5 Best Ways to Prep for the State Exam

A man with a contractor license is working on his laptop at home.

Do you remember back in high school and college when a test was rolling around? Did you study? Did you cram? What about cheat sheets?

Everyone has a method for preparing for an exam, even if they don’t know what it is. However, by not only being aware of your favorite techniques, but also enhancing them, you can fly through the State test with ease. To help, we’ve put together the 5 best ways to prepare for the California State Contractor’s License Exam.

  • Take notes- Whether reading from a book or listening to a lecture, taking notes in your own words helps your brain to interpret and retain the information. When reading from a book, have a notebook off to the side. Write down the main topics of the chapter or section as you read through. More importantly, write down a brief sentence about what each section is telling you. Don’t just copy the words. Write it as though you were teaching someone else.
  • Teach someone else- When you try to pass along the knowledge you have gained, you will find yourself stirring it around in your mind like cement in a mixer to interpret it for your student. This will also help you to highlight the areas that you are weak in so that you can study to fill in the gaps.
  • Ask questions- Obviously, no one wants to look ignorant in front of someone else. However, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know”. The point of studying is to pass the State Exam, not impress anyone. Don’t worry about asking questions because passing along information is what we’re here for. If you don’t understand something and miss it on the test, you will look bad. We want you to pass too, so please speak up.
  • Test yourself- There are lots of sites out there that will let you create your own flashcards and pre-tests. Utilize them and they will help you to find where you need to strengthen your mental foundation. Not only will you learn as you test yourself with them, but you are also reinforcing the information by making the flashcards in the first place.
  • Don’t CRAM!- Everyone has found it necessary to shovel information into their head just before a test at one point or another. Unfortunately, when you do this, the information doesn’t stick or it gets garbled in your mind; increasing the probability of missing an answer…or six. Take the time to go over your materials over and over. Constant repetition creates mental associations and cements the information in place.

By taking the time for these simple tips, you will increase the chance of passing the State exam by over 70%. Remember that, ultimately, this is your livelihood. You’ve worked hard to get to this point and if you work a little harder, you’ll succeed in amazing ways!