Florida – Cosmetology

Florida Department of Business and Professional Services cosmetology exams: Free practice test, and everything you need to know

Have you just graduated from cosmetology school? That’s great! You’re nearly ready to receive your cosmetology license.

But first, you’ll need to pass your licensing exams. And in Florida, these exams are set by the Department of Business and Professional Services (DBPS).

Does this sound a little overwhelming? Well, don’t worry. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about scheduling and preparing for your exam, answers to all the most common questions, and a free practice test to check you’re prepared!

Go straight to the practice test

Table of Contents:

The process of registering for (and passing!) your Florida DBPS exams

Congratulations: you’ve made it through cosmetology school (all 1200 hours!). This means that you’re SO close to your dream career in cosmetology!

The final step is to get your Florida cosmetology license. And that means passing your cosmetology exams.

If you’re like a lot of people we talk to, the process of scheduling and taking your exams is daunting, confusing and worrying. Don’t worry: we’ll walk you through the process step by step. Starting with…

Step 1: Check you’re eligible to take the Florida DBPS exams in cosmetology

To be eligible to take the exams set by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, you must have:

  • Graduated from a Florida cosmetology school AND
  • Worked a minimum of 1200 practical hours OR
  • Have a cosmetology license in another state/country and cannot get your Florida license by endorsement or reciprocity arrangements AND
  • Have worked a minimum of 1000 practical hours

If you meet these requirements, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Apply for an authorization notice

Before you can book your exams, you will need authorization from the Florida DBPR. You can apply for this online here, or you can download an application form to send in the post here.

Once you submit your application, it will take up to 21 days for your authorization notice to be issued.

Step 3: Schedule your exam

Once you have received an authorization notice, it’s time to schedule your exams. In Florida, you will need to sit 2 separate exams, both costing $15.75, in order to qualify for a license.

These cosmetology exams take place within Pearson Vue examination centers and you are expected to schedule your exams yourself.

But don’t worry if you don’t know where your local Pearson Vue center is. You can find out all that information here.

If you already know the perfect day for sitting your exams, feel free to book early. In fact, you can schedule your exams as far in advance as you like.

However, if you would prefer to book closer to the time, it’s important to consider availability. Seats are allocated on a first come first serve basis, so it’s recommended that you book your test at least 5 days in advance.

To schedule your exams, either head to http://www.PearsonVUE.com to book online, or if you prefer, you can call to book by phone on 1-888-204-6289.

But, whether you schedule your exams online or by phone, you will need a few things with you.

Firstly, you’ll need to show the center manager your authorization notice.

Then, you will need to provide:

  • Your full name, address and a daytime telephone number
  • Your candidate number (this can be found on your authorization notice).
  • The location of the test center you’d like to use
  • The name of the examination you want to take
  • A method of payment (e.g. your credit card number)

Once you have booked your exam, be sure to make a note of the time and date so that you don’t miss your slot!

Step 4: Arrive at the exam center on exam day

You should arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled examination time slot. If you arrive late, the test center manager will assess whether there is the capacity for you to take your test.

If there is no capacity to take your test late, you will not be admitted and your registration fee will be forfeited. You will then be required to pay again before a new test can be booked.

If you are late because of an emergency (like a car accident or breakdown), you may not lose your registration fee. However, you will need to provide some documentation to prove your emergency took place.

Once you arrive at your test center, you will need to sign in.

In order to do this, you must have the following:

  • Two forms of valid signature identification, one of which is government-issued: driver’s license, state identification card, passport or military identification card. Both forms of ID must be in date, and the address must match what was submitted on your application.

The following forms of ID are not accepted:

  • Student or employment I.D. cards
  • Credit cards

You will not be allowed to bring any of the following items into your test with you:

  • Cameras, tape recorders, or computers
  • Pagers, electronic transmitting devices, or telephones (watches with alarms or beepers should be set so that they will NOT sound or go off during the examination administration)
  • Any bound or loose-leaf reference materials and notes
  • Dictionary, thesaurus, or other spelling aids
  • Canisters of mace, pepper spray, or other personal defense items
  • Purses, briefcases, portfolios, fanny packs, or backpacks

However, lockers will be available to store your personal belongings on-site.

Once your ID has been checked and you have signed in, a center manager will take your photograph and escort you to your seat.

All exams take place entirely on computers, and you will be given 15 minutes to complete a tutorial which explains how the tests work. Feel free to take the full 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the computer system, as this time will not be taken off your test.

If you have any questions about using the computer, the center manager will be available to assist you.

Then, it’s time to take your exams!

Step 5: Take the exams

The Florida State cosmetology exam has two parts:

  • A written theory test

The theory test is a 2-hour examination consisting of 65 multiple-choice questions. All questions are weighted equally, and a list of the topics covered can be found here.

  • A written clinical test

The clinical test also lasts for 2 hours and consists of 65 multiple-choice questions. The topics covered can be found here.

Many people choose to complete both exams on the same day, but it is possible to sit both exams separately if you prefer.

However, even if you choose to sit your exams on different days, you must complete them both within two years of each other. If you fail to complete both tests within 2 years, you will have to take both exams again.

Step 6: Get your results

As soon as you complete your first exam, you will receive an official report detailing your final score. This report will alert you as to whether you have passed or failed.

Your exam report will include your personal details and your photo. It’s essential that you check these details before you leave the center, as mistakes may not be rectified after.

When you sit your second exam, the process is repeated.

Step 7: Get your Florida State Board cosmetology license!

Once you have passed your theory and clinical exam, it’s time to apply for your license!

In Florida, cosmetology licenses are issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

To receive your license, you will need to submit:

  • Proof of graduation from cosmetology school
  • Proof of passing your exams (the official reports issued at the test center)
  • And proof that you have completed an approved HIV/Aids course with a duration of at least 4 hours (a list of approved providers can be found here)

You will also need to pay a licensing fee of $63.50.

To complete your application for a license, you will need an account with the DBPR. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one here.

Once you have completed the application and have uploaded your documents, you will receive your license within 48 hours!.

The most common reason for not getting your license is failing your written exams: the pass rate in Florida is only 78% for the theory exam and 66% for the clinical exam! However, students who use our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package has a pass rate of 98.5%!

Frequently asked questions about the California cosmetology exams

How do I apply for the Florida Board of Cosmetology examinations?

To take the Florida cosmetology exams, you need to apply for authorization from the DBPS. You can apply online for authorization here, or download the application forms here.

Once you have received your authorization notice and candidate number, you will need to head to http://www.PearsonVUE.com. You will then be able to book your exams online, or if you prefer, you can call Pearson Vue to arrange your examinations on 1-888-204-6289

I can’t make the date/time of my examination. What should I do?

If you need to reschedule your examination, you must give at least 2 days’ notice. If you don’t give a minimum of 2 days notice, you may forfeit your exam fees.

However, if you need to cancel or rearrange your exam because:

  • You or an immediate family member is ill
  • There is a death in the immediate family
  • You suffer a disabling traffic accident
  • You must appear in court or have jury duty
  • Or you have military duty

You may not be charged. However, you will be required to submit proof of your reasons within four days of your missed appointment.

Which examination program does the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services use?

Unlike many states, Florida does not use the National-Interstate Council of Board of Cosmetology (NIC) exam.

Instead, Florida has its own cosmetology exam and its own registration process.

How much does it cost to take the Florida cosmetology exams?

  • Written Theory Test- $15.75
  • Written Clinical Test- $15.75

Where do the examinations take place?

The Florida cosmetology exams take place in Pearson Vue test centers.

How many hours of practical work do I need to qualify for the California State Board examinations?

Cosmetologists in Florida need to have completed 1,200 hours of practical hours in order to gain their license.

Can I complete my hours through an apprenticeship instead of attending cosmetology school in Florida?

No, the state of Florida does not currently recognize apprenticeships.

Can I take the State Board examinations before I’ve completed the required hours?

No, you’ll need to complete the required hours first.

How long is the cosmetology written examination?

When you arrive at your exam center, you will have 15 minutes to complete a tutorial explaining how to sit your exam.

You will then have 2 hours to complete each test. Many people choose to take both tests on the same day, but you have 2 years from the date of your first test to pass them both.

What’s the format of the written examination?

The written examinations are computer-based, multiple-choice tests. There are 65 questions for each exam, and all questions are weighted equally.

A breakdown of what each test includes can be found here.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the testing format, try out our practice tests [here].

Will I have to sit a practical examination?

No, the state of Florida does not require that you sit a practical examination.

What scores do I need to pass both portions of the cosmetology exam?

In order to receive a pass mark, you must answer 75% of the questions correctly. This is the same across both tests.

What’s the pass rate for Florida’s cosmetology exams?

The pass rate for Florida’s cosmetology exams are:

This is better than the national average, which is only around 50%.

Check if you’re on track to pass your exam by taking our free cosmetology practice test.

Can I take my cosmetology examinations again if I fail?

Yes, in Florida you are able to apply to resit an examination if you fail.

However, once you have passed your first exam, you will only have 2 years in which to successfully complete the second.

If you don’t pass your second exam within 2 years, you will be required to take both tests again.

How long does cosmetology school take in Florida?

In Florida, it can take as little as 9 months to complete the required hours of cosmetology school training – if you can attend cosmetology school full-time. For part-time students, it can take up to 2 years.

How do I transfer my cosmetology license to Florida?

If you meet certain requirements, you will be able to transfer your cosmetology license to Florida through an application for endorsement (this means that you won’t need to retake any exams).

In order to be eligible for endorsement, you must:

  1. Hold a valid license from a state whose licensing laws are equal to, or more stringent, than Florida’s. A list of the states eligible for endorsement can be found here.
  2. Be over the age of 16 and hold a GED or high school diploma
  3. Complete an approved 4-hour AIDS/HIV course (a full list of approved providers can be found here)
  4. And pay a registration fee of $95

If you meet the requirements, you will need to complete an application with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Services.

To do this, you will need to set up an account here, then complete the online application process.

Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed and you’ll be notified of the outcome within 21 days.

How do I get my cosmetology license in Florida?

To get your cosmetology license in Florida, you will need to graduate from cosmetology school having completed 1200 hours of practical experience, pass two written examinations, and complete a 4-hour AIDS/HIV course.

Once you’ve met all of these requirements, you will be issued with a license.

How do I renew my cosmetology license in Florida?

In Florida, you must renew your cosmetology license by the 31st of October, every other year.

But, in order to renew your license, you must complete 16 hours of training. These short courses are known as ‘continuing education’ and are provided by many schools and organizations.

Once you have completed your mandatory training, you can apply to renew your license via the DBPS portal. The cost of renewing your license is currently $55.

How should I study for the Florida cosmetology written exam?

Use our Cosmetology Exam Preparation Package to learn everything you need to pass the written exam.

  • Our package includes a study guide that’s structured to help you learn the RIGHT information rather than ALL the information, which can help you cut your preparation/revision time in half.
  • Then use our simulated exams to practice for the written exam under test conditions. This part is really important: it’s the key to helping you succeed!

Florida cosmetology state board exam practice test

  • Get your results!

  • You must enter this in order to see which questions you got right and wrong