“I Failed my Cosmetology Exam!” – What to do Next

If you failed your state board exam in cosmetology, esthetics, nails or barbering, you’re definitely not alone: 51% of candidates fail the written part of their exam!

In order to get your cosmetology licence, you need to do the following:

  • Complete the required number of hours at beauty school (the precise number of hours differs from state to state)
  • Pass a practical exam (note: a small number of states don’t have a practical exam)
  • Pass a written exam

It’s the written exam that candidates are most frightened of, and for good reason: more than half of all candidates fail it! So in this article we’ll focus on how to pass with flying colors.

By following the tips below, you CAN and you WILL pass your cosmetology state board written exam on your next attempt.

#1: Don’t rely on just one textbook

The cosmetology written exam questions are based on many textbooks – including but definitely not limited to Milady and Salon Fundamentals.

In beauty school you’ll most likely have learned from just one textbook, but one textbook isn’t enough to pass the written exam.

(Your professors should have taught you everything you need to know – including information that’s not in your “official” beauty school textbook. Unfortunately, plenty of professors don’t do this.)

But don’t panic! You don’t need to memorize information from TONS of textbooks: we have a far simpler solution!

Our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package contains a comprehensive study guide, which teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know and skips everything you don’t need to know. It saves you crazy amounts of time, and ensures you won’t fail the cosmetology written exam next time!

#2: Familiarize yourself with the wording and terminology of the cosmetology written exam

Did you know that your textbook and course materials use different wording compared to the written exam?

It can easily trip you up, and if you ask us, it’s sneaky and unfair. You might know a topic inside out and back to front, but the written exam will use phrases and terminology that are totally different from what you’re used to.

If you’re not careful, the different terminology can easily confuse you and lead you to give incorrect answers – even when you KNOW the right answer!

That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with the wording used on real state board exams.

The simulated exams in our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package contain the REAL kinds of questions you’ll get on your written exam, which will help you get used to the wording and terminology – so you’ll know what to expect for your own written exam.

#3: Practice practice practice (under exam conditions)

What To Do When You Fail a Cosmetology Exam - Practice

While most candidates understand the importance of practicing for the practical exam, many don’t bother to practice for their state board written cosmetology exam.

Perhaps that’s because they had nothing to practice with!

Our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package solves that problem in an instant: it allows you to take real-life simulated cosmetology written exams, which are exactly like the real thing:

  • The questions are EXACTLY like the ones you’ll get on your own written exam (including how they’re worded and phrased).
  • Each simulated exam is timed – just like the real thing.
  • Each simulated exam is graded in exactly the same way as the state board exams.

You can also take this set of practice questions for free to test your knowledge.

#4: Take your time with the written exam

You’ll have a lot of multiple choice questions to answer, but you’ll also have a lot of time in which to answer them.

Our advice:

  1. Go through the questions once and quickly answer anything where you KNOW the answer immediately.
  2. Those ones out the way, go through the questions a second time and this time focus on the ones where you were initially less sure of the answer. You’ll probably find that you get a flash of inspiration when you read those questions a second time.
  3. Then – if there’s time – go through the questions a third time and answer any that are still remaining. If you’re still not sure how to answer them, make an educated guess!

Importantly, don’t worry if everyone else finishes their exam and leaves the room before you. We promise you: many of those candidates will FAIL their written exam.

#5: Take your mind off things the night before

What To Do When You Fail a Cosmetology Exam

You need to give your brain a break from all the work! Try to relax the night before your written exam, and trust that all the work and preparation you’ve done over the past few months will pay off.

A late, panicky night of cramming is the worst way to prepare for your cosmetology state board exam!

Related Reading: Top 10 reasons to pursue a career in cosmetology

Good luck – not that you’ll need it!