See that building or structure going up? Construction requires a number of different contractors to bring a project to successful completion. It has a general contractor responsible for, in essence, making the project go. General contractors make sure the project has the necessary materials and labor and if necessary, hires subcontractors to help complete some of the work. To work as a general contractor, professionals have to pass two exams: The Contractor’s General Building and Law & Business exams. Here’s an overview of both, as well as an excellent study guide to help you prepare.
Who administers the exam?
The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) administers the general building test. Each state administers the business and law exam.
Where can I take the test?
NASCLA and individual states have contracted with a private test company to give the test to certification candidates. The company has hundreds of offices across the country.
What can you tell me about the tests?
Since there are two different tests, we’ll address them one at a time.
GENERAL BUILDING EXAM
- Number of questions: There are 115 questions on this portion of the exam
- Test time: Candidates have 330 minutes (4 hours and 30 minutes) to complete the test
- Passing score: Candidates must attain a passing score of at least 81
- Test results: The testing center will send the results to the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies. NASCLA should receive the results in roughly 48 hours. Candidates will be able to access the results at that time,
There are 12 subject areas on the test. The subject areas, along with the approximate number of items, are below.
- Two categories, Planning and Estimating and Financial and Project Management, each have 21 items.
- Safety has 19 items.
- Site Construction contains 15 items.
- Concrete has eight items.
- Masonry has three items.
- Three categories each have five items. They are Metals, Wood Foundations and Framing, and Doors, Windows, and Glazing.
- Thermal Moisture Protection contains four items.
- Finishes contain seven items.
- Specialty Equipment and Conveyance Systems has two items.
LAW & BUSINESS EXAM
Each state has different criteria for this portion of the test. There may be different fees, passing rates, and test times, so it’s best to check with your local agency. In general, this area of the exam has 50 questions in the areas of licensing requirements, estimating and bidding, business organization and financial management, tax laws, labor laws, project management, lien law, contractors, risk management, and environment and safety.
Can I bring my own calculator into test room?
Yes. Candidates can bring their own calculator provided they are non-programmable and silent.
Great. Does that mean I can bring other personal items into the test room?
No. In short, you can’t bring any personal items into the test room. That includes electronic devices of any kind, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets, or smartwatches; certain clothing items, such as bulky coats, hats, purses notebooks, backpacks or wallets. All personal items must be placed in a secure storage area outside of the test room.
What type of identification will I need on test day?
Candidates must present one form of valid, government-issued identification that contains a photo and signature. A driver’s license or passport will do.
What time should I arrive at the test center?
It’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes before your test time. You’ll need this time to sign-in and complete the pre-examination processes. Anyone who arrives late may not be able to take the test.
What materials will best help me prepare for the Contractor’s General Building and Law & Business exams?
That’s an easy one. The study materials created by Mometrix have been created by professionals in the test-taking field. Our study guide contains detailed information on study plans that will help you prepare for the tests. Not only that, our guide walks you through the areas of the exam that tend to give test-taking the hardest time and offers strategies to find the right answers. Our flashcards are another excellent tool. These large, sturdy cards provide easy-to-understand answers to questions and let you study wherever you are. These materials are exactly what you need.
by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 17, 2019