How to Pass the DCAS Plumber Exam

What Is the DCAS Plumber Exam?

The DCAS Plumber Exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice test covering the skills and subjects that you will need to work as a plumber for the City of New York. You need to get a score of at least 70% to succeed.

Section #1 - Education and Experience Exam

Before you take the DCAS Plumber Exam, you must complete the Education and Experience Exam. You will typically be asked to do so several weeks prior to the plumber exam. The Education and Experience Exam is in fact an online questionnaire you will need to fill out from your computer. It contains questions about your educational and work background.

It is paramount that you answer all the questions truthfully. If DCAS discovers that you have attempted to mislead the examiner, this may cause your application to be disqualified, which of course means you will not get the job.

Section #2 - Professional Plumber Knowledge

The Professional Plumber Knowledge section in the DCAS Plumber Exam will test you on your knowledge of technical knowledge that is relevant to working as a plumber. Questions will appear in a multiple-choice format.
While the exact details of this year’s professional plumber test have not yet been published, previous professional knowledge tests administered by the DCAS have covered plumbing techniques and methods, equipment, tools, and materials used, as well as the laws and regulations that cover plumbing work in New York City.

Professional Plumber Knowledge Sample Question

1. You need to connect two back-to-back lavatories, two water closets, and two urinals to one horizontal branch. What is the maximum number of fixtures that can be connected to one horizontal branch?

A. 3.

B. 4.

C. 6.

D. 8.


Plumbing code allows up to 8 fixtures to be connected to one horizontal branch drain. Therefore, the right answer is d.

Written Comprehension

As a plumber, you will need to be able to understand catalogs, printed instructions, manuals, and other documents that you might use in your job. For this reason, the plumber exam includes a section on your ability to comprehend written text. Normally, this is called ‘reading comprehension’, but all DCAS exams use the wording ‘written comprehension’ instead so that’s what we’re using on this page.

Written Comprehension Sample Question

2. Alternative fuels such as biofuels, natural gas, or electricity have been pitched as a way to overcome the US's dependence on oil; no less than 94% of transport uses it, of which 84.3% is imported. Alternative fuels might also be the solution to reducing the negative impact of transport on the environment but they are being held back by low consumer demand caused by high prices and a lack of recharging and refueling stations, which in turn deter consumers from buying green cars. The Department of Transportation believes that support is needed if vehicles running on these alternative fuels are to take off. Therefore, it is proposing a package of binding targets on states for a minimum level of infrastructure for clean fuels, arguing that infrastructure needs to be in place to give consumers the confidence to buy non-fossil fuel-powered vehicles. 

Which one of the following provides the best summary of the main point in the passage?

A. Reducing the US's dependence on oil is important.

B. Alternative fuels are the best solution to reducing environmental damage caused by oil usage.

C. Infrastructure is essential to encourage consumers to buy green cars.

D. Transport has a negative impact on the environment.



When summarizing a passage it is useful to scan it in order to study the structure of the text, which usually contains the main point/message.

The first sentence in the passage introduces us to alternative fuels and their benefits. The passage then goes on to describe the shortcomings of these fuels and concludes with some recommendations that will encourage the use of these fuels.

Distracters A and D offer some important facts that were detailed in the passage but are not the main issue dealt with in the passage, as we can see from its structure.

Distracters B and C both seem to deal with the central issues presented in the passage. However, upon closer examination of distracter B, it is clear that this distracter goes beyond just summarizing the passage and actually offers a piece of information that is not evident in the passage itself (by determining that alternative fuels are "the best solution").

Therefore, we are left with distracter C, which encompasses one of the main points of the passage - the popularity of alternative fuels is contingent upon the provision of a suitable infrastructure.

Written Expression

Over the course of your work, you might need to write a short note or message to a coworker or a superior. These notes must be written in clear, correct English. Therefore, DCAS has incorporated a Written Expression section in the Plumber Exam. This is also in a multiple-choice format.

Analytical Thinking

When solving work-related issues, you will have to make use of logical thinking skills in order to identify problems and their solutions. For example, a plumber trying to troubleshoot a malfunctioning system or find water leaks makes use of his analytical thinking skills. These skills are evaluated in the Analytical Thinking section of the Plumber Exam

Tips for Taking the DCAS Plumber Exam

  • Make sure that you have a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. Arrive well-rested.
  • Eat a light breakfast before going to take the exam. (Candidates will not be able to leave the building after they check-in).
  • Bring personal identification, pens, scratch paper, and a calculator. (Any other electronic devices, including ‘scientific’ calculators, are prohibited).
  • Rehearse your professional knowledge and practice for the aptitude questions until you feel confident in your ability to take the exam.


Helpful Links

Do you need help with preparing for the DCAS plumber exam or another DCAS exam? Email us at the address: Our professionals will do their best to respond to your questions. (Responses are typically sent within 24 hours).


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