Part A of the CWI Exam - Fundamentals

Part A of the CWI exam covers welding fundamentals and contains a minimum of 150 questions. The test is 120 minutes long. That gives you about 48 seconds to answer each question in order to complete the exam within the time limit.

You are allowed to skip questions and go back to them. Any questions that are not answered are counted incorrect.

To pass Part A, you must score 72% or better.

Per AWS B5.1:2013, the following table provides the topics covered in Part A and the minimum percentage of the questions for each topic.

TopicMinimum Percentage of Questions
Definitions and Terminology12%
Welding Processes12%
Symbols - Welding and Nondestructive Examination (NDE)10%
Weld Examination10%
Welding Performance9%
Test Methods - NDE8%
Heat Control and Metallurgy (Carbon and Low-Alloy Steel)6%
Welding Related Calculations6%
Duties and Responsibilities4%
Destructive Tests3%

Part A is a closed book exam so you must have a solid understanding of these topics to have a good chance of passing.

You are allowed to bring a scientific calculator that will help you with quick calculations, especially for converting units (like centimeters to inches or vice versa).

Based on the table above, at least six percent of the exam questions will be on welding related calculations. Be prepared to answer these questions with your calculator. Make sure you know how to use your specific calculator before the exam! The last thing you want is to waste time trying to figure out how it works during the exam.

If you need help passing Part A, we offer a test prep course that’s fully online. The course is 30 hours long and approved by AWS (American Welding Society). After you complete the course, you will receive 30 PDHs (Professional Development Hours) and a certificate of course completion.

Click below to learn more.