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Calif Licensing Expert
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd just like to talk about "schools" that offer a lot and deliver a little.

I hear at least once a week, either in this forum or on the phone, from people who have purchased exam study materials and are totally dissatisfied.

I wish there was a way to drum these people out of business. Not because they are competition but because I can NOT stand companies who rip people off. I too am a consumer and am always ready to tell companies to take a hike if they dont meet my standards. (Voicing my opinion about poor service has never been one of my short comings. Just ask the owner of my local McDonalds when they gave my kid 3 nuggets instead of 4. :laughing: )

Unfortunately there really is no way to stop these "schools" from doing what they do.

One possible option is this forum. We should all be looking out for each other in this industry and I think posting your experiences with these "schools" will keep others from wasting their money.

Sorry for tooting my own horn here :whistling ....but I've been told that I dont charge enough for my services. The reason why I don't gouge my clients is because I don't do what I do to become rich, I do what I do to help people.

Years ago I sat in my cube at the CSLB and was disgusted by my coworkers that went out of their way NOT to help applicants. I was even more disgusted when supervisors and management went out of their way to tell techs (like me) not to help the applicants. By that I mean, we were basically told not to go out of our way to help. Anyway... I'm just saying this because it totally fries my shorts when people tell me that they were ripped off!

Rant over :thumbsup: If you'd like to share you unhappy "school" story, please post to this thread.
 

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Best options

Thanks, Phil. I know we are across the continent, but can you share some general suggestions on what kind of study material is best? On line vs seminars, etc. My app. has been accepted and I am scheduling my exam soon. I searched and found loads of options, hard to determine the best way to spend my money to get results. Thanks in Georgia
 

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In '89 when I got licensed the "schools" were almost unheard of. Now every youngster I talk to is using them to get licensed.
My memory isnt real good anymore but as near as I can recall there was nothing real challenging about the tests.
Open book tests are pretty hard to fail I would think.
I think the advertising the schools use to push their product is misleading people to fear that the tests are hard to pass without them.
 

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General Contractor
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I got my license in '84. The only course I looked at was the "Dave Buster" course. That was enough for me...... I immediately, instead, went to our local technical college and signed up for one of their courses.

I'm so glad I did. It took a lot more time, but cost a whale of a lot less. And I learned SO much more than it would have been possible to in that commercial cram course.

Now, if all you are looking for is a quick way to pass the exam, I suppose those classes are great. But I wanted to know what General Contracting was all about, and how to do it well.

I would never, ever just send off for some study material.
 

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I used the school advertized on this web site and they worked for me. I went to all the classes and two weeks before my test I used used their computer every day until I aced the schools test. Passing the state test was not a problem. And I hate to study.
 

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Calif Licensing Expert
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations on passing and thanks for the post.

Sadly you are the exception and not the rule. I talk to people every week who've used a "school" and found their materials substandard at best.

I had a client pass on monday and he said the materials I provided him were so close to his exam that it "wasn't even funny"!

For some reason, these big "schools" create their own materials and just dont have the man power or ability to create exam prep materials that can keep up with the State exams.
 

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Took my test in 1980. The old contractor I worked for really wanted me to get my license. He was constantly grilling me about codes & techniques. My trade test was mostly based on 1950 ish methods. Read a couple of books on construction & lien law. Passed the first time.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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Took my test in 1980. The old contractor I worked for really wanted me to get my license. He was constantly grilling me about codes & techniques. My trade test was mostly based on 1950 ish methods. Read a couple of books on construction & lien law. Passed the first time.
I was the exact opposite.The guy I worked for for many years did not want me to learn anything at all as far as running a biz.He knew I wanted to one day work for myself and he was afraid to loose me and the other full timer as he had a real good thing going...
I had to study my butt off for the law portion of the test.The trade was not a problem.....And I passed on my first time too...:thumbsup:
 

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Hi Guru

I agree with your post for the most part. I have been working in Florida licensing for ten years.

First of all, no has the test. One school advertises that theory is good, actual exam questions are better. I complained to the state and they were in agreement, but they cannot regulate how the schools advertise.

There are good schools out there, a few. If a contractor calls a school who will not be frank with them about how easy florida exam registration online actually is without paying for books and class first, run away...

If they won't talk to you about the application after your pass the Florida exam, run away...

If you are a painter or you hang interior drywall who doesn't have structural experience and they tell you that you can test for GC, run away...

If you are looking for a Florida license, it will be difficult to find all the information you need in one place. Do your due diligence and make sure you meet the experience requirements, financial requirements, and so on. If you call a school, use one that offers application assistance after you pass the exam, tell them your background and potential issues that may stall a license and see what your options are.

Florida tests first and asks questions later. If you don't qualify, you've thrown away good money on books and classes.
 

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So what is it they offer, but fail to deliver on? I thought all these schools did was offer practice tests and use memorization techniques.
 

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I'd just like to talk about "schools" that offer a lot and deliver a little.

I hear at least once a week, either in this forum or on the phone, from people who have purchased exam study materials and are totally dissatisfied.

I wish there was a way to drum these people out of business. Not because they are competition but because I can NOT stand companies who rip people off. I too am a consumer and am always ready to tell companies to take a hike if they dont meet my standards. (Voicing my opinion about poor service has never been one of my short comings. Just ask the owner of my local McDonalds when they gave my kid 3 nuggets instead of 4. :laughing: )

Unfortunately there really is no way to stop these "schools" from doing what they do.

One possible option is this forum. We should all be looking out for each other in this industry and I think posting your experiences with these "schools" will keep others from wasting their money.

Sorry for tooting my own horn here :whistling ....but I've been told that I dont charge enough for my services. The reason why I don't gouge my clients is because I don't do what I do to become rich, I do what I do to help people.

Years ago I sat in my cube at the CSLB and was disgusted by my coworkers that went out of their way NOT to help applicants. I was even more disgusted when supervisors and management went out of their way to tell techs (like me) not to help the applicants. By that I mean, we were basically told not to go out of our way to help. Anyway... I'm just saying this because it totally fries my shorts when people tell me that they were ripped off!

Rant over :thumbsup: If you'd like to share you unhappy "school" story, please post to this thread.
Phil,

Nice to hear there are still decent people around like you. I am shopping for a low voltage "school" in Florida. Do you do that?

Thanks,
Fred
 

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LG, being a fellow Caladian, I can attest that the "schools" are not about learning anything but taking the test. When I did my study back in the early 90's, we had about an hour discussion on the "law" or "business" side of things that covered lien law and similar aspects, things that tradesmen aren't privy to in their day to day course of life. After that, the next hour was spent taking sample tests of questions we'd likely see on the state exam.

After all was said and done, I passed the state exam with a 96% on the trade portion of the test and an 85% on the law portion. I've gotten considerably better on the law aspects since then, of course.

Do I have a problem with "trade schools", in general, no, but the issue isn't that these are "schools" of the trade, they are schools of how to take the state test and pass. IMHO, it was worth the few pieces of gold they asked for their assistance.

As for trade schools, I'd really like to see more course level work that is affordable and targeted to those in the trade that will not only improve their skills, but their business acumen as well.
 
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