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So you’ve been called in for an electrical Trade Test

Let me be a little frank here. If you’re not familiar with the Australian standards and regulations (AS/NZ 3000) and the way we wire down under then you’re not going to have much luck at VTT’s trade test. But there is hope…


What does the Trade Test entail?…

Trade Tests for the electrical industry trades will take place at a TAFE NSW College determined by the VTT. The test is supervised by a TAFE NSW technical expert and is usually conducted in one day taking approximately 5 to 6 hours to complete. The Trade Test is in two parts (Part A – Knowledge Test and Part B – Practical Skills Test). Details of each part have been described below to assist you to prepare for the test. You should familiarise yourself with knowledge requirements and the practical skill requirements of your selected trade.

PART A: Electrical Knowledge Test

The electrical knowledge test is designed to provide evidence that you can apply basic electrical trade knowledge to circuits and equipment to a level that meets acceptable requirements of electrical industry trades. The electrical knowledge test covers core knowledge requirements across the three electrical trades outlined in this document. The test includes:

Knowledge Task Detail
Basic dc circuits –analysis,

connection and measurement.

–      Single and multiple path dc series and parallel circuits:

calculations of current, voltage and resistance and meter connections / readings.

Basic single and three

phase circuits – analysis and measurement.

–      Single phase ac circuits: calculations of voltage, current and ac


–       Phasor  relationships  &  analysis:  current  &  voltage  in  ac resistive, inductive, capacitive circuits

–       Three phase supply: line and phase voltage measurement and socket outlet polarity.

Transformer connections,

analysis and measurement.

–      Star (Wye) and Delta connections of single phase transformers

to a three phase supply

–      Transformer turns, voltage and current ratios;

–      Single phase transformer winding connections.

Basic circuits for electrical

machines and controls.

–      Basic dc motor connections and analysis

–      Basic single phase and three phase ac motor connections

–       Basic three phase ac motor starter circuit connections (main and control circuits).

Electromagnetic effects in

ac circuit components.

–      Adverse effects of electromagnetic induction

–      Inductors and inductance

–      Magnetic poles of machines and solenoids.

Electrical equipment

testing and connection.

–      Mandatory testing of electrical equipment including continuity,

earth and insulation resistance

–       Using   appropriate   electrical   test   equipment   and   range selection.


PART B: Electrical Practical Skills Test

Practical Task Detail
Cable preparation and

jointing techniques.

  • Preparation of cables to fit lug types (essential to ensure lug is mechanically sound and electrically safe)
  • Soldered termination of stranded cables.
Flexible cable termination

and polarity.

  • Preparation of flexible cable to fit plug and socket to specifications
  • Terminations mechanically sound, electrically safe and polarity in accordance with standards.
Selection and connection

of circuit protection devices – single phase.

  • Selection of suitable circuit protection devices for single phase circuits in a domestic installation
  • Connection of circuit protection devices at a distribution board
  • MEN system.
Installation of low voltage

enclosed wiring system –

cables installed in conduit.

  • Select and wire appropriate cable type and cable size for an enclosed wiring system connecting LV single and three phase socket outlets
  • Selection and preparation of metallic and non-metallic conduit types and accessories including conduit bending, setting and support
  • Use of appropriate mandatory testing procedures and test equipment to ensure the safety and integrity of the cables, conduits and socket outlets prior to connection to the supply.
Installation of low voltage

un-enclosed wiring system

– cables installed on a flat surface.

  • Selection and wire appropriate cable type and cable size for an un-enclosed wiring system connecting LV single phase mixed power and lighting circuit (correct connection and polarity)
  • Correct cable preparation, termination and installation support of cables and accessories
  • Use of appropriate mandatory testing procedures and test equipment to ensure the safety and integrity of the cables and accessories prior to connection to the supply.
Isolation, disconnection,

testing and reversal of a three phase induction motor.

  • Correct isolation, disconnection and connection (including connections required to reverse direction)
  • Select appropriate test equipment and apply electrical tests to ensure safety and correct motor operation.
Electrical testing of

equipment and circuits to verify safety compliance and operational integrity.

  • Selection of appropriate test equipment, meter range selection and testing procedures to test:
    • Continuity, polarity and insulation resistance
    • Continuity and insulation resistance of Class I and
  • Class II equipment
    • Single phase power and lighting circuit installation prior to connecting to supply.


Not sure how to prepare for it?

There’s plenty of material out there that you can get your hands on to help. Google “capstone material or exam” to see similar questions etc. We also recommend with STS the following publications:

  • Jenneson & Harper, 2010, Electrical Principles for the Electrical Trades, 6th Ed, McGraw Hill
  • Hampson & Hanssen, 2008, Electrical Trade Principles : a Practical Approach, 2nd Ed, Pearson
  • Pethebridge & Neeson, 2010, Electrical Wiring Practice, 7th Ed, Volumes 1 & 2, McGraw Hill

Let us know if you need a hand – we’d be happy to help best we can.

Recognition of skills or prior learning in the electrical trade has definitely become more and more stringent, but as long as you are well prepared and have the right experience and skills you will be sweet. For migrants, it’s definitely getting harder to get an electrician’s licence – even if you do have the relevant qualifications and plenty of overseas experience. That’s why our program for overseas electricians not only up-skills you with the AS/NZ 3000 standards and regulations, but ensures you are ready for a trade test. Some of our trainers have even sat on the VTT board or the like and will therefore make sure you are up to scratch before you finish up with us.

Anyway, whichever way you decide to go, best of luck with your licence!

4 thoughts on “So you’ve been called in for an electrical Trade Test”

  1. good article,it is useful to me and others to know about this – especially those samples… I hope I pass

  2. Electrical Trade Test Preparation is important to ensure students pass their trade test. We have a high pass rate and excellent track record. Thanks for the informative post.

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