Effective October 1, 2023, the examinations will be referenced to the
2023 NEC Code Book
Electrical exam preparation strategies for the journeyman exam may seem a bit difficult but we make it our mission to make things easy for you.
Apprentice electricians who are preparing for their electrical exam will need 3 things.
- PSI Exam Candidate Bulletin
- Seminars, Practice Exam book & Computer Practice Exam
- NEC code book
Electrical Exam Preparation Strategy # 1
The PSI exam candidate bulletin has a breakdown of the categories in the test but it isn’t very specific. You get an idea of what to study however you need more details.
This bulletin is still too evasive for most students to understand what type of questions fall under each category.
I’ve seen many students try to make up their own study guides based on this generic guide. At the end of the day, when they walk out of the testing center, they are shocked that the test content was completely different than what they thought.
For example, a Journeyman’s exam may have only two questions maximum from Article 450 (transformers), yet may spend days pouring over that 8 page section.
Chapter 5 has a total of approximately 15 known questions that are pooled for journeyman exams, with around 4-6 asked on a particular exam, yet that chapter is over 138 pages long.
Compare that to Chapter 2, where over 175 different questions have been known to show on various state exams, yet it’s only 79 pages in length.
Now you can see how you have to be strategic in your studies.
Electrical Exam Preparation Strategy # 2
Seminars and practice exams are not only strongly suggested but should be considered a requirement for success. If you can attend a seminar or a class, do it.
If you can’t attend a class because of budget or distance, get some study books and practice practice practice. The best electrical exam preparation strategy is to take computer based practice exams. Why? Because the real deal is taken on a computer.
Give Jade Learning a free trial to see what the question and answer set up looks like. If you like their service you can sign up for a 30 or 90 day service.
In the test, you’ll see calculation questions. Taking a seminar or practice tests will help explain how to arrive at the correct answers.
Calculations remain at about the same percentage for the Journeyman's exam - which equals about 8 to 10 total questions- and as we have found on the Master's exam it is about 12-16 total calculation questions.
Arguably the next most difficult and most confusing portion of the state exam for most test takers is service calculations.
The state exam asks load calculation questions on services, lighting loads, and receptacle loads in both commercial and residential dwellings for both a journeyman and master’s examinations.
They are usually fairly simple; however, there are a couple of items that must be added to - and some items that can be left out. A misstep with any of these items will give you an incorrect answer.
Don’t skip out on this electrical exam preparation step. It is very important for a passing score.
Electrical Exam Preparation Strategy # 3
The NEC book is not only the approved book to take into the test but it is also what the test is based on. You may have read our previous blogs about this subject so we won’t go into too much detail. If you haven’t, here is the link.
We strongly encourage you to learn to utilize the Table of Contents in the FRONT OF THE CODE BOOK. On the Journeyman's exam, 19 questions, a full 25% of your exam will come from Chapter Three items.
The table of contents is a MUCH FASTER tool to find these types of questions than the Index could ever be.
Try one for example:
Try to quickly find type MC cable in the Index.
It's not too difficult, but certainly harder than if you look on page 2 in the front of your book.
See how different it is to quickly be able to scan all the cable assembly types in alphabetical order, than it is to find "Metal-Clad Cable (MC) in the index on page 853?
Items in Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and Chapter 6 are similar in nature. It is much faster to scan all of Chapter 4 when looking for "Capacitors" on page 5 than it is to use a keyword look up in the Index on page 845.
The third most important and helpful electrical exam preparation tip we can give you is: Learn to use this book!
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