Monthly Archives: September 2020

When’s the Best Time to Start in Construction?

Like most industries, construction has times when it’s easier to get established and times when there’s a lot of competition. But since it’s such a large industry and doesn’t evolve as rapidly as others, you’ll find a lot of flexibility. If you’ve been thinking about getting into construction and you’re not sure when is the best time to start, here are a few factors to consider as you make a decision.

Regional Development
As you might expect from almost any job, construction goes through periods where there is a lot of demand for projects and times when there aren’t so many. And while a lot of projects in the pipeline can be a good sign for your career prospects, you wouldn’t necessarily want to come in right at the end of it. Do some research and figure out what the capacity is for new development and renovation in your area. This will help to give you an idea of the likelihood of getting a good job in your chosen field. It can also highlight regions with a lot of potential that you hadn’t previously considered.

Long-Term Career Opportunities
If you have a pretty good idea of which field you’d like to work in, then you’ll need to scope out what the demand is for professionals in that field before you make a choice. People who invest years of work into a career have a pretty good chance of continuing on until they retire. Right now, there are lots of professionals leaving construction after decades in the business. This means there may be plenty of available spots in the type of job that you would like to do. Easing into a new role at this time could be a great opportunity to find your feet with less competition.

Future Growth
Of course, knowing what the region has planned for the next couple of years isn’t going to be enough to last you for a whole career. If you’re thinking about taking a path that you could travel for 20 to 30 years or more, you want to be sure that there is plenty of future growth waiting for you. The good news is that construction is a field that will always have some degree of demand. The trick is finding the types of jobs that are most likely to thrive with technological innovations and updates to construction practices. If you’re ready to make use of construction technology or perhaps even create some of it yourself, now is an excellent time to get started.

Personal Plans
Starting a new career path requires a fair bit of flexibility. This means that you’ll need to consider what your plans are for the next 5 to 10 years and balance them with your life as it is now. It’s not always clear when is the best time to make a big decision like a new job. And yet, they say that the best time to start something that takes years is to have done it already several years ago. The second best time is now.

Ready to Commit
Ultimately, the most valuable and competitive jobs and construction usually take a commitment of at least a few years to get yourself established. In a way, it’s not unlike going to college and then starting a career. If you want to get the most from the experience, you need to be willing to invest the time and effort to make it a success. If you are ready to commit to the work and study that it takes to become a licensed contractor, you’re already on your way to improving your life and building a career you’ll be glad to have.

Almost anytime is a good time to start a career in construction. The time you invest is what makes it a valuable decision. To get started, contact CSLS today!

Is Your Contracting Business’s Waste Management Strategy Putting You at Risk?

When you think about waste management on and off the jobsite, it’s more than an issue of cleaning up a mess or making sure you dispose of hazardous materials in the right way. It’s a matter of your own safety and the people around you. Here are a few factors to consider as you decide if your waste management strategy is ideal, or could use a reboot.

Environmental Risks
Whenever you work on a construction site, even if that place is a warehouse or your own home, you may have a variety of environmental concerns to worry about. Since this is heavily dependent on your working location, you’ll need to inspect each site and conduct testing as required before you can establish the type of environmental risks you’re facing. For example, you might have to deal with high levels of certain contaminants in the soil, like radon. The presence of a free-flowing water source nearby may make prompt cleanup more important, to avoid contaminating that water supply.

Population Concerns
You will also need to pay attention to the people who live and work around your construction site, and how the production of waste may affect them. In 2020, many construction workers in California have been invested in renovating or retrofitting existing hospitals to accommodate increased numbers of patients due to COVID-19. However, doing construction work in a hospital that has patients in it presents unique risks to a highly vulnerable population. You should consider the impact that dust and debris can have if they shift from the area where you are working before you have a chance to clean it up.

Cleanup Intervals
There are many different approaches to waste management on the construction site, and most of them have a different cleanup interval. If you are in the habit of cleaning up when a project is completely done, and not one minute before, you may be putting yourself and others at risk. The chance that dust and debris can blow away from an open jobsite is relatively high. But you should also keep in mind that it can create a slipping or tripping hazard while you continue to work in the space. Setting a more frequent cleanup interval, as often as every hour, keeps the excess out of the way.

Disposal Practices
Although cleanup at the jobsite is a major part of your waste management strategy, it is not the last step. You also need to dispose of your construction debris and garbage on a regular basis. Knowing how to dispose of materials is a vital skill that you as a business owner must master. In many cases, being able to control all aspects of site cleanup is a matter of following the law. If you haven’t thought about these practices in a while, now may be a good opportunity to re-evaluate them. You may have more options for recycling or local disposal than you did in years past.

Employee Training
As in many industries, you may discover that there is a significant difference between what you are supposed to do and what people are actually doing. In a lot of cases, this is an indicator that people are unaware of how to dispose of waste on a construction site. Since this can be a serious matter of health and even life or death, training should be an important component of your business practices. Make sure that you know how you should handle site cleanup depending on the site and the type of project that you are doing. Then invest the time and money to confirm that everybody you work with has that knowledge as well.

Waste management is a time-consuming task, but one that you need to do for your health and the security of your contracting business. For more information about building a successful business in construction, contact CSLS today!

Simple SEO Tips When Your Contracting Business Doesn’t Have a Marketing Budget

You probably know that if you want business success, you’ve got to have an online presence. But in order for your potential customers to find you online, they need to be able to find you in a search. Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way of targeting the content you put online to help your business in a search. You can pay a marketing company to handle this for you, but there are a few things you can do for yourself. Here’s what you can try.

Search for Common Terms
In order to figure out where you would like your page to show up, you need to figure out what’s there. Some keywords are overused, and it’s hard to tell how much until you start searching for them yourself. For most small businesses that operate within a limited location, your ideal keywords will be the type of services you offer in your broad location. If you live in a small suburb or in a rural area, you may need to search for multiple nearby cities to get a sense for what may work. Search terms that don’t bring up a lot of hits may have a need that’s not met, or a lack of demand. Use your best judgment to determine which is the most likely scenario.

Try Various Types of Keywords
There are many different ways to approach keywords. Potential clients may use a variety of them, or stick to just one. For example, you might have clients who search for “plumber in Los Angeles,“ while others search for “plumber Los Angeles.” There’s been a resurgence in the use of long-tail keywords, which are long key phrases that encapsulate what the user is looking for. You may have more of an opportunity to increase your search rankings by using them yourself. You might try creating a few different pages that each focus on a different keyword style.

Answer Questions
To improve your search engine rankings, adding value is the thing you need to do most. When you search for something on Google, you’ll often see a list of similar questions that people search for, related to your topic. These snippets can be an excellent way to get your business onto the first page. You may have to make a few guesses as to which questions are most important to your prospective clients. But if you can answer them better than other companies, you might be able to get a big reward that way.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Years ago, many companies aimed to bring their search engine rankings up by cramming each page with the same keyword dozens of times. This is an old trick that may have worked in 2010, but is likely to cause problems for you in 2020. People visit your site or your social media pages because they are looking for relevant information. A page full of nothing but keywords isn’t likely to get them what they need. As a result, Google tends to penalize pages full of keywords with lower rankings. Aim to keep the content natural, with a handful of keywords sprinkled in. Using them in headings or near the top of the page can be the most helpful.

Track Your Progress
Although you’re trying to do this on a tight budget, that doesn’t mean you should just make a bunch of random efforts and hope that something sticks. You still need some kind of a strategy. In order to know how well your SEO techniques are paying off, you’ll need to track it somehow. Social media platforms may have easy ways to track visitors and engagement. If you want to track the performance of your website, it might be worth signing up for something like Google Analytics. Many of these services offer a free version, but it’s usually pretty limited. Consider it a way to evaluate your options and decide which one is worth making an investment.

SEO is one way that people can find your business, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. To discover how becoming a licensed contractor helps you build the business of your dreams, contact CSLS today!

How to Use Your Senses to Assess Construction Site Safety

As you start to think about construction site safety from the vantage point of a business owner, you’ll spend a lot of time reading rules and guidelines. But once you start to master them, you’ll find that you need to be able to assess the situation regularly and quickly. If you use your five senses to your advantage, you’ll see how your natural instincts can tell you what could be wrong.

Sight
What you see on the jobsite is probably your first indicator of its safety. For most people, sight is the first or possibly the second sense they rely on to understand their surroundings. You can use your vision to evaluate the surrounding environment for each task you’ll be doing on the site. It’s important to get a 360° view, because it’s likely that there may be hazards behind you. For example, if you’re working in a busy warehouse, you should know if there will be equipment in use behind you, or people moving through with small vehicles. Working with multiple people helps to increase the likelihood that someone will see a disaster before it happens. But this isn’t guaranteed, so you’ll want to evaluate it in advance.

Sound
Sounds on the construction site can be trickier to navigate than what you see. This is because many pieces of construction equipment generate a lot of noise, and that isn’t necessarily an indicator that something is wrong. In some cases, the task you’re doing produces so much noise that you need to wear protective gear to reduce sound levels. This means that other people, who might call out to you to get your attention in case of a hazard, may not be able to get through. Tools for construction safety often use a combination of indicators, like a loud beep and a bright flashing light, to get someone’s attention even if they may can only hear or see it.

Smell
If you have ever walked into a room that had left natural gas running too long, you know the unmistakable smell. This scent exists to warn you of danger. In some cases, a bad smell is an indicator that disaster is about to strike. A strong burning smell may come as the result of a natural construction process, or it could be an accidental fire. Unfortunately, people are often trained to ignore bad smells because it is sometimes impolite to comment on them. But it’s better to make a note of them than to tune them out. Of course, for contaminants like carbon monoxide, you may not be able to smell it at all. That’s why you install things like carbon monoxide detectors to alert you, in the event that the room is not properly ventilated.

Touch
You’re less likely to rely on your sense of touch when you can see and hear clearly. But if you can’t, your sense of touch may be the difference between safe passage and a fall. Falls on construction sites are one of the most common sources of injury or even death. They’re more likely to happen in places where people cannot see clearly, or where they are distracted by the task at hand. When you’re working above the ground, make sure that you can keep both feet flat. If you start to feel that you don’t have a firm grip, you may need to use additional safety equipment or temporarily suspend work.

When to Trust Your Instincts
When you’ve got a long day of work and you’re most of the way through, it’s tempting to ignore your instincts just so you can get the job done and go home. Statistically, this is when accidents are more likely to happen. You don’t need to be on constant alert to the point that you can’t focus on the task. But you should certainly take breaks to evaluate your environment for possible hazards. That way, you can manage them before you start the task, and ensure that you leave the environment safe for the next person.

Trusting your senses is one way to keep your contracting business safe for years to come. To learn more about taking the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!

How to Take Advice When You’re Starting a Contracting Business

When you first start talking about opening a contracting business, you’re going to get lots of advice. Some of it might be very useful, coming from people with decades of experience in the industry. On the other hand, you might get tips from people who wouldn’t know success if it ran over them. Here are five tips you can use to help you accept advice and determine if it will work for you.

Take It In
The first thing that you want to do when you get some business advice is to make it relatively easy to accept. It’s tempting to reassure people that you have all the experience you need and that their advice is unwarranted. But sometimes, you turn out to be wrong. In order to decide which advice is useful and which parts don’t apply to you, you need to listen to it and take a few mental notes. This doesn’t mean that you need to pay attention with a rapt expression to anyone who feels like you’ve got it all wrong and they need to set you straight. But if you can allow the information to sink in, you’ll have a higher chance of being able to use the relevant bits.

Consider the Source
Of course, not everyone has good business advice to share. And that does not necessarily stop them from trying to share with you. This is why you should consider the source along with their advice. Someone who has started five businesses and had all of them fail within a year may be a great source of learning what went wrong. They might not be the best person to tell you what to do to succeed, however. Sometimes, people who don’t have the facts can share something that would be practical for you to apply to your business. It’s relatively unlikely, so you can take this advice with a grain of salt.

Question Your Gut
There is a lot out there in self-help circles that tells you to trust your gut. The problem is that when you’re debating whether or not to follow your gut instincts, you still need to consider the source. If your gut instinct comes from 5-10 years of experience in this field, you might be on the right track. On the other hand, if your gut instinct is based on what you found by searching Google for five minutes, your conclusions might be suspicious. It’s important not to disregard your own opinions. You should just make sure to scrutinize them as much as you would anyone else’s.

Evaluate Information
Once you get some advice, you have some work to do. In some cases, people make claims that are so unlikely or outdated that you can handily dismiss them as irrelevant. What worked for someone’s retail business might not apply to yours. In other cases, you need to determine how right they are. This calls for research. It’s tempting to trust the advice of someone who’s been working in your industry for decades, especially if they’ve acted as a mentor to you. It’s still good to follow up on their claims, so that you understand it better than you did.

Decide After Consideration
When it comes to big decisions about your business or the best way to run it, you need to make decisions after consideration. It is so easy to jump the gun when someone with business experience tells you to absolutely do one thing or completely avoid another thing. Unfortunately, taking this kind of a hard line position eliminates your flexibility, which you may need most in the early years of your business. With every piece of advice you get, take the time to consider it and determine whether or not you want to follow it. Keep in mind that most people advise you because they want to help. But if it doesn’t help, then it’s probably not worth following.

When you first start your contracting business, you’re going to get a lot of advice. Learning how to interpret it is part of surviving. To learn more about building a successful contracting business, visit CSLS today!

Is Going Into Debt a Good or Bad Idea for Your Contracting Business?

Let’s face it: Few people are starting with such wealth that they can begin a business without having to scrimp or go into debt. While opening a ton of credit lines and borrowing lots of money isn’t necessarily the best choice, neither is avoiding debt as if it were the plague. Like most parts of business management, a good balance is key. Here’s how to determine when going into debt is likely to be good or bad for your business.

Sources of Funding
When you start a business, you’ll usually have a few sources of funding, such as:

  • Savings
  • Other income
  • Investor funding
  • Loans

Before you have clients, you may not necessarily have income. Some people choose to keep a side job or even a full-time job while they build their business. This isn’t necessarily an easier task, depending on the type of work you do. Savings can be difficult to accumulate, but has the benefit that it’s freely available and never needs to be paid back. Maintaining a variety of possible funding sources, including crowdfunding or investment money, makes debt less of a risky proposition.

Steady Income
One of the first things you have to establish before you take on debt is how you will pay it back. In some industries, people can start a business and find paying clients very quickly. This depends heavily on your location, your competition and the type of work you do. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out how you plan to pay yourself and your debts, plus other overhead expenses like equipment or materials. This is why a lot of people will build a contracting business more slowly at first, so they can keep other income opportunities flowing at the same time.

Limited Spending
If you’ve been waiting for years to be able to start your own contracting business, it’s tempting to start spending as soon as you have the opportunity. But if you rack up a bunch of debt before you have reliable clients and income to pay it off, you’re going to find yourself with too much overhead and not enough profit. Getting into debt on a limited scale to help you get established can be helpful. It will be easier to manage if you can stick to what you need instead of what you’d like. For example, you’ll spend less to pay for rentals on equipment that you don’t need daily than you would to buy them.

Type of Loan
When it comes to getting into debt for your business, the type of loan matters significantly. There are a variety of lending options for businesses, including:

  • SBA loans
  • Secured loans for vehicles or other equipment
  • Credit cards or other lines of credit
  • Cash advances

The interest rates that you’ll pay vary depending on your credit and the type of loan. For example, a loan that is secured by an asset, like an auto loan, tends to have the lowest interest rate. Credit cards and cash advances usually carry a higher risk to the lender, so they have higher interest rates. This affects how much you have to pay each month and how long it takes to pay it off. As such, getting one type of loan may be more practical than others, depending on the purpose.

Plan to Pay Off
As a good general rule, you should develop a plan to pay off all debts that you accumulate for the business. This is true for revolving debt like credit cards, as well as loans with a set amount and a defined term. The last thing that you want is to spend the next 10 years making minimum payments on a debt that you could have paid off within a year. Formulate a plan in advance to handle the debt before you take it on. This can help you make sure that you actually need to make the expense, as well as give you a path to manage it.

Funding your business wisely is one way you can ensure it will last. Getting a great education is another. To start building your contracting business, contact CSLS today!

Do You Have a Passion for Working in Construction? Here’s How to Tell.

Have you ever met someone who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life from the time they were a small child? Some people are like that. They are practically born knowing where to go. For the rest of us, it’s important to find a good fit. But having a career is so much better when you know you can bring passion to your work. Here are five ways you can tell that your passion (and your future) lies in construction.

You Can’t Stop Building Things
Like kids who can’t stop playing with Legos, there are adults who absolutely love building things. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re constantly creating new structures, however. You’ll know that you’ve got the passion if you are constantly finding new ways to rethink your living or working spaces. For example, if you’re always working on a personal home improvement project or helping your friends with theirs, this is a good sign that you’ll enjoy doing it as a career.

You Love to See Physical Results of Your Work
Centuries ago, most of the work the people did had some kind of physical result. They might create, produce or grow something that others could use or consume. These days, much of what people do for a living isn’t tangible. And while many people believe that these are rewarding careers, it isn’t the best choice for everyone. There are still millions of people who love to work with their hands and see something grow or change before their eyes. Construction provides an immediate reward of progress that can give you a sense of satisfaction with your effort.

You Love Active Work
One of the things that industrialization created for society was the ability to produce more while working less. Instead of having one person produce all components of a product, they are more likely to be in charge of one aspect of it. As a result, in the 21st Century, most people do not work on their feet. This is certainly true for people who have found long-term careers. And while many people find this approach very accessible, there are others who need more activity during the workday. If you find long hours spent outside to be the best way to earn a living, you’re ideally suited to a career in construction.

You’re Always Ready to Learn Something New
While construction is an extremely old profession, this doesn’t mean that it never changes. There are always new technologies and building practices to learn. The people who are better set for a career in construction are the ones who are willing to adapt over time. The last several years have brought significant changes in the construction workflow. As such, some tasks are easier to do and provide a better long-term result. But in order to develop skills in those innovations, you have to have some courage and a love of learning. Always wanting to find out what’s next on the horizon will serve you well in this industry.

You Take Pride in Building on Ancient Tradition
A mix of old and new practices is what makes up the construction industry. You might build something in a way that people have been doing it for 500 years or more. In fact, there’s a whole niche of the construction industry in period construction and renovation. If the process is solid, there may be no reason to change it. But at the same time, there are new developments that can make things better, stronger or more likely to last. Your interest in honoring the past while you create structures for the modern world are signs that you will enjoy this career now, and in the future.

Working in construction might be a job, but it could also be a passion. To find out how you can take advantage of your interest in construction to build a great career, contact CSLS today!

How to Choose a Contractor Licensing Exam Prep School

When you’re getting ready to take the contractor licensing exam, you’ve got a few ways to prepare. Of course, you can study from home. But having someone with the experience to help guide you through what to expect and fill out your knowledge can save you a lot of hassle and stress. This is what exam preparation schools do. With these tips, you’ll know how to choose the best one.

Comprehensive Learning Options
Not everyone learns in exactly the same way. Some people benefit from in-person instruction, while others prefer to study on their own. When you are looking for schools that will help you prepare for the contractor licensing exam, you want as many options as possible. A good system will give you several choices, such as:

  • Live instruction
  • Online courses
  • Self-paced programs
  • Additional practice

This way, if you’re not sure which learning environment is best for you, you can try out a little of each and decide.

Convenient Locations
If you’re going to take advantage of in-person instruction or classrooms where you can practice some of your skills, there needs to be a location convenient to you. For example, CSLS maintains more than two dozen locations across the state of California. This makes it easy for anyone who wants that experience to find a location in their area and receive it.

Construction Focus
There are hundreds of schools that specialize in exam preparation. This does not mean that they will be able to give you adequate preparation for the contractor licensing exam. Many national companies try to do too much, by offering exam preparation for testing in a wide variety of different industries. But this may mean that they cannot specialize in construction as an industry, and specifically the rules concerning becoming a licensed contractor in the state of California. Finding a school that focuses on construction, and what you can expect when you build a career in the state, will give you a better preparation for your career in the years to come.

High Passing Rates
Going to school for exam preparation is a great tool to make sure that you understand all of the concepts covered, as well as what to expect from the exam itself. One of the best ways that a school can show you their success rate is through a higher rate of students passing the exam. While you look for this data, keep in mind that the number of times it takes a person to pass an exam matters. Schools with a higher rate of students who pass the contractor licensing exam on the first try may be a better investment in the long run.

Guarantees
If an exam prep school is confident that their preparation classes will help you to pass the exam within the first couple of tries, they may offer a guarantee to that effect. Guarantees indicate that if you follow their guidelines and do not receive the desired result, you may be able to get at least a portion of your investment back. This is an opportunity to read the fine print, because guarantees don’t usually come without requirements. Check to see how many opportunities the school gives you to attempt the exam before you request a refund. Confirm that the requirements for the guarantee are clearly outlined and easy to understand.

The right exam school will make you feel much more prepared to take the licensing exam. To find out more about what CSLS can do for you, visit us today!

 

How Your Contracting Business Can Tailor Communication Based on Generation

As a general rule, you’d like to get back to your clients when they have questions. This is particularly important at the early stages, when they aren’t yet your clients. The thing is that communication is highly specialized, with preferences that tend to run along generational lines. If you talk to a baby boomer like a Zoomer, there’s going to be a lot lost in translation. But the same is true for the other way around. Here are a few observed communication preferences that your contracting business can use to get your message across.

Generation Z
At the oldest, members of generation Z are in their early 20s. They have never known a time when internet was not freely accessible, and only the oldest of them can easily remember a world without smartphones. People in this generation are extremely adept at using technology and will often expect businesses to be able to respond in kind. This doesn’t mean that they prefer not to have face-to-face contact where appropriate, however. Rather, they prefer a fluid set of options that they can indicate based on the type of communication. For example, they’re very familiar with email but would probably prefer a text message for timely communications.

Millennials
Millennials, currently in their 20s and 30s, may have different communication preferences based on where they sit in that range. Given that the median age for a construction worker is late 30s or early 40s, you may fit in this category yourself. Research indicates that Millennials prefer to avoid phone conversations where possible. Many people in this generation say that they don’t answer calls unless they know the person who is calling. While this doesn’t apply to everybody necessarily, it does mean that you’re more likely to reach people in this generation by text or email.

Generation X
Generation X comprises people who are in their 40s up to their mid to late 50s. Given the rise of digital technology in the 1990s, you may notice an abrupt shift in preferences between younger generation X and older generation X. For example, people in their 40s may be equally adept at using text messages and email. They’re probably also happy to accept phone calls, but somewhat less likely than their older cohorts. By comparison, older members of generation X may be more comfortable with emails than text messages. As they head toward retirement, they may be unfamiliar with other types of communication or collaboration software.

Baby Boomers
Baby boomers are more likely to have the most traditional communication preferences of any age group you’re likely to encounter. This group ranges from their late 50s to their mid-70s. They grew up in a time when television was relatively new technology, to say nothing of computers and smartphones. They may own a smartphone, but they are much less likely to use it for functions beyond making phone calls and taking pictures. They would often prefer to receive a phone call than an email, although they can usually manage either. They may be able to send and receive text messages, but it would be wise to ask first.

Tips for Good Communication
Ultimately, the best businesses will ask clients about their communication preferences and then stick with it throughout the transaction. No one in any generation likes to be classified based on the highlights of their age group, especially when it’s used to mock them. You’ll find teenagers who love to make and receive phone calls, and baby boomers who love all the latest technology. Your best bet is to offer a variety of options, and make sure that you can operate within that framework.

Communication is one of the best soft skills you can develop for your business. If you find that you’re struggling to communicate with your clients, try a new method and you’ll usually notice an improvement. For more information about running a successful contracting business, contact CSLS today!

5 Benefits of Taking Practice Tests as Preparation for the Contractor Licensing Exam

You’ve spent years learning skills and weeks or months practicing the details. Now, it’s time to practice for the exam. The best way to ensure that you know what to expect from the contractor licensing exam is to take practice tests. This may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but it’s actually one of the most useful tools you can use. Here are five reasons you can benefit from it.

Find Out What to Expect from the Real Exam
One of the biggest reasons that people struggle with taking exams is that they don’t know what to expect. No matter how much you can practice skills, hit the books and re-read your notes, there’s no replacement for knowing just what the exam is going to be like. This is even more important for people who haven’t taken multiple choice tests in a long time, as well as people who struggled with them when they were in high school or college. Having the opportunity to test it out in a stress-free format can make it easier for you to pay attention to what you see and to how the test goes.

Fill in Information Gaps
For a lot of people, taking a practice test is a way to find out what they don’t know as well as what they do. You may be an expert in certain parts of your field. But if the test doesn’t focus as much on those, you may have parts where you struggle to know what the best answer should be. While practice exams aren’t going to be exactly the same questions, they often cover the same subjects. Once you’ve taken one, you’ll have a concrete list of items that you need to study.

Address Issues with Testing
Everyone has quirks about the way that they take tests. If you don’t know what they are, they’re more likely to come up at the worst possible moment. For example, if you tend to gloss over the questions and just look at the answers, you’re more likely to choose the wrong one. It may be something as simple as getting tired halfway through the exam. Practicing with exams of the same length and for the same duration of time can make it easier to spot what’s likely to go wrong. If you can take it in a setting with similar seating and lighting, you’ll get even more information.

Learn to Pace Your Timing
Having a few hours to take an exam may make it seem like you don’t need to pace yourself. In fact, learning how to use your time wisely is an important benefit of practice exams. If you think you have all the time in the world, you might be tempted to get lost thinking about all the different aspects of the harder ones. But by the end, you could find yourself rushing to finish the last ones. By practicing with the same time limits, you get a sense for how long you need to devote to each question, and how much time you have to do it. This makes it easier to keep a steady pace that can avoid building tension over time.

Overcome Test Anxiety
Test anxiety tends to involve a variety of possible problems. For example, if you are unsure of what the test will be like, you may be worried that you haven’t studied enough or that you don’t know the right subjects. Having an opportunity to practice helps you to fill that in and know what you’re likely to see. You may also be anxious about taking a test because you need to perform on the fly. Being able to think quickly and come up with an answer is an important part of running a contracting business. The good news is that practice can make the unexpected into a common task that doesn’t bother you as much. You might have been afraid of driving at first, too. But after a while, it’s just something that you do.

Passing the test is one of the final steps you need to get your contractor license. To learn how CSLS can help you prepare, contact us today!