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CWI exam / Part B Practical

CWI exam / Part B Practical

CWI exam / Part B Practical

Ok, Al a.k.a. gtaw - don't slam me to harshly because I've gotta ask.....

I've been hearing/reading about the Part B Practical section of the CWI exam.  From what I hear this Part B is similar to running naked through barbed wire; however, what I mostly get for particulars is that it's a bunch of plastic parts which the examine must measure/evaluate with tools and specs provided.  So the way I understand it is the specs are not real world but fabricated for the exam so that some some level of reading/comprehension/interpreting skill is judged as well.

And the AWS provided material states the following breakdown for Part B Practical section.

2 hours / 46 questions / hands-on

Subject / Percentage
Procedure and Welder Qualifications 30%
Mechanical Test and Properties 10%
Welding Inspection and Flaws 36%
NDE 10%
Utilization of Specification and Drawings 10%

It looks like there's more to it than some plastic parts and some measuring and counting some porosity.  But what?

Does the Part B Practical section include verbal questions? Only written multiple choice?  I take it the plastic parts are for the Welding Inspection and Flaws part, so how is the Procedure and Welder Qualifications part tested?

Son Set Consultants offers a Part B online training course for $140.  It's probably worth at least that...any thoughts?



RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical


I took my CWI exam 3 years ago (passed it with 88% average for all 3 sections), and it did include plastic molds of both fillet and groove welds.  

Due to the age of the pastic molds (and also that a number of people decided to prod them with their pencils), they actually gave us the diameters of the porosities.  

Other questions which you do have to use the tools provided refers to weld size (fillet gauges), amount of reinforcing (reinfrocing gauges), length of cracks (calipers, magnifying glasses, and rulers), undercutting and overlapping (pick gauge), and other failure modes with field welds.

The specs they give are "somewhat" real world.  The vibe I got off of it was that it tailored more to AWS D1.1 than anything.  Your part B booklet should explain it in great detail.  Additionally, once you pass and are a Certified Welding Inspector, it is on you to know the welding code for your specific application, whether it be AWS D-series, ASME B31.1, AWWA, API 1104, etc.

Mechanical tests and properties, NDE, and Utilization of Specs and Drawings were all straight-out-of-handbook type questions.  A number of times it was find the sentence and fill in the blank style.

Procedure and welder qualifications were direct examples.  They gave you a few qual sheets and you had to answer multiple choice questions about them such as what the welded was qualified in, whether the procedure was acceptable or not, etc, etc (assume the 30% for number of questions as well as grading percentage).

Yes, it was all multiple choice.

And to be honest, I found it rather easy.  Best advice I can give is to read through your part B practical handbook until you completely understand it and can reference it efficiently.  You will get a new one to use during the test, so it would be useless to write notes in yours in hopes to bring it in and use it.

It may also help to take the 1 week class before the test, as it could provide you with a decent amount of leverage heading into it.  Personally, I would take a AWS-sponsored class as opposed to just an online thing.

Is this test to actually get your CWI, or is it for your 9-year cert?  Reason I ask is because I honestly thought the hardest part of the CWI test (3 parts, 2 hours each part) was the closed-book Part A (Fundamentals) because it basically tests you on the entire Welding Ispection Technology handbook.

I took my Part C (Code) in API 1104.  Again, thought it was rather easy, possibly because this one you could bring in your tabbed code book for quick reference.

Still, upon passing it gave me 3 more letters behind my name (CWI), which in the grand scheme of things the first 2 letters do matter more (PE), but it still looks cool, and I got more stampy-stampys.

Hope this littel ramble helps you.  Let me know if I can asnwer any more questions.

Henry J. Soares III, PE, CWI

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

Hey boffintech...wrong forum!  Post back in the other one.

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

The biggest problem I had was trying to discern if tiny little bubbles in the plastic were just flaws in making the plastic part or if those were supposed to be representations of porosity in a steel part.

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

Well Ron, as is evidenced by the answer HSIII provided, this is a target rich forum.

HSIII - this would be my first time taking the exam and I am taking a week-long seminar.  Except for the Visual Inspection Workshop Manual, which I will get shortly, I have all the required AWS books and Manuals.

Have been reading/re-reading the Welding Inspection Technology handbook and doing all the practice tests from the workbook.  Part A 150 questions @ 48 seconds each.  What could go wrong?

Thanks for the info.  That's good stuff.

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

Let me tell you boffin, the seminar is definitely a good idea, especially right before the test.  Just be prepared for a good amount of homework.  You're taking the right steps already by reading over the WIT book and trying the practice test.  I would suggest, like with any other test, bone up on the areas you don't really know that well.

For the record, and I'm sure JStephen will agree with me, the plastic molds are quite bad.  I was lucky in that mine weren't THAT beat up.

I'm sure you'll do well.  I'm also sure if you're reading the WIT book before taking the class you already have one or two CWIs at your office who can help you in case you run into questionable conditions in the field.

Good luck and good inspecting.

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

Best bet is to review the sample code that they will send to you.  If you can understand that code, and know where to find the answer, that will put you ahead of the pack.

However, the tools are generally pretty beat up, and the replical are fairly bad.  My fillet replica has a dozen or two intential pores of porosity that you had to measure and count to answer the questions.  Unfortunately, the MENSA candidate before me jammed a pencil in each, making it difficult to measure each pore.

By the way, all answers are multimple choice so they can use scantron...

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

I agree with HSIII:  "It may also help to take the 1 week class before the test, as it could provide you with a decent amount of leverage heading into it.  Personally, I would take a AWS-sponsored class as opposed to just an online thing."

I only took the Friday one day class for the Visual Inspection part and it helped greatly!  Couldn't afford the full one week seminar but then again I studied my butt off on the code book and fundamentals (toughest) portions for several months.

Good luck to ya!

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

I did manage to get an official word on the test taking materials allowed for the Part A - Fundamentals and if a printed copy from a legal PDF is allowed.  Not sure what "INDEX COPIES" are...any idea?

"Codebook index copies are NOT permitted. Regarding electronic copies a receipt of purchase must be provided.  Prior to the examination, you may tab or highlight your codebook. Written notes in the margins are also allowed. Errata sheets provided by the publisher or distributor of the codebook are permitted."

"A printed electronic copy will be allowed at the exam only if:
1) The test applicant shows a receipt for proof of purchase of the electronic copy and presents it to the Test Supervisor."

RE: CWI exam / Part B Practical

When you print the electronic copy, licensing information supplied during the order (name, company, date, order number, etc) will print along the left side of each page.  As you will need photo ID for the test, that should be sufficient proof.  If you have a corporate license, be sure to bring proof of employment.

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