How to Pass the ICC Concrete Plan Examination

An ICC Reinforced Concrete Special Inspector is one who observes and reports the construction of residential or commercial buildings are in accordance with the building codes of the jurisdiction and at the same time, the approved specifications and building plans (aka. blueprints). Not just anyone can be part of this building inspection team. The individual must satisfy the requirements for certification mandated by the International Code Council (ICC). The building team found on any commercial or residential project is composed of different individuals (Architect, Engineer, Superintendent, Inspector, etc.) that perform different tasks but with one single objective, which is to uphold the Code of Ethics for the welfare and safety of the entire public. To attain an ICC Reinforced Concrete Certification does not require years of experience, as many believe.

Tips for passing the plan portion of the examination

The plan portion of the exam is not easy. Even if you have a strong knowledge of the code portion, most individuals fail do to a lack of understanding the rules of reading plans. So to increase your chances of passing the plan examination remember the following:

  • First, there are the ‘Tools of the Trade’ and in plan reading this holds true. Become familiar with the Registered Design Professional product contents, design requirements, orientation, schedules and specific directions that are found in any set of plans.
  • Second, remember one of the duties of a ICC Reinforced Concrete Special Inspector is to verify whether the contractor complies with the approved specifications for the building, needless to say, a candidate must familiarize himself with these items that are found in the plans, especially those that will be used on the structural reinforced concrete.
  • In connection to that, the examination is also an open book 60 question examination so candidates must have good navigational skills with the material such as the Concrete Manual and the Model Program for Special Inspection. To familiarize yourself with these reference requirements you can the ICC candidate bulletin.
  • Thirdly, be completely comfortable with the symbols and abbreviations used on the building plans because this is a very often missed step by individuals that test. And equip yourself with necessary instruments that will help you answer the questions more efficiently such as a sheet magnifying glass and a calculator.

In closing, learning how to budget your time for the given 3 ½ hours is not an easy task. There are 90 questions and the rule of thumb is to allocate 1 ½ hours for the open book code portion and 2 hours for interpreting the plans.

Best of luck on the test!