Contractor License

US Contractor Exams cover math concepts used on for General Commercial, Residential, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and HVAC contractor licensing.

Contractor Exam: What You Can Expect

In most states, contractors are required to be licensed, proving that they have passed some sort of contractor exam set forth as a standard for the state in which the contractor intends to practice. Often, these licenses are recognized in other states, but the regulations and contractor exams in each state do differ. There are also different exams for different types of contractors, with one of the most common being a general contractor exam.

For those planning to obtain a contractor's license, it makes sense to study ahead for the required examination, and there are various materials to assist in this matter. In order to do well even with contractor exam prep material is to know what to expect from the test. What is required in regards to knowledge, and what is considered a passing score? One may also wish to determine the cost of taking the exam and the consequences of failure to pass and the road to take in this event.

In order to take the contractor exam for a given state, individuals should first check the requirements under the licensing board for that state. For example, the contractor exam general, NC, is licensed by the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. Contacting the board will assist potential testing candidates to learn more about testing fees, methods of payment, testing dates and centers, eligibility for testing, and requirements for contractor licensing when bidding projects. For example, in the state of North Carolina, a contractor must have obtained a license after having passed the contractor exam to bid on a project worth greater than $30,000. Also, one examinee can only qualify for two licenses. Also, an exam cannot be taken without applying for a license. The licenses provided by the Board in North Carolina are recognized in both Tennessee and South Carolina.

There are several different types of contract exams, as well, depending on whether an individual wishes to obtain a general contractor's license or a specific work area license. For example, the C-13 Examination is a fencing contractor's license. While the actual work does not sound difficult, the test is very in-depth, and as with many licensing and certification exams, many candidates seeking the license will wish to complete a C-13 fencing contractor practice exam that can be found online or through study materials prior to registering for the actual exam. This can be a diagnostic that will provide needed assessment of weak areas where the examinee can further enhance knowledge in order to better assure a passing score.

The C-13 Fencing examination covers six major areas. Fencing Planning and Estimating is worth approximately 26% of the overall score and evaluates knowledge of grade and elevation changes, fencing types and applications, job site evaluation, field measurements and material calculation, layout requirements, interpreting plans and specifications, scales and metric conversions, and the ADA requirements for fences and gates. The second section is Post Installations and is generally about 18% of the test. Testers will be evaluated on excavation methods and requirements, post alignment, fence posts attachment methods, fence line and post hole requirements, and mixing and pouring concrete footings.

Section three covers Chain Link Fencing and Railing and makes up almost a quarter of the exam. It includes topics like fabric stretching and attachment, chain link gates and gate hardware, and more. Wood Fencing is the fourth section and only rates as about 10% of the test. Specialty Fencing is covered in the fifth section, with questions on ornamental metal and vinyl fencing components, installation, and hardware. This portion of the test is small, making up only 8% of the questions. The final section is regarding Safety and is 15% of the overall test.

Each section of the test is multiple choice with four answer choices per question, and some require mathematical skills. There is no score reduction for wrong answers, and test takers are encouraged to answer every question to the best of their ability. There is ample time to complete all questions, so there is no need to rush or skip answers to move on. The same is true of every contractor examination available, and the general passing score for a contractor exam is 70%. This may vary from state to state in some instances or regarding specifically obtained licenses but is usually maintained as the passing score.

Sample questions for various contractor exams can be located for free on the internet, and there are several study guides available, especially for general contractor application, to assist in furthering knowledge and preparing to take the exam. While an individual may have a broad knowledge of the testing area in question, using study guides, other materials, sample questions, and evaluation tests can assist in several ways. First of all, they will pinpoint the specific information that is required to pass a test and help target these topics. Self evaluation identifies weaknesses that can be strengthened prior to registering for the examination. Viewing and answering sample questions allows a candidate to more accurately understand the format of the test and prepare for what will actually be seen on the examination.

While the contractor exam list is long and includes any number of specialties, including specific state requirements, the tests themselves are all very similar in make up, and with the proper tools and materials, any aspiring contractor should be able to pass a test of choice on the first try. Should this not occur, it is simply a matter of reregistering and repaying for the examination, once the state board has approved a candidate's eligibility again. Taking a contractor exam can only better an individual's ability to make money by allowing him or her to bid on larger projects, provide verification of licensure so that potential customers are more trusting, and providing a platform on which to build a contracting business.

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