Test scores from PSI..

Ya, I reckon so.

It’s all good John. I have no beef with your comments. I just can’t figure out why we cant have a civil discussion about anything on this board. It always turns into bashing. My comment was not inflammatory. Oh well, life goes on. :cool:

The long winded diatribes are just the best IMO…

Yes, long winded is infinitely better than no wind in the sails…

In all the testing that I have done, “what is the best answer” is the hardest of all questions.

You have four or five answers and to some extent they are all correct. But which one is the best in the group.

These are the tests where you must understand the principles of the subject matter in the question.

I don’t know for sure, but I would dare to say that a 100% passing score is really at around the 85 to 90% level at best.

Many of these questions just produce stress. Performing under stress is critical in many cases.

Anyone old enough to remember the bell shaped curve grading system in school?
The test was above your pay grade so the adjusted a passing score based upon the group.

It challenges you. But heaven forbid we ask anyone to do more than their pay grade.

I have never taken a test that stressed me out more than this one did. Like others have said it is a “best answer” test. Thank you InterNACHI for the awesome online courses!

I don’t think its about overexertion. I think having a test that is more state specific would be helpful with respect to the fact that homes inspected in South Beach, Miami are vastly different than those inspected in Seattle, Washington. There is a limit to what is needed during a home inspection and I have seen several instances in the Nachi courses where it specifically states “inspection of this item far exceeds the standard.” Be reasonable with your expectations.

I didn’t even get to see my score through PSI. Only know that I passed.

Ok, since I started this post I have retaken the test and passed with 600+ score. I will say this, I read the NHIE book from front to back several times and it obviously payed off for me. I have now started my own home inspection business and it is doing ok so far. all I can say now is geese I hate I started such a thread that would get this wound up,lol Thanks for everyones post in helping me get through the test and to the InterNachi study material. Good luck everyone on your home inspections.

Congrats Gregory. I had to take it more than once as well. It was a real pain but it felt real good to pass it. I admit, I tried the easy way first, but there is no substitute for reading that big book.

Ignoring all other arguments, when there is an official publication providing a “Content Overview” for the NHIE, one would expect that outline to inform you that the topic of pools is in the test materials. I see no such reference. Anyone can state you need to know this stuff , and that would be true, however, we are not discussing general knowledge here, we are discussing a national test with topics not covered in their own outline.

Yeah, thats what got me. I tried the easy way, apps etc and I got exactly what I put into it, a fail.

I took the test in January 2017 and failed… missed it by 20 pts. Numerous questions that were irrelevant to what I studied here. I totally felt like it was set up to eliminate or another way for lousy Illinois to generate revenue. I haven’t gone back since and just now started to study for it again. Ben has anything progressed in the law suit since you and Mark Cohen reached out to me?

Scott Johnson

I am surfing old threads and came upon this. I continually hear of people having a hard time passing the National Exam. It is an interesting topic. In the world of manufacturing or assembly compliance, the inspector needs to know nothing more than “does it meet the requirement”. For example, if the diameter of a steel bar is to be 6.00 inches ± .010 then the inspector simply measures the bar with an approved device. If it is out of tolerance it is rejected. The inspector does not need to know what the rod is for or how the tolerance is determined.

It is not necessary to know the requirements for anything that is concealed in order to provide a good inspection. A good inspector does not need to know how to design or build the part. Causing a person to fail a test and being unable to work for not knowing something the inspection standards do not require is not appropriate and can be argued to be a restraint of trade.

I have taught many inspectors and found memory and observation skills to be the most important requirement. I believe the national test (or any test) should provide all of the test questions to the students and schools. Teaching the test would be similar to teaching from Code check. Anyone who can pass a written and pictorial test derived from 5,000 to 7,000 questions covering only what can be seen demonstrates technical knowledge and defect-recognition skills.

I also disagree with “pick the best” answer logic. The majority of home inspection defects are static. What is the diameter of a T&P line? What is proper clearance from grade for a masonry exterior?

Regional variations should be special test modules for applicable states. There is no reason to fail a test applicant for not knowing oil-fired furnaces or boilers in many states (Texas is one). Instead, teach them to recommend a specialist when infrequent items are encountered. If I see one boiler in ten years it is far better for the client to recommend a specialist. There should be no questions about conditions outside the scope of inspection other than “is (asbestos) outside the scope of inspection”?

Developing causation skills comes with time and experience and is not necessary to perform a good inspection. Report writing skills are simply good standard text. What did you see? Where is it? Having it reviewed by a qualified expert is an automatic covered in the preamble.

I have given a 12-year-old child a checklist to inspect a bathtub. I reviewed it with them. Then I sent them to a bathtub with problems. They nailed it the first time. There are technical aspects to the job but it is not rocket science. Another example: I showed my 6-year-old grandson a homemade ruler with 1/8 inch drawn on it and a 1/8 inch feeler gauge. I told him to look at one side of a home and if he found a brick crack wider than the ruler or feeler gauge to report it as deficient. He found both cracks in 2 minutes and took another 3 to be certain he did not miss another.

I understand there will be objections to this but I am confident that I can teach a new inspector how to do a great inspection based solely on what can be seen and with very little understanding of how it works. That was the intention of home inspection in the beginning. The opinion of a person who is not a specialist.

If I understand your post correctly what you advocate is a “Monkey See, Monkey Do” approach to inspecting. With this you are advocating only teaching an Inspector what is “visible” in an average inspection. The problem with that approach is far to often Inspectors will come across situations that do not fall into the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” average world and need to have a much better understanding of what they are inspecting.

There is a current misconception that only prior trades people, builders, etc., can perform a proper inspection. As you point out above, in one manner, is that an Inspector does not need to have direct, practical experience in building to perform an inspection and I do agree with that. Currently what we appear to currently have are three levels of Inspectors. First you have the capable tradespeople who can not only properly do the job but can properly inspect the areas they are knowledgeable in through direct experience. This type of capable tradesperson can typically easily learn and completely understand the remainder in order to do a good inspection. Next you have those with little or no direct trades experience that are highly capable and not only learn but also understand how and why a home and its systems are constructed. This type can easily perform a good home inspection as well. The last group are the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” ones who either strive for and become a member of the middle group or continue on deceiving consumers into using their services.

As for the NHIE it is nothing more than a test to see if a person has an aptitude to perform the job as an Inspector. No test is perfect but there does need to be some type of test to weed out those that may feel all they need to belong to is the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” clan.

IMO, Using and relying on “memory and observation skills” is not learning. It is equally important to learn how something works and know why something is defective, unsafe, etc. than to just be able to report that it is. Knowing why may lead the inspector to investigate a defect further and possibly find other problems.
The reason many fail the test is that they try to memorize and not learn the material.

The “pick the best” answer is used for a reason. In inspecting and life, there are many ways of doing something, but what is the “best” way?
Since it is a National test, it will have questions that may not be applicable to all geographical areas, but I see no harm in learning something that may not be applicable to my area. Some day it may be.

As Mr. Scanlan replied, “no test is perfect” but IMO a test is needed and all inspectors should be required to take the NHIE.

Go get-em buddy. It’s futile to resist planet InterNACHI.


I’ll have to defer to an expert but I suspect memorizing something that one was exposed to is the first precursor and recognizing a recurring memory is the second precursor to learning. It starts in the womb. From circumstances learned, rationalization or knowing why begins. However, I do get your point.

Learning technical information that is not in your region is fine however it should not contribute to a failing test score that prevents someone from working. It is unfair to fail someone living in Arizona because they cannot explain the proper way to build an igloo.

It is also unfair to fail someone on any condition that exceeds the scope of the Standards of Practice other than to know it is not required by the Standards of Practice.

Quality is conformance to the requirement. The test should stay in that box.

It would be interesting to put a new inspector who was trained only on specific defects recognition against another new inspector who took 90 hours of classroom study and passed the national exam. I would take the person with memory training, defect recognition of the same and who knows where to look up what they do not remember to comply with the Standards.

Thanks for the opportunity to share ideas. Maybe this will result in improvements over time. Merry Christmas.


it is always great to hear other ideas and viewpoints. Have a safe, healthy and Merry Christmas!

90 percent (a guess)of a hi can be done with a check list. 10 percent however requires the skill you mention and it covers important items. Most regulation does not require what it takes to meet the 10 percent requirement and unfortunately neither does just passing the test. They only gave 2500 tests last year so it’s probably not a national emergency. I’ll think about and get back to you later.

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