Esthetician Exam Practice Test

Specialists at the top of their field have taken the National Esthetics Theory Examination. It’s a licensure test developed by the Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC), certifying that these professionals understand complex subjects such as areas of the face that include muscles and bones, the neck and shoulders, and even understand skin microbiology.

This page will cover the Esthetician exam, what information the examination covers, the number and type of questions you can expect, the score you need to pass, and everything you need to register for the assessment.

Exam Outline Review

The Esthetician exam contains 70 questions and has a time limit of 2 hours.

The test is split into two sections: Scientific Concepts and Skin Care and Services.

I. Scientific Concepts (35%)

The 25 questions in this section assess the following:

  • Your knowledge of infection control procedures
  • Your knowledge of safety procedures and guidelines related to the handling of chemicals, blood exposure, and standard precautions
  • Your ability to understand and recognize skin disorders and diseases
  • Your ability to understand the function and composition of abnormal hair growth
  • Your knowledge of basic chemistry as it relates to basic functions as well as acidity and alkalinity

II. Skin Care and Services (65%)

The 45 questions in this section ask you to demonstrate several things, including:

  • Client consultation and documentation
  • Knowledge of client protection
  • Skin analysis
  • Knowledge of contraindications for skin services
  • Treatment protocol
  • Cleansing procedures
  • Steaming procedures
  • Exfoliation procedures
  • Basic massage movements
  • Methods of extraction
  • Mask functions and applications
  • Conclusion of facial services
  • Use of electrical equipment used in skin services
  • An understanding of makeup as it relates to product selection, application, and safety
  • Basic knowledge of facial services, body treatments, eyelash and eyebrow services, and hair removal methods and procedures

exam outline for the Esthetician exam, which contains 70 questions and has a time limit of 2 hours

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Test Day

On the day of the exam, you must bring three containers, each with a specific label. Those labels are “to be disinfected,” “soiled items,” and “trash.” You also need to bring your candidate admission notice and present a government-issued ID that contains a photo and a signature.

Additionally, the Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology recommends that you bring the supplies that you will need during the exam. Those supplies include hand sanitizer, paper towels, astringent or toner, gloves, and tweezers. Consult the Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology website for a complete list of supplies.

As with most tests, there is a long list of items that you are not allowed to bring into the testing room. Items include mobile phones, tablets, computers, cameras, printed materials, and notes.

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How many questions are on the exam?

There are 70 questions on the Esthetician exam.

How long is the exam?

The Esthetician exam is timed at 2 hours.

How much does the exam cost?

The cost of the Esthetician exam varies depending on which state you take the test in.

What is a passing score?

You must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly to pass the Esthetician exam.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 13, 2023