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Licensing Exam Tips

Sunday, July 4, 2010 Filed Under Contractors License

License applicants bring to the exam room various levels of experience; however, one thing that many contractors have in common is that it has been a number of years since they have been in a classroom and have been tested on a specific set of knowledge. The licensing exams present unique challenges for adults. Some candidates have not read the state requirements for contractor licensing and have misconceptions about the process; others have exam anxiety. All test candidates can perform better by following certain test strategies.

Success on the exam starts well before entering the exam room. The only way to pass is to be familiar with the course and reference materials. Open book exam questions will be quite detailed and can explore tables of information, whereas closed book exams will be more general in nature. If the test-taker does not know how to easily find the tables he or she will struggle with the exam. Searching for information takes time and the "budget" on most multiple choice exams is two minutes per question. Following are some tips for preparing for the exam:
  • Identify the exam references and where to obtain them. Buy them and read them.
  • Read the candidate information brochure to determine what materials are allowed in the exam room and what can be done to the reference materials prior to the exam (such as highlighting, notes, and tabs).
  • Review the test outline to determine what must be studied. Obviously, if there are 500 pages of material and only 50 questions, not all of the material will be on the exam.
  • Identify study resources such as community colleges, exam preparation companies, contractor associations, or collegues. Form a study group with another person who has to take the same exam and take time each day to study. Have a friend or family member ask questions each night from the materials.
ATTITUDE  The exam is a test of the ability to correctly answer a number of questionsin a specific period of time. Arguing with a test proctor or getting angry with the exam questions is counterproductive and wastes time and energy. Try to remain calm during the exam and answer the questions to the best of your ability.

HOW HARD CAN IT BE?  Exams are complicated and are constructed in accordance with national standards. The development process is carefully structured to make sure that the exam measures at a minimal level of competency.That means that the average person who is reasonably experienced should be able to pass the exam. Each person is allowed a few mistakes because they may mismark or misread a question, but the exam will sort out those who are not prepared.

RELAX!  Remember that this is a test on what you need to know to become a contractor and perform in the profession. That is what contractors do in the business day after day, handling problems satisfactorily. Test day is just handling a lot of questions in a given period of time. A contractor can do this! The profession of contracting is a rewarding career and not just in a monetary sense. There is great satisfaction from a job well done, especially when hearing the praise of the owner upon successful completion of the project.

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Freedom Business School offers License Qualifying Courses in all aspects of real estate including Salesperson's and Broker's Exam Preparation. All of our Real Estate License courses are written by the industry professionals and approved by the California Department Of Real Estate (DRE).