Exams can be quite nerve-wracking. No matter how much experience you might have garnered at electrician school, or while working as an apprentice or Journeyman, there is always the chance that the test you are taking will ask you a question from out of left field that requires you to step into a new perspective in order to answer properly. This is why it is important to be completely prepared when it comes time to write an electrician exam and not just rely on your innate knowledge of the trade.
A good way to start your electrician exam preparation is to brush up on the basics. This includes reviewing things like the National Electrical Code, troubleshooting techniques for electrical systems and equipment, and the proper techniques for wiring and installing lighting and conduit. Safety is also an important consideration – you should be familiar with all of the required safety precautions that you need to take when working as an electrician or designing an electrical system.
Another helpful way to prepare is to make use of a study guide that is targeted towards the type of exam that you are planning on taking. For example, apprentices, Journeymen, and Master Electricians will all be tested on different aspects of electrical work, and as such it's important to be aware of the extent of what will be on the test. Some of these study guides are structured in the same way as the test you will be taking, and you may be able to find one that is specifically about the exam you are writing – right down to the state you are writing it in. Make sure to get the most up-to-date guide on the market, as things like the National Electrical Code are living regulatory guidelines that can change from year to year. Most of these books are available through online book retailers if you are having trouble finding one at your local book seller.
If study guides aren't your thing, or if you think you need some help with the exam past what the written page can give you, then you might want to consider consulting with a local instructor who can help you prepare. You can try going back to the electrician school that you graduated from, or even approach the Electrical Contractors Association in the area where you live in order to have them recommend someone. This can be especially helpful for those taking the Master Electrician exam, as there is so much material to be covered that it is easy to forget a certain area or perhaps not go as in-depth as you should. Having a watchful eye keep track of your studying or produce a complete study plan for you is often worth the extra expense.
It can be tempting to rely on your accumulated experience as an electrician, particularly if you are a very experienced Journeyman. However, the fact of the matter is that the exam you will be writing won't be taking place out in the field – it will be in a classroom somewhere under fluorescent lights, and there will be a time limit. This unfamiliar setting can cause even the most knowledgeable professional to have difficulty remembering the exact details of what the question is looking for, and given that you will most likely have only two minutes per question to write your answer, you can't afford any delays. Reviewing study guides, going over the material with an instructor or perhaps even attending one or two in-class refresher courses can have you thinking in the exam mindset and help you to be fully prepared to pass your exam and take the next step forward in your career as an electrician.