5 Essential Tips to Pass The NICET Fire Alarm Exam

5 Tips to Pass Your Nicet Exam

So what did I learn from my level I exams. I will tell you what is the 5 most important areas you need to concentrate on to guarantee your success in passing the NICET fire alarm exam.

1) Tabs and Highlights.

NICET Will allow you to bring some reference books to the exam. please see my previous post NICET Certification – Study and Reference Books on which books are allowed on which exam level. Also NICET will allow you to use tabs and highlights. No handwritten notes or any other marks are allowed. Also the tabs should be permanent. “watch this youtube video”

The purpose of this technique is to find the sections of the code easily and quickly without flipping pages back and forth. However, please do not go overboard with that favorite yellow marker. The main problem with highlighting  is that we tend to find almost every sentence to be important. As a consequence, every page will become yellow. Again we are only trying to pinpoint the main sections of the code.

2) Identify Reference Book and Keywords.

Read each question carefully and try to find the keyword(s) in that question. Usually the question will tell you which reference book you will find the answer.  if  the question is the How To type then you will find it in the NFPA 72 books. On the other hand if it is the When type then head for IBC or NFPA 101. Wiring or conduit related questions usually will be found in the NEC book.

Once you Identify the correct reference book, Find the specific keyword(s) in the question, then use the index at the back of the book to find the section of the code and by using the tabs and highlights find the right answer as seen in this post NFPA 72 Unlocked and Demystified for NICET Exam(Part 2 – Video). one thing to mention here is that some of the answers will be in the exceptions sections. Do not over look this.

3) Simple VS. Research intensive Questions. 

Questions usually are two type, either simple and straight forward or complicated and research intensive questions.

Simple question will be like “what is the mounting height for a pull box” Bear in mind that you have about 1 minutes per questions. so the goal is to answer as much simple questions as possible and then tackle the research intensive questions. as you are taking the test, you can flag questions that you can return to, flag these questions that you know are research intensive and come back to them after finishing the simple ones. These questions are usually in this format. “Which of the following is true,” or “which of the following is acceptable”  you need to investigate each and every one of the answers of the multiple choice, that will definitely take more than 1 minute. So skip those for now and come back once you are done with the simple ones.

4) Answer All Questions.

Remember an unanswered questions will not earn you any points. Make sure to answer every single question even if you have to guess, especially these research intensive ones. Few guessing techniques that i have learned through my school and college years are:

  • Eliminate extreme answers. if the answers are like 10,  90, 100, 2000 then eliminate 10 and 2000.
  • If you can not eliminate any option, then choose one option and stick with it. I used to choose option 3 or C and had a success rate of more than 25%.
  • The answer to one question is sometimes given away in another question. Watch out for those.
  • Eliminate the answers you know are wrong.  This will increase  your chances of selecting the right answer if you have to guess.
  • Don’t keep on changing your answer, usually your first choice is the right one.
  • With “All of the above” in the answers, if you see at least two correct answers , then “All of the above” is probably the right choice.
  • The longest answer is usually the right choice.

5) Resources.

Use www.firealarmcertification.com as the source for your study. I will be publishing more materials and probably some practice exams in upcoming post.

Happy studying and cheers.


by John

17 comments… add one

  • hi John

    I like to take the nicet level 1 for fire alarm but do I have to study the book or some chapters or read just ones each chapter. thanks manny

    • Many, Unfortunately there is no specific chapters(s) for the exam. each level exam is based on certain tasks and these tasks are in different chapters and books.
      For Level I the tasks are installation, wiring and maintenance. you can find these in NFPA 72, and NFPA 70 books. My next post will be devoted to this subject, I will go into more details.

    • Hello John,
      I am planning on taking the NICET Level 3 very soon and I am nervous. What would you say I need to know for the exam?
      Adler Colin

  • John,
    I have come to the conclusion that it is time to start this journey to my Nicet. Looking online level 1 , 2 are CBT test, will the testing center allow you to bring the books to the test as well? Having my FAL in Texas I assumed it would be all that I would need in this field, 15 years later I can see where the certifications would have catapulted this from a job to a career. Never too late. I’m glad I found your site I hope it is still running.

  • do you have any tips to help pass the level 3 exam?

    • Chris,
      Unfortunately I haven’t got to that stage yet, Hopefully will be there this summer, please check back soon.


  • Hi John,

    For the NICET level I they are saying beside NFPA 70 and NFPA 72 their are additional reference so from your experience who important to read the other books

  • John,

    I appreciate your website and all of the knowledge you are sharing. I have one question I cant seem to find anywhere on the internet, what percentage is required on the Level I exam to pass?

  • Hi John,
    I am taking the NICET 1 next Monday and going through your material and tips are really helpful! Thanks
    PS: I like the 5 essentials tips taking the test part!!!

  • How often does NICET change the books? When will they change to the 2014 NEC and 2016 NFPA 70?

    • Jeff,
      NICET is slow in changing the books. Usually every 4 or 5 years. I do not anticipate they will change them soon.

  • Good Evening John,

    First let me thank you for the tabbing video. It help me tremondously on my NICET I and II Exams. I am wondering if you have any suggestions for preparing for my levet III which I am about to schedule.

    Thank You,
    John Bryant Jr.

  • I just passed my level 1 and am fixing to take level 2. Have you gotten that far yet? Love the website btw.


Leave a Comment

Next Post:

Previous Post: