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Electrical Study Guides – Which one is best for you?

Electricians looking to upgrade their electrical license have to prove their electrical knowledge by passing their electrical exam.  Finding the right book or program to help them pass the electrical test can be a daunting task for many.  Last week I took a call from a journeyman electrician in Texas who just had his electrician application approved the day before, he wanted to know which books he should buy.  He said he works all day and doesn’t have time for classes and can’t travel to attend one of our seminars so he wanted a book that will walk him through calculations and also give him lots of electrical test questions. 

Before I could answer his question, I had to make sure he understood that the number 1 point of using electrical exam preparation books is to become familiar with the electrical code book so that you can find answers faster during the test.  The faster you find the correct answer; the better chances you have of passing the exam. Also, don’t get too hung up on if the electrical practice test is state specific or has ‘real exam questions’.  Number 1, it’s illegal to steal exam questions, so none of these books will have ‘real exam questions’.  Number 2, if you have a study plan and read your state’s candidate bulletin you will know what subject areas your state exam will cover.  There is no single book in the market that will help you pass the exam if you don’t know what is in your state exam and make a study plan around that.

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Ray Holder’s DEWALT Electrical Licensing Exam Guide: Based on the NEC 2014 (DEWALT Series) 4th Edition

While this is not a textbook, each question comes with an answer and an explanation of the rationale behind the answer.  When you buy the book you also get an access code for the online portal, this is formatted just like the test. It's not the exact test but it helps you search through the code book and makes the real test less stressing trying to find everything. This book is a bit Texas-biased since the author is an electrician in Texas.  If you don’t really need a refresher and are just looking to for practice questions, this is your book. Otherwise, we recommend you use this book in conjunction to Mike Holt's Illustrated Guide to Electrical Exam Preparation, Based on the 2014 NEC.

Mike Holt's Illustrated Guide to Electrical Exam Preparation, Based on the 2014 NEC

Think of this book as an umbrella book. If you need more than just a refresher we recommend this book because it covers from the most basic electrical concepts to a master level for the master electrical exam.  The quizzes at the end of each chapter in this book are more helpful than the final exams at the back of the book for the electrical exam.  The final exams at the back of the book are more designed to help you become familiar with the code book, which is an exercise you need, however it isn’t as exam specific as we would like. For this reason, we recommend you use this book ALONG WITH Ray Holder’s DEWALT Electrical Licensing Exam Guide: Based on the NEC 2014 (DEWALT Series) 4th Edition OR Jim Smith’s Electrical Exam Academy 2014 Study Guide 1st Edition.

Jim Smith’s Electrical Exam Academy 2014 Study Guide 1st Edition

If you purchase the e-book format, this book has a really cool feature that lets you find the chapter you need by clicking on the table of contents.  Compared to other books out there, this book is a combination of text book and practice exam book. The textbook portion of the book focuses on typical subject areas found in state exams which includes articles to highlight.  When you purchase this book you will have access to its online database with practice exam questions that are very close to the electrical exam. This book is not state specific but rather focuses on the widely common areas electricians will see on their tests.

The book that you choose really depends on two things.  Are you needing a refresher or do you need to practice starting with the basics or just need to take practice tests?  Are you taking your electrical exam sooner or do you have more time to study?  Just remember that the number 1 point of using electrical exam preparation books is to become familiar with the electrical code book and don’t get too hung up on if the electrical practice test is state specific or has ‘real exam questions’.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you.  As always, if you have any exam prep tips you feel could be used on this website, send us and e-mail so we can share your tips with other electricians.  

Thank you for reading.

Tony
contact@texaselectricalexcel.com

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