Hi Everyone
I think it has been asked but I’ve searched and can’t find the reference. My question is just how tough is the NHIE and how best to prepare for it. My state has passed a licensing bill and it requires licensees to have passed the NHIE.


NACHI’s Inspector University has a practice test for state licensing exam.
It was a great help for me.

It is fairly tough, a lot tougher then the NACHI on-line exam. No so much because the questions are all that much harder but mostly because there is more at stake.

The stress factor is higher because you have to take it in a proctored environment and for the fact it will cost time & money on top of what you have already spent should you not pass.

It is a fairly broad based test so you will need a well rounded understanding of what we do on a daily basis, mostly if you are comfortable with being able to answer the day-today questions that arise when on an inspection based on our SoP then you should not have too much trouble.

I remember using the following resources to study with much of the test is surrounded around this book.

The Home Reference Book

Home Inspection Study Guide to the Home Inspection Reference Book.

Good luck, let us know how you did.

Thanks guys. Yes the expense of the trip to the testing location the $195.00 to take the test etc. I think I’ll do ok but there is a lot at stake like you say Joseph.

Hey James, I remember the “stress” factor. And the cost. I had to take it 2X. I passed the first time but it didn’t meet the score requirement for my county. What a great feeling to finally get it done. As I remember, you have 4 hrs. to complete 200 multiple choice questions. They give a scratch piece of paper and pencil to write on for calculating/whatever. You cannot leave the test area with the notes that have been written. You’ll probably be done in 1/2 that time but want to review everything. Usually your first answer is best. (don’t overthink it). I will say this. Look up test taking techniques on the web. It’s not always enough to know the facts for this test. There were many correct answers that, (when I took the test), I knew but were not present for the answer. If the right answer is not one of the choices: dumb down and omit the 2 obvious wrong selections. This will leave you with 2 possible correct answers. With the remaining 2, don’t overthink it. Go with the most “sane” option.

Good Luck.

Personally I did not find the NHIE very tough…If you know the material then stress is not a factor…or maybe for me the fact I am used to proctored tests may have assisted…but anyway I think it was very basic in my opinion and if you are active in the field…you should have no problem.

You are probably right about “stress” not being a factor if one knows the material. Now that I look back, I remember I was going thru a break-up with my ex fiance when taking this test. (She kept the ring, $6500). That was stress.:mrgreen:

Even if I know the material I don’t like tests.

My 13 year old passed it in a proctored computer testing setting after studying http://www.nachi.org/qa.htm Mind you, he grew up around construction and home inspections, had his own backhoe at age 8, and I believe him to be the second youngest NACHI member (invisible of course). We have another 13 year old NACHI member, the nephew of an existing adult NACHI member who is a few months younger. I don’t think he attempted the NHIE. My 16 year old could not pass the NHIE, didn’t try, I just know he would not pass at one of those testing sites as he is not good in those settings, as many of us aren’t.

My plan was to get my 13 year old licensed in every state that he can to show how silly determining competence through use of an exam is, but most will not issue a license to a minor. Just knowing he could be a licensed inspector in many states is good enough for us though, and funny. He also legitimately qualifies as a CMI, but I woudn’t hire him… he is much too short to inspect the basement rim band.

Chris Morrell, NACHI’s IT Director was a fee-collecting home inspector at age 16. A good one too. Like a cat on a roof. Invented the SpectoScope.


Well…it is just a case of…If you KNOW the material the tests should not be a problem. They are designed not to trick you but to uncover the basic requirements for entrance into the profession and nothing more.

What you do with the knowledge after that point is up to you, their is not pre-qualification for taking the NHIE…so it is testing basic knowledge and it is a basic test.

Honestly I found the ITA exam on the refresher course I took many months ago to be MUCH harder and it was open book…the NHIE was not open book.

Not difficult for a veteran, but it is a good basic test of knowledge for a new inspector.

The test is not area specific though. I had eleven questions on my test about boilers, and only 5 as I recall about air conditioners and heat pumps. That seemed a bit silly to me since the test was to get a license in SW Florida. So, study every facet of the home because you don’t know what will appear in your test as it is random.

That is the goofy part about the NHIE. Even in areas where boilers are prevelant… like Philadelphia, PA… there are still more air conditioners and still more problems with air conditioners.

I don’t have stats but I bet that air conditioners in the U.S. outnumber boilers 50 to 1.

Very cool. My boys want to learn and it’s cool to know they can early on.

If they don’t get shot down by the old-timers.:roll:

Don’t look now!


Hey James
Go to www.homeinspectionexam.org for some helpful information. This is the website for the nhie and it has a small practice exam which will give you an idea of the kinds of questions

Sorry, part of my reply never made it, as I was saying…you can go to www.homeinspectionexam.org for some useful information. They have a small practice test with some sample questions that are representative of the test.
The test I took last February stated that a passing score is 500. A helpful lady at the above website informed me that the test is scored between 200-800. A passing score of 500 would indicate that you correctly answered 63% of the questions. She also informed me that most of the passing scores come in the 500’s.
There is also an online test that you can take for practice to help you prepare for the NHIE that I took last January. If I remember correctly it has 50 questions and it costs about $49. After scoring 90% on the sample online test, I felt confident enough to sit for the exam. I scored 621 when I took the NHIE last February, but thought I could have done better. One of the earlier posts got it right when they said not to overthink the questions. Many of the questions don’t have a clear cut “good” answer and you will be asked to choose the answer that seems to be the best one.
If you take the sample online test that costs around $49, you will have a good idea of your likely score, and of the kinds of questions to expect on the exam.
The first time I took the online NACHI test I scored around 90%, so very close to the practice online test for NHIE. The second time I took the NACHI online test I scored 98%, and I’m sure that if I took the NHIE again, I wouldn’t be as nervous, I wouldn’t second guess my answers, and I’d be much more comfortable with the way they present questions.
Good luck on the exam!

Thanks everyone. That is my biggest thing with this kind of test Troy. I am one who over analyzes the question. An example would be “NACHI is the best organization for Home Inspectors to join. True. You will be a better Home Inspector for joining NACHI. I would also say that is true but if you only join and do not take look at the message board and take advantage of all that is offered here you wont be better. This may not be the best example but I tend to do this with questions.


I was led to believe that the top score was 700, and that 500 was approximately a 70%, which is the passing score. Our county requires a 550 for licensing.

Anyone from the EBPHI have the answer?