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6 Crucial Pointers for Passing Your Barbering Exam

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Barbers have been taking care of people’s hair since ancient times. So, though it may seem modern, this is an old profession. It’s just recently that the profession got divided into barbering and hairdressing. Today, you’ll find manufacturers designing left-handed shears and other tools exclusive to barbers.

Both barbers and hairdressers can take care of men’s hair. However, it’s the former who provides a more luxurious experience. Barbering is associated with professionalism and prestige. That’s why you must go through some education and training before getting on the job.

But there are some requirements before you can be a licensed barber. You are required to get a high school diploma, go to a barber school, and try a free barber practice test. You’ll then have to pass your barber license test before opening your barber shop. 

Tips for Excelling in Your Barbering Exam

The State Board Exam is the only thing standing between you and your career as a barber. A lot of people find the exam to be stressful. That’s especially because different states have specific licensure requirements. This is usually aimed at:

  • Keeping the public protected.
  • Ensuring there’s the maintenance of high standards in the profession.

Below are pointers to what you need to do to pass the barber testing state board exam. 

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1. Believe in Yourself and Focus on Your Studies

Your family and friends will always be in your corner supporting you. They are the positivity to any negative energy. But keep in mind that you’re your number one supporter.

Remember that you have had hours of training with industry experts at the cosmetology and esthetician school. This means that you’re well prepared. So, stay positive, believe in yourself, and do well in the state board exam.

Be sure to go through every topic in your studies and reflect on the techniques you learned. Is there a topic or technique that you need time to perfect? If so, then focus on it. Look around for friends who can help you and reach out to them. 

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Rehearsal is a crucial part of preparing for your examination. This is especially the case in the practical exam. Thus, you must practice every section of the examination until you master it.

You can also find a free barber practice test online to help you prepare for the written part of the exam. The preparation of the online practice test is done using the actual Barber State Board Exam questions. They will help you to understand the kind of questions you’ll find in the real state board exam. It will help you to determine whether you’re ready.

You also have to ensure that your details concerning hygiene and sanitation are second nature. That’s because it will be in addition to the basic procedures of your grading.

Barbering is a performance and physical art. So think about your favorite performing artist and how they rehearse before the show. Remember that the practical exam is the most crucial show of your career. 

3. Find Ways of Remembering Technical Words

You’ll come across technical words in your studies and remembering them isn’t easy. That’s why you must find ways of learning them by heart.

You can even go on the internet and search for different ways of remembering words. One of the techniques is to break down the words and give them acronyms. You can also use flashcards to remember them. Simply put, do anything that works for you to remember the words and pass the exam. 

4. Assemble a Complete Examination Kit

Make sure you pack your examination kit at least a week before the practical exam. Packing it on exam day will stress you and you’re likely to forget something important.

Talking of the practical exam, some states expect that you bring a live model. Others will require you to have a mannequin head. Whatever it is you’re expected to bring, be sure to do a barber practice test with your partner. If you’re required to have a live model, they have to meet the following requirements:

  • They must be ready to take part in all parts of your practical exam.
  • Make sure they have a valid state ID. They can also bring a driver’s license.
  • They have to be 15 years old and not be a practitioner or student of barbering.

Check out the CIB practical examination details to know what your exam kit must contain. You should also consult the CIB for your written exam. This will help you to know what you can and cannot have on your person during the exam.

5. Know the Contents of the Examination

The CIB that’s offered by the NIC shows what the candidates will be assessed on. Knowing the points of assessment and how the evaluation will happen is important.

During the national barber styling examination, you’ll take the written part of the exam. After successful completion, you’ll proceed to the practical exam. But note that specific procedures may differ based on your state.

The two exams, though not essentially, are administered back-to-back at one testing location. The written exam is usually in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, or Korean. The practical exam is always in the English language. Additional languages can also be available for both exams. It all depends on your state.

The theory exam is offered in a multiple-choice format on a computer. It has 50 questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. It may also have 10 interspersed pretest items that aren’t scored.

The practical exam has six crucial sections. It may also have 9 sections of assessment depending on your state. Expect to have a break of 15 minutes and at least 2 hours to complete the exam.

The total amount of time it takes to complete the exam may vary, depending on the evaluated sections. It also depends on the length of your break per state. 

6. Get Enough Rest and Arrive at the Testing Site on Time

You must get enough rest if you’re to perform well in the exam. So, make sure you are well rested the day before. Avoid cramming anything the night before the exam. That’s because at this point, you either know or you don’t.

Use any technique you have used before to eliminate anxiety and calm your nerves. Check that you have all the supplies for the exam the night before. Wake up in time to arrive at the testing site 15 minutes early. Have a positive attitude and relax because you’ve got this after all the preparation. 


Becoming a barber is not as difficult as it may seem. It’s just like other things in life; you must put in the time and effort. Thus, if you want to get into this profession, you must have a passion for it.

Then, put your heart and soul into every stage of the process. Join the best school, pass your barber written exam practice test, and learn more on a part-time basis. Doing this will help you to attain your goals.

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