Getting ready to take the AWS Certified Welding Inspector Exam? An eight hour examination can be intimidating to even an experienced welding professional so we've compiled our favorite resources for test preparation. Most importantly, give yourself ample time to study! The most common mistake made is to put off studying until the week before the test.
1. Study At Home
CWI Part A- Fundamentals To prepare for Part A of the CWI exam, read QC1 Standard for AWS Certification of Welding Inspectors, B5.1 Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors, and the Welding Inspection Technology Workbook. Part A covers welding fundamentals. Although you may go into the exam with a lot of welding industry experience, there are many topics covered within Part A that may be unfamiliar. Topics from QC1, B5.1, and the Welding Inspection Workbook will be on the CWI Exam.
CWI Part B- Practical Review The Part B Book of Specifications. Part B of the CWI Exam includes measuring weld samples and reviewing welding documents for conformance to code. The code used is a fake code written exclusively for this exam. It is a compilation of several code books with a few twists thrown in along the way. It is not structured like ordinary code books, so the information is scattered through the sub clauses. Part B Book of Specifications is available for download from the AWS website. It would be very wise to read through and become familiar with this specification before the seminar.
CWI Part C- Code Read the Code Clinic that comes in the package with the exam. It explains how the code book is structured and what’s in each clause. It then describes how to read the exam questions in order to determine what the question is asking and where to look for the answers. Not only does it describe the test and code book in great detail, it also discusses time management and how to tab the code book. In the back are a few sample exams that, while much easier than the actual exam, will help give a general idea of what to expect.
Part C of the CWI Exam is an open-book test that contains questions from every aspect of the code. They are arranged in no particular order, so navigation of the code is critical. In order to efficiently navigate the code, one must be able to determine which clause the answer is in simply by reading the question. The Table of Contents and Index should not be relied on as the main navigational tools but reserved as assistance. This may sound excessive, however if there’s one thing that will make the exam more manageable, it’s efficiently navigating the code.
2. Take the AWS Online CWI Pre-Seminar
The Online Pre Seminar is a list of online classes that are geared towards Part A of the CWI Exam (Fundamentals). The class topics include: Welding Fundamentals, Safety in Welding, Math for Welders, Understanding Welding Symbols, Metallurgy Fundamentals, and Non-Destructive Testing. Each of these classes is very helpful; however, those with welding and fabrication experience may not need to review all these classes. The topics the most people are least familiar with are: symbols, metallurgy, and non-destructive testing. Of these three, the exam places more emphasis on symbols and non-destructive testing but still includes questions regarding metallurgy.
Click here to learn more about the AWS CWI Pre-Seminar on the AWS Website.
3. Take the AWS CWI Seminar
The CWI Seminar is a week long course that directly precedes the CWI Exam. It is taught by a member of the AWS Education Department who has not only seen but taken the current exam. In this seminar, the instructor will cover all three parts of the exam. With respect to Part B, the instructor will explain in detail how to measure welds and review and critique welding procedure performance qualification documents. Included in the seminar are sample tests and a full length sample Part B exam.
Click here to learn more about the AWS CWI Seminar on the AWS Website.
Welding Engineer and CWI at Earlbeck Gases & Technologies
How to Pass the AWS CWI Exam
3/9/2018 05:04:42 am
Thanks for the tips! This is great.....It is useful information and very helpful post..
6/23/2018 01:41:20 am
Thanks for sharing information. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject.
7/4/2018 08:24:46 pm
I've heard different CWI seminar instructors vary greatly, from great to so-so. It's hard to find any reviews of different instructors. I would like to get some background on different instructors before spending $$$ and a week off somewhere, only to realize the I've got a dud of a teacher...
Michael M Harper
4/12/2019 12:56:21 am
I just passed on the second try. If you think that you'll just take the seminar and pass, that's probably not going to happen as there's too much material. I'd sign up for the online pre-seminar and start well in advance. Personally, I thought that the part B practice test in the seminar was not very representative of the real part B test as the real one was heavily slanted toward pipe welds.
7/26/2019 10:55:20 am
So am i
1/13/2021 05:30:35 pm
need to start studying I'm a welding instructor from El Paso TX and need this
7/28/2021 09:56:58 am
I am glad to read that certified welding inspectors are familiar with non-destructive testing. I was told I need to hire someone who understands that. Now I just need to find a CWI and get them to come out this weekend to help.
2/22/2023 02:27:00 pm
This is a way better and easier to understand explanation than the AWS gives. Thank you so much!
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