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The national exam


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I just took the national exam and have some questions I didn't know the answer to. Can you help.

1. What are the requirements for safety glass?

2.What furnace protections were required after 1980?

3.Does 3/4 water pipe carry twice the pressure of 1/2?

4.Are double taps ever acceptable?

5. What size purlin should be used with a 2x6 joist?

6.An 8ft wide fireplace requires what size support below?

7.What size dryer vent in the walls?

8.What are the clearances in front of an electrical panel.

Thanks

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Originally posted by JEuriech

Wasn't there something at the test center that you had to sign, saying that you would not pass on the test questions to anyone?

Jeff Euriech

Peoria Arizona

Yes, he did sign a legal document like that. He is in IL so he did not take the NHIE, but a variation of it. The exam in IL has state specific questions in addition to the questions on the NHIE.

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Originally posted by japsee

I just took the national exam and have some questions I didn't know the answer to. Can you help.

1. What are the requirements for safety glass?

2.What furnace protections were required after 1980?

3.Does 3/4 water pipe carry twice the pressure of 1/2?

4.Are double taps ever acceptable?

5. What size purlin should be used with a 2x6 joist?

6.An 8ft wide fireplace requires what size support below?

7.What size dryer vent in the walls?

8.What are the clearances in front of an electrical panel.

Thanks

Each of those questions is it's own little iceberg tip. Answering the questions one at a time here won't help you. You need to learn more about the whole iceberg before you're ready to inspect a house.

Find someone to teach you to fish . . .

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by japsee

These are questions I missed. I realize what I signed but should I not be able to find out information that I do not know if I want to stay in this profession?

It seems I have the right to ask questions.

As Jim said, the answers to those questions are just the tip. All are fairly simple however, if you do some research and study.

I still don't see how you could remember the questions. After answering 200 questions most folk can't even recall their own name!

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I seemed to have created an opening for inviting judgement about my capabilities and experience. That wasn't really my intent. The questions I cited had answers that were ambiguous and I was seeking what others would have come up with. I first took and passed this test 12 years ago but wanted to see how it had changed. The answer choices for the questions I posed were not as straight forward as I or anyone else would have thought and I wanted to see how others would answer, because the choices were so different from what I know. So if you decide you don't want to share these answers that's fine. But please, spare me the lecture on what I "need to know before you inspect a house."

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Originally posted by japsee

I seemed to have created an opening for inviting judgement about my capabilities and experience. That wasn't really my intent. The questions I cited had answers that were ambiguous and I was seeking what others would have come up with. I first took and passed this test 12 years ago but wanted to see how it had changed. The answer choices for the questions I posed were not as straight forward as I or anyone else would have thought and I wanted to see how others would answer, because the choices were so different from what I know. So if you decide you don't want to share these answers that's fine. But please, spare me the lecture on what I "need to know before you inspect a house."

I think that's fair. Honestly, I wouldn't describe these things as icebergs, but answers as simple as the questions give rise to additional considerations that can go in a few directions.

One thing; the test didn't exist 12 years ago, did it?

1. What are the requirements for safety glass?

Depends on a lot of factors, easily google-able. Google up "Safety Glazing Requirements", and click on the 6th item down; I'd include the link but it's an embedded .pdf document. It's a decent general guide for safety glazing requirements.id="blue">

2.What furnace protections were required after 1980?

Heck, I don't know. I can think of lots of safety components depending on the furnace. What were the multiple choice options? Blower compartment door switch is probably one of the things they're looking for.id="blue">

3.Does 3/4 water pipe carry twice the pressure of 1/2?

3/4" pipe is twice the area as 1/2"; it doesn't "carry twice the pressure".id="blue">

4.Are double taps ever acceptable?

Yes, if the mfg. approves their device for two wire connections. As an example, Square D has a little saddle that will accommodate two wires. Generally, no.id="blue">

5. What size purlin should be used with a 2x6 joist?

I have no idea. What's in the plans?id="blue">

6.An 8ft wide fireplace requires what size support below?

This question makes no sense to me. What kind of fireplace?id="blue">

7.What size dryer vent in the walls?

You don't want to reduce the duct from the dryer outlet, so 4" is what you want. Just as important is length, though. The maximum length for a clothes dryer vent should not exceed 25 feet. This length should be decreased by:

2 ½ feet for every 45 degree turn the vent pipe makes. The elbow in the wall at the dryer connection should not be computed into the formula.

5 feet for every 90 degree turn the vent pipe makes.

Just as important is material (no slinky vinyl or foil), fasteners (no screws should extend into the duct, they should be taped w/aluminum foil tape, and it should be smooth walled.id="blue">

8.What are the clearances in front of an electrical panel?

Go here, spend a few days reading everything, and you'll know more than most folks.

http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/ElecPanelInsp.htmid="blue">

OK, now everyone jump on me for being wrong somewhere, and we can whittle the iceberg down to something manageable that the fellow can absorb. Withholding simple answers to overly simple questions doesn't really get anyone anywhere, does it?

Honestly, these sorts of building trivia questions, for the most part, edge over into pointlessness because they omit so many important variables. I'm getting really bad on this sort of stuff. It's one of the reasons the test is a little goofy, IMHO.

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Kurt,

Thank you for your reply. I took nhie 12 years ago when I joined ashi.

You bring up items that I questioned on the test because the answers were vague. As to double taps there was no option if the panel though allowed were filled with double taps. What number is acceptable? The test seem to ask more about simple facts without bringing in judgments.

I felt the same about the dryer vent. Basically it asked what size vent was acceptable in a wall. I also felt that it depended upon the length and material but that was not an option.

This post was trying to see how others would answer and yours verified what I was thinking. Wanting simple black and white when grays were necessary.

Thanks.

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Hi David,

Just a little FYI, the first NHIE exam was given in March of 2000. The old ASHI A&B exam is what you took 12 years ago for membership in ASHI.

As for your questions. Without seeing the distractors (the multiple choice answers), it is really difficult to tell what the correct answer would be. The NHIE is looking for the best answer, some answers might be similar or real close but it wants the best answer for the stem (question). If you think the test has some wrong answers or improper questions, you can file a complaint with the test administrator (where you took the exam).

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Originally posted by japsee

I seemed to have created an opening for inviting judgement about my capabilities and experience. That wasn't really my intent.

I'm sorry if I slighted you. Your question seemed to be that of a person who was trying to get help passing a test. My impression was that you didn't know the answers and were seeking the lazy path to education.

The questions I cited had answers that were ambiguous and I was seeking what others would have come up with.

I can't speak for the parts of the exam that Illinois wrote, but the NHIE questions are really not ambiguous. Neither are their answers. There are possible answers that may seem right but there is always one answer that is dead-on correct.

I first took and passed this test 12 years ago but wanted to see how it had changed.

As Scott pointed out, that's not possible. The NHIE is a different animal from the old ASHI exam. The development and review process is very different. I doubt that there's a single question/answer set that remains from even the first NHIE exam let alone the old ASHI exam.

If you're really interested in the NHIE and how it works, volunteer to take part in their exam maintenance workshops where they write new questions each year. They do it in Chicago -- not a far drive for you. It's an excellent learning experience and a real challenge. After two days, you feel truly brain tired.

The answer choices for the questions I posed were not as straight forward as I or anyone else would have thought and I wanted to see how others would answer, because the choices were so different from what I know.

That's the mark of a good exam.

So if you decide you don't want to share these answers that's fine. But please, spare me the lecture on what I "need to know before you inspect a house."

OK.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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1. What are the requirements for safety glass?

They're clearly and unambiguously laid out in the IRC. On the exam, there would have been several choices that did not correspond with the IRC requirements and one answer that did. That one would be the correct answer.

2.What furnace protections were required after 1980?

I don't know. But I'll bet that the question was followed by four incorrect distractors and one correct answer. If you or I don't happen to know the answer, that doesn't make the question ambiguous.

3.Does 3/4 water pipe carry twice the pressure of 1/2?

Pipe doesn't "carry" pressure. If the question was actually worded like that then, yes, you've found an unanswerable question. If the question was asking about flow, then the answer is an unequivocal yes.

4.Are double taps ever acceptable?

That's a simple, clear question. The simple, clear answer is yes.

5. What size purlin should be used with a 2x6 joist?

Again, I hope that you're mis-remembering and the question was asking about what size purlin to use with 2x6 *rafters*.

The key to this question is that a purlin can't be smaller in size than the rafters it supports.

6.An 8ft wide fireplace requires what size support below?

Again, I think you're mis-remembering the specifics of the question but the overall point they were trying elicit was that a fireplace footing has to be 6" wider than the fireplace.

7.What size dryer vent in the walls?

Unambiguously 4"

8.What are the clearances in front of an electrical panel.

30" wide, 36" deep.

The questions, as you've rendered them here, are lousy. But I'll bet that you didn't reproduce the questions as they appeared on the test. For instance, I'm fairly certain that the test didn't say, "What size dryer vent in the walls?"

Several man-hours go into developing each stem/distractor set including review time by people other than those who actually wrote the question. Then, after each set has been written and reviewed, it's reviewed again for grammar and consistency of style.

If you want to question the validity of these questions you have to be looking at the actual questions, not the garbled memories of questions.

One other thought. Whenever I've heard anyone talk about any test that they had a hard time with, they alway say that the questions were vague.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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As Jim suggests, the test isn't really all that vague; it's a multiple choice situation.

There is always one option that is the best choice, which was always the right answer. There was one question about steam systems that was a tiny bit gray when I took it, but I'm pretty sure that question has been improved.

Inasmuch as it's designed to test the absolute minimum knowledge base for this job, describing it as hard, vague, or obscure isn't accurate.

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David,

I had been inspecting for several years when we became licensed and though I did not study for the exam, I did attend 3 meetings to prepare for the exam. What we were told was that the exam questions would not necessarily represent real life encounters in the H.I. field. Instead of trying to inject standard reasoning, we were told to figure out what the questions were striving for and choose the answer that was "most correct", even if we thought it was not very accurate.

To be honest, the questions that you have listed are a bit off the wall, not dissimilar to what I remember. I don't think that I'd give too much thought to them.

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