Acing the IBEW Electrical Apprenticeship Test: Comprehensive Study Guide

An electrical aptitude test is the first step to your chosen career of becoming an electrician. However, there are many others with the same ambition, which means that competition for apprenticeships for electrical workers can be intense. For this article, we will focus on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or IBEW Apprenticeship Aptitude test.

The IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) consist of the Electrical Training Alliance. This alliance was formerly called the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), which provides programs for those who want a career in the electrical industry.

Take the Electrical IBEW Apprenticeship Aptitude Practice Test to improve your score.

One of these programs is the electrical apprenticeship program. This is where the focused IBEW aptitude test of this article comes in. The electrical apprenticeship test is used to select applicants with the skills most suited to doing the apprenticeship programs. Test takers who do well in all the test sections may prove to be fit to become electrical workers and an asset to the electrical industry.

What Are the Basic Requirements to Apply for an Electrical Apprenticeship Program?

  • Electrical apprentices must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.
  • Electrical apprentices must be in good health and physical shape
  • Electrical apprentices may be required to have a valid state driving license

Understanding How the IBEW Test Works Is Essential

When you are in school, preparing for tests is generally easy. Teachers provide you with the coverage of your exam, sometimes they will even give pointers for review when they see that the class got wrong answers on specific topics in previous tests. In short, teachers guide you in the preparation process.

However, preparing for aptitude tests after your schooling can be more challenging. The support system that was readily available to you might not be the same. You have a few options to prepare for the aptitude test you are eyeing to take:

  1. Muddle through on your own and spend countless hours searching for information about the aptitude test.
  2. Take a FREE IBEW Aptitude Test at Job Test Prep to answer sample questions and get a view of what to expect.
  3. Get the full test prep pack for the IBEW Aptitude Test from Job Test Prep which will guide you through every step of the process. This will provide you with practice tests and enough material for you to achieve a passing score. Each IBEW practice test will contain the correct answers to the practice questions and will have a detailed explanation. Understanding why an option is the correct answer or a wrong answer is, of course, crucial if you want to get a qualifying score on an IBEW test.

As in any aptitude test, preparation is key to success. Thus, we recommend IBEW practice tests and other prep materials that can help you achieve optimal test performance.

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Should I Prepare with a Test Pack?

The prep pack from Job Test Prep shows you precisely what you will be tested on with full-length test simulations.

As this is an aptitude test, the test measures the skills you have that are relevant to the training. The test sections contain different types of questions like Math questions, mechanical reasoning questions, and reading comprehension questions that will inform the apprenticeship and training committee if an individual is ready or fit for the program.

Will the Test Prep Pack Guarantee Success?

Finishing test prep materials for the IBEW aptitude test does not guarantee a passing score, but it does help you do better in the actual exam. After all, the practice questions included are based actual exam.

So, regularly reviewing the test prep materials will surely help. While there are free IBEW practice tests available, paying for a practice test based on full-length tests is essential. If you know exactly what type of questions you will encounter in the real test,  you will not falter even when taking the math section or the algebra and functions section. You will be able to solve problems more easily.

Of course, spending money on a full prep pack is an investment. As such, try the free IBEW practice test available first and then decide if you should get the premium one.

What does the IBEW Aptitude Test Consist of?

The IBEW aptitude test consists of 69 multiple-choice questions between two test sections: The math section and Reading Comprehension section.

Part 1 – Math Section

This part of the test measures your numerical skills. This means you must show your competence in algebra and functions. While these topics were all covered during high school, it is important to study and review them.

You may well have lost some of your numeracy skills through lack of practice. Working through exercises and test papers mirrored on the real test will help you bring those math skills to life again. Use your test prep pack to do the following:

  • Relearn the topics you learned during your school days such as basic algebra so answer as many Math questions as you can and solve problems. These sample questions for the IBEW electrical aptitude test will help enter the electrical apprenticeship program.
  • Set a target number for the practice tests you will finish. This is crucial in studying for aptitude tests. The more sample questions you answer, the more you will get a hang of answering IBEW tests.
  • Keep track of how well you are scoring on the IBEW test papers. For example, how well are you doing in the Math section? Where did you make a mistake? Review the correct answer, check your scratch paper, and figure out what went wrong. With diligent work, your score should keep rising, which will also reflect in the results of your actual IBEW test.
  • As your preparation gathers pace, attempt doing the practice IBEW tests within the time allowed in the actual test. This will ensure you are able to work within the time limit on the day of the test.

Part 2 – Reading Comprehension Section

Woman with a Laptop Reading

This part of the electrical apprenticeship test measures your literacy skills, which means it contains reading comprehension questions. You will be asked to read a written passage and to answer a series of questions that test how well you understood the passage.

The questions will test:

  • Your ability to gather information from the passage.
  • Your ability to summarize the key points from the passage.
  • Your ability to explain words/phrases as they are used in the passage.
  • Your ability to draw your own conclusion from the following statements given.

Taking practice tests is essential to your preparation for the reading comprehension section. A good practice test will make you a better reader, making you more aware of the words used in the story, the hidden meanings in the passage, and looking at what the text is actually about. Here are some tips to do well in this section of this IBEW test:

1. Learn to read passages, drawing the essential information from the piece. Train yourself to highlight the main point in a paragraph. If you do not understand a word or phrase look at it in the context of the sentence. That should make it clearer.

2. Be careful not to confuse your opinion with the writer of the test. If asked, “What is the writer’s opinion of…” ensure you are giving what the writer thinks as the correct answer as opposed to what you think.

3. Practice doing the sample papers within the time allowed for the IBEW test. This will be difficult at first but with regular attempts, you will come closer to your target.

4. To do well in a reading comprehension test it is important to get a good deal of experience in reading passages. There is ample material in your test prep pack to give you this. Make sure to try out the sample questions in the pack.

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Preparing for the Test

As with any aptitude test, a disciplined approach to preparation for the IBEW test is essential. It is important to keep in mind that a competent electrician understands how equipment works. As such, it is important for the individual interested in an electrical apprenticeship to train their brain to absorb information effectively. 

Try the following tips for effective preparation for the IBEW apprenticeship test.

  • Be ready to answer a whole set of practice tests. Make sure you have ample time to study, answer, and review them. Don’t cram and study everything a day or two before the available test dates.
  • When you plan and schedule your preparation, make sure you are being realistic. Remember that the IBEW aptitude test is challenging, but this does mean you forget to relax. So, keep in mind that when you make a study timetable, you consider your leisure activities.
  • When studying for the IBEW aptitude test, make sure you set your schedule on times you feel most alert. This will help you retain more information, which will help you achieve your desired IBEW test results.
  • For effective study, it is recommended that you spend no longer than 50 minutes in any study session. After the 50 minutes are up, take at least a 10-minute break before returning to your study session.
  • Try to vary the material you are working on for each 50-minute session. For example, work on algebra and functions for your first session. Then, work on reading comprehension in the next one. This will also ensure that you are prepared in all aspects of the IBEW aptitude test. 
  • Aside from taking a break, spend around 10-15 minutes recapping the materials you learned during your study session. Doing this will help you retain material more easily.
  • We learn more easily by doing things than merely remembering information. That is why it is essential in every study session to answer sample questions that come with your pack.
  • Check on how you are performing on each exercise. You should see your score increasing with each test you do.

Pre-test Nerves

It is natural to feel nervous in the run-up to an examination. In fact, it is acknowledged that some nervousness is good and enables you to get the best out of yourself. However, being unduly nervous before the actual IBEW electrical aptitude test can interfere with your performance.

  • Ensure you build some stress-breaking activities into your test preparation routine. Having a dedicated place of study allows you to leave your study behind when you need a break.
  • Opinions on dealing with exam stress vary but you may find some of the following helpful:
  • Build regular breaks into your study routine.
  • Leave your place of study for those breaks.
  • Go out to breathe fresh air and do light exercise. 
  • Avoid any activities that involve reading or checking your phone during your break. This is important because when you study, you work your eyes very hard. They need a break as well.
  • You can try some meditation exercises or even yoga to relieve stress. 
  • Make sure you are done studying at least an hour before you go to bed.

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Test Day

When the IBEW test day arrives, make sure you psych yourself up. Confidence is very important in taking aptitude tests. If you have done your best to study, keep this in mind. It’s also important that you remind yourself that getting through this test is important for your future career and it is only natural to feel a little nervous. To enable you to get the best out of yourself in the IBEW test, do the following:

  • Ensure that the aptitude test is the only thing you must do on the day.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for the exam, such as your pens, pencils, and a calculator.
  • Avoid studying too hard on the day before the test. If you must, flick briefly through some notes.
  • Eat a proper and healthy meal before you take the IBEW test.

Fruits-Healthy Diet

Other Pointers on How to Ace the Test

  • Avoid anything that may increase your stress levels.
    • It is normal to see students congregating together prior to an exam or test. Some students find listening to others describing the preparation they have done or the techniques they will use in the test stressful. If you are one of those people prone to becoming stressed, it is best to avoid pre-test gatherings.
  • Concentrate instead on any stress-busting techniques you may find helpful.
    • Deep breaths, some stretching exercises, chewing your favorite snack, whatever you find relaxing.
    • Allow yourself to be a little nervous. This is perfectly natural, and we all perform a little better if we are a little, but not too nervous.
    • And remember you have given your preparation your best shot.

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In the Test or Training Center

Here are some other reminders when taking the IBEW test:

  • When you receive the test paper flick through it quickly. Skim the questions.
  • In a math test, it is a good idea to start with the question you are best at. This will boost your confidence. Attempt to alternate your questions from easy to difficult ensuring you leave your second favorite for the end of the test when you are tired.
  • In a reading comprehension test, read the passage twice, once to get an overview and the second time to underline or highlight points that strike you as being important.
  • Still, on the reading comprehension, read the questions carefully highlighting the keywords in the question. These will include words such as:
    • Summarize
    • Paraphrase
    • Explain
    • Give your opinion of
    • Give the writer’s opinion of
  • In the numeracy test, your test prep pack will have told you what you should focus on. Double-check if you are required to:
    • Use diagrams
    • Show the workings you did to arrive at an answer
  • Remember equations and formulas. It is helpful to jot those down on the test page or your scratch paper while they are fresh in your head.

Remember: Time Is of the Essence

  • Try to make a rough estimate of how much time you will dedicate to each question. You know how to do this already when you were answering sample questions during your study sessions.
  • Make sure you don’t overthink or spend too much time on one item.

Remember(for the second time: It Is Your Exam

It can be tempting to look around your local testing station or training center to see how everybody else is doing. But remember you are being graded on your performance. Looking around will distract you from your work.

During the actual test, just remember that you have done your part in preparing for the IBEW aptitude test. It’s normal to feel nervous but take solace in the fact that you’ve gone through many materials like an IBEW practice test to grab this opportunity.

Work hard and trust yourself. Before you know it, you have already passed the IBEW aptitude electrical aptitude test.

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And it’s over!

You will be surprised at how quickly time passes when doing an IBEW Aptitude test. Your work quickly becomes the property of the examiners. And you are free to wait for the next stage of your career.

Well done.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.


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