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Old 04-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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Default Washington State Master Electrician/ Administrator Exam

I am from a family of electricians and grew up with this. I attended Wentworth for my Journeyman's and have been licensed in two states. I have passed four state exams for Major Load Calculations. I use the Mike Holt study guides to prepare. I ace theory, code, WAC, and practical applications.

However, ...

I also have failed the State Master Electrician/ Administrator Exam Major Load Calculations FIVE times in the past two months. There are many duplex questions and I cannot seem to get these right no matter what I do. There is virtually nothing in the NEC nor in the Holt materials to help.I also seem to be failing the multi-family questions. Can anyone help me? Also, is a church lighting load considered a 125% continuous load?
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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did you buy the whole course from Mike Holt and study the entire NeC on his dvd's, or just buy one book ? I highly recommend the whole course.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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I did study the latest full course for this. I have no problem with the steps, but the exam has some ambiguous variables and nothing I do seems to work. For instance, several questions say "do not include any house or laundry loads", so I omit the dryer, or the laundry circuit load,, or both. Not even close, no matter which I do. Same with the commercial loads. I also don't seem to know when to apply the many different demand factors.

I have had pretty much the same questions each time as well (x5). Feeling dumb, although I have never had a single correction or rejection of my calculations used in real-life situations.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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When I took my examination to be certified as an electrical plans examiner here in Ohio I had to constantly remind myself to only answer the question as asked... although I knew there were other variables to arrive at the actual correct answer.

Could it be that you over-thinking? Sometimes the answer exams want aren't "correct" in the real world.

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Old 04-24-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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1) post some examples you don't understand the answers to
2) I can't imagine even if you missed all the duplex questions that you would fail the exam, unless your test is vastly differerent from the one I took in MD, so I am guessing that you are just marginal on some of the other stuff ? maybe you need to study for a few more months (just throwing out suggestions here.)
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Major Load Calcs is only 10 questions, so missing (4) will fail you. Reading the NEC and prep books again and again has not raised my score 1% in (5) exams. When I passed this in 2005, the proctor said I was 1st of the last 96 to pass.

Examples are like .6 kw disp, 1.2 kw dish, 4.5 kw water heater, 21 amp/240 AC, (2) 8kw ovens in each side of a duplex

or, same-ish loads in a (10) or (30) unit multi-fam.+ "do not include laundry or house loads"
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
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I just passed my Oregon Supervisors test a couple weeks ago and was thinking about gearing up to take the Washington test. Now you have me worried....

I have been told Oregon's is one of the toughest, but maybe those people haven't taken the Washington test...

I took a class by John Powell for Oregon's Supervisor exam.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:31 PM   #8
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I don't know which side of the mountains you are on, but try to look up a gentleman named Don Patten (Not sure if the spelling is correct) he teaches prep classes and continuing education. I took one of his classes several years ago and passed the General Admin test. Code sections the first time and major calculations on the third. I'm nothing more than a lowly 02 resi guy too.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asphalt View Post
I don't know which side of the mountains you are on, but try to look up a gentleman named Don Patten (Not sure if the spelling is correct) he teaches prep classes and continuing education. I took one of his classes several years ago and passed the General Admin test. Code sections the first time and major calculations on the third. I'm nothing more than a lowly 02 resi guy too.
I took a class from don patten, good teacher he knew his stuff
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post
I just passed my Oregon Supervisors test a couple weeks ago and was thinking about gearing up to take the Washington test. Now you have me worried....

I have been told Oregon's is one of the toughest, but maybe those people haven't taken the Washington test...

I took a class by John Powell for Oregon's Supervisor exam.
I have a Washington Administrator License as well as a Washington Journeyman license.

Don't have the hours yet for the Oregon Supervisor but I've got a running tally... should be a bit more than a year and I'll be able to do that Gonna take the John Powell course too.

Anyway the Washington one was tough, I studied a Mike Holt calculations book as well as one of the NJATC calculations books. I passed that section with a 70 first time but it wasn't easy.

Honestly my toughest section of both the Journeyman and Administrator tests was the WAC/RCW crap. Holy smokes, Washington has some screwball organization methods for their administrative rules I actually failed that section when I did the Admin test. I was so worried about the calculations that I glossed over the WAC/RCW in my studies. Had to take that section again.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:15 AM   #11
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Take a prep class. John Powell has a good one.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:05 PM   #12
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I just took this test. Passed the NEC and WAC portions but failed on the calculations. One question I have is that several of the load calculations said to ignore "House Loads and Laundry Loads". What do they mean by House Loads?
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:24 PM   #13
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Ditto. Just took the WAC Admin exam. Passed the WAC and NEC sections first time. Took John Gary's review classes. Helped to organize the books with Tabs. Study where to find things more than trying to memorize everything although memory helps speed up things. I was able to look up a lot of the information and had enough time to do that in order to pass those first two sections of this 7 hour marathon. BTW ask the test proctor for additional paper for the calcs. and dont wait till into the exam to get them...my test Proctor disappeared about the time I needed the extra paper space. Eat/drink well before the exam as there is no breaks. Sometimes the Proctor will try to deny you certain reference books to bring (Holtz's exam prep) but many of these have been approved by L&I for use in the exam.
Regarding the NEC calc test...I agree with previous comments: it is tricky. Tried 4 times to pass and still no go...getting the hang of it but not sure where exactly am making the errors. And since PSI wont let you get any feedback as to where your questions are wrong nor will they tell you who wrote the exam so you can try to learn from your mistakes the whole thing seems a "little rigged".

Don't let question looks fool you....the test seems easy and I fininshed with almost 40 extra minutes.

The last test had a duplex standard with (2) equal ranges. Duplex optional had one range..other questions; multifamily standard, multifamily optional. There was a question of how many 15A circuits for a certain square foot residence....remember to round up. There was one calc asking the total load for (2) 4.5kW ranges. There was two questions about general lighting for 10,000 sf office building and 7,000 sf office. There was a inverse time breaker motor calc... (1) 7-1/2hp, (2) 10hp, (1) 40hp all 3ph, 240V with largest motor with 5 min intermittent duty cycle. The rounding up to nearest available breaker for the largest motor then the rounding down to the next lowest breaker for the total of the three loads is what 430.62A Exc1 is all about. Then there is the big two tenant industrial commercial question.......know general lighting loads x 1.25%, storefront lighting x1.25%, motors for each tenant, heat and AC for each tenant...remember to choose largest, receptical count is given for each tenant...remember to use 100% and 50% demand factors. there is one transformer non-motor arc welder for one tenant, and remember to include 25% of the largest motor...Not sure if suppose to use the largest listed motor or the motors of the AC units and whether or not to include 25% of largest motor for each tenant or just one. There may be a question about loads from a number of cooktop and ranges so know know Table 220.55....especially Notes 1-4.

In summary, I am interested in talking with (or hiring) someone who has passed this exam in the last 6 months to clear up some questions. Maybe we could setup a GoToMeeting online for anyone else interested so we can all hash this out and end this testing misery.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:13 AM   #14
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Jedi - I just re-took my Washington Admin Calculation Portion yesterday and passed it with 100% (50% first time). I would recommend you buy the "2011 Calculations Exam Questions and Answers" book by Tom Henry. I got mine direct from the Brown Technical Book Shop. The questions and explanations in this book are very similar to the test calculations.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:55 AM   #15
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Thanks for the reply Mike. I just got Tom Henry's 2008 Calculations Exam Questions and Answers book. Already found one question improvement....that one must compare cooking load calcs from columns A&B with column C and take the lowest for example.
Do you mind if I contacted you on the phone if I have any subtle questions? My number is 4256525601. Thx again.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:18 AM   #16
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no problem. Ill send you a text so you can get a hold of me.

There was definitely a problem with two 8Kw ranges, where you had to use Column B instead of Column C on the test I took.

Also, don't forget NEC 220.85, if they ask you to calculate the load for a two family duplex using the optional method, you have to calculate it as if there were three units, not two when you use the optional method.
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