How Hard is the Home Inspector Exam?

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It’s no secret that the Home Inspector Exam is a difficult one. It’s been called one of the most challenging exams in North America. But just how hard is the NHIE exam? And what can you do to make sure you pass it?

Home inspections are an excellent choice for those who want to become certified home inspectors. Not only do they provide a rewarding career with lots of job opportunities, but they also offer great benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings. Another bonus is that most states require home inspectors to be licensed.

So if you’ve been contemplating whether or not a home inspection is a right path for you, read on for an overview of how hard it is to become a home inspector in your state and region.

What is the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE)?What is the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE)?

The National Home Inspector Exam is a comprehensive examination that covers all aspects of home inspection. It’s offered by the National Home Inspector Certification Program (NHICP) and is recognized by most states as the standard for home inspector licensing.

To become certified, you must pass the national home inspector exam passing score of 86 or higher. This is a multiple-choice exam with 200 questions. You’ll have four hours to complete it. You can take it at one of the many testing locations across the country.

How is the Home Inspector Exam Structured?

How is the Home Inspector Exam Structured?

The Home Inspector Exam is a multiple-choice test. The instructions for completing each exam section are provided on the first page of each exam sheet. You must read these instructions carefully before beginning your testing session. Before taking the exam, applicants are encouraged to review the content outline of the exam, which includes:

Inspection Methods

The first section of the Home Inspector Exam, Inspection Methods, covers the different methods used to inspect a home. This section includes questions on how to use inspection tools properly, how to gain access to inspected areas, and what safety precautions should be taken during an inspection.


The Reporting section of the exam covers the different types of reports home inspectors use to communicate their findings to clients. This section includes questions on how to properly document an inspection, what information should be included in a report, and how to format a report.

Building Systems

The Building Systems section of the exam covers the different systems found in a home, such as the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. This section includes questions on how these systems work, how to inspect them properly, and what common problems to look for.

Professional Practice

The Professional Practice section of the exam covers the business and ethical aspects of being a home inspector. This section includes questions on how to start and operate a home inspection business, how to market your services, and what standards of practice you should adhere to.

Is It Hard to Pass the Home Inspector Exam?

Is It Hard to Pass the Home Inspector Exam?

While the Home Inspector Exam is not easy, it is certainly possible to pass with flying colors. The best way to prepare for the exam is to take a home inspector training course from a reputable provider. These courses will cover all the topics listed on the exam content outline and provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to pass the exam.

However, it is also understandable that some applicants didn’t make it to the final cut. Below are some reasons why some of the applicants for the NHEI keep failing.

Not Studying Enough

One of the main reasons why people fail exams is because they don’t study enough. The Home Inspector Exam is no different. You must take the time to review the material and ensure you understand it before taking the exam.

Not Following the Study Rules

When studying for an exam, following the rules is essential. This means creating a study schedule and sticking to it, taking practice exams, and seeking help from a tutor or study group if needed.

Not Knowing the Material

Of course, another reason why people fail exams is because they don’t know the material. This is why studying and ensuring you understand the concepts before taking the exam is crucial.

Not Putting Enough Time Into Practice Exams

In addition to studying the material, it’s also essential to put some time into taking home inspector practice test exams. This will help you get familiar with the format of the exam and the types of questions you’ll be asked.

Taking the Exam Too Soon

Another common mistake people make is taking the exam too soon. Make sure you’re prepared before taking the exam. If you’re not ready for the exam, you will likely fail.

Oversized Expectations

When taking the exam, it’s essential to have realistic expectations. This means knowing that you might not get a perfect score and may have to take the exam more than once.

Not Being Familiar with the Test Format

Another reason people fail exams is that they’re unfamiliar with the format. If you’re unfamiliar with the exam format, you’ll likely make mistakes. Make sure you know what to expect before taking the exam.

Studying for the Home Inspector Exam can be challenging, but you’ll adapt to the demands and meet your goal with dedication and perseverance.

How Many Times Can You Take a Home Inspector Exam?

How Many Times Can You Take a Home Inspector Exam?

You can take the Home Inspector Exam as often as you need to pass. However, most people can pass on their first try.

If you don’t pass the exam, don’t worry. You can always retake it. Before retaking it, you must wait for 30 days. Also, make sure you study more and familiarize yourself with the concepts.

How to Best Prepare for the Home Inspector Exam?

How to Best Prepare for the Home Inspector Exam?

As with any exam, the best way to prepare for the Home Inspector Exam is to study and understand the material. However, you can do a few other things to ensure you’re ready for the exam.

Start Studying Early

The best way to prepare for the Home Inspector Exam is to start studying early and study as much as possible, especially in the areas you feel are weak. If you need help with any part of your studying, consider taking an online course from a reputable source. This way, you can access high-quality materials designed to prepare you for these exams.

Create a Study Schedule and Stick to It

Studying for the exam is essential, but you also need to make sure you have time for other things in your life. Creating a study schedule will help you balance studying and your other commitments.

Review Sample Questions and Answers

The first thing you should do when preparing for the home inspection exam is to review sample questions and answers. You can do this in several ways, including looking at online resources. Online sites will provide multiple sample home inspector questions, answers, and explanations to better understand what you need to know when it comes time to take the exam.

Take Practice Exams

Taking practice exams is a great way to prepare for the real thing. It will help you get familiar with the format of the exam and the types of questions you’ll be asked.

The best way to prepare for your home inspection exam is to get as many home inspector practice test questions as possible under your belt. If you’re unsure where to start, several online resources can help you out.

Get Help from a Tutor or Study Group

If you’re struggling to understand the material, don’t hesitate to seek help from a tutor or study group. They can provide you with the support you need to succeed.

This can be one of the most effective ways to prepare for your home inspection exam. The best way to do this is by finding someone who has already taken an exam and has passed it. They will be able to guide you through everything from the test itself to what questions you need to focus on and how long it should take you each day.

Keep a Diary of the Most Common Mistakes You Make

By keeping a diary of the most common mistakes you make when preparing for the exam, you’ll be able to correct them before you take the test. You can use this information when preparing for your next one or even help other inspectors by sharing what they should avoid doing.

Study Smart

The home inspection exam is a demanding test requiring you to know your profession’s ins and outs. You will be expected to know how to complete all of the required tasks, but there are also some things that you should expect to be asked on the exam, such as what items should be included in an inspection report.

The best way to prepare for this test is by studying smart. The more time you spend learning about the industry, the better off you will be with your exam.

Get Plenty of Rest

When it comes to the Home Inspector Exam, there is no better way to prepare than by taking a little time off from work and spending a few days in bed. This can be difficult for some people because they may have to miss their regularly scheduled workdays.

However, if you can get plenty of rest when preparing for the exam, it will help your brain process all the information being presented in front of you and allow you time to think about what questions might come up during your test.

Follow Directions

Remember, the Home Inspection Exam is not an easy one. You will have to follow directions carefully and answer questions on time. When taking the exam, make sure you follow directions. This will help you avoid making mistakes.

Check Your Work

When taking the Home Inspector Exam, always double-check your work before moving on to another question. This ensures that you are getting all of the information correct and making sure that there are no mistakes in your answers.

Reward Yourself for All Your Hard Work

Reward yourself for all your hard work after finishing the exam. No matter how much you study or the time you spend on the exam, it will feel like a lot when you finish. You can reward yourself with a new pair of shoes, a spa day, or even a night out with friends. The important thing here is that you treat yourself with something special because you earned it.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard is the Home Inspector Exam?

If you are going to take on a home inspector career, you must be ready to face the challenges of the home inspector exam. It would be best if you were prepared with an effective approach before studying for the Home Inspector Exam.

Practice makes perfect, and if you can cover all the topics adequately, success is guaranteed. The main challenge for most people is preparing for the test, which can only be overcome with enough hard work and a smart approach.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other financial and professional book reviews and study tips here.

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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