Trouble passing national portion

I have taken the NHIE 3 times now. I’ve passed the Washington state portion but am having serious troubles with the national portion. My RAW scores have been 109, 126 and 119. I feel as if I have a good amount of knowledge and should be passing. It is very disappointing to have to wait 30 days before the next try. I have taken hundreds of practice tests and just recently completed the course from AHIT. What more should I be doing? Anything would be helpful.

Welcome Conner. There usually is some great insight here and here is an older thread that might be worth reading through…

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Welcome to the forum, Connor. Enjoy!! Find your weak points and keep studying. :grinning:

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Thomas Edison failed his way to success.
Need I say more?


Sir Roy makes a good point. And I have too in many life ventures.

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Theodore Roosevelt talked about failure in one of his most famous speeches. It is a favorite of mine and hangs in my office…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


The test is very construction code skewed, so having a strong understanding in the exact definition of construction terms will be a huge aid when having to make a good guess between the best choices on tough questions. The NHIE was designed for generalists to pass as it is quite broad without being very deep, so it’s best to have a good working knowledge of all aspects of construction as opposed to specializing in any one aspect. The questions are much easier to comprehend when terminology is second nature.

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I can tell you what helped me the most and I passed the NHIE the first time.

The people putting out the test offer practice exams that you have to pay for of course… Practice Quizzes - National Home Inspector Examination

Helpful but not really the most helpful thing I did.

I went through all online courses I took and made a study guide based on the questions I missed at the end of each section.

Then I took a 700 question pre-test that was included with my course, every question I got wrong or was unsure of I put on my study guide. In the end my study guide was 12 pages long with single spacing and smaller font.

I studied that over and over until I could answer every single question of the 12 pages, with my wife randomly asking the questions instead of me reading them and and answering… actually I could answer each question usually without the need for multiple choices…

All that being said it was still a difficult test for me because the way they word the questions sometimes are designed to trick you IMO. just read carefully


Frustrating I know. Work on your test taking strategy. Know your weakness, study those topics with purpose. Be confident. #1.Go through the whole test answering the slam dunk questions. #2 Go over the whole test the second time, answer the educated guess questions. Sometimes reading through all of the questions, will give you a clue to other unanswered questions. Use deductive reasoning on the questions, eliminating the obvious wrong answer selections. Take your time. Take all the time they give you.
Good luck,