Each month we receive hundreds of phone calls, text messages, and emails from candidates asking us for the “Tips” or SECRETS they need to know to prepare and pass their State Board Exam.

And because so many people contact us all asking the same thing,  our team of experts has  compiled a List of Must-DO Tips.

That List can be summed up in one word:  PREPARATION!

So O.K.;  but how do you Prepare?


Immediately below is the List of 5 Tips required to Prepare and Pass your Exam; then just below that List, our team expands on it by giving you some very specific ideas, so read on.

5 Tips on Preparing for Your Cosmetology State Board Exam:

    1. Get Your Stuff Together.
    2. Study, Study, Study, and Practice, Practice, Practice.
    3. Get Mentally Prepared.
    4. Reward Yourself.
    5. Stop Stressing Out.

PREPARATION is crucial  to your success; but remember this:

No matter how much time you spend in PREPARATION for your Exam – if you prepare and study using the WRONG INFORMATION, you will always Fail Your Exam!

And the WRONG INFORMATION can be as simple as:

-studying things that will not be asked on the Exam, or

-studying old, out-of-date questions; these are questions  that were asked on the Exam in the past, but not now.

Study hard using the wrong information = Fail.

Study hard using the right information = Pass.

So how do you get the RIGHT INFORMATION?

There are several fine companies based in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas providing materials for you to pass your Exam. And then, there are a few companies – headquartered in China and India – selling products that supposedly will help you pass your Exam.

Some of the companies that are headquartered in China and India include: CPT Guru and ProProfs.

Preparing for your Cosmetology State Board Exam is no walk in the park. That is why it is so important to have the RIGHT INFORMATION and SOLID GUIDELINES to follow along that walk.

Understand that in many countries – such as China and India;

they do not have a Cosmetology STATE BOARD LICENSING EXAM,


So it is difficult to understand how a company based in Hong Kong, China, or New Delhi, India – is going to know what is on the State Board Exam in Houston, Texas – or in any other American city.

But enough about about the importance of buying products designed  in and for the country in which you will be taking your Exam; now lets’ drill down into the 5 Tips mentioned above. 

In compiling these 5 Tips, we called upon many of our staff members, including: our own Master Instructor and Guru – Indira Patel / Davis. Nicolle Salcedo (official translator for the California Cosmetology & Barber Exam). Francois Duvalier (Master Colorist and Platform Artist for the Wella Corporation). Ms. Joni Wisbey (State Board Member for the Washington State Board of Cosmetologists – retired). Ms Lucy Tran (State Board member for the California State Board of Cosmetology). And Mr Sayyid Larajani (school owner, salon owner, business man and attorney / Florida).

Indira has been a Master Instructor for over 15 years and has taught at some of the most prestigious cosmetology schools in America; including: The Aveda Institute, Paul Mitchell, and Empire (no, not Cookie Lyons’s Empire :). And with her extensive industry background and deep desire to see others succeed, Indira has personally helped thousands of students pass their Exams.


1 – Get Your Stuff Together.

Graduate from Cosmetology School.

If your state allows pre-registration, do it.

Otherwise, Register for the Exam as soon as you graduate.

For information on  this, call us as: 760-534-4434.

Mark your test date on your calendar.

Note the location of the testing center.

If possible, go there a few days in advance so you know “how to find it”, and how long the trip will take from your home.

Get your KIT together.

Some states have companies that sell / rent KITS, if your state has this available, buy / rent one, it is worth the money.

Do not bring doubles or triples of everything, you won’t need them and they only get in your way.

If your state has a “Practical Portion” of the Exam (not all states do), find out if the Practical is done using a live model or a mannequin.

If you are not sure, contact the State Board Office (all State Board Office contact information is available on this website, www.cosmetologystateboardexam.com).

Bring proof of your Training Hours from your school, with you to the Exam.

Bring a government issued, photo ID to the Exam.(Examples include: Driver’s License, Police ID, or Passport).

2 – Study, Study, Study and Practice, Practice, Practice.

The State Board Exam will test you on Key Concepts, Vocabulary, Definitions, Theories, Practical Procedures, Safety Procedures, Sanitation & Disinfection Practices, and much more.


This means that in a classroom of 100 people,

51 will FAIL and only 49 will PASS.

And do you know the reason that 51 people will Fail?

Let us be clear; they are not failing because the State wants them to fail. And they are not failing because they are not studying. They are failing because they are “not” studying the RIGHT INFORMATION.

If you are taking the Exam In CHINA or INDIA, by all means study materials from companies headquartered in China or India. But if you are taking the Exam in America, study materials from companies in America – seems like a no-brainer!




A recent survey taken by NACCAS revealed that of students that failed their Cosmetology Exam,  84% of them relied solely on their textbook to study. There is an old expression that says: “Do not put all of your eggs into one basket

So what is the most effective way to study for the State Board Exam?

We recommend the powerful study materials from the STATE BOARD RESOURCE CENTER (www.cosmetologystateboardexam.com).

Candidates who prepared using these study materials passed their Exams by almost 99% (this is more than double the National Pass Rate). Stated another way: in a classroom of 100 people, 99 PASSED and 1 Failed).

Materials from the State Board Resource Center include:

  1. Questions direct from the 2016 State Board Exam (why do you think they are called the State Board).
  2. Flash Cards.
  3. Mobile Friendly Online Exams (on your cell-phone in under 30 seconds).
  4. Hard Copy Exams (for those that like a book in their hands).
  5. Exams in SPANISH, and much more.

After using their materials, if you Fail your Exam, they offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee.

3 – Get Mentally Prepared.

To be confident and relaxed on Exam day, you need to be familiar with the structure and format of the Exam.

Written Exams usually last between 90 and 120 minutes.

For Cosmetology or Barbering, the Practical Exam usually lasts between 4 and 6 hours.

For Esthetics and Nail Technology, the Practical Exam usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours.

There are usually short breaks allowed; but do not be late returning or you will not be allowed back in. Crying, begging, and complaining will not help; the staff follows the rules and you must too.

Leave for the testing center EARLY. That way, if you get a flat-tire or there is an accident on the freeway, you will not be late.

4 – Reward Yourself.

Small rewards along a long journey are important as they release Dopamine in the brain (this is the body’s own “Feel Good Medicine”).

So if you get a 100% on a practice test, reward yourself with something you enjoy (a cookie, a pizza, the Kardashians). Just don’t binge watch and forget what you are here for – Kim will still be there tomorrow with a brand new scandal!

5 – Stop Stressing Out.

A little pressure is a good thing, it makes us “up-our-game”; but to much pressure and we simply shut down.

The worst thing you can do is CRAM the material the night before the Exam. If you didn’t learn it over the last 12 months, you will not learn it in the next 3 hours. All you will do is tire yourself out so that you cannot think clearly in the morning.

By now; You Have Worked Hard, You Have Put In The Hours, and You Have Studied the RIGHT MATERIAL – You Know This!