Questions and Answers for NIC Practical Exam

Questions and Answers Regarding the National Interstate Council (NIC)
For *California Practical Examinations

Q: What procedures will the students follow?

A: Candidates will do services according to the procedures and references listed in the CIB.
License Area: All

Q: Will students all perform the same procedures at the same time?

A: Yes, but some of the services (i.e. hair removal) will be performed individually.
License Area: All

Q: If a student does not complete a task in the time allotted, will they be given partial credit?

A: Yes, credit will be given for individual tasks done completely and correctly within a service.
License Area: All

Q: Will there be breaks?

A: Cosmetology and barber candidates will be given a 15-minute break during the practical exam. There is no formal break for the manicurists, estheticians and electrologists. If a candidate must use the restroom no additional time will be granted.
License Area: All

Q: In the Set Up and Client Protection section, does this include mixing disinfectant?

A: Demonstration of mixing is not included in the exam. Disinfection of implements is not included in the examination. The candidates are required to use closed receptacles for the tools to be disinfected later. Manufacturer's labels are required on all disinfectant containers.
License Area: All

Q: Does the student still drape and undrape for each service and do they use the same drape throughout?

A: All sections are considered performed on the same client. There is no need to drape and undrape for each section except in the Barber and Cosmetology exams there are exceptions. In the barber exam the facial, shave and haircut services each require a new drape. In the cosmetology exam the facial and hair removal of the eyebrow require a new drape.
License Area: Barber, Cosmetology

Q: Is there a client consultation/record card?

A: No, client consultation/record cards are not evaluated in the examination.
License Area: All

Q: Will the candidates need a pen?

A: No, the CIB for the practical examinations states the candidate must bring a #2 pencil.
License Area: All

Q: Will they be dismissed when their exam is over or will they have to wait for everyone in the room to complete?

A: The exam is timed so all the candidates will finish together and will leave at one time.
License Area: All

Q: Is washing the hands still permitted? It says sanitize (hand sanitizer)?

A: The candidates will need to bring a hand sanitizer and it must have a manufacturer's label on it. An example is Purell. The candidate will not be washing their hands.
License Area: All

Q: The CIB states: Once you have completed a section please step back to indicate that you are finished. Do they raise their hand? How do they know they are finished?

A: No, they should not raise their hand. The candidate should step back once they have completed all tasks in the section.
License Area: All

Q: It states that quats is required in their kit, but there is no appointment?

A: Correct. The candidate will need to bring a disinfectant that meets the bactericidal, virucidal, and fungicidal requirements (or hospital grade disinfectant) to disinfect their area. It has to be the real product and have a manufacturer's label. There is no disinfecting service but candidates are responsible for disinfecting any implement before reuse if it becomes soiled (i.e. dropped scissors on floor). This information is contained in the CIB.
License Area: All

Q: Do they need a quats container (a container to mix quats)?

A: No.
License Area: All

Q: Will there be an appointment book on the bottom shelf at their station?

A: The instructions that are read to the candidates will also be provided in print and available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
License Area: All

Q: Is there time for the candidates to unpack their kit? How will that be presented? Will it be timed, or is this part of setup?

A: The Setup and Client Protection in the CIB states that candidates will have ten minutes to set up their general supplies that they will use throughout the exam. As stated in the CIB, the kit must be kept closed except when removing or replacing materials for a particular service. The kit may be used during the exam as dry storage and is considered part of the work area.
License Area: All

Q: What is the 2-minute set up for?

A: The 2-minute set up is for the candidate to get reorganized and to set up anything they would need for the next service. Candidates should not start any procedures during set up.
License Area: All

Q: On the recommended general supplies it states: tape. What is this for?

A: Tape is used if the candidate chooses to tape the trash bag to the workstation (table). The candidate has limited space (which is stated in the CIB). In the task lines the candidate has to have a bag for trash and a container or bag for items to be disinfected, and a 3rd bag for linens (except for electrologists). The candidate can have trash cans or bags, whichever they want.
License Area: All

Q: In the Virgin Lightening Application and Hair Color Retouch section the instructions indicate that the virgin lightening would be bleach, but is the re-touch dark or light?

A: Since this in an examination based on kinetic skills the candidates are only evaluated on the application as stated in the CIB.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Virgin Relaxer Application and Relaxer Retouch section is there going to be a second application?

A: The examination only evaluates mid-shaft application for the virgin relaxer application. Smoothing the relaxer product is only required for the retouch quadrant. Shampooing is not demonstrated and all products are left in the hair.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Virgin Relaxer Application and Relaxer Retouch section, is base cream required and is it to be applied to a certain segment of the head?

A: The CIB states that a candidate "applies protective cream around hairline". It should not be applied to entire scalp.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Virgin Hair Lightening Application and Hair Coloring Retouch section, does the PD test happen during the set-up or during the timing of the sub-sections?

A: The PD test is done during the timed segment for Lightener. Simulated hair color product is used for the PD test.
License Area: Cosmetology

Q: In the Virgin Relaxer Application and Relaxer Retouch section, it states that the subsections must be 1/4 inch?

A: Correct.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Blow Dry and Thermal Curling section it does not state that the candidate has to shampoo the hair, will the candidates be shampooing the hair?

A: Shampooing is not performed or evaluated in the examination.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Blow Dry Styling and Thermal Curling section, what type of brush is used?

A: Candidates use the brush of their choosing. There is no score given for the type of brush used.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Blow Dry Styling and Thermal Curling section, will the hair be freshly washed?

A: Candidates will spray the hair with water to dampen.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Blow Dry Styling and Thermal Curling section, does the temperature of the curling iron need to be tested for every section?

A: The temperature of the curling iron is tested prior to applying to the hair for only the first curl. Then the candidate will continue as they normally would with thermal styling.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Blow Dry Styling and Thermal Curling section, are you looking to see all different bases?

A: No, the CIB lists the criteria for thermal curling. On base, off base or half off base is acceptable.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Chemical Waving section, everything stops after the test curl. Are students expected to show neutralizing?

A: No, only wrapping, saturation and test curl are evaluated. No rinsing or neutralizing is performed or evaluated during the practical examination.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: Is rinsing of the coloring products performed or required?

A: No, rinsing is not included in the practical examination.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Chemical Waving section, is there shampooing, rinsing and neutralizing?

A: Shampooing, rinsing and neutralizing are not included in the examination. The examination is scored on the wrap, saturation, and test curl.
License Area: Cosmetology, Barbering

Q: In the Hair Removal of the Eyebrows section will the candidate tweeze one eyebrow and wax one eyebrow?

A: Yes.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Hair Removal of the Eyebrows section, will real wax or simulated wax be used?

A: Simulated products are used.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Hair Removal of the Eyebrows section, is there a specific number of hairs that need to be removed by tweezing?

A: No.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Basic Facial section, it says to apply a hair drape, is this a shower cap?

A: In the cosmetology and the esthetician examinations the hair drape must be applied to completely cover the hair. Candidates may use a shower cap, although other items are acceptable. In the barber examination, candidates must apply hair drape to secure hair away from face.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Basic Facial section, does the student need to drape the chair and will the model wear a facial gown?

A: No.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Basic Facial section, will the student cleanse the eyes and lips first, before the entire face?

A: The candidate's order for cleansing the face is the preference of the candidate.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: In the Basic Facial section, the statement "Removes all residual massage product safely" needs clarification.

A: Candidates should remove product in the manner for which they have been taught, whether using tissue, cotton pledges, towels, etc.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetics

Q: In the Basic Facial section, does the student use a barber wrap after tissue removal?

A: No barber wrap is used.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: Will they have a wax heater?

A: No, not evaluated.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: It says to wear gloves for hair removal. Do they have to switch gloves between brows?

A: No.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: Can they prep both brows at once and do they do that during the "hair removal of eyebrows" preparation?

A: Tweezing and waxing of the eyebrow is not a timed service. After the candidate is read the verbal instructions, the examiner will step up to the candidate and will ask individually to demonstrate the tweezing and waxing. At that time the candidate will do the task lines that are in the CIB – this includes the prep.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: Do they keep the cotton that has the hairs from tweezing? Where do they put it or because the examiner is watching can they toss it once the examiner has seen the process? Also, do they move on to waxing right away? Or does the examiner watch each person individually tweeze and then watches waxing?

A: Tweezed hair may be placed on cotton. The examiner will be watching. The examiner will ask the candidate individually to demonstrate the tweezing and then the examiner will ask the candidate to demonstrate the simulated wax procedure. The candidate should be disposing of all porous items in the proper receptacle throughout the procedure. Only the tasks listed in the CIB are evaluated.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: Do they keep the muslin that has the hairs from waxing? Where do they put it, or because the examiner is watching can they toss it once the examiner has seen the hairs?

A: See above.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: How/when do they get the wax pot to the trolley? Does the examiner watch this?

A: As stated in the CIB the candidates will use a simulated wax product. A heater is not needed.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: How/when do they clean up from waxing? How much time do they get for this?

A: They will clean up during the 2-minute set up between each service, or as the task is being evaluated the candidate should dispose of soiled materials.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: Can they use a barber wrap to remove the massage cream?

A: Candidates will do services according to the procedures and references listed in the CIB. Technique is not evaluated.
License Area: Cosmetology Esthetician, Barbering

Q: The appointment says 10-minutes for massage. Does that 10-minutes include removal and application of astringent?

A: Yes, application of astringent is evaluated in the cosmetology and esthetician examinations.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: How/when do they clean up for massage? How much time do they have for this?

A: They will clean up during the 2-minute set up between each service, or as the task is being evaluated the candidate should be disposing of the soiled materials.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: The appointment for facial mask is 10-minutes. How long do they mask for? Does this include removal, astringent and moisturizer?

A: The mask is applied to the face and then removed. The mask does not have to dry. It is evaluated on application only. Only the tasks listed in the CIB are evaluated in the 10-minutes.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: What are they doing while the mask is on the face?

A: The candidate should continue with the remaining tasks contained in the CIB.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: How are they to apply the mask?

A: Candidates will do services according to the procedures and references listed in the CIB.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: Is the Esthetician CIB correct because there is no cleansing first for the massage?

A: Yes.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician

Q: It states under setup and client protection, "You will also set up for the cleansing and steaming supplies and perform proper draping." Is there a cleansing or steaming appointment?

A: No, the state of California does not require cleansing and/or steaming. Candidates will do services according to the procedures and references listed in the CIB.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: For the facial mask is this considered a new client?

A: No, there is one client throughout the practical examination.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: Do they need to cleanse before facial mask?

A: No, candidates are only evaluated on the tasks contained in the CIB.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: Can they use a barber wrap to remove the facial mask? (This would mean 2 barber wraps)

A: The mask can be removed in any manner as long as it is safe which means that the candidate should not get the mask in the eyes, nose, or mouth.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: Do they cleanse before applying makeup?

A: No, only the tasks listed in the CIB are evaluated.
License Area: Esthetician

Q: Will the mock products used for waxing and other services be the same as the ones we have now?

A: No, we have suggested the use of cholesterol or petroleum jelly for simulated wax. We have also suggested cholesterol for simulated hair color and relaxer product.
License Area: Cosmetology, Esthetician, Barbering

Q: How many rods will barber candidates be required to wrap for a permanent wave?

A: Whatever size rod they choose, they will wrap the back center section from crown to nape for 20 minutes. The candidate is evaluated on what they have accomplished.
License Area: Barbering, Cosmetology

Q: Are they still reclining the barber chair?

A: Yes, barbers will recline for shave and facial.
License Area: Barbering

Q: In the Manicuring section will the candidates be working on one hand or two?

A: One.
License Area: Cosmetology, Manicuring

Q: In the Sculptured Nail section will the candidates have to demonstrate primer on the nail?

A: Yes, primer is required on the index finger receiving the sculptured nail.
License Area: Cosmetology, Manicuring

*All items referenced are from the California Practical Examination Candidate Information Bulletins (CIB)

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