The CWI (Certified Welding Inspector) exam offered by AWS (American Welding Society) is notorious for being difficult to pass.
You’ve probably wondered, “What is the exam pass rate?” It can’t be very high. There are too many people who are taking the exam a second time because they failed one or more parts of the test.
Welding inspectors who have been in the industry for a long time estimate that only 30% pass the whole test on the first try.
This estimated pass rate is discouraging. No one wants to fail and then have to pay more money to retake the test. Plus, you have to spend hours studying again.
Why Is the Pass Rate So Low?
There are two main reasons why people struggle to pass the AWS CWI exam.
1. The test is just flat out hard and covers a lot of material.
Think about how long the test is. The exam is made up of 3 parts - A, B, and C - and each part has a 2 hour time limit. You could spend up to 6 hours taking the exam. That’s a lot of material to learn!
To pass the exam, you will need to understand the required code books. You will need to study many hours to learn the material. You will need to spend enough time practicing with your molds and tools to pass the hands-on practical portion (Part B) of the exam.
But it’s not enough just to know the material and understand how to use your tools. You have to know the material well and become skilled with the tools to deal with the time pressure of the test.
2. People don’t prepare properly for the test.
Many of them underestimate how long it will take to learn the material so they don’t spend enough time studying.
For example, one of the most common test prep methods is taking the week-long AWS seminar right before taking the exam. However, the seminar alone is not enough to prepare you for the test. The test covers too many topics so even one-week of full-time study is insufficient preparation.
Other people study for weeks but they don’t cover all the things they need to know. Or maybe they study material they don’t necessarily need to know. These people may also fail to understand the concepts because they need the help of an expert.
Getting Help from an Expert
If you would like help preparing for the exam, we offer an online CWI course.
The teacher is Matt Owens, CWI, MSI. He passed the test on his first try so he knows what you need to learn to pass the exam. Plus, he has over 10 years experience in the industry. He can explain the concepts to you so you can understand them.
Also, there is a chat box in the course. You can easily ask questions if you get stuck or don’t understand something. Matt will reply within 48 hours so you will get the answers you need quickly.