What is the IBEW aptitude test?
The IBEW Aptitude Test (sometimes known as the JATC or NJATC Test) is an assessment that has to be passed for a candidate to be considered for an electrical apprenticeship in the US.
The test itself takes about 2.5 hours to be administered, and is a written test that takes place in specific venues (candidates typically pick the one closest to them). An adjudicator sits in the venue.
The test itself has 69 questions, split into two sections: Algebra and Functions, and Reading Comprehension.
It is designed to assess the skills and competencies of the applicant, based on aptitudes that are needed for a successful electrician. Surprisingly, there is no electrical knowledge needed to complete the test; just sound mathematical knowledge and reading comprehension.
What is on the IBEW aptitude test?
The first section has 33 questions and lasts 46 minutes. Candidates can take a short break before starting the second part, which has 36 questions to be answered in 51 minutes.
You do not need to bring anything with you for the test, apart from photographic ID, and calculators are not permitted.
Algebra and Functions
The focus on this part of the assessment is on your math skills. There are a high proportion of questions about equations and algebraic functions, as well as operations and number series. You can expect questions based on:
- Order of operations (BEDMAS)
- Solving equations
- Simplifying polynomials
- Factoring polynomials
- Function formats
- Analyzing functions
This is a math exam, at roughly high school level. It is normal for some of the subjects to be tougher than others, but as electricians will need math knowledge and competencies that they will use every day, the questions are designed to be challenging.
Each question will have multiple-choice answers, and you will have 46 minutes to answer 33 questions, without using a calculator. This means that you need to work quickly and accurately.
The reading comprehension test is similar to a verbal reasoning assessment. You will be provided with a passage of text that you need to understand and analyse to answer questions based on the information it contains.
There are 36 questions to answer, and you will have 51 minutes.
The questions ask for you to be able to recall specific information, summarise the key points, and draw conclusions based on the information provided.
As with verbal reasoning tests, the information that you need to answer the questions are provided in the text, so you need to be confident about picking out the important facts.
In the multiple-choice answers provided, it is likely that there will be a couple of possibilities that could be true, but only one that is – so you need to be sure of your answer before you move on. There is a bit more allowed time per question in this section, to give you space to read the passage.