A home inspector using tips to help you pass the national home inspector exam

Tips to Help You Pass the National Home Inspector Exam

By Published On: March 7th, 2023Categories: Home Inspection Career Guide0 Comments

The rumors are true. You actually can pass the National Home Inspector Examination® (NHIE) on the first try.  

Whether or not your state requires you to be licensed, passing the NHIE is a crucial step toward becoming a professional, qualified, and reputable home inspector. That means this thing has some meat to it. Here are our tips to help you pass the National Home Inspector Exam so you know what you’re up against, and how you can knock it out of the park on your first go. 

How to Pass the National Home Inspector Exam

Familiarize Yourself with the Exam’s Format

It might’ve been a while since you sat down to take a test, so what will it look like? In this case, you’ll have 200 multiple choice questions. 25 of these are not scored. That means there is a definitive right and wrong answer—no room for error.  

A helpful way to approach multiple choice formatted exams is to first read the question carefully—and then read it again. The more clearly you understand the question, the better. Next, eliminate any options that you know for a fact are incorrect. The more options you can eliminate this way, the better your odds are, especially if you feel stuck. A handy tip to ask yourself is: Does this option answer the question fully and completely? If not, another one probably does. 

At the end of the day, use the strategy that works for you. Taking practice tests is a great resource for finding your testing technique and understanding how the questions will look and feel on the exam day. 


Make Sure You’ve Taken the Proper Home Inspector Education Courses

To put it bluntly, you won’t do very well on the test if you’ve never opened the book. That’s why it’s best to start with the pre-licensing courses to really know how to best pass the exam, even if your state doesn’t require them. The knowledge you’ll gain in those courses is invaluable as a home inspector, and it’s a lot more engaging than sitting in your old high school English class. 

Even if your state doesn’t require taking any pre-licensing education, your odds of passing the exam are way better if you do. Not only that, but you’ll be giving yourself the kind of expertise that normally comes with years of experience in the field. It’s a win-win! 

Get Plenty of Sleep the Night Before

You know how sometimes when you haven’t slept enough, you zone out a little, and the text on your phone screen gets a little blurry, and you’re not sure if your kid just said their day was awful or awesome? Yeah. You probably don’t want to take your test feeling like that.  

Staying up all night studying won’t get you very far the next day. It’s crucial to allow your brain to rest before you take the test. Stay hydrated, too. You’ll want to give yourself every natural advantage to succeed. Studies show that poor sleep negatively impacts critical cognitive functions such as: 

  • Memory 
  • Logical reasoning 
  • Stress levels 

You want ‘all systems go’ when you take an exam. So, take care of yourself! 

Study for the NHIE with Exam Prep

The most thorough, no-nonsense way to prepare yourself for the NHIE is investing in Home Inspector Exam Prep by AHIT.  

The NHIE is no joke. At 200 questions and a 4-hour test time, you are in for a challenge. With Exam Prep, you’ll be ready to dominate.  

You’ll get unlimited practice tests with 800 rotating questions online at your disposal, as well as feedback and explanations whenever you get stuck. Practice mode comes with hints, so if you feel lost, you’ll get a nudge in the right direction. Plus, the exam mode includes a timer, so it feels like the real deal. There’s no better way to defeat performance anxiety than that! 

Even if you’ve taken pre-licensing courses with us and feel like an absolute expert across the board (and, hey, we wouldn’t blame you), there’s no harm in diving into the extra preparation to set it in stone. Not only will practicing cement your knowledge of the subject, you’ll start to feel pretty confident in taking the test itself. On exam day, you won’t be surprised by the content of the test, or the results. 

Frequently Asked Exam Questions 

What is the NHIE?

The NHIE is a comprehensive home inspection exam comprised of 200 multiple choice questions (25 of which are not scored). It covers three major domains that every home inspector needs to know: 

  • Property and Building Inspection/Site Review 
  • Analysis of Findings and Reporting 
  • Professional Responsibilities 

The test is scored on a scale between 200 and 800, with 500 or higher considered a passing score. In most states, the exam fee is $225. If you don’t pass the first time, you have to wait at least 30 days to try again. The fee is nonrefundable, and you’ll have to pay each time you take the exam—just a couple of reasons why you don’t want to have to take it more than once!  

How Much Time Will I Have to Take the Exam? 

You’ll have up to four hours to complete the exam. You’ll get your score report right after you complete the exam, so you’ll know right away if you passed. 

Where Do I Take the Exam?  

Where you take the exam depends on your state requirements and the exam proctor for your state. Visit the NHIE site to get exam registration details, proctoring locations, and exam schedules near you.  

What Score Do I Need in Order to Pass?

The NHIE scores between 200 and 800 points, with a score of 500 and above as passing. 

Who Should Be Taking the NHIE?

Anyone interested in becoming a home inspector is welcome to take the NHIE. Some states require it before you can become licensed, and other states don’t require a license or exam at all.  

However, the certificate of a passed NHIE exam will speak for itself, setting you and your expertise apart from the rest. Passing the NHIE is also required to become a member of professional organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Regardless of your state requirements, we recommend taking the time to become educated, experienced, and prepared for this exam to put your best foot forward in your career. 

How Do You Register for the NHIE?

You’re fired up, ready to go, and fully prepped for the exam. Now what? Check out NHIE’s exam registration details to find out how and where to go next to get that exam scheduled (and then PASSED).  

We Want You to Pass!

AHIT courses and Exam Prep are designed with you in mind. Whether you’re just starting out in your inspection career, or ready to cross the finish line with your NHIE certification, we are here to support your learning style and provide the tools you need to succeed.  

About the Author: Lizzie DesRosiers

Lizzie DesRosiers is a Content Specialist with AHIT and The CE Shop. She is an expert in home inspection, appraisal, and real estate. Along with bringing her knowledge of the field to each piece, she prides herself on sharing information that is thoroughly researched and easy to absorb.

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