IBEW Aptitude Test (Electrical) - Free Practice & Full Course

Shlomik, IBEW Aptitude Test specialist at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_shlomik@jobtestprep.com


Important note: Please be aware that the IBEW test goes by many names, but still refers to the same test. For example, NJTAC test is the same as the IBEW or the ETA test (Electrical Training Alliance). We also have a new IBEW practice test pdf.

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IBEW aptitude test video


What Is the IBEW Aptitude Test?

IBEW stands for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Together with NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), they form the NJATC (National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee). To get accepted you must first pass the IBEW aptitude test (also known as the JATC test).

The IBEW Electrical Aptitude Test is a multiple-choice test conducted to anyone who wishes to become an electrician apprentice. The test is conducted by the Electrical Training Alliance, in cooperation with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

This Aptitude Test contains 3 main topics:

  • Math (Electrician Math)
    • Algebra (functions, equations, etc.)
    • Number series
  • Mechanical Reasoning
    • Force and torque
    • Wheels and pulley
    • Gears
    • Velocity
    • Electricity
  • Reading comprehension

The exact structure of the test may vary, but the general structure is the following:

Section Topics Questions Time
Math and Mechanical Reasoning

Algebra, number series, force and torque, wheels and pulley, gears, velocity, electricity. 

33 (multiple-choice) 46 minutes
Verbal Reading comprehension 36 (multiple-choice) 51 minutes
Total   69 97 minutes



Is the Electrical Aptitude Test Hard?

The IBEW electrical aptitude test Test is considered more difficult than other common pre-apprenticeship tests, especially the math section.

The mathematical concepts required in this Electrical Aptitude Test (functions, polynomials, etc.) are more complex than those found in nearly all apprenticeship tests.


Which Electrical Trades Require the IBEW Aptitude Test?

If you want to take an apprenticeship path in the electrical industry, you will be required to pass the IBEW Aptitude test. These trades include:

Inside wireman
Outside wireman
Residential wireman
Installer Technician / Sound and communication technician
The IBEW test is identical for all electrician trades. However, the required score may vary based on trade demand and popularity.


IBEW Apprenticeship Test Scores

What Score Do I Need to Pass the IBEW Aptitude Test?

The standard passing score of the NJATC Electrical aptitude test is 4/9. However, you should note that this score DOES NOT mean getting 45% of the questions correct. It means that you score on the top 4-ninths of the test takers.

Therefore, in highly competitive areas or times, where more people tend to apply and prepare, this boundary might be higher to reach than in others.

I Passed the IBEW Apprenticeship Test - Will I Get an Apprenticeship?

Not necessarily. Remember that open apprenticeships are limited, and demand always exceeds supply. That means that eventually, the IBEW will select the candidates with the highest scores to carry on with the process, so just passing is not enough.

I Failed the IBEW Aptitude Test. Can I Retake It?

Yes, the Electrical Aptitude Test can be retaken multiple times. The only limitation is that you have to wait 6 months between attempts.

For How Long Is My Test Score Saved?

The IBEW Electrical Aptitude Test score is saved for 2 years. If you have not been accepted to an apprenticeship within 2 years of the test, you will need to retake it.

Will I Get to Review My IBEW Test Answers?

No. The Electrical Training Alliance does not provide you with a review of your test answers. All you will know is whether you passed or failed.


The Electrical Aptitude Test Among Locals and Unions

One of the most frequent questions I get is "is the IBEW test conducted by local X?"

The answer is yes.

All electrical unions and locals use the same version of the Electrical Aptitude Test.

That's because it is the exact reason this test was designed, to begin with - to provide a standard, uniform measurement scale for all U.S electrical apprentices. Both the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) use the same aptitude test.

Therefore, all the following refer to the same test:


      • NJATC Aptitude Test / JATC Aptitude Test
      • Electrical Aptitude Test / Electrician Aptitude Test
      • Electrician Apprentice Test / Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Test
      • Electrical Training Alliance Aptitude Test / NECA
      • Local 3 IBEW Test / Local 134 IBEW Test
      • Local 1245 IBEW Test / Local 26 IBEW Test
      • Local 11 IBEW Test / Local 1 IBEW Test
      • Local 47 IBEW Test / Local 77 IBEW Test
      • Local 98 IBEW Test / Local 103 IBEW Test


IBEW Aptitude Test Sample Practice Questions & Answers


IBEW Math Sample Questions

Sample Algebraic Equations Question

Consider the following formula: A = B + 3 ( 4 – C )
If B equals 5 and C equals 2, what is the value of A?

  1. 7
  2. 11
  3. 12
  4. 17


Answer and Explanation

In a case where values for all variables but one are given, it is recommended to start by replacing them all with their values:

A = 5 + 3(4 - 2) = 5 + 3x2 = 11

The answer is, therefore, B.

Sample Polynomials Question

(A-5)2 x (A2-25) = ?

  1. (A-5)4
  2. (A-5)2 x (A+5)2
  3. (A-5)3 x (A+5)
  4. (A4-125)


Answer and Explanation

Looking at the second element, we can see that it follows the well-known form of:

(a2-b2) = (a-b) x (a+b), namely:

(A2-25) = (A-5) x (A+5).

Therefore, the complete expression equals:

(A-5)2 x (A-5) x (A+5) = (A-5)3 x (A+5)

The correct answer is C.

Sample Functions Question

Consider the following table:

9 1
18 2
27 3
36 4
45 5

Which of the following choices represents the same relationship as demonstrated in this table?

  1. Y = 2X + 1
  2. Y is equivalent to the sum of the value X and a constant C, where C equals 3.
  3. X Y
    2 0.222
    3 0.333
    6 0.666
    10 1.111
  4. IBEW Aptitude Test Sample Question


Answer and Explanation

As can be seen from the table, the relationship is Y = X / 9:

1 = 9 / 9
2 = 18 / 9
3 = 27 / 9
4 = 36 / 9
5 = 45 / 9

Answer (A) is incorrect because if Y = 2X + 1, then when X = 9, Y = 19 instead of 1.

Answer (B) is incorrect because if Y = X + 3, then when X = 9, Y = 12 instead of 1.

Answer (D) is incorrect because in the given table, X is always greater than Y, and in the graph, Y is always greater than X.

Only answer (C) represents the same relationship:

2/9 = 0.222

3/9 = 0.333

6/9 = 0.666

10/9 = 1.111

Therefore, the correct answer is C.

Sample Number Series Question

144 | 73 | 18 | 10 | 520 | ?

  1. 76
  2. 146
  3. 247
  4. 261


Answer and Explanation

Every two terms are a pair. The first number is divided by two and then increased by 1 in order to produce the second term.

144/2+1 = 73
18/2+1 = 10
250/2+1 = 261

Therefore, the correct answer is D.

Sample Inequalities Question

If |3x + 8| > 12, which of the following represents all possible values of x?

  1. x < -20/3; x > 4/3
  2. -20/3 < x < 4/3
  3. x > -4/3
  4. x < -20/3


Answer and Explanation

If |3x + 8| > 12, then there could be two options:

3x + 8 > 12 OR 3x + 8 < -12.

Let's look at each option separately:

3x + 8 > 12

After combining like terms we yield 3x > 4

After dividing both sides of the inequality by 3, the result is x > 4/3.

3x + 8 < -12

By implementing the exact same process, we yield x < -20/3.

Remember: Both answers are possible!

Therefore, the correct answer is A.


IBEW Verbal Sample Question

Sample Reading Comprehension Question

Last year, road fatalities decreased by 9%. According to the latest figures published by the Department of Transportation today, this year has seen the lowest number of deaths in road traffic since records began. However, road deaths are only the tip of the iceberg, because for every death on US roads there are 10 serious injuries such as damage to the brain or spinal cord. Country by country statistics shows that the number of road deaths per year still varies greatly across the US with the countries reporting the lowest number of fatalities being California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Maine, with only 30 deaths per million inhabitants. Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and users in certain age groups, notably the elderly, are particularly affected by serious road injuries.

Which of the following statements is correct?

  1. Cyclists should be banned from riding on the roads.
  2. More animals are killed by cars than by pedestrians.
  3. Road deaths are on the rise in Vermont.
  4. There are more serious injuries than deaths.


Answer and Explanation

Option D is correct. This is what the text states: "for every death... there are 10 serious injuries".


Need More Practice? Click the link below to access our free IBEW practice test.


7 Expert IBEW Aptitude Test Tips


#1 - Lay a Solid Mathematical Foundation

Most test-takers are pretty rusty on basic numeracy topics - BEDMAS, the four operations, fractions, etc.

Since a calculator is not allowed on the Electrical Aptitude Test,  make sure you are able to perform such calculations quickly and accurately before moving on to algebra.


#2 - Focus on More Prevalent Math Topics First

The electrical unions are rather secretive as for the exact structure of the aptitude test. However, according to reports from test-takers, there are test topics that are more prevalent than others.

IBEW Electrical Aptitude Test Math Topics


#3 - Don't Neglect the Reading Section

Candidates often tend to overlook the reading comprehension section because it isn't as intimidating as the math one.

Don't make that mistake.

The reading section on the Electrical Aptitude Test determines half your score - make sure you prepare for it properly.


#4 - Take the Official Study Manual with a Grain of Salt

The official study manual by the Electrical Training Alliance is familiar among many IBEW apprenticeship candidates. Although it is thorough and provides very good direction as for the content of the test and proper ways to prepare, it should be taken with a grain of salt, for several reasons:

      • It is very old and outdated.
      • It includes topics that have been removed from the test a long time ago - such as mechanical aptitude and spatial reasoning.
      • It does not cover all the test topics you may encounter on the test.


#5 - Set a Smart Time Frame for Your Practice

The IBEW electrical aptitude test allows for quite a lot of preparation time - between 1 month if you just applied and 6 months if you had just failed your most recent attempt (you must wait at least 6 months between tests).

Don't wait for the last minute to prepare - the IBEW is more advanced than most pre-apprenticeship tests, and the material takes time to sink in.

Here's how to prepare if you have set enough time in advance:

      1. Test your ability to quickly calculate (as described in tip #1 above).
      2. If you calculate slowly or inaccurately, spend at least several days taking off that rust. if not, jump straight to 3.
      3. Take specific, in-depth practice on each test topic (equations, number series, etc.)
      4. Make sure to go over reading tests as well during this time - remember - they constitute half your score!
      5. At least 1 week before your actual test, start practicing with timed, full-length simulations.


#6 - Even If You Began Studying in the Last  Minute - You Can Still Pass!

Although it is certainly better to start preparing in advance, don't give up if you have procrastinated.

It will naturally be a bigger challenge - your plan will have to be more intensive and to be structured differently.

Here's how to prepare if you have just a couple of days:

      1. Take 1 full-length, timed simulation test of the IBEW electrical aptitude test test.
      2. Identify weaker areas in reading and math.
      3. If you did not manage to finish the test on time, focus on developing shortcut techniques.
      4. Take topic-specific practice drills to improve those areas.
      5.  Go back to 1 and repeat.


#7 - Read Whenever You Can

You can study for the NJATC Electrical Aptitude test (The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee) even when you are not actively preparing.


Read. As much as you can, whenever you can.

Don't just skim - read. Ask yourself questions about what you just read. Try to draw conclusions from the text, detect its fallacies, or summarize it in your own words. Your ability to solve reading comprehension questions will skyrocket and you wouldn't even notice.

One last tip - read things you disagree with - it will make the entire process a challenge you might even (heaven forbid) enjoy from.

4 Practice Guidelines for Passing the IBEW Test


#1 - Practice the Real Thing

What do you do when you are anxious about a certain task? You do it in advance. That is true for speaking in front of an audience, rock climbing, or aptitude testing. And the closer your practice is to the real task, the simpler it will eventually be.


#2 – Don't Try to Become an Expert

No one expects you to be a math professor. To become an electrician, you need to show that you have the ability to learn and solve IBEW test-level questions.

Were you ever taught in school that: “It’s not the result that counts but the way you solved it?”

Forget about it. Here it’s ALL about the result. It’s all about speed and technique.


#3 - Personalize

Before you start, understand exactly where you stand on each and every test topic.

The thing is, most people don’t REALLY know their strengths and weaknesses. You may know you’re weak in math, but what math? Equations? Polynomials? Number series?

That level of detail may seem trivial, but it is crucial if you want your preparation to be effective, especially if you’re short on time.

Look into your skills thoroughly and sincerely, down to the subject level.


#4 - Practice in Depth

To be able to quickly recognize questions and maximize your solving speed, it is important to practice in-depth – that is, to solve a high number of questions on the same topic, one after another.

That way you get more familiar with the material, better to memorize, and quicker to recognize patterns you have already encountered.

JobTestPrep's IBEW Aptitude Test Practice Plan:

  • Accurate - 3 Full-length simulations of the Electrical Aptitude Test
  • Focused - Practice what you need and only what you need. Focus on solving speed and shortcuts
  • Personalization - A diagnostic test to focus you on the most important topics
  • In-Depth - More than 800 practice questions grouped by topic
I’ve failed the test 2 times, this is the most accurate thing I could find, and I’m really glad I did, I feel like that takes away some of the test anxiety.

Alan M.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (More reviews)

The Electrician Apprenticeship Program

During the electrical apprenticeship program, you will go through training both in the classroom and on the job. The scope of training varies depending on field and location, but the general standard is:

      • Classroom – Classes will include 575-1,000 hours.
      • Field training – Between 8,000 to 10,000 hours.
The Four Main Electrical Trades Requiring an Apprenticeship

Inside Wiremen

The majority of the inside wireman’s work deals with connecting customer’s electrical equipment to the inner power network.

Outside Wireman

An outside wireman’s training and work focus on transmission lines, distribution systems, and connection to end-users.

Residential Wireman

The residential wireman’s job is very similar to the inside wireman. The difference is that while the latter focuses on commercial and industrial systems, the former specializes in residential ones.

Installer Technician

Specializes in low-voltage systems connected to the high-voltage electricity system like sound, CCTV, or signaling systems.



If you want to become an electrician, there’s no way around the IBEW Aptitude Test. But if you have it in you to take on a professional, technical and demanding career, you definitely have it in you to pass that aptitude test.

All you need is some guidance and a lot of practice. JobTestPrep's accurate IBEW Aptitude practice tests give you the best, most comprehensive practice you need to pass and get the apprenticeship.

Electrical Aptitude Test FAQs


What Topics Are on the Electrical Aptitude Test?

The Electrical Aptitude Test contains 2 topics, divided into 6 sub-topics:


  • Algebraic Equations
  • Functions
  • Polynomials
  • Inequalities and Systems of Equations
  • Number Series

Verbal Reasoning

  • Reading Comprehension
How Many Questions Are on the IBEW Aptitude Test?

The Electrical Aptitude Test test contains a total of 69 questions: 33 questions on the math section and 36 questions on the verbal section.

Is the Electrical Aptitude Test the Same for All Locals?

Yes. The Electrical Aptitude Test is the standard tool of measurement for apprentices in the electrical industry and is therefore identical among all IBEW locals across the U.S.

How Long Does the IBEW Aptitude Test Take?

The IBEW Aptitude Test takes a total of 97 minutes - 46 minutes for the math section and 51 minutes for the verbal section.

How Long After Application Do You Get an IBEW Test Date?

Although this number can change based depending on the number of applicants for a particular local, applicants report it usually takes around 8-10 weeks.

How Long After the IBEW Test Will I Get My Score?

Depending on the candidate volume, scoring the IBEW Aptitude Test usually takes 2-4 weeks.

What Is the Passing Score of the Electrical Aptitude Test?

The passing score of the IBEW Aptitude Test is 4/9.

Note that this is NOT to say 44% of the questions. It is an internal scale of the IBEW which eliminates those who scored at the bottom third (3/9) of test-takers.

With an ever-growing competition for open apprenticeships, a GOOD score on the Electrical Aptitude Test, to put you in a competitive position for an apprenticeship, is way above that 4/9 threshold.

Can I Use A Calculator on the IBEW Aptitude Test?

No. The use of a calculator of any kind is not allowed. You may use a pen and scratch paper.


About the Author:


Shlomik is Jobtestprep's IBEW Aptitude Test specialist. He has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and has led JobTestPrep's efforts to provide thousands of Electrical Apprentices/IBEW test-takers with the most accurate online prep possible since 2016. You can contact him at

Read more about Shlomik's courses.



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