I received a great question from someone who is studying for their cosmetology exam. They had read about all the different sources that are used to develop the exam. There seemed to be two different answers to the same question from two different sources. This was an anatomy question so their was only one correct answer. After consulting the anatomy experts, I was able to confirm both sources were right.
The point is, the cosmetology exam is developed from a variety of resources. Online study guides should be derived from those same resources to ensure all the material is covered. Resources like Milady’s Standard Cosmetology and Pivot Point’s Salon Fundamentals contain unique information, and you’d be surprised how much their information doesn’t entirely overlap.
A good study guide will use a variety of resources just like the exam developers. The cosmetology exam is developed by experts in the field who work together to ensure the questions are valid and unique. The questions in the exam cover the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job in perfect proportions. For example, the knowledge of scientific concepts is 29% of the NIC Cosmetology exam. That means for a typical cosmetologist, being competent about infection control, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, ergonomics, and basic principles of electricity and chemistry is nearly a third of the job!
Who decides that the knowledge of scientific concepts is 29% of a Cosmetologists job? The process to decide what to cover and how much in each area on the cosmetology exam can take months. A group of experts comes up with the plan, but then that plan is sent out to hundreds of cosmetologists for their expertise. These cosmetologists are in diverse locations with different types of businesses that employ cosmetologists so that everyone is represented. This is what the NIC Candidate Information Bulletins are derived from.
When choosing a study guide for the cosmetology test, make sure it was developed in the same way the NIC Cosmetology exam was developed and the proportion of practice questions in a certain area to the rest of the questions is the same as the actual NIC exam. Feel free to ask them!