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Home / Preparing for the IBEW Aptitude Test
ibew apprenticeship aptitude test study guide

Preparing for the IBEW Aptitude Test

If you’re interested in joining an IBEW NJATC Apprenticeship and becoming an electrician, then you need to prepare for the IBEW aptitude test.

What Is An Aptitude Test?

Aptitude tests are one of the most commonly used assessments in measuring a candidate’s suitability for a role.

The IBEW wants to ensure that their candidates have a solid ability to comprehend written text, basic algebra, and have some mechanical aptitude.

The aptitude test primarily applies to the Inside Wireman and the Limited Energy Technician apprenticeship programs.

What You Need To Know Before Taking The Test

The most common issue I hear from people who have just completed taking the test is, “I really wish I had brushed up on my math skills.” Now those individuals may have to wait another 6 months to a year before they can test again.

So make sure you brush up on your math before you sign up for the aptitude test.

The IBEW aptitude test consists of two parts – math and reading.


The math portion covers algebra and functions with a total of 33 questions that must be answered within 46 minutes.

Now, along with the math portion you will most likely see some mechanical questions. These questions may ask about pulleys, how loads are distributed, the best way to balance a load being hoisted, and basic mechanical theory.

Just remember that you must to have a balanced load (meaning the weight is centered), and more lines hoisting a load with a pulley means less stress on the ropes or cables.


The reading portion covers comprehension with a total of 36 questions that must be answered within 51 minutes. This measures your ability to obtain information from written passages. You’ll read a lengthy bit of text and then have to answer specific questions about the text.


The test is scored from 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest possible score. Most apprenticeships require a qualifying score of at least a 4 to be considered for an interview.

Aptitude Test Rules

  • Bring a photo ID to the test. Your ID will be checked. No ID, no test-no exceptions!
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled test time. Late entries will not be permitted. A late show is the same as a “No Show”. There might be a rescheduling fee.
  • Do not bring a calculator. Pencils and scrap paper are provided for computation.
  • If you do not receive a qualifying score you will not be eligible to retake the test (at any JATC in the country) for a period of six months.
    • The NJATC is very serious about this. If you retest before the six month period elapses, your score will not be valid and another six months must elapse before the next retest.

Test Time

You can expect the test to take approximately two and a half hours to complete with a break between the algebra and reading portion.

IBEW Aptitude Test Questions

IBEW aptitude test questions We’ve put together the best free learning videos to help you prepare for the math portion of the IBEW NJATC aptitude test.

We recommend you watch all the videos we’ve put together – start at the top and work your way through. Most people will just need a refresher until there’s the “Ah ha!” moment.

You can click each link for worksheets to help you practice.

  1. Whole Numbers
  2. Multiplying Decimals
  3. Dividing Decimals
  4. Adding and Subtracting Fractions
  5. Multiplying Fractions
  6. Rational and Irrational Numbers
  7. Positive and Negative Numbers
  8. Exponents
  9. Basic Algebra
    1. Distributive Property
    2. Linear Equations
  10. Factoring
    1. Multiplying Factors
    2. Factoring Quadratics
  11. Proportions
    1. Equivalent Ratios
    2. Missing Numbers

Videos To Help You Prep For The Aptitude Test

Whole Numbers

Mulitplying Decimals

Dividing Decimals

Fractions – Common Denominator

Adding and Subtracting Fractions

Multiplying Fractions and Whole Numbers

Rational and Irrational Numbers

Positive and Negative Numbers

Intro into Exponents

Basic Algebra

Algebra Part 1

Algebra Part 2

Solving Algebraic Equations

FOIL Method

Linear Equations

Factoring Polynomials

Plotting X&Y


Linear Equations Substitution Method

Functional Notation

Quadratic Formula

Paid Courses To Prepare For The IBEW Aptitude Test

Electric Prepibew apprenticeship aptitude test offers a math and reading prep course. Their course claims that it, “reviews math fundamentals and is directly in line with the IBEW/NECA Math Aptitude Test.”

If you are very weak in your math abilities or you’ve taken the aptitude test before and didn’t score very well, it would probably benefit you most to take a good look at this course.

The cost for the course is $49.95 and expires 270 days after purchasing.

There are browser requirements that you need to meet in order for Electric Prep to work properly.

Electric Prep Browser Requirements

You’ll also need to have Adobe Flash to support the videos. Its a free download you can get here.

Unfortunately there aren’t any free practice aptitude tests out there. Lucky for you EAHQ is here to help.

Sites like Khan Academy, Purple Math, Math Antics, and the Cool Math Guy have free videos to help you understand basic algebra, which is what you’re going to see on the aptitude test.

Sample IBEW NJATC Aptitude Test Questions

ibew aptitude test sample questionsAlgebra and Functions portion has 33 questions with a 46 minute time limit. Reading Comprehension has 36 questions with a 51 minute time limit. With only 33 questions there is little room for error. You need to be prepared so you can limit wrong answers.

Algebra Sample:
1. Consider the following formula: A = B + 3 ( 4 – C )

If B equals 5 and C equals 2, what is the value of A?

2. Consider the following formula: y = 3 ( x + 5 ) ( x – 2 )

Which of the following formulas is equivalent to this one?
A. y=3×2+9x-30
B. y=x2+3x-lO
C. y=3×2+3x-lO
D. y=3×2+3x-30

3. Consider the following pattern of numbers: 110, 112, 107, 109, 104

What is the next number in the pattern?
B. 99
C. 106

4.Consider the following formula: a = 1/2 b – 4

Which of the following statements is true for this formula?
A. When the value of b is less than 8, a is negative.
B. When the value of b is greater than 8, a is negative.
C. When the value of b is less than 8, a is positive.
D. When the value of b is greater than 4, a is positive.

If you need to brush up on your math skills then you may want to check out Khan Academy’s Algebra 1 course. This is a FREE course!

Also check with your local community college to see if Algebra courses are offered.

Sample IBEW Apprenticeship Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension measures your ability to retain information. Its simple to read a paragraph but to understand the context can be tricky.

Here is a sample of what you’re likely to see on the exam:

The timing of New Year’s Day has changed with customs and calendars. The Mayan civilization, on what is now called the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, celebrated the New Year on one of the two days when the noonday sun is directly overhead.

In the equatorial regions of the earth, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the sun is in this position twice a year, once on its passage southward, and once on its passage northward. At the early Mayan city of Izapa in the southern Yucatan, the overhead date for the sun on its southward passage was August 13.

The Mayans celebrated this as the date for the beginning of the New Year. Later at the more northerly Mayan site at Edzna, the corresponding overhead date is July 26. Analyses of Mayan pictorial calendars indicate that they celebrated the New Year on August 13 prior to 150 AD, and on July 26 after that year.

This change has been explained by archaeological dating showing that 150 AD was the time that the Mayans moved the hub of their civilization from the southern to the northern site.


1. According to the passage, the sun at Edzna was directly overhead at noon on:
A. July 26 only
B. August 13 only
C. July 26 and one other date
D. August 13 and one other date

2. If the Mayans had moved their civilization’s center south of Izapa, their new date for celebration of the New Year would probably have been closest to which of the following dates?
A. January 1
B. February 20
C. March 25
D. September 15

3. Based on the information in the passage, which of the following statements is true?
A. Mayans made Edzna the capital because it was more temperate than Izapa.
B. All Mayans moved to Edzna in 150 AD.
C. Mayans used calendars to mark the passage of time.
D. The Mayan city of Izapa was destroyed in 150 AD.

Answer Key:

1. B
2. A
3. C
4. A
Reading Comprehension
1. C
2. D
3. C

*Both the Algebra samples and Reading comprehension are from the IBEW website

If you have any more questions make sure you leave a comment.