailed blog regarding this subject will be published over the next few weeks in a 3-part series. Make sure to check back often or sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.
Best of Luck!