Despite seeming like a modern career, barbering is an old profession. Professionals in this career have been taking care of people’s hair for the longest time. It’s only recently that the career got divided into two parts, which are:
Today, you’ll find well-designed left-handed shears for barbers and other tools for barbershops. But even though hairdressers and barbers are capable of taking care of men’s hair, it’s the latter that provides a more luxurious experience.
Barber Shops are associated with professionalism and prestige. That’s why you must go through the required education and training to start practicing. Such educational requirements include a high school diploma and completion of an accredited barber training program. That is, the National Accredited Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Science.
The training programs are offered through cosmetology or barber schools. Usually, they take between 9 months and 2 years to complete. The exact period will depend on whether you choose to study part-time or full-time.
Hacks to Excelling in the Barbering License Examination
As you may already know, the barbering license exam covers scientific concepts such the skin and hair anatomy. So getting into this profession is not about being extremely knowledgeable about cutting hair.
A lot of people get into the exam room completely unprepared. That’s the reason for the high nationwide failure. The problem is that many students are not taught how to prepare. They’re just given large textbooks that are impossible to memorize.
We don’t want you to go through the process of taking the barber state board exam several times without success while you spend dollars on it. That’s why we put together this guide to help you hack the exam.
Register for the Exam
The first step to preparing for the exam is to register correctly. This may seem obvious. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Every year, countless would-be barbers delay their careers due to the glitches experienced when signing up for the test. That’s the reason why your barbering school or apprentice master must walk you through every step of applying for the exam.
You should also be able to find all the required information on registering through your state board of barbering. Remember that every state has its regulations regarding testing. The actual registration process depends on the policies of a particular state.
Usually, it will involve you completing your education and registering with one of the proctoring agencies. You’ll need to submit proof of the completion of your barbering education to your state board of barbering. The board will then authorize you to register with a proctoring agency. In some cases, the authorization to test is conferred through your school.
The exam type is another critical element in the registration process. The National Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology sponsors two types of barbering exams. Each of these exams is designed to accommodate the rules governing the services performed by barbers as defined by different boards of barbering and cosmetology.
Prepare for the Exam
Being a national test, you’ll find a lot of resources on how to prepare for it. Some resources are provided by the NIC, your state board of barbering, and third-party companies. Your school should also provide practice opportunities. So take advantage of every resource you can get. That includes taking the free barber practice test after class to practice the technique that you haven’t mastered.
Invite friends and other classmates to join you in taking the practice barber exam. It might also help in motivating you to do better when you have company because you get to consult each other. It would also be best to enter contests and competitions with the friends you stay with. Do whatever you can to get comfortable and confident about the exam.
The NIC also provides states with a candidate information bulletin (CIB). This includes state-specific information for testing and unique requirements. Your state board of barbering also provides the CIB.
Note that you can also find an updated candidate information bulletin on the NIC exam CIB webpage. The page also has information on how to order a DVD with an examination overview. The exam contents are obtained from a source you’ll recognize from your barbering classes.
The Practice of Your Practical Exam Makes Perfect
Rehearsals are an important part of passing your barbering exam on the first try. That’s, especially, for the practical exam. The CIB details verbatim what examiners will tell the candidates. As such, you need to ensure that the details regarding hygiene and sanitation are second nature. This should be in addition to the basic barbering procedures that you will be graded on.
Apart from being a physical art, barbering is also a performance. And like other artists rehearse before the show, you must also rehearse. In your case, the practical exam is the most important show of your career. So assemble a complete examination kit as detailed in the CIB. Practice every procedure until you can do them with your eyes closed.
It’s also important that you show up on the examination day with appropriate supplies. The practical examination CIB will have you informed on what you must have in your barber kit.
Know the Contents of the Exam
The candidate information bulletin provided by the NIC details what you’ll be evaluated on. That’s why you must take practice tests before the main exam. It helps to prepare you for what is coming. Being aware of these points of assessment and how they are evaluated will help you pass your exam.
Remember that usually, candidates first take the written part of the exam. After successful completion, they proceed to take the practical exam. The specific procedure, however, may vary depending on the state you’re in.
The written barbering license exam is offered in English, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnam. The practical test is offered in English, though states may have additional language options.
Arrive at the Testing Site on Time
Make sure that all your equipment is ready the night before the exam. Plan to:
- Stay well hydrated
- Go to bed early the night before the exam to get enough rest.
- Arrive at the examination site at least 15 minutes before the set time.
Have a positive attitude and relax because, with all the skills, training, and practice that you’ve done, you’ve got this.
Final Take Away
Becoming a barber is easier than most people think. But like everything else in life, you’re required to put in some time and effort.
Thus, if you want to become a real expert, put your heart and soul into every step of the process. Be sure to choose the right school, excel in your licensing exam, open your barbershop, and learn more on a part-time basis. Doing this will help you reach your goals faster and more efficiently.