NHIE exam

What is the best way to prepare for the NHIE exam? My state is requiring it for licensing. I have not found anything useful other than reading the giant manual.

Any help would be appreciated.

I’ll tell you what I tell my guys. Take the practice questions as many times as you can, and remember its a best answer kind of test. Thats where the BS is. Don’t answer the questions based on what you think is best, answer them based on what the authors of the test think is best.

Go to ebay and purchase The NHIE Study Guide, also use the InterNACHI Exam Prep Questions (over 2,000) as well as InterNACHI flash cards

I used the InterNACHI practice exam, Quizlet flash cards, and the Code Check Complete books. While the practice exam was most practical, the Code Check Complete books had more information I recognized from the NHIE, which I took this morning and passed.

It was frustrating to study the articles, exams and information on the InterNACHI site only to be hit with confusing questions on the NHIE. They are not kidding when they say ‘best answer’, many of the questions I saw had several practical or realistic options, but obviously only one can be correct. Also no ‘true/false’ or ‘all of the above’ questions. Less than a quarter, or about that, were exact measurements or size questions. I used ICA for my pre-license training/hours here in Oregon, a requirement to complete prior to sitting for the NHIE. This course was comprehensive, but I would not say it prepped me for the exam better than the InterNACHI options.

There were 4 pool and hot tub questions, and 2 lawn irrigation questions. If I had not heard previously on this forum that the NHIE would include such categories, I never would have studied for them.

Good luck.

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Passed it last month and did OK but so many questions did not make sense to me. As Juan said, try to guess what the authors want you to answer.

Took it today (in Texas), and was a little surprised by how little resemblance it bore to the stuff in the big NHIE book (or the the AHIT study material, for that matter. I passed, but only because I spent the last three months studying, doing the chapter exams, final exams, and every free internet test I could get my hands on, CompuCram (which is a joke, frankly), and reading, highlighting, re-reading, and creating 23 pages of study notes from the various texts. That and 8 years experience as a general contractor and as many as a Realtor.

Bottom line, you need to know houses, their systems, contract law, state regulations, and other nuances of home inspection basics pretty darn well. I came across several questions that employed terms that I did not find in the NHIE book (“bollard”, “rim joist”, and “PVB valve”, for instance), and had to deduce their meaning from context and figure out a lot of answers by elimination. Some I just had to guess.

So, my advice would be to get a firm conceptual grasp on the material so you can fully understand the questions. There were relatively few “tricky” choices, and I came across no “all of the above” responses in the version I took.

Know your numbers (clearances, Ohm’s Law, wire gauges, etc.) for sure. Every time it occurs to you that there’s a gap in your knowledge, go find that section in the test and study until you understand it.

Good luck!

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Congratulations Bruce!

Oddly enough, I knew what a bollard was because I had to find out the term for a public works project a number of years ago.

Posting in case anyone wants to take a look at this.

NHIE- Detailed Exam Overview

The exam is a scam, I took it a month ago and they accidently gave me the Canadian exam…in Massachusetts, upon trying to receive my score card I’ve been transferred 15 times, spoken to every person in every department and have spent over 20 hours on hold. Ironically there are questions on the Canadian exam that essentially ask you questions regarding relative humitity and the 4 answers option are all US cities. Good to know Canadians need to know American geography to inspect homes in Canada. But I still have yet to receive my score card from these terrible company’s.

Corey, it sounds like the test providers are the ones that messed up. Was it PSI?
I am surprised they made that mistake. When I recently took mine through PSI, I had to verify a lot of information and sign to what test I was taking, my address etc.
I imagine worst case, they should let you re-take the correct test at no cost.
Good luck, I hope it works out for you. Please keep us informed

I took the exam 4 years ago. It wasn’t easy with all the security that I had to go through. It’s only done on certain dates and locations. I’m in Indiana. I could have gone to Chicago but the date wasn’t good. Indiana was doing testing in Fort Wayne. At Ivy Tech.
Its done in a secure area, once you’re in the building, you can’t leave. You have to empty your pockets and put everything in a locker.
There are more cameras then on the Jay Leno show! Then you are told the rules.
Never reach down, keep your hands on the desk, no getting up, no noise and so on.
Indiana requires collage classroom time. You get their text books and training.

the security was the same in Cleveland when i took it last month. I was afraid to even make eye contact with anyone!

I took it in 2002 and it was the same then. Give them the answers you think they want, not always what makes sense.

I was recently asked to write a critique of the NHIE exam and I went through the entire 600 pages, minus the business section, three times. My critique ran 150 pages of Word document. The NHIE exam has a heavy eastern US bias and a significant amount of the info is dated.

In my opinion the only reason it is the required exam in states where it is the required exam is lack of effort on the part of members of state agencies responsible for determining qualification requirements for home inspectors. Agency members often find it easier to accept what is already in place than to go to the trouble of finding unbiased experts capable of re-evaluating current (NHIE) testing to ensure that it is applicable to the needs of our modern inspection and real estate industries.


Unfortunately, the giant NHIE Home Inspector Manual is going to have the info that the exam questions are based on. Choose your weak points and concentrate on those sections. It’s the least fun, but most likely to help you pass.

Kenton is correct.Bite the bullet and buy the study guide. I think it is around $100.00 but the test is based on it.

It all seems like somewhat of a money grab. I came into this with plenty of financial backing and a ton of industry experience. 7 months later and I am looking for another source of income and still waiting another 30 days for my 6th attempt at my exam. It is beyond frustrating. It is financially draining and to be frank and honest. I may be more knowledgeable due to my studying because of the failed attempts. But I am also seeing the many inconsistencies and faults in the home inspection industry. I do not feel pleased with much of my experience during my persuit to he a home inspector. There are many things that should be changed and it’s hard to know where to begin. I know there are experienced and knowledgeable people who could probably point exactly where to start and what needs to change. but, it seems that for now there is a monopoly on the process and i hope that it gets put out of commission. I may have to go through this erroneous process. But if it hasn’t changed after I’ve gained some seniority and experience. Then I will do whatever I can to help make the necessary steps for change. I have gone through 2 certifications with 2 different schools and studied on my own beyond what was provided. I’ve paid for flashcards and study exams. As well as practice tests and memberships. It has cost me well over a couple thousand dollars just in those areas. I honestly feel like I know the subject matter better than most of the current practicing inspectors I’ve met and shadowed. And I’m still not able to get my license because the test learns your weak areas and exploits them. It also gets more difficult depending on what percentage of inspectiors have passed during the previous days. If it’s over 50 percent, It ramps up the difficulty. It took me alot of tracking down the right people and asking the right questions to find that information out. Those things combined with the “best answer” format, are what have tripped me up the most. If I could go back and give myself advice before I started this endeavor. I would say "1. pick a school that seems helpful and fair. 2. Take the test at the beginning of the month. 3. The test is a “best answer’ multiple choice. 4. Read the questions. Then read all if the answers. Read the question again and then pick the answer that you think they want you to pick. 5. Plan to spend the entire 4 hours taking the test and going back over your answers when your done. 6. Don’t let current inspectors fool you into thinking they were anything but lucky for passing when they did because quite frankly. Alot of inspectors are not that knowledgeable and even if they are. They’re not performing they’re intended function as well as they could.”. My biggest mistakes were, taking the exam at the end of the month and then immediately at the 30 day mandatory waiting mark I was in there taking it again at the end of the month l, each time. I was pressuring myself to be quick instead of taking the entire 4 hours allowed. I was judging from current inspectors and how much more knowledge I seemed to have than they do, which led me to believe that if they passed then I surly should. I also took the exam enough times now that it knows exactly where my week areas are and exploits the crap out of them. By the time I’m done I believe I will be reluctant to admit just how defeated ive fealt. internachi instructor Ben Gromicko is in my opinion the most respectable and genuinely qualified individuals If not the most qualified, to be the one who is appointed onto any form of oversighting commission when it comes to home inspections. He is without a doubt, someone who should be leading the way to all things pertaining to education, certification and licensing. Not the current person or people currently assigned for the NHIE. Thank you and good luck to everyone.

Adam, please… they’re called paragraphs!

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Hello Kenton. When you refer to the “NHIE Home Inspector Manual” are you referring to the blue covered manual by Bruce Barker, or the two volume red covered manuals “Mechanical, Structural & Business” content? Thank you for your input

Back then it was the big blue book. The newer version is two books. My impression is that the newer versions are better but I haven’t seen them and I’ve heard that they (and the exam) still cover areas that aren’t relevant to home inspection.
Bruce Barker may have edited that blue book but different sections were obviously written by different people with varying writing skills and different writing voices.