Many experienced electricians will tell you that they tried understanding the National Electrical Code by picking up a copy of the book and starting to read, like any other book, from page 1 to the end. Most of them will admit, that they learned nothing about code and further confused themselves by doing this. The National Electrical Code is a reference manual, not a novel. It is meant to be flipped through to find answers to questions depending on the environment, materials, or equipment being worked on. If you need to know what receptacles are required in dwelling kitchens, you’d flip the book open and look through Article 210 to find that information. If you’re curious about how to ground multiple transformers, you’d open Artice 250 on Grounding and Bonding and scroll through the information. Working in a Healthcare Facility? Article 517 houses specific information about that environment.
An apprentice trying to learn code by reading the book cover to cover is not going to understand most of the terminology, materials, equipment, or environments as they have yet to come across them in the field. This is why learning code while working out in the field is essential. Each job that we come across will have dozens of codes that apply to it, so cracking open the book daily – over years – will help you understand code much more.
One way many of us use to learn code much quicker is to use practice exams to simulate problems or questions we might run into out in the field. Running through hundreds of questions gives you the task of flipping through the NEC to find hundreds of answers. If a person does this often, they will start to understand the entirety of the book, especially what chunks of the book house which information. This allows a reader to understand the book at a much deeper level, without having to wait years to come across these issues on random job sites.
What’s inside a practice exam?
Most practice exams focus on the National Electrical Code. Most state licensing exams test you on more than just code. Many states want you to know licensing requirements, electrical theory, business/law, plan-review, AND code. Some states don’t test at all, because they don’t have licenses. Because of the vast differences between states’ requirements, it is difficult to find practice exams that fit each state specifically, which is why most of the practice exams we come across are strictly code practice. This is okay because it’s the one thing electricians tend to struggle with the most. It’s the subject that takes the longest to learn, therefore it requires a lot of practice.
Electrician U offers multiple different online simulated TIMED practice exams, which are specific to specific license types. Each exam is a 100-question exam, with either a 4-hour time limit for Residential Wiremen and Journeymen or a 5-hour time limit for the Master Electricians. We also have a 300-question Code Cannon which is not timed like the others. It is self-paced and feeds you questions that you can answer at your leisure. All of our exams give you the answers to questions you’ve gotten wrong, as well as code citations and example calculations to show you how it should have been done. Also, all of our exams come with a downloadable PDF version that you can take with you and practice anywhere!