"  DO NOT KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME. DONT LOOK AT THE CLOCK, DONT LOOK AT THE TIMER.   "

" Almost all of the tests you have taken in your life were some form of knowledge test. A knowledge test is one that is designed to determine what you have learned or what you know. The Colorado Licensing Exam in only partly a knowledge test and that part is NOT the majority of the test."


Preparing for the Exam 

Page 4
Taking The Test

We have all grown up taking tests and very few people I have ever know has enjoyed the process. We don't like preparing for them, we don't like being judged, most of us compete with ourselves and others and we want to succeed and finally, we don't like that something in our lives depends on getting a good grade. All of these things cause test anxiety. I can not tell you that you won't have test anxiety. You will; however, I do have some great news for you. Your previous test taking experience is based on a completely different type of test than the one you are preparing to take for your license and that changes how we prepare for the test and also how we take that test. It should also help with your test anxiety. 




Almost all of the tests you have taken in your life were some form of knowledge test. A knowledge test is one that is designed to determine what you have learned or what you know. The Colorado Licensing Exam in only partly a knowledge test and that part is NOT the majority of the test. The only parts of the test that are knowledge test based are   General Electrical Knowledge and Electrical Calculations which make up 20 questions out of the 90 graded questions. The rest of the questions are open book, look up questions. 

Most tests, knowledge tests, are designed to do two things: 1. Determine if you are learning the required material and 2. Determine if the material is being taught using the right methods. The Colorado Licensing exam and most states licensing exams have a different purpose. 

The license you will receive once you pass the test makes you responsible for your electrical installations. The Law requires your electrical installations to be made in compliance with the minimum requirements of the National Electrica Code. Therefore before the State gives you that responsibility they want to know that you have the ability to find the applicable code requirements and that you understand those requirements. So they have designed the test so that you have the opportunity to demonstrate to them that you have those skills. They don't expect you "Learn" all the requirements, they simply expect you to always have your code book with you and to look up the requirements when you need to so that the installation in compliance. When you take the test, you are simply letting them know you can do this. 

This means that you don't have to spend hours memorizing the code before taking the test. You have spent four years learning how to be a qualified electrician and a good mechanic. You have spent over 200 hours in a classroom learning how electricity works. You have already reached a point in your career of success and you are ready to take on the next step. All you have to do now is use your skills and demonstrate that to the board. 

Here is the best way to take a test that is NOT a knowledge test:

Take the test using a three pass system AND DO NOT KEEP TRACK OF THE TIME. DONT LOOK AT THE CLOCK, DONT LOOK AT THE TIMER. YOU WILL BE FINE IF YOU FOLLOW THIS PROCESS. 

Pass One: Start with question one and read it. If you just know the answer, answer it. If you don't know the answer, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. Skip to question 2 and do the same thing. If it becomes obvious that the question is a calculation question, don't even finish reading it, just skip it. Continue to do this until you have been through all 100 questions. The average person will be able to just answer somewhere between 10 - 15 questions in this first pass. It will take you 30 seconds or less to read each question and each one that you answer, you will have "banked" 2 1/2 minutes towards your calculation time for each question. You will also have another incredible benefit. You will have read all the questions which will help you in Pass Two. 

Pass Two: Go back to the first question you skipped and look up the answer. Remember, once you feel you are taking too long, YOU ARE, skip to the next question. You will find that as you are looking up answers to a question you will come across the answer to a question you know is coming up because you have read all the questions. When you find something like this, quickly fold the corner of that page down and continue looking for your answer. When the other question does come up, you will be able to quickly go back to that page for the answer. Once again, if you come to a calculation, don't even read it, just skip it. Once you reach the end of the test, go back to the first unanswered question. 

Pass Three: During this pass, you are going to go to your first calculation question and answer the question. Once you have answered it, go to the next calculation and do the same until you have answered all the calculations. NOW, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, LOOK AT THE HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE REMAINING. You will find that you have some time. Use this time to go back to the questions you could not find the answers to in the second pass. Take time to find the answers, but keep your eye on the clock. Once you are getting close to the end of your time, stop looking for answers, and go to each unanswered question and guess either B or C. { Most people that write multiple choice tests, make either B or C the correct answer more than A or D. ] You need to be sure to guess, because no answer is definitely wrong. 

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