NHIE Test Preparation (spoiler...I already failed once)

So my first piece of advice I received was to score consistently high 90’s on the nachi pre licensure exam(Indiana). However many questions on the exam caught me off guard and I was unable to pass the test on my first attempt. They are mailing me the score report since there was an error at the test center and they couldn’t print it out before I left, so I’ll find out how off I was soon. I must admit my confidence is shaken even though I read it has about a 47% fail on first time takers.

Looking at some other posts I found a study guide and another practice test I can take which I’m sure will be helpful. Also I actually remember a number of questions on the exam I wasn’t sure about which might have been those ‘which answer is MOST correct’ things. The wording of the questions though was a little suspect to me…like asking about a smell from a washing machine…well was it DIRECTLY from the machine…or perhaps the discharge pipe? That would make a difference. My answer was based on the smell coming from the machine itself and I have no idea if it was right or not.

ANYWAY…other than those things I mentioned, is there anything else I can do to have my best shot at passing this thing next time? I don’t mind failing tests and coming back with more knowledge, but I DO mind paying 225 a pop because some questions may have more than one right answer and I get tripped up. Thanks!

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Experience helps with the best answer questions. But if you don’t have past building experience, :man_shrugging:

Sounds like you’re going about it the best you can. When you get the answers down to two, you have a 50/50 chance. As for your washing machine question, seeing one has to do with an appliance and the other at a plumbing connection, I’d opt for the plumbing as that is what our inspections are all about. Inspection of real property.

You will not get the same test twice, so don’t focus too much on those subjects. When I took it, like a hundred years ago, it seemed to me there were a lot of questions to see if you could think on your feet.

Relax and don’t think about the question too much.
Never change your first answer unless you know for sure it was wrong.
Skip over questions you don’t know. Answer the ones you do. Come back to the others, time permitting. You may likely find the answer to the ones you skipped from other questions.


It’s funny you mention never changing the first answer. I actually went back and did that with at least two questions. Hopefully I didn’t miss it by two…haha. That would be a kick to the gut.

I’ve actually been a DIYer for many years, but unlike some others I did bother to get advice and guidance from professionals to make sure whatever I was doing was correct. But I can see where that would put me at a disadvantage with some things.

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You may want to purchase the NHIE study guide. You can find used ones or get them direct from the NHIE site.
I agree with David, never go back and change an answer. I personally never skip questions but that is me. Remember that you may get questions that are not applicable to your area, but remember that this is a National test that will be always different.
I have attached a study guide you may or may not have. Good Luck
NHIE study guide.pdf (1.9 MB)


As has been reported / mentioned here dozens and dozens of times the internachi free licensing course, quizzes, and exam are not enough to pass the NHIE. They’re two different animals.


The main reason that folks have difficulty passing the NHIE is that they are trying to memorize test questions instead of learning the subject matter you will be tested on! Learn the material not test questions!!!

The NHIE pulls questions from a large pool of questions, you will never take the same exam twice. The questions are looking for the best answer, so you might have two answers that both would work but one will standout as being the better answer. Why is it like that? Because that is exactly what you will find when you inspect homes! You might come across something that seems to be working right but it is installed wrong. You need to know the difference.

Invest in the two study guides that are produced by EBPHI, many schools even use them as textbooks for their home inspector classes. AHIT comes to mind as one that uses them. You can get them in paper or e-Book format. The e-Book is considerable less in cost. Download the exam content outline, it will show you the areas of knowledge you will be tested on as well as the percentage of questions for each are of knowledge or the domain. You can get this from the NHIE website. www.nationalhomeinspectorexam.org

Everyone is at a disadvantage to some extent.
Home Inspection covers a lot of trades, and it’s hard to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.

When inspector licensing came about, it was ironic to me how many licensed general contractors failed the test. They thought they would just walk right in and ace it, No prep.

I passed mine on the first try about a month and a half ago. My course was thru AHIT here in Tx. Get this book: Home Inspector Exam Secrets Study Guide: Home Inspector Test Review for the Home Inspector Exam. The questions in the book are not that great but there is exam coaching that helps. You also need to know house building terminology. Also you have to know all the codes your course may have mentioned especially electrical. Hope this helps.

Tell us again WHY anyone should “get this book”? Seems pretty useless to me!

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The book has some coaching on what to do if you’re not sure about which answer is right. There is sound advice on time managing and reviewing your answers. I d concede is not a crucial tool for sure but it could help someone gain a few correct answers.

Adding to what Joe already said above, you may find that the best study material for the test is provided by the company that writes the test.


I passed it back in March after failing 4 times. Even though NACHI has good stuff to help teach you about home inspection, it doesn’t teach you much about things to know to pass the NHIE. Making a study guide of those manuals is the best thing you can do to study for it. The same dumb dumbs that wrote the NHIE wrote those books as well which helps understand the questions better.

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Actually, that is not correct… The author of the books had nothing to do with writing exam questions. The same goes for the rewrite of the new books that will be out mid year in 2024! It must to be kept separate to maintain the high level of accreditation that the NHIE has. The new rewrite is encompassing several authors with specialties in each area of knowledge and a single editor to maintain uniformity, and non have anything to do with writing test questions.

I was not aware. I thought it was the same organization that wrote the books that also did the NHIE. That makes sense. I still think it’s the best way to learn about info that is in the test. The way that the questions are worded and asked is how the book is laid out as well.

Just curious. I have not taken the NHIE. Are the books dumb or full of misinformation? Or is it just the tests that are goofy?

Same organization, just different subject matter experts and committees that do the work for each.

All of the information is vetted and verified through published sources. The largest sources would be IRC, NFPA, NEC and good ole Code Check! The test is not “Goofy”, but it test your knowledge. If you do not know the material you will not pass. Most folks that do not pass are trying to study and memorize test questions and that does not work! You need to know the material.


Got it. I was just curious why Austin thinks they are dumb dumbs.

Tricky is a better word.

Here’s a link to a PDF with a sample of their questions. Hopefully you can get it to open.

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Tricky would be a better word. The books do provide good information as well. I find the test dumb because it is multiple choice, and 2 questions will be right and your have to choose the most right, which can be subjective or vague. I don’t think a test that tries to trip you up helps the home inspection field. Because you can not know the correct information and fail, but you can also know the correct information, and still fail because it’s tricky. I was being a bit dramatic, my comment has more to do with tests in general being laid out in a way that tries to trip you up over only focusing on the correct knowledge.

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