How to Prepare for the Cosmetology Licensing Exam

To become a licensed cosmetologist, you must not only graduate from an accredited program and complete the required number of service hours, but you must also pass your state's licensing exam. Cosmetology exams vary by area of specialty and somewhat by state, yet there are common elements among all exams. The guide below will help you prepare for the licensing test so you can pass on your first try.

First, contact your state's licensing board to request study materials that may be available. This varies by state, but in some states, such as California, examinees can order videos and booklets to prepare for the written and practical portions. At minimum, the cosmetology licensing board will have exam blueprints that describe the content and format of the test.

Buy your exam supplies well in advance of your test date and become comfortable using them. You may already have most of the cosmetic supplies required for the exam, but if you have difficulty with them, the exam proctors may notice and question your proficiency.

Purchase a study guide for the written portion of the cosmetology licensing exam so that you can practice with actual test questions. Talk to recently licensed cosmetologists to learn about the most recent exams. They can advise you on the topics to study.

Review sanitation and safety standards. State licensing boards for cosmetology put emphasis on health and safety regulations.

A few weeks before your scheduled exam date, take a timed practice test at home. You can make your own practice exam by assembling sample questions from several study guides. If you have trouble finishing the test within the allotted time, or you miss too many questions, keep practicing so that you can improve.

Get a good night's rest before the test and make sure you know where the exam center is, how to get there, and where to park. By eliminating extra sources of stress, you will have a clear head and enough confidence to pass the exam.

© Had2Know 2010