A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips

A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips

Updated July 21, 2023

By Edward Mellett
A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips
A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips

The IBEW aptitude test is a prerequisite for those wishing to complete an electrician apprenticeship. It’s a timed test that allows employers to identify if someone has the right skills for an apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is the official representative of more than 750,000 electricians across the US. To work as an apprentice, potential electricians must pass the electrician aptitude test, also known as the IBEW aptitude test.

Let's take a deep dive into this assessment to see what you should do to prepare for and pass the electrical apprentice aptitude test.

What Is the IBEW Aptitude Test?

The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) aptitude test is a standardized test used to assess an individual's aptitude for electrical work.

The IBEW and its partner organizations use the test to select candidates for apprenticeships and other training programs.

What Is the IBEW Entrance Exam Used For?

Electrical work is hugely popular in the US because, as a skilled trade, it's a sector that has good job prospects, both in terms of wage structure and job security.

According to Indeed.com, the average salary of an electrician is almost $60,000 per year.

Moreover, as an increasing number of everyday items transition into electrical or digital variations, the demand for qualified electricians will likely continue to soar.

Most candidates choose to take the apprenticeship route to gain employment as an electrician. This allows them to learn on the job while also undertaking the rigorous training that they need to keep themselves (and their customers) safe.

But, before you can begin an apprenticeship, candidates must pass the IBEW aptitude test.

This test for electrical apprenticeship suitability will give detailed insight into whether you have the right skills and aptitudes to succeed as an electrician. It's not about checking your electrical knowledge.

It's about identifying your math and reading skills – if those are not up to par, you might not be suited to a career as an electrician.

The Format of the IBEW Aptitude Test

The IBEW aptitude test typically consists of two main sections:

  • Algebra
  • Reading comprehension

The algebra section covers topics such as basic algebraic equations, geometry and trigonometry. Numerical reasoning is essential for electricians.

In contrast, the reading comprehension section assesses an individual's ability to read and interpret written instructions, diagrams and other technical materials.

The test format may vary depending on the organization administering it, but it generally consists of multiple-choice questions.

The test is timed, and individuals are typically given a set amount of time to complete each section.

  • Algebra and Functions (46 minutes – 33 questions)
  • Reading comprehension (51 minutes – 36 questions)

You can expect to take at least two hours to complete the test.

You will be given a break to decompress between both assessments.

What Happens After the Test?

After completing the assessment, candidates' scores are evaluated, and those who score well may be invited to continue with the selection process, which may include interviews and other evaluations.

A minimum score is required to pass the electrician aptitude test, but achieving that score isn't always a guarantee that you will achieve an apprenticeship position.

After all, competition for spaces is fierce, and employers want to have their pick of the top candidates. Therefore, your focus shouldn't be on achieving the minimum score required. Instead, it should be on achieving the highest score you can.

Candidates who score poorly on the test may be advised to seek additional training or education before applying for apprenticeships or other positions in the electrical industry.

When Will You Receive the Results of Your IBEW Aptitude Test?

Typically, you can expect to receive your score within two to four weeks of completing the IBEW aptitude test.

IBEW Electrician Aptitude Test Practice Questions

Now that we know what the IBEW assessment is and why it's used, let's take a closer look at the type of IBEW test questions that you could be asked to complete.

Math skills are necessary for those who want to work in the electrical industry; therefore, you should brush up on them as soon as possible.

Mathematical prowess and the ability to think critically are daily requirements for electricians in the workforce.

Electrician Aptitude Test Practice – Algebra and Functions

You will start your electrical aptitude test with the algebra and functions assessment.

This section will have 33 questions – often focusing on basic algebra and equations. You should practice your math skills heavily to ensure that you are confident in your problem-solving capabilities.

For example, you may be asked questions on spotting patterns or identifying shapes and sizes as part of the IBEW math aptitude test.

The IBEW test questions are fairly basic – if you're interested in electrical work, the questions shouldn't be too daunting for you.

IBEW Practice Test Question

Example Question

1. If B equals 12 and C equals 5, then what is the value of A if A + C = B?

a) 6
b) 7
c) 8
d) 9

IBEW Practice Test Question

Example Question

2. What are the missing numbers in this sequence?

4, ?, 12, ?, 20, ?, 28, ?, 36, ?

Electrician Aptitude Test Practice – Reading Comprehension

You will be given a short break after the algebra section before being asked to sit for the reading comprehension assessment.

This part of the IBEW aptitude test is about checking to see that you can read, understand and follow instructions.

Electrical work is dangerous and misinterpreting information could be catastrophic. Therefore, comprehension and understanding are essential to have a successful career.

You will be required to read through a number of short passages and complete a written task. There will be 36 questions in total.

Typically, you can expect a few different types of reading comprehension questions:

  • Please read the text and answer questions by finding information in it and incorporating it into your answers.
  • Make inferences about the meaning of the text to arrive at a specific conclusion or answer.
  • Interpret the meaning of a written text by reading the sentences, understanding the tone of voice within the piece or deciphering the type of words that are used.

Reading comprehension is about understanding what you've read and focusing your answers based on the information provided.

Some IBEW test questions may rely on your existing knowledge and understanding, while others may focus solely on the text provided. It's up to you to figure out the answer based on your comprehension of what you are being asked to do.

It is also important to read each question and answer carefully because multiple answers may be like one another.

IBEW Practice Test Question

Example Question

There are four children walking to school together. Three of the children are wearing a coat, hats and gloves. It is raining, but the four children are not carrying an umbrella. When they get to school, they join the rest of their classmates. There are 25 children in the class in total.

Did all of the children in the class get wet from the rain?

What Happens After You Take an IBEW Assessment?

The timing of receiving your results will depend on the specific IBEW program you applied to.

Some programs may provide results immediately or within a few days, but typically, you can expect to receive your results within two to four weeks of taking the assessment.

How Is the IBEW Aptitude Test Scored?

The evaluation procedure for the IBEW aptitude test is straightforward: points are awarded only for the right responses, and points are not deducted for incorrect answers or questions that are left unanswered.

The test is typically scored on a scale of one to nine, with nine being the highest possible score.

A good score on the IBEW assessment will depend on the requirements of the specific apprenticeship program you are applying to.

For example, some programs may require a minimum score of four, while others may require a higher score.

A bad IBEW aptitude test score would be below the minimum requirement for the program you are applying for.

Realistically, it would help if you scored in the top 45% of all scores to be accepted onto an electrician apprenticeship program.

What Do You Need to Do to Apply for an Electrician Apprenticeship Program?

In addition to the IBEW assessment, apprenticeship programs may require additional qualifications such as a high school diploma or equivalent, a valid driver's license and proof of residency.

Some programs may also require applicants to pass a drug test and undergo a background check.

Can You Retake the IBEW Aptitude Test if You Do Not Pass It?

The retake policy may allow you to retake the exam after six months have passed. Some programs may only allow one attempt, while others allow multiple retakes as long as there is a minimum of six months between each attempt.

It's best to check with the program provider directly to see what the policy is regarding retakes.

If you need to prepare for a number of different employment tests and want to outsmart the competition, choose a Premium Membership from JobTestPrep.

You will get access to three PrepPacks of your choice, from a database that covers all the major test providers and employers and tailored profession packs.

A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips
A Study Guide for the IBEW Aptitude Test: with Tips

Electrician Aptitude Test Practice Tips

If you want to pass the IBEW entrance exam the first time around, you should look closely at your advanced IBEW aptitude test prep and study.

The more time you spend preparing for the test, the greater your chances of success will be.

Here are some practical tips you can use as an IBEW study aid.

Step 1. Take Similar Tests Online

Where possible, try to use practice IBEW aptitude tests online.

Sites such as JobTestPrep offer comprehensive study packages that are designed to help improve your knowledge.

Again, being aware of the types of questions you could be asked and practicing your timing will give you the best chance to pass the assessment.

Advance IBEW aptitude test practice using an IBEW aptitude test study guide will help you to identify any weaknesses – and give you a chance to upskill yourself before you take the test.

Step 2. Sharpen Your Math Skills

Electrical work is heavily focused on math capabilities. Therefore, you need to be able to show that you have the right skills.

The test will only ask you basic questions, but you need to be confident in your arithmetic skills because you will not be allowed to use a calculator. However, you may be provided with a pencil and paper to work out your answers.

Taking an IBEW math practice test and other numerical reasoning tests can help you hone your skills.

Step 3. Read a Lot

The best way to improve your reading comprehension skills is to read as much as you possibly can.

Read a variety of texts such as fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, articles, opinion pieces and even online forums.

The more you read, the more you will naturally boost your comprehension skills and improve your critical thinking capabilities.

Step 4. Test Yourself Against the Clock

During your preparation, don't forget to test yourself against the clock.

While the test will not penalize you for incorrect or unanswered questions, it is a timed exam, and the more correct answers you get, the better your score will be.

Practicing your timing will give you an idea of how long you can spend on each question.

If you're struggling with an answer, move on to the next one and come back to it at the end of the test.

Step 5. Get Enough Sleep

As with any exam, you must feel fit and healthy on test day.

Taking the time the night before to get a good night's rest and being fully hydrated and well-fed will allow you to work at your best.

If you stay up all night cramming, you will feel tense, and anxiety could cause you to perform badly.

Frequently Asked Questions

The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) aptitude test is a standardized test used to assess an individual's aptitude for electrical work.

It's a pre-assessment to identify candidates suitable for an electrical apprenticeship.

The IBEW aptitude test has two main parts: algebra and reading comprehension.

In the section on algebra, you will be questioned on things like basic algebraic equations, geometry and trigonometry.

On the other hand, the reading comprehension section tests how well a person can read and understand written instructions, diagrams and other technical materials.

The IBEW aptitude test shouldn't be hard because it's focused on highly relevant topics for electricians.

Therefore, if you are already planning on being an electrician, you should already have a natural interest in these subject areas.

The questions are focused on basic math knowledge and should reiterate the skills you picked up through your high school diploma (or equivalent).

To prepare for the test, you should make the most of online practice tests that will allow you to see how you cope with the questions.

An IBEW aptitude test study guide can provide valuable tips and sample questions to help you prepare.

You should also focus heavily on improving your basic math skills (such as algebra) and reading as much as you can to improve your reading comprehension. This will give you strong transferrable skills that any employer in any sector will welcome.

The test can be retaken at least six months after your first attempt. Different programs may have limits on how many times you can take the test, but each attempt must have at least six months between attempts.

Your test results are valid for up to two years. However, if you've not been employed in an apprenticeship scheme two years after taking the IBEW aptitude test, you will need to retake the exam.

The IBEW electrical aptitude test is scored on a scale of one to nine.

Most employers will look for a minimum score of at least four, but realistically, you need to have a score within the top 45% of all test takers to boost your chances of being accepted into an apprenticeship scheme.

Make sure your IBEW test prep is thorough by taking practice tests and using an IBEW study guide to prepare efficiently.

The test is divided into two parts: algebra and functions and reading comprehension. You can expect the test to take at least two hours to complete.

Scores on the IBEW tests range from one to nine, with nine being the best. You will not be penalized for incorrect or unanswered questions, but you need to focus on achieving your best personal score.

For most people, a score of four or above will be enough to pass. This depends on the apprenticeship you want. Different courses may have different entry requirements.

Sites such as JobTestPrep have comprehensive packages available that will help you to prepare for the IBEW assessment through sample test questions and an IBEW aptitude test study guide.

The Algebra and Functions part of the test features 33 questions that you need to answer within 46 minutes.

The Reading Comprehension section will ask you to complete 36 questions in 51 minutes.

Final Thoughts

The IBEW electrician apprenticeship program is a fantastic opportunity because there are many job opportunities for qualified electricians.

The growing interest in electrical careers means that performing well on the IBEW test is essential to give you the best chance of securing an apprenticeship.

It is highly recommended that you prepare for the IBEW aptitude tests as thoroughly as possible because your scores will be directly compared to other candidates. It's not enough to achieve the minimum score; if competition is fierce for positions, you could risk missing out on the opportunity because you didn't achieve your best possible score.

Try not to worry about the test itself. It's not designed to trip you up. Instead, it's about confirming if you are right for a potential career as an electrician. You can enter the examinations with self-assurance if you prepare thoroughly and adhere to the recommendations provided in this article.

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