Are you a student looking for information on how to pass the NC general contractors’ exam? Are you hoping to become a residential or building contractor and need information on the process? If either of these answers is yes, you have come to the right place.
There is an abundance of information available to you through several resources. With this article, we will help you get insight from these resources to ensure you are fully prepared to take and pass the exam and get your license. We will also provide you with tips for passing the NC general contractors exam.
If this is the type of information you are looking for, there is only one thing that you need to do – keep reading.
How Hard is the North Carolina General Contractor Exam?
It is a common misconception that the NC exam is easy. However, that is likely far from the truth. This assumption is commonly mentioned because the exam is an open book. However, an open-book test poses several challenges that would probably not be faced with a closed-book exam.
Contrary to what you may be thinking, it is extremely important to study for the exam. Some students equate open book exams to a freebie when it can likely cause more anxiety than a traditional test.
Though you may have the book at your disposal, you are still unaware of the exact questions that the exam will have. In addition to this, you will need to know where to look in the text for the book to be helpful. Many students may simply give up and guess out of frustration and fatigue when scouring the book for answers.
The book will not provide you with exact answers; students will still need to know how to interpret the material in the book to solve specific problems or understand how questions are worded to obtain the correct answer themselves.
Like some of your college or high school teachers, tests are generally made harder because students have “all the answers in front of them .”This similar sentiment can be applied to the contractor exam.
The exam’s format makes it hard. However, that does not mean that it is impossible to pass. You can still do it.
What’s on the NC General Contractor Exam?
It is essential to know what information you can expect to see to prepare for the exam adequately. This information can typically be found on the Candidate Bulletin offered by PSI Exam Services. This bulletin contains an abundance of other helpful information and a question and content outline.
It is essential to know that to engage in various construction activities. Different classifications may be needed depending on the type of contractor you are looking to become. All contractor classification exams require at least seventy percent to pass, and the time for each exam will vary. However, to pass the general contractor exam, there are several things that you must know. The items on the exam include the following:
- Students must demonstrate the ability to apply information learned concerning the profession of contracting practically.
- You must be able to demonstrate your ability to read plans and diagrams.
- You must have knowledge of building codes, demonstrate the ability to do accurate estimates, and understand North Carolina construction laws.
- You must prove that you are aware of your given license’s limitations and laws.
The tests are separated into various domains. These domains include:
- Planning And Estimating (18%)
- Safety (17%)
- Concrete (7%)
- Metals (4%)
- Masonry (3%)
- Site Construction (13%)
- Financial and Project Management (18%)
- Doors, Windows & Glazing (4%)
- Conveyance Systems & Specialty Equipment (2%)
- Finishes (6%)
- Wood (4%)
- Moisture Protection & Thermal (4%)
The number shown above represents the percentage of questions for each exam section. Overall, there are 115 questions on the exam. These questions include ten unscored questions. Each multiple-choice has a maximum of 4 options, and there will be no questions that have answers to all or none of the above.
Once you have completed your exam, you will receive your score right away if you are taking it electronically. If you fail the exam, there is a policy for the retest. You can retest right away rather than waiting for a restrictive period. However, students are limited to taking the exam three times. If you take the exam and still do not pass, you will need to wait a year before you can take it again.
How Long is the NC General Contractors Exam?
The North Carolina General Contractor Exam traditionally lasts a little under 4 hours. There are 115 questions, and in order to pass, students will need to score 70 percent or above.
The residential and the building exam are both 90 minutes and have a minimum passing score needed of a 70%. For the building exam you are allowed 3 hours and you are allowed 3.5 hours for the residential exam.
5 Tips for Passing the North Carolina General Contractor Exam
Understand your limitations
It is essential that you understand the limitations put on your license. These limitations may vary by classification or have different monetary regulations. It is crucial that you know the type of license you need for the work you are looking to do. Knowing this information upfront will save you from potentially missing a step in your application process.
Some limitations on licenses include the number of money contractors can take on work. For example, a limited license contractor can only take on projects under $500,000. The next step up would be an intermediate license. This license can take on projects worth $1,000,000 and under. The final license type is unlimited. Contractors with an unlimited license have no limit on the dollar value of projects.
Understand the exam format and requirements
It is important that you take the exam seriously and study the material and the format as well. While taking the exam online, features will be limited. Users will be presented with 1 question at a time, and they will see the amount of time and the number of remaining questions on the top of the exam screen.
In addition to understanding the exam format, you must be qualified before you even sit for the exam. To be eligible for the exam, you must be at least 18 years old, meet a financial requirement based on the classification of license you are applying for, and complete the exam.
Study in short bursts, do not overdo it
Make sure that you give yourself time to study and relax. If you study for short intervals, like 60 minutes or less, you give your brain time to retain information and hold concentration. Cramming for your exam is an excellent way not to retain the material that you are reading.
Use your reference materials
During the open book portions of the exam, make sure that you understand what you can and can not do within your reference materials. It is important to remember that you can not write in your reference materials; this is a surefire way to get your book taken.
You are able to utilize tabs to call attention to information. However, there are specific tabs that students must purchase to use with their reference materials. These are permanent tabs that cannot be moved around during the exam. You may also not have any loos papers in or around your book. Post-It Flags are not accepted.
Get an NC General Contractor Study Guide
Having a study guide is an excellent way to ensure that you pass the exam. They also can provide you with practice exams that will teach you how to pass the NC general contractors exam. There are several resources that you may utilize. The ones listed below are great options to use to help you pass the exam.
- North Carolina Contractor’s License Exam Prep by the ZR Learning LLC – This highly rated text is a great resource to help contractors understand how to write legal contracts, understand performance contracts, project delivery methods, and more. Many readers felt that this is an excellent text to supplement an online study course or beyond.
- Mometrix’s Contractor’s General Building Exam Secrets Study Guide – This is another resource that is excellent for test-takers to study. The text includes things like fire protection, siding, and even concrete. It also consists of a general building guide to help you pass the test.
Wrapping Things Up: How Do I Pass the NC General Contractor Exam?
AS long as you study, passing the NC general contractor exam is not impossible. There are several things that you can do to ensure you pass the exam. Use the tips for passing the NC general contractors exam listed above to help you adequately prepare.
Prior to exam day, make sure you are taking time to study in small meaningful increments. These will ensure that you are retaining information while not burning out. Another important thing for you to do is understand the limitations placed on your reference materials. This includes things like the flags, which you can use in your book.
These are only a few of the things that you can do to help you pass the exam. If you take the exam seriously, you are sure to do well on the exam.