Sorry this a long but hopefully someone finds it useful someday. Also I apologize if it doesn’t flow perfectly, it’s been a long day.
If you just want a TL:DR. Excited I passed, didn’t buy any expensive guides or books. The test is challenging but don’t let other voices get in your head.
Now the long version.
I took the NHIE exam today down in ATL. It took me about 3.5 hours. I then had a 5 hour drive home which was either going to be really crappy or really nice. Luckily it was nice and I am SUPER excited. This test was something I had been really nervous about. Honestly, there was a TON of really good advice on this forum but also a lot of fear instilling posts as well. So I’d just like to give my thoughts,
My study methodology and background, I live in TN and began by taking all the the required courses for the state for a license. This took me several months. It was a lot of material for the state requirement and for the most part, the information I found to be relevant and useful, both for future inspections and information on the NHIE. I completed it about a month ago. At this point I scheduled my test for about 4 weeks out (today). During this time I had another inspector in the area who let me shadow him several times.
I then began studying over the 2000 practice questions. Going along when I’d come across a new term or one I didn’t remember really know well and I’d google it, find an article either here or elsewhere to familiarize myself with it.
After I’d done about 600 questions, I started taking the InterNACHI CPI test. First time I took it I got around an 80%. I took it a few more times scoring around the same and I did the same thing as before with this test as I always had plenty of time, being that I would look up any terms or items I didn’t feel very confident in.
From there I did a combination of going through the CPI exam, using the 2000 questions and went through MANY different quizlet decks. About a week ago I took the 25 things course and found some good info in there as well. With a week left I was consistently getting around 90+% on the CPI test.
As far as previous experience goes, I do not come from working in a trades background. I was an instructional designer/trainer beforehand. I have done a lot of home projects from roofing and siding to doing some plumbing and electrical. So I had some familiarity with the major components but I was FAR for an expert on any of them.
I did NOT buy the really expensive NHIE book for $200+.
I write all of this to say here is a way it can be done and where I come from into this. Nachi and some googling articles and terms can provide you with all the information needed as long as you can apply it critically.
This was probably one of, if not the hardest tests I have ever taken. But it is totally doable if you study and try to learn a bit deeper than just concept terminology.
Some areas I was not studied up on that were on the test: Lucky for me I knew a little about them from other reading and things I’ve done but I never prepared for them for this test nor saw more than maybe 1 or 2 questions about them in any study guide material.
- Solar Panels,
- Sprinklers systems for a yard.
- A LOT of contract terminology.
I did not know any inspectors when I started all of this. In fact I had never heard of InterNachi either. This profession was something I had been wanting to get into for a while and I began by calling the guy who had inspected my house a few years ago and asking him if he’d be willing to talk to me. Luckily he was and was willing to pay it forward by answering questions, telling me where to begin, and letting me shadow him.
I don’t like PSI but you just have to bite the bullet on that one in many cases.
A final comment, reading and searching for NHIE discussions on the forums can get in your head if your not careful. This did happen to me There is a lot of information on both sides here but keep it very limited, so be careful and rather than relying on the boards, use the study guides here and elsewhere. That is what you really need.
Thanks and I hope someone can find this useful someday to hopefully help them embark.
If you made it to here, thanks for reading. Have a great day!