It’s no secret that the Home Inspector examination is a hard test. Here in Washington, it’s actually 2 tests, the National Portion, and the State portion and you will need to pass both in order to get your Home Inspection license. The best way to pass a hard test is to Study, Study, Study!!!
Home inspection isn’t rocket science, but you have to know quite a few specific terms over a broad range of topics and understand the concepts. Some questions on the exam require an answer that was not specifically covered in your studies, and since this is a national test, there may also be questions on topics that are not common in Washington. For these questions try to think through the question and approach it as a process like if you were in someone’s home. This is where knowledge of concepts, such as condensation, heat stacking, convection, etc. will help you work through the question to try to figure out the correct answer.
While studying make sure you are taking the time to understand what you are learning, not just memorizing answers. One of the best places to start studying is in the books you received at your Fundamentals of Home Inspection class, focusing on subjects you found especially difficult. Next, check out YouTube. Watch videos of Home Inspectors, Electricians, HVAC Technicians, and Plumbers explaining how things work. Having a visual from the videos, then reading the books again will help the concepts start to fall into place. Be careful about watching videos by handmen or amateurs, anyone can post videos on YouTube. Once you feel like you understand all the concepts, start taking practice exams. The NHIE has 5 practice exams that are $15-$25 each attempt and range from 25-50 questions. InterNACHI has a free practice exam of 120 questions that you can take as many times as you like. If you are a member of InterNACHI, or if you are using your 1-month free membership by attending our class, you can go through their 2,093 practice questions.
Don’t forget about the state portion of the exam. Answers to these questions will mostly be in the state’s RCW’s or WAC’s which include the Standards of Practice you will need to know. If you have attended one of our classes at Top Notch Home Inspector School copies of these would be in your orange binder.
Form a study plan to avoid cramming before your exam. Your brain can only hold a certain amount of information at a time. When taking the exam, read the question slowly and thoroughly and try to think of what the answer might be before reading the answer choices. Eliminate any answer that you know to be incorrect. Answer all the questions you know, and flag those you’re unsure of. After you have gone through the entire exam, go back and answer the flagged questions using the full amount of the allotted time available.