Successful home inspection professionals must ensure they are knowledgeable and certified in order to launch their careers. The National Home Inspector Examination, also known as NHIE, was designed to test aspiring inspectors on the mastery of their field. Not every state requires a passing score on the NHIE to work in the industry, and some have their own version of the home inspection exam.
If you’ve been taking home inspection training classes and are eager to do well on your NHIE or other home inspection tests, you’ll want to prepare for the exam adequately. Use these tips to ensure the best score possible:
5 Tips for Home Inspection Test Prep
1. Find Your Study Group
Home inspection classes are often taken online, which is a great way to focus on your training lessons. With a little extra effort, though, you can find people who are also preparing to take the NHIE and begin their career as a home inspector. Whether you chat virtually with people taking the same courses as you, find friends in local home inspection professional organizations or just convince a buddy to help you study, it’s important to build your group of supporters.
A study group or partner can help you prioritize your goals for the NHIE. They’ll help hold you accountable and fill in the blind spots you might have on specific aspects of home inspection. By working together to create a plan for NHIE prep, you’ll have a better shot at passing the exam the first time you take it.
2. Create a Calendar
Once you’ve found your home inspection exam study partners, work together to create a study calendar. Break up the content by section and focus each of your study sessions on one singular topic. You can do so by outlining a chapter in a particular book, take notes on a course video, or even create flashcards to remember key terms and phrases. Home inspection classes online offer you the freedom to play, pause, rewind and fast forward through the content, which gives you endless opportunities to rehash the information.
Though helpful, this benefit can sometimes feel overwhelming. By sectioning off topics and providing a laser focus on a given subject area, you can ensure you’re seeing the forest through the trees. Create your study schedule using the information provided in your home inspection classes – just be sure it’s a realistic amount of material to review over the hour or two you’ve dedicated to studying that day.
3. Take a Home Inspection Practice Test
While you and your fellow home inspection students can quiz each other with flashcards and practice questions, there’s nothing quite like a practice test to prepare for the real exam. Home inspector training teaches you to think on your feet, work with the information provided and always be ready for the unexpected. Exam preparation can be similarly challenging. Even if you’ve mastered the content, it can be difficult to know exactly how it will be phrased on the real exam.
Practice tests give you two advantages:
- you familiarize yourself with the content
- you get a chance to practice with the format of the test.
The Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors offers online practice quizzes to help students prepare. It doesn’t give you the questions that will be on the exam, but it does direct you to the types of questions, which helps you choose where to focus your study efforts.
To really test your readiness, set a time limit on your practice exam to match the time you’ll have to complete the real thing. Even if you end up going over the allotted time, you’ll gain incredible insight into the timing strategies you’ll need to employ on the day of the big test.
4. Review Course Material
Home inspection classes may only take a few weeks to complete, and that speed is incredibly appealing for most people. However, you may find yourself in need of more time to review this material before you take your certification test. Concepts touched on briefly in class may end up taking center stage on the home inspection exam, so you’ll want to thoroughly review all course material before heading into the testing center.
To do so, watch the online course materials and take plenty of notes. If there are any concepts you’re not confident in, pause the video and list out questions you have about the system being discussed. Understanding what you don’t know is half the battle. By identifying gaps in your knowledge, you’ll more easily prepare for the real test.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
Amidst taking home inspection classes, preparing for the exam and working a 9-5 job, it’s easy to lose sight of your own personal health and wellness. While working towards becoming a certified home inspector is admirable, you can’t be successful without taking care of your physical and mental health first. Be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, especially when preparing for your home inspection exam. Sleep not only energizes you, but it can help promote learning and retention of the material you need to master.
It’s also important to eat healthy food during your exam prep. The morning of the test, be sure to eat a protein-filled, nutritionally-balanced breakfast. You’d be surprised at how much better you can perform when your stomach is full!
The Resources You Need
If you’re eager to pass your home inspection certification exam the first time you take it, you’ll want access to all of the ICA resources. Our online resources are as numerous as they are thorough. You’ll find all you need to prepare for your NHIE exam on our portal, which you can gain access to by signing up for our online home inspector training.
ICA has become an industry leader, training home inspectors throughout the United States. Want to learn more about the ICA difference? Read up on why ICA is the best choice for aspiring home inspectors now.