Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam: Free Practice Test and Everything You Need to Know

Planning to move to the state of Iowa and start your cosmetology career? Are you interested in taking the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam? Are you confused about the exam process? You have arrived at the right place.

In this article, you will learn about the exam process and the steps involved in the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam. As a bonus, you will also get a clear idea about the license renewal and transfer process.

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Table of Contents:

The Steps Involved in the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam

The process of taking the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam involves several steps. Now, let us discuss the steps involved in taking the Iowa cosmetology exam.

STEP 1: VERIFY YOUR ELIGIBILITY

The very first step to taking the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam is to check if you are eligible to apply for the exam or not. Each State Board of Cosmetology Exam has eligibility criteria set for the candidates who apply for the exam.

Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam
Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam

The minimum practical working hours required to be eligible to apply for the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam are as follows:

  • 2100 hours for a Cosmetologist license.
  • Cosmetology license + 100 hours of Instructor training, or 2 years of work experience in the last 6 years for a Cosmetology Instructor license.
  • 600 hours for an Esthetician license.
  • 325 hours for a Nail Technician license.
  • 400 hours for an Electrologist license.
  • 500 hours for a Massage Therapist license.

STEP 2: APPLY FOR THE IOWA COSMETOLOGY STATE BOARD EXAMINATION

Once you have verified your eligibility, the next step is to apply for the exam. The Iowa Department of Public Health has contracted with PSI to offer examination services to candidates.

The department uses the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) exam, through PSI. To apply for the exam, you may register online by accessing PSI’s official website, or by calling them at (855)746-8173.

STEP 3: PAY YOUR EXAM FEES

Once you have applied for the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam, the next step is to pay the required fees. The fee details for the exam are as follows:

  • The exam fee is $58.
  • The practical exam fee is $75.

The above-mentioned fees are to be sent to the PSI directly and not to the board.

NOTE: The exam fee is non-transferable and non-refundable.

STEP 4: SCHEDULING YOUR EXAM

After you pay the exam fee, the next step is to schedule your cosmetology exam. Now, let’s see how to schedule the exam with PSI.

The most convenient and fastest way to schedule the exam is to register online. Online registration is available 24 hours a day. To register for the exam online, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Log into PSI’s official website.
  • Complete the online registration form and submit your details to PSI.
  • Once you have completed the online registration form, you will be provided with the available location and exam dates to schedule your cosmetology exam.
  • Select your examination date and location according to your preference.

To register for the exam via telephone, you will have to call them at (855)746-8173. Telephone registration is available 24 hours a day. You can call them during the below-mentioned business hours for registration:

TIMEMONDAY TO FRIDAYSATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Central time6:30 am to 9 pm 8 am to 4:30 pm
Eastern time7:30 am to 10 pm9 am to 5:30 pm
Pacific time 4:30 am to 7 pm6 am to 2:30 pm
Mountain time5:30 am to 8 pm7 am to 3:30 pm
Business hours for telephone registration

Likewise, to reschedule or cancel the exam without forfeiting your fee, make sure your cancellation notice is received by PSI at least 2 days prior to the scheduled exam date. You can also call PSI at (855)746-8173 or fax them at (702)932-2666 regarding the cancellation or rescheduling of the exam.

STEP 5: ON THE EXAMINATION DAY

On the day of the exam, you should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment. If you arrive late, you may not be allowed to take the exam and you will forfeit your registration fee.

Applicants are required to register for the exam with their legal first and last names as mentioned on their government-issued identification. All identification must match the first and last name under which the applicant is registered.

Let’s now discuss the documents you must carry with you to the exam center.

  • Applicants must bring 2 identification documents that are valid and has their signature.

PRIMARY IDENTIFICATION (Any one of the following):

  • An identification card issued by the state.
  • A driver’s license issued by the state.
  • A US Government-issued Alien Registration card.
  • A military identification card issued by the US Government.
  • A passport issued by the US Government.

SECONDARY IDENTIFICATION (Any one of the following):

  • A Social Security Card.
  • A signed credit card.
  • A birth certificate with raised seal issued by the US Government.

NOTE: Employee ID and student ID are not acceptable as identification documents.

STEP 6: TAKE THE EXAM

The Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam consists of 2 exams, namely:

  • The NIC Practical exam.
  • The NIC Theory exam.

Iowa uses the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) exam through PSI to conduct the practical and theory exams. The duration of the NIC practical exam is about 3 hours and the NIC theory exam is about 90 minutes. The written exam is a computer-based exam. The state does not offer paper and pencil examinations.

For further exam information, you can visit the official website of NIC testing.

STEP 7: RESULTS ANALYSIS

Once you have taken both the NIC theory and practical exams, you can check your exam results. For the computer-based written exam, you will be provided with your score immediately after the exam. This will be an unofficial exam score report that will be printed at the exam center.

The passing score for the NIC exams is 75% or higher. You will have to score 75% or higher to pass the exams and apply for licensure.

STEP 8: RECEIVE YOUR IOWA STATE BOARD OF COSMETOLOGY LICENSE

Once you have passed the exam, you are now eligible to apply for the license. To begin the licensure process, go to the Apply section on the board’s official website. Application guidelines for each type of licensure are available on the page. You can download it and go through the guidelines to learn more about the process.

The best way to apply for a new license is by filling out an online application. You will have to visit the official website of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to apply online for a license.

Create a new account if you are a new user. If you already have an account, log in and apply for your new license.

LICENSE LOOKUP, RENEWAL, AND TRANSFER

For license lookup, go to the Find a Licensee section on the official website and enter all the required details to conduct your search.

Similarly, to transfer your license from another state to Iowa, you must contact the board to find out what you need to transfer your license. You must also pay a fee of $20 to the board to verify the existence of your license in another state. Along with your written request, make sure to include the fee in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.

To renew your licensure, the licensees are required to complete certain continuing education hours within a certain time period. Continuing education hours are required for licensees after the second renewal.

For candidates who are newly licensed, continuing education is not required when renewing their licenses for the first time.

To learn more about continuing education, visit the Continuing Education page on the official website.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE IOWA COSMETOLOGY STATE BOARD OF EXAMINATIONS?

To apply for the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam, you may register online by accessing PSI’s official website, or by calling them at (855)746-8173.

I CAN’T MAKE THE DATE/TIME OF MY EXAMINATION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

To reschedule or cancel the exam without forfeiting your fee, make sure your cancellation notice is received by PSI at least 2 days prior to the scheduled exam date. You can also call PSI at (855)746-8173 or fax them at (702)932-2666 regarding the cancellation or rescheduling of the exam.

WHICH EXAMINATION PROGRAM DOES THE IOWA COSMETOLOGY STATE BOARD OF EXAM USE?

The Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam uses the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology exam (NIC), through PSI, to conduct the practical and theory exams. 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THE IOWA COSMETOLOGY STATE BOARD OF EXAMS?

 The fee details for the exam are as follows:

  • The exam fee is $58.
  • The practical exam fee is $75.

The above-mentioned fees are to be sent to the PSI directly and not to the board.

NOTE: Exam fees are non-transferable and non-refundable.

WHERE DO THE EXAMINATIONS TAKE PLACE?

The examination centers in the state of Iowa are as follows:

  • Ottumwa.
  • Sioux City.
  • Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Area.
  • Council Bluffs.
  • Council Bluffs (Airport).
  • Coralville Sylvan.
  • Dubuque.
  • West Des Moines.

HOW MANY HOURS OF PRACTICAL WORK DO I NEED TO QUALIFY FOR THE IOWA COSMETOLOGY STATE EXAM?

The minimum practical working hours required to be eligible to apply for the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam are as follows:

  • 2100 hours for a Cosmetologist license.
  • Cosmetology license + 100 hours of Instructor training, or 2 years of work experience in the last 6 years for a Cosmetology Instructor license.
  • 600 hours for an Esthetician license.
  • 325 hours for a Nail Technician license.
  • 400 hours for an Electrologist license.
  • 500 hours for a Massage Therapist license.

CAN I TAKE THE IOWA STATE BOARD EXAMINATIONS BEFORE I’VE COMPLETED THE REQUIRED HOURS?

No. To apply for the Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam, you first have to meet the eligibility criteria of completing the practical working hours set by the state.

HOW LONG IS THE COSMETOLOGY WRITTEN EXAMINATION?

The NIC theory exam is about 90 minutes

WHAT’S THE FORMAT OF THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION?

The theory written exam is computer-based.

CAN I TAKE A PRACTICE TEST EXAM?

Yes, you can try some practice tests on the official website. Likewise, you can also try our free cosmetology practice tests to help with your exam preparation.

HOW LONG IS THE COSMETOLOGY PRACTICAL EXAMINATION?

The NIC practical exam is about 3 hours.

WHAT SCORES DO I NEED TO PASS BOTH PORTIONS OF THE COSMETOLOGY EXAM?

The passing score for the NIC exams is 75% or higher. You will have to score 75% or higher to pass the exams and apply for licensure.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I RETAKE THE STATE BOARD COSMETOLOGY EXAMINATIONS IF I FAIL?

You can retake the exam any number of times. You can schedule the exam by registering online or by calling them at (855)746-8173

HOW DO I TRANSFER MY COSMETOLOGY LICENSE TO IOWA?

To transfer your license from another state to Iowa, you must contact the board to find out what you need to transfer your license. You must also pay a fee of $20 to the board to verify the existence of your license in another state. Along with your written request, make sure to include the fee in the form of a cashier’s check or money order.

HOW DO I RENEW MY COSMETOLOGY LICENSE IN IOWA?

To renew your licensure, the licensees are required to complete certain continuing education hours within a certain time period. Continuing education hours are required for licensees after the second renewal. 

For candidates who are newly licensed, continuing education is not required when renewing their licenses for the first time.

Iowa Cosmetology State Board Exam Practice Test

How does shampoo draping differ from chemical draping?*
What purpose does silicone serve in conditioners?*
Which of the following is not a layered haircut?*
For which techniques should razors be used on curly hair?*
Which elevation angle could be used to add weight to a haircut?*
What is the difference between treatment massages and relaxation massages?*
Which type of shampoo should be used to remove build-up?*
Which of the following is not a type of conditioner?*
What should be done for patients who have been treated with conditioner that must be left in for more than one minute?*
Moisturizing conditioners allow the _____ to absorb moisture from the air.*
At which two reference points does the comb leave the head?*
Which of the following is not a function of brushing?*
How can split ends be repaired?*
Which of the following is not one of the natural wave patterns of hair?*
Which type of shear is best for cutting large sections of hair?*
What purpose do humectants serve in conditioners?*
What are the two types of asymmetrical balance?*
It is safe to perform a service on clients who have...*
What is the most appropriate hairstyle for round facial types?*
Which pair includes the two basic requirements for a healthy scalp?*

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