Tips for Passing Contractors Exams

One of the most popular exams is the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) exam, which is accepted in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. The NASCLA offers practice exams and test prep courses tailored to their test. Other test prep organizations, such as Dewalt and PSI Learning Academy, offer state specific exam prep but they do not write and administer tests like the NASCLA. Additionally, many states provide guidance on what material to use to study and the rules of their specific test. Refer to their recommendations and supplement with third party resources.

Knowing the material and being familiar with the style of the test are the most important factors in passing an exam. Create a study schedule that works for you that includes a good balance of content review and practice questions. Tailor it to your learning style. If you are an auditory learner, consider listening to review books. If you need hands-on instruction, consider signing up for review courses. If you are uncomfortable with the wording of questions, spend your time doing actual practice.

Test Taking Strategies

No matter how much you know, if you cannot sit down and pass a test, you will not obtain a license. While taking the test, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Remember, It is Pass/Fail: Do your best but do not get too caught up with the numbers. If you want to aim for a perfect score, that is perfectly okay, however, do not allow yourself to become paralyzed by anxiety over a few wrong answers. Focus on finishing and maintaining your composure. Do not let confusing questions completely throw you off kilter because you are set on perfection.
  2. Take Your Time: You will likely be testing in a room full of other applicants. There is no bonus for finishing tests early, in fact many test takers who rush through exams do poorly. Focus on yourself and not the other test takers, and, if you do have time, double check your answers.
  3. Do Not Second Guess Yourself: Unless you know with absolute certainty your answer is wrong, do not change it. Read questions carefully and repeatedly and listen to your gut.
  4. Get the Easy Questions Out of the Way: Nothing is worse than not finishing a test and realizing the final pages were full of easy questions. Answer what you know first, and come back to what you don’t to rack up the maximum number of points.

Passing the test ultimately comes down to knowing the subject matter and feeling comfortable with actually taking the test.

Consistently study leading up to your test to ensure that you are prepared for the content. And focus on developing a good test taking attitude to stay composed and confident during the test.

PCA - Preferred Contractors Association
1811 Aston Ave., Ste. 200
Carlsbad, CA 92008