The IBEW Aptitude Test (specifically its math section) is considered harder than other common pre-apprenticeship tests.
The main reasons include time pressure, the complexity of questions, high cutoff scores, and more. Despite being hard, it’s possible to ace it with prior preparation.
Below, we’ll walk you through more aspects that make this exam challenging, provide examples of difficult questions, and show how you can increase your chances of passing it.
Why Is the IBEW Aptitude Test Considered a Difficult Exam?
Since the math portion of the IBEW aptitude test is the toughest for almost all test-takers, this page will focus on this part.
To learn more about the second portion of the test, which is 50% of your final score, visit our IBEW Reading Comprehension guide.
The are 5 common reasons that make the Electrical Aptitude Test harder than other apprenticeship exams:
- Time pressure: you have 69 questions with a 97-minute time limit for the whole test. The math portion has 33 questions to be answered in 46 minutes only.
- The math concepts are complex, compared to other pre-apprenticeship tests.
- People who skipped or failed algebra in high school usually find it harder.
- You’re not allowed to use a calculator so you must do all the calculations on scrap paper and in your head.
- It’s not enough just to pass the assessment. You must score high to be invited first for an interview since the competition is harsh. More on these scoring methods in our detailed IBEW test results guide.
Luckily, you usually get enough time to prepare beforehand, so you can use it to your advantage (even if you’re horrible at math).
Examples of the Most Difficult Questions (+ Solutions)
Algebra Linear Functions
What is the slope of the line that is perpendicular to the line that passes through the points (2,3) and (-8,1)?
If (a – b)2 – (a + b)2 = 4 , then ab = ?
0.5 | 1.5 | 3.5 | ? | 12.5 | 37.5 | 39.5
Valuable Practice Resources to Help You Ace the Exam
As you can see, it’s pretty tough to solve these math problems if you see them for the first time, let alone if you’re under time pressure. That’s why it’s crucial to set some time aside for thorough preparation.
You’ll usually receive the test date at least a few weeks ahead. So, you’ll have sufficient time to improve your math skills and learn how to solve such problems efficiently.
To get the most out of your prep time, it’s better to use practice tests that simulate actual exam, rather than solving generic math problems.
Several test prep companies offer preparation materials with realistic practice tests. But we found that the best value for money is offered by JobTestPrep’s IBEW Aptitude Test practice.
It’s worth noting that it’s the only company that provides practice material for the mechanical reasoning questions (in addition to math and reading). Some locals have started to add these questions in 2022.
Their reasonably priced and comprehensive prep kit includes:
- A diagnostic test to identify your stronger and weaker areas.
- 23 practice tests with full explanations that cover all math question types that appear on the test.
- Three full-length simulations that follow the same format, structure, and time limit as the real test.
- Extra practice drills and math study guides to teach you math foundations from square one (very useful for applicants who haven’t practiced math for years).
- 9 mechanical reasoning practice tests.
- 10 reading comprehension practice tests.