How To Study For and PASS Your Electrician Exam

Brendan Lamothe

Key Takeaways

  • Study a variety of materials, including study guides and educational books
  • Develop personalized study tools, such as binders and note cards
  • Engage with industry magazines to stay updated on relevant changes and practices

Preparation Strategy for Master Electrician Exam

To begin your preparation, gather comprehensive study materials. A DeWalt licensing test book is invaluable. It offers practice exams and a final exam, helping you navigate the code book and practice calculations and obscure knowledge.

Incorporate Mike Holt’s books into your study routine. The Electrical Exam Prep and Understanding the NEC Volumes 1 and 2 are diagram-heavy, catering to visual learners. The hardcover NEC handbook adds commentary and extra information not found in the standard code book.

Develop a habit of creating your own practice questions. Build a binder full of notes by replicating and slightly altering problems from the books. Double-check your math and construct hundreds of practice questions.

Utilize note cards to memorize the layout of the code. Write down code articles on one side and key details on the other. This method helps you quickly locate information during the exam.

Leverage EC&M magazine for additional study material. Specifically, focus on code articles and sections like "what's wrong here" to test your understanding. You can also print and compile sections relevant to your study needs, such as methods for calculating services.

Rewrite the material to solidify your understanding. Engaging your brain by writing helps retain complex information. Use this technique to create personalized learning manuals.

By following this structured approach and using a variety of study tools, you can effectively prepare for and pass your Master Electrician Exam on the first attempt.

Utilizing the Dewalt Licensing Test Guide

The Dewalt Licensing Test Guide is an invaluable resource when preparing for your master electrician exam. This guide includes various electrician practice exams and a final exam, complete with suggested times. These exams are designed to help you get comfortable navigating your code book.

The Dewalt guide includes many types of questions, from straightforward ones to those requiring more complex calculations. By doing so, it provides a comprehensive way to familiarize yourself with the code book and reinforce your knowledge.

Advantages of the Dewalt Guide:

  • Practice Exams: Multiple types, including a final exam.
  • Code Book Navigation: Enhances ability to find specific information quickly.
  • Diverse Question Types: Combines both basic and advanced questions.

You should make this guide a primary resource in your study routine as it helps in understanding the layout and specifics of the code book, which can be crucial in a timed test environment. A thorough review of this guide can make a significant difference in your exam preparation.

Studying Mike Holt's Educational Books

Mike Holt offers a variety of books that cater to different aspects of electrical work, making them invaluable for exam preparation. Visual learners will find these books particularly beneficial due to their diagram-heavy content.

  1. Electrical Exam Prep Book: This is a comprehensive guide that helps you tackle various electrician exams. The focus here is not only on mastering the material but also on practical application.

  2. Grounding and Bonding: While not a priority for exam-specific studying, this book offers detailed insights into grounding and bonding, adding depth to your knowledge base.

  3. Understanding the National Electrical Code Volumes 1 and 2: These volumes break down the entire code with commentary and pictures, offering a nuanced and clear understanding of the NEC. They serve as an enhanced version of the code book, filled with additional explanations.

You will find these resources useful for cross-referencing information and filling gaps in your understanding. Highlighting important sections and taking notes are effective practices when using these books, allowing for better retention and deeper comprehension.

Engaging with the National Electrical Code (NEC) Handbook

You'll want to make the most of the National Electrical Code (NEC) Handbook to prepare thoroughly. The handbook provides not only the code articles but also includes commentary and illustrations that help clarify complex parts of the code. It's essential for cross-referencing and deepening your understanding.

Tips for Using the NEC Handbook:

  • Highlighting: Use highlighters to mark important sections or articles. This will make it easier to navigate when you need to find information quickly.
  • Notes: Write notes directly in the margins. These can serve as reminders or explanations for specific code requirements.
  • Tabbing: Place tabs on pages for quick references. Label them by section or topic to streamline your review process.

In your notebook, keep detailed notes and questions as you study. These hand-written materials can be invaluable for memorizing and recalling the content.

Here's a quick look at tools and resources that complement the NEC Handbook:



DeWALT Licensing Test

Provides practice exams and helps navigate the code effectively.

Mike Holt's Books

Features diagram-heavy content useful for visual learners.


Create flashcards with code articles to memorize their locations.

ECM Magazine

Offers in-depth articles and practice scenarios based on code.

You might find that the combination of these resources with the NEC Handbook offers a robust suite of study aids. Each resource supports different aspects of learning, from practice questions to visual aids and detailed explanations. Always reference back to the NEC Handbook to solidify your knowledge and resolve any uncertainties.

Developing In-depth Code Understanding

Creating a strong foundation in code understanding requires a variety of study materials. I relied on the DeWalt Licensing Test as my primary resource. This guide, updated with each new code cycle, is packed with electrician practice exams and a final exam. It's invaluable for navigating the code book and sharpening your knowledge.

To supplement this, I used several of Mike Holt's books. These are highly visual, with numerous diagrams that help clarify complex concepts. Key books include the Electrical Exam Prep Book, as well as Understanding the National Electrical Code Volumes 1 and 2. These volumes not only cover the entire code but also include commentary and visual aids.

I also made extensive use of a hardcover NEC Handbook, which contains additional notes and explanations not found in the standard code book. Highlighting important sections and taking meticulous notes helped solidify my understanding.

Creating practice questions was a significant part of my preparation. I generated hundreds of these, tweaking numbers and problem scenarios to ensure a thorough grasp of various situations. Flashcards also played a crucial role, helping me memorize the layout and essential parts of the code.

Old issues of ECM Magazine were another resource. Despite the mixed content, the technical articles and code breakdowns were particularly helpful. I even printed useful sections and built a personalized learning manual.

Active engagement through writing notes and creating custom learning materials facilitated deeper understanding. By revisiting complex topics and cross-referencing different sources, you ensure a comprehensive grasp of code requirements.

Constructing a Personalized Study Binder

To get started, gather all the essential materials you'll need. Collect study guides, practice exams like the DeWalt Licensing Test, and important books. For visual learners, Mike Holt's books, such as the Electrical Exam Prep book and the Understanding the National Electrical Code series, are invaluable. These books are rich with diagrams and commentary which can make the material more digestible.

In addition to practice tests and books, incorporating a handbook of the NEC (National Electrical Code) can be highly beneficial. This provides extra notes and explanations, helping to clarify complex sections of the code. Ensuring you highlight important sections and take detailed notes will make it easier to refer back to them later.

Organize your binder by including sections for different types of study materials. Here is a suggested layout:

  • Practice Exams:

    • DeWalt licensing test
    • Self-created practice questions
  • Study Guides and Books:

    • Mike Holt's Electrical Exam Prep
    • NEC Volumes with highlighted sections
  • Handwritten Notes:

    • Personal notes taken during study sessions
    • Key points and summaries from study guides
  • Flashcards:

    • Handwritten flashcards with code articles

Incorporate note cards for quick reviews. Writing code articles on one side and descriptions on the other can help you remember where specific information is located in the NEC. This practice aids in creating a mental map of the code layout, making it easier to find information during timed exams.

Include printouts from resources like ECM Magazine. Articles and code breakdowns from these magazines can provide additional insights and explanations. Clip or print relevant sections and thematically arrange them in your binder.

Regularly update your binder with new notes, practice questions, and any additional materials you find helpful. Customizing your study binder to fit your learning style is crucial, whether that involves rewriting notes or including diagrams. Engaging different parts of your brain through various study methods will enhance your ability to retain information.

In summary, constructing a personalized study binder involves gathering the right materials, organizing them effectively, and continuously updating your resources to ensure you are well-prepared for your exam.

Creating Practice Questions

Creating your own practice questions is a highly effective way to prepare for the master electrician exam. By replicating the problems from study materials and altering the numbers slightly, you can generate a multitude of practice questions. Ensure that the math and solutions are accurate by double-checking your work. This method helps reinforce your understanding and ability to solve similar problems in the exam.

Use a binder to organize your notes and practice questions. Write down every notable point from the study materials and make your own questions based on those notes. This approach makes the information much more personal and helps with retention.

Consider making flashcards. Write the specific code articles on one side and their details on the other. This method helps you memorize the layout of the codebook more effectively. By regularly flipping through these cards, you can quickly recall where information is located during the actual exam.

Utilize magazines like ECM Magazine, which provide detailed code articles and practical write-ups that can be turned into practice questions. Copy and print these sections to create a learning manual tailored to your needs. Writing things down can engage different parts of your brain, enhancing your understanding and retention of the material.

Example Practice Questions Table


Sample Question

Code Reference

Electrical Calculations

Calculate the service load for a single-family residence with given specs

NEC 220.82

Grounding and Bonding

Identify the requirements for grounding electrodes in specific scenarios

NEC 250.50

Electrical Theory and Diagrams

Draw and label a basic wiring diagram for a three-phase motor

NEC 430.250

By structuring your study routine in this manner, you can better prepare yourself for any situation you might encounter on the exam. Combining note-taking, flashcards, and question creation solidifies your understanding and boosts your confidence.

Memorizing Code Layout with Note Cards

Using note cards to memorize code layouts can be immensely helpful. Write down code articles on one side of a note card and the respective details on the other. For example, you might note "430.250" on one side with "FLA chart for motors" on the reverse.

Key Points for Making Note Cards:

  1. Code Articles: Write the code number.
  2. Details: Describe what the code article covers.
  3. Categories: Group similar articles together for better retention.

By grouping articles related to similar topics, such as grounding and bonding or motor controls, you can foster a clearer mental map of the codebook. This method helps when facing time constraints during exams, allowing you to quickly recall where specific information is located.

Additionally, frequent review and self-testing with these note cards help reinforce your memory, ensuring that you retain the information more effectively over time.

Learning from EC&M Magazine

EC&M Magazine provides invaluable resources for those preparing for electrical exams. Despite its modern logo change, the content remains impressive. Within the magazine, you'll find detailed articles on various code sections and current practices.

One of the magazine's standout features is the "What's Wrong Here?" section. This part allows you to analyze real-world code violations and test your knowledge by identifying the issues. Correct answers often earn you a reward, which adds an engaging element to your study routine.

The magazine includes tech-heavy write-ups and code articles, breaking down complex topics into digestible information. While not all content is technically focused—approximately 75% is less technical—the valuable 25% supports intense study sessions.

Consider printing and collecting relevant articles. Compile sections such as the Standard Method and Optional Method for calculating services for residences. By doing this, you'll create a personalized study manual tailored to your learning style.

Using physical copies can aid retention. Writing down key points engages different parts of your brain, reinforcing your understanding of the material. This engagement can be crucial in preparing for exams effectively.

Self-Made Learning Manuals

One of the most effective strategies for mastering your electrician exam is to create personalized learning manuals. Begin by gathering a variety of test preparation materials, such as the Dewalt Licensing Test and Mike Holt's diagram-heavy books. These resources offer practice exams, diagrams, and commentary on the National Electrical Code.

To personalize your study guides, consider keeping a binder of notes and creating flashcards. Write down key code articles and specific calculations. Having these notes allows you to replicate problems and understand the logic behind solutions.

Utilize various electrical magazines, like EC&M Magazine, which provides in-depth code write-ups and violation analyses. Print important sections and compile them into your manual. List methods for calculating services for residences and other technical details that are crucial for the exam.

Focus on hands-on methods, such as rewriting information and creating practice questions. These activities engage different parts of your brain, aiding in better retention and understanding. By making use of diverse resources and adapting them into a format that works for you, you create a comprehensive, personalized manual that can enhance your exam preparation significantly.