AM2 Test Mock
There are 30 questions in this AM2 mock exam. You must score 60% (18 out of 30) to pass. You may review answers after each question by clicking the 'check answer' button or you can wait until the end of the test for your final score. Good luck!
- 1 AM2 Test Mock
- 2 AM2 Exams
- 3 The final phase – NVQ/AM2
- 4 Types of trainees
- 5 The C&G 2357
- 6 C&G 2357 structure
- 7 Assessment focus
- 8 AM2 Cost
- 9 AM2 assessment: The breakdown
- 10 Testing detail
- 10.1 Section A1: Safe Isolation and Risk Assessment
- 10.2 Section A: Composite Installation (incorporating scorecard points A2 to A9)
- 10.3 Section B: Inspection & Testing of the Composite Installation (incorporating scorecard points B1 to B12)
- 10.4 Section C: Fault Diagnosis and Rectification (incorporating scorecard points C1 & C2)
- 10.5 Section D: Online multiple-choice exam
- 10.6 Candidates will answer questions on the following topics:
- 10.7 Advice for this test
- 10.8 Open-book exams: watch out!
- 11 General considerations
- 12 Recent changes to the AM2 assessment
- 13 Post-exam
- 14 Summary
The AM2 assessment is the last, official step towards becoming a fully-qualified electrician. The test is designed to assess your capability in key ‘occupational’ areas. In essence, this relates to the application of electrotechnical theory across a series of electrical tasks. The term ‘AM2’ is the reference often used by industry stakeholders to describe this exam. However, the tests’ formal title is the ‘Electrotechnical Assessment of Occupational Competence’ Given that this is the name most commonly used in educational circles, it may well be worth making a note of it!
This article outlines the key focus topics of the AM2 assessment, and provides detailed commentary on each. Furthermore, it offers some useful hints and tips on exam preparation and execution. Lastly, it charts how the subjects covered relate to the actual work you’re likely to address whilst out in the field.
The final phase – NVQ/AM2
The AM2 assessment is ultimately the culmination of an intensive training plan. In order to progress this far, candidates will have had to have navigated a number of learning modules en route. These include the level 2 diploma, the level 3 diploma, and the NVQ level 3. Clearly, all of these qualifications need to be taken in an electrotechnical discipline.
This is not a separate training course, and therefore no fresh material will be studied at this stage. Similar to the NVQ level 3, this is a purely reflective module, that exclusively serves to assess candidate proficiency. Indeed, given that these two courses are, first and foremost, testing phases, they are often referenced in unison. This is highlighted by the fact that this, final phase of training is often referred to as the NVQ/AM2 assessment. Therefore, it’s worth reviewing the NVQ level 3 framework, as this will help us acquire a full grasp of the assessment journey.
As you’ll most likely already be aware, becoming an electrician is challenging. At numerous stages throughout your training, you’ll be expected to sit a series of tests and assessments. These come in a number of guises, designed to examine both practical and theoretical skillsets. For many, the NVQ level 3 presents the toughest assessment schedule out of any of the compulsory courses.
Types of trainees
Participants attending an NVQ level 3 course will either be apprentices or ‘front-loaded’ learners.
These individuals have structured training plans, constructed by an educational establishment, often in collaboration with an employer. Indeed, the hallmark of an apprenticeship scheme is the mixture of collegiate study, with ‘on the job’ experience. This is often seen as the next, most logical move for school leavers, as this is ultimately a step into further education. As being in formal employment is an essential requirement of an apprenticeship scheme, apprentices must secure work with an electrical contractor before enrolment. This blend of learning is often championed in the industry. This is because it allows theoretical learning to be regularly applied in ‘real-world’ scenarios. It strikes a healthy balance between classroom-based study and the practising of electrical skills and techniques.
As employers are ultimately supporting candidates to become future company employees, they take accountability for the payment of course fees. This has recently been made easier for companies by the introduction of a government financial support scheme. This initiative has allowed more businesses to recruit apprentices and therefore increase the volume of young people finding work.
Given that their other endeavours take place in a state educational institution, apprentices do not burden any training costs whatsoever. They’ll also receive a small salary from their employer. However, due to their trainee status, this usually dips considerably below minimum wage. Given that apprenticeship terms last around four years, this means receiving a relatively modest wage over a prolonged period of time. Nevertheless, when viewing in context of the savings made on training charges, undertaking an apprenticeship is very cost-effective. This is without considering the long-term salary benefits of becoming an electrician, renowned for having the strongest earnings potential amongst all of the trades.
The term ‘front-loaded’ simply refers to individuals who address any number of training modules prior to entering employment. Obviously, in this context, this relates to electrotechnical occupations. There is a number of reasons why one may select to pursue a front-loaded training pathway. However, these are usually driven by the typical profile of the individuals who find themselves considering this route.
Most front-loaded learners are career-changers, looking to transfer from a different trade or profession. Because of this, these students are often more mature, and therefore frequently have personal considerations to factor into the equation. Therefore, committing to a full-time apprenticeship scheme is just not a viable option. Whilst training, front-loaded individuals may need to maintain an income, retaining their current position in another profession. Due to this time obligation, this automatically takes the apprenticeship route off the table. Furthermore, an apprentice salary would likely not subsidise their cost of living, with familial and homeownership expenditure to consider.
Therefore, because of these realities, learning providers offer flexible plans to accommodate the needs and requirements of their clientele. Many facilitate evening and weekend training sessions, perfect for those still engaged in other working activities. Furthermore, delegates are not mandated to complete training within a set timeframe. Often, they’ll attend sessions over an extended schedule of weeks and months. This differs from apprenticeship schemes, who have a fixed plan in which to address each module. Moreover, as front-loaded learners finance their full training plan, additional time may be needed to generate funds.
Two options, no right answer
Thus, in summary, the journey of front-loaded learners will often differ from individual to individual. The path to full qualification could take as short as three years, but could also extend far beyond this. Regardless of approach, whether apprenticeship or front-loaded, every candidate has to complete a set list of training modules. When suitably navigated, this results in exactly the same qualification status. Therefore, there is no better or worse option to pursue. Each trainee will have a varying set of circumstances, and therefore should select a route that best accommodates their own situation. If this is front-loaded, then the approach of balancing course activity with personal commitments can (and should!) continue until their training finishes.
The C&G 2357
For this particular analysis, we’ll deploy the City & Guilds sponsored version of this qualification. The City & Guilds are a renowned skills and certification provider across a number of industries. Their learning programmes are adopted by the vast majority of electrotechnical tutors, in both private and public sectors. Therefore, it’s likely that if you decide to pursue a career in the electrical industry, you’ll attend a number of City & Guilds courses. The NVQ level 3 qualification composed by the City & Guilds is the C&G 2357.
However, as per our earlier comments, it’s perhaps best to note down the module’s full name, as this might be how it’s referred to in certain materials. The official qualification title is the C&G 2357 NVQ Level 3 Award in Electrical Installation & Maintenance. The ‘installation’ and ‘maintenance’ elements refer to the two separate disciplines that this course facilitates. Indeed, delegates will be required to select one of these two areas, which will form the basis of their course content. However, please don’t put undue pressure on this decision! There will be considerable overlap between the two, regardless of which discipline you opt for. Therefore, upon qualification, transferring between each workstream in the field will be relatively effortless. This really doesn’t restrict you down a specific career path.
As referenced, the NVQ level 3 module focuses on themes covered in previous qualification modules. If participating in City and Guilds courses throughout, this is the content tackled in the C&G 2365 series. Namely, these are the C&G 2365 level 2 diploma, and the C&G 2365 level 3 diploma. If already in the electrotechnical industry, and mixing with experienced workers, you may have heard these referenced under names. The now defunct C&G 2330 level 2, and C&G 2330 level 3, was the modules’ previous titles.
Furthermore, for those who are already employed in the electrical sector, there is an alternative City and Guilds course available. This is a direct equivalent of the C&G 2357, and captures those who missed the NVQ stage in their original training. The emphasis placed on obtaining this qualification was previously not as strong. Now, the industry expectation is that all electrical professionals have acquired a suitable NVQ. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that any existing electricians without this qualification enrol on an NVQ course.
Again, if utilising a City & Guilds constructed qualification, workers would attend the C&G 2346 Experienced Worker NVQ Level 3 course. It’s likely that these individuals previously attended the C&G 2330 series, which, as we know, is the old version of the C&G 2365 modules. To meet the course criteria, delegates will need to have worked in an electrotechnical occupation for at least five years. Given their experience level, there is no requirement for these individuals to address each and every topic covered in the NVQ curriculum. Indeed, if candidates can demonstrate the necessary level of competency in specific disciplines, via certification or workplace evidence, they can accordingly skip these elements. Therefore, the Experienced Worker module is ultimately designed to patch up any qualification gaps.
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) modules
However, in reference to the bs7671 wiring regulations and inspection and testing qualifications, candidates must present the associated certification to prove diligence in these areas. Furthermore, the City and Guilds suggest that some key information relating to these topics was missed in their historical training courses. These have since been added to the 2365 series. Therefore, for those who sat the C&G 2330, which is likely the vast majority of C&G 2346 delegates, additional coaching needs to take place.
In order to achieve this, tutors will facilitate two, relatively short training sessions, labelled ‘Recognised Prior Learning’ (RPL) modules. Given the experience level of the audience, content will commence from a developed stage of understanding.
The ability to continue full-time working
A key advantage, for delegates and employers alike, is that the full C&G 2346 qualification can be undertaken without visiting a training facility or assessment centre. Therefore, students practice technical skills whilst delivering ‘live’ tasks in the workplace, and often conduct virtual learning from on-site workstations. Clearly, this benefits the employer, as individuals can contribute to client projects as part of their training. Furthermore, it discounts working hours lost through time spent travelling to and from venues. Nevertheless, employers have a responsibility to protect the time needed to conduct remote training whilst on-site. All of this support will have a long-term pay-off for the business, as employees will return better equipped, and more confident, to perform electrical tasks in the workplace.
To complete their RPL studies, and tackle all assessments similarly sat on the C&G 2357 (more on this to follow), delegates will usually require a timeframe of approximately six months. However, progress will be contingent on capability, experience, and the course framework set out by their respective learning provider. As per those attending the C&G 2357, candidates should then advance onto the AM2 assessment.
C&G 2357 structure
The C&G 2357 NVQ level 3 is comprised of four different examination formats. Each of these presents its own specific set of challenges. However, they all rely on the presentation of evidence collated whilst out in the industry itself. Therefore, prior to course sign-up, all prospective delegates should have successfully applied for an electrotechnical employment position. Clearly, for apprentices, this does not pose an issue. These individuals will have been employed by an electrotechnical contractor for roughly three years by this stage. However, for front-loaded learners, this will most likely be something they’ll need to address. Therefore, students are encouraged to start applying for positions well in advance of their 2357 qualification.
A different approach
The course demands that delegates compile a detailed portfolio of evidence to help demonstrate their level of electrotechnical competency. This will be a comprehensive suite of information, complete with photographic imagery, personally written documents, and employer reviews. In order to support the assembly of this file, candidates are set four different tasks. Each of these is designed to help capture evidence through various channels, which conspire to showcase the individuals’ technical skills and theoretical knowledge.
This is an extremely different examination approach to other City and Guilds modules. Generally, course delegates will engage in multiple-choice tests or practical assessments to prove an understanding of key themes. This provides a fixed exam template and allows candidates to simply turn up, take their assessment, and leave. Of course, the overall testing journey is far more involved than this, requiring considerable preparation beforehand. However, this still presents an accurate, if rather simplistic, overview of the process.
Contrastingly, the C&G 2357 examination schedule compels students to take the initiative themselves. There is a loose structure in place, yet, crucially, it is the delegate who is expected to record, critique, and pull together their evidence. As this involves organising documentation and imagery from different workstreams, it can quickly become a complex procedure. Therefore, it is often recognised as a far more challenging assessment framework than those experienced to date. Given that, for most, this will be an unfamiliar enterprise, it’s worth enlisting the support of those around you. Ensure that you consult with tutors, any industry stakeholders you hold a relationship with, or piers that you trust, in order to support you in this endeavour.
Collating evidence from the get-go
As we know, this qualification is chiefly concerned with the production of evidence from workplace environments. In this regard, apprentices have a slight edge on their ‘front-loaded’ trainee counterparts. This is because they’ve engaged in workplace activity from the onset of their scheme, and therefore have had more opportunity to deliver work and capture evidence. Indeed, even at this stage, some front-loaded learners may have only entered employment within the last few weeks.
This dynamic also applies to those undertaking the C&G 2346 Experienced Worker Assessment. As, again, greater employment experience means it’s more likely that relevant tasks have been previously performed. However, this is only relevant if apprentices and current industry workers chart their evidence accordingly. Therefore, all candidates, whether apprentices, experienced individuals, or indeed front-loaded learners, are encouraged to document evidence from day one of their employment. It’s also worth individuals being receptive to new disciplines and tasks from an early stage. Engaging in as many, diverse activities as possible will likely facilitate a quicker acquisition of the evidence required.
The assignments are designed to assess a candidate’s theoretical understanding of important electrical concepts. Furthermore, there is also a focus on elements that are aligned to statutory legislation, non-statutory regulation, and industry best practice. This includes focus on health and safety compliance, the building regulations (but not just Part P information), and how to communicate effectively whilst on-site. However, this list isn’t exhaustive. Ultimately, assessors will be judging whether they feel delegates are ready to integrate into the sector. In this pursuit, they’ll be looking for assurance that individuals can operate safely, competently, and professionally.
Nevertheless, the over-arching testing themes are based on the core learnings taken from the C&G 2365 level 2 and level 3 qualifications. Therefore, the types of content articulated below should be prevalent in candidate portfolios.
- Fault diagnosis and rectification in electrical installations, circuit and equipment.
- Compliant implementation of electrical instalments and circuits aligned to regulatory guidance
- Conducting a thorough assessment of general characteristics prior to engaging in electrical installation works. As part of this process, ensure appropriate allowance is given for wiring systems, enclosures, conditions, and equipment.
- The execution of electrical tasks in adherence to bs7671 standards as articulated in the latest edition of the wiring regulations.
- The execution of initial verification, inspection, testing, and commissioning of new and pre-existent electrical circuits and instalments. This also includes producing the appropriate certification at the conclusion of initial verification and periodic testing activities. All elements of the inspection and testing process to follow the correct sequential order.
- Ensuring that all tasks are delivered in compliance with workplace health and safety legislation. This includes the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), the Building Regulations (2010), and key guidance provided by the Heath & Safety Executive (HSE).
The C&G 2357 deploys four assessment mechanisms that help to illustrate the above concepts in work achieved to date. These are witness testimony, reflective accounts, photographic evidence, and direct observation. The commentary below highlights how these methods are utilised to examine student performance:
1. Witness testimonies
Here, your employer, or professional industry stakeholder, will validate that you’ve safely and compliantly executed particular tasks or techniques. Clearly, this activity must have taken place in a workplace environment, and been observed, for the full duration of the activity, by the aforementioned individual.
2. Reflective accounts
This task challenges individuals to personally reflect on the technical skills and knowledge procured during their training. Candidates must demonstrate a robust understanding of electrotechnical theory, and how it influences one’s approach when delivering electrical tasks. Indeed, assessors are keen to find out whether delegates have grasped the link between theoretical principles and their practical application. Therefore, when penning these accounts, students should highlight their awareness and appreciation of this relationship. Ultimately, they should explain how and why they’ve engaged in certain activities, not just describe what those tasks have been.
3. Photographic evidence
There is a requirement to submit photographic proof of certain electrotechnical tasks completed. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to take as many pictures as possible throughout the tenure of their employment. Indeed, you never know how many of these will come in useful when sitting down to compile your portfolio.
Remember, think exactly about what you’re trying to demonstrate, and try your best to capture this accordingly.
4. Direct observation
This testing format is often the one most feared, as it involves performing a technical skill in front of an assessor. This could either be conducted as an in-person or virtual examination. However, whatever the testing conditions, it takes considerable nerve to address this assessment. Nevertheless, candidates have plenty of reasons to be confident.
Firstly, you’ll have executed this activity on numerous occasions prior to the test day. Therefore, even if you’re feeling particularly nervous about the exam, you’ll be able to rely upon, to some extent, on muscle memory. Practising will always help, regardless of anxiety level, so makes sure you squeeze in as much as possible in the lead-up to your assessment. To do this, ensure that you’ve enlisted the help of your tutor and/or employer. Good sponsors will always offer you time, space, and support in preparing for examinations.
Secondly, no teacher, learning provider, or indeed employer, would put you forward for an examination you weren’t capable of passing. Apart from the personal impact this may have on yourself, this could discredit their capacity as a respected industry professional. You should draw confidence from this, and assume that you’re more than capable to deliver the required tasks.
Therefore, you should approach this test with positivity and assurance.
If you calmly apply the methodical steps learned during your various training modules, you should comfortably pass. So, relax, and try not to overthink this part of the assessment framework too much!
A hybrid approach
Most learning providers now enable candidates to complete this course exclusively online. Therefore, this may relieve some of the pressures attached to this qualification. However, delegates are highly recommended to at least engage in a hybrid model of participation. Ensuring that you’re approach to this module includes at least some training centre attendance will provide a number of tangible benefits. This includes more productive, face-to-face tutor support, pier group camaraderie and sharing of best practice, and access to practice workshops and additional learning resources.
Finally, remember that those on front-loaded pathways can spread training plans over extended timeframes. This means, if required, delegates can avoid intensive assessment scheduling, and take breaks in learning if they feel it necessary.
When your portfolio has been accredited, and you’ve therefore passed the NVQ stage, the AM2 assessment lies in wait. Although the AM2 and NVQ qualifications are often lumped together, many learning providers charge for these assessments separately. Clearly, given employer financial support, apprentices needn’t worry about associated course fees. However, for front-loaded learners, this represents an added cost to an already expensive enterprise.
Pricing significantly varies for the C&G 2357 NVQ between different learning providers. However, you should expect to pay roughly £1500-£2000 for the privilege of attending this course. Add this to the £8000-£8500 already paid for the C&G 2365 level 2 & 3 qualifications, and you can see how expenditure quickly escalates. Again, the cost of the AM2 assessment differs substantially between private facilitators. Nevertheless, most will charge delegates approximately £700-£900 to undertake this set of examinations.
If you’re right at the start of your training journey and haven’t yet suitably considered training fees, then please do so ASAP! A conservative estimate would suggest becoming an electrician sets candidates back around £10,000 in course charges alone. Therefore, make sure you’re fully committed to the cause! If you’re not, and subsequently drop out later in the learning journey, you’ll most likely have incurred some huge, avoidable costs.
If you’re on the cusp of applying for your AM2 assessment, then ensure you review potential module providers carefully. Although it may be tempting at this stage given the expenditure laid down to date, don’t sacrifice quality for price! Check that your facilitator is equipped to support you in your testing preparation, and has a confirmed assessment agenda to hand.
AM2 assessment: The breakdown
The AM2 assessment consists of four individual ‘sections’, one of which is broken into two separate parts. This relates to the first section of testing, which is split into ‘Section A’ and ‘Section A1’. Again, in similarity to the NVQ element, the testing framework is designed to target both theoretical knowledge, and technical capability.
Expectations – themes
Aligned to its full title description, the AM2 assessment examines occupational competency across a number of electrical disciplines. To successfully navigate this test, delegates will need to demonstrate their capability in:
- Interpreting electrotechnical diagrams, and therefore converting scaled drawings into appropriate measures for implementation purposes. The delegate also needs to demonstrate an awareness of relevant electrical symbols, and confidently utilise these to process calculations.
- Preparing Risk Assessments to mitigate Health and Safety hazards. These documents should register any threats to the user, client, or general public, and offer appropriate solutions.
- Planning, organising, and executing an installation, termination and connection of a wiring system.
- Delivering a safe isolation procedure.
- Initial verification, inspection, periodic testing, commissioning and certification of electrical circuits and installations.
- Diagnosing faults, formulating solutions, and rectifying these issues.
- Understanding and delivering works in compliance with relevant legislative guidance, and both statutory and non-statutory regulations. Having an awareness of industry-recognised best practice, and approaching tasks accordingly.
Expectations – tasks
The notes in Point 7 should form the basis of practical activity conducted during the assessment process. Indeed, throughout its various sections, delegates will be asked to complete a set number of electrotechnical tasks. The expectation is that these are executed safely, competently and totally aligned to the sector’s rules and regulations.
Candidates will need to install, terminate, connect, inspect, test, commission and certify the following electrical systems:
- Lighting & power circuits and installations.
- 3-Phase distribution and sub-circuits
- Sustainable energy and central heating installations
- Safety circuits and installations (such as CCTV cameras, fire safety equipment etc.)
The notes below articulate the detail of each assessment ‘section’. Within these reviews, we aim to understand the key themes, potential pitfalls, and basic structure of the respective examinations. In each example, it’s important to make a mental note of typical errors made by candidates. The identification of these mistakes should serve to offer some quick wins, and add to any other areas where you feel additional personal focus is required.
Section A1: Safe Isolation and Risk Assessment
This test relates to a relatively straightforward task that should be executed before commencing any electrical works. A safe isolation renders an electrical circuit or instalment ‘dead’ (i.e., not in live operation). This involves safely disconnecting components from an electrical installation in order for them to be addressed or tested. This is usually delivered by simply pressing the main switch to arrest the electrical current. However, if looking to isolate a specific circuit within a wider network, a miniature circuit breaker will be used to trigger the isolation. For reference, if conducting a safe isolation within a domestic dwelling, its likely that you would look to remove the main fuse to initiate the isolation.
Candidates will need to:
- Perform a safe isolation on an electrical circuit or installation.
- Deliver a risk assessment based on the condition of the instalment, and hazards present in the location environment. This includes providing relevant solutions to any perceived risks. This should include detail on anything that may undermine the safety of the person servicing the instalment (you), or any other individuals in proximity.
Delegates have 45 minutes to conduct the tasks outlined above. This should leave ample time, so please don’t rush this activity!
Common mistakes made:
- The individual does not demonstrate the correct process, in sequence order, of safely isolating an electrical instalment or circuit.
- Failure to check testing equipment before and after safe isolation is administered. This is a basic but crucial visual inspection and something which many candidates forget.
- Failure to find a safe location for the key which locks the electrical installation.
- Failure to position warning signs in the vicinity of the installation to indicate that works are currently in operation.
Section A: Composite Installation (incorporating scorecard points A2 to A9)
This is the longest section of the AM2 assessment. It permits students 8.5 hours to deliver specific activity based on a set of electrotechnical drawings and accompanying information. Delegates will need to translate these resources to support the physical implementation of a variety of technical tasks.
Candidates will need to:
- Firstly, prepare an appropriate risk assessment, before safely isolating the installation and commencing any works. Remember! Inspect any equipment before and after the safe-isolation procedure.
- Interpret the diagrams and information given. At this stage, delegates should consider the scope of work, and begin to plan accordingly.
- Select the correct protective devices. These will need to be conducive to a TP & N distribution board.
- Install protective equipotential bonding. The task here is to attach equipotential bonding to a water or gas pipeline.
- Install and terminate a single-core PVC cable. Students will be asked to implement a BS1363 13A plug socket outlet ring using a single-core PVC cable.
- Install and terminate a multi-core PVC cable. Here, candidates will need to deliver a two-way, intermediate lighting circuit deploying this format of cabling.
- Install and terminate a coaxial telephone cable.
- Install and terminate SY multi-flexible cable. Students will have to construct a 3-phase direct online motor/starter circuit using this stress-resistant cabling.
- Install and terminate a heat-resistant flexible cable. Delegates will be asked to implement an ‘S’ plan central heating hot water system using heat-resistant and single-core PVC cabling. There will need to be a solar thermal sustainable feature integrated into the unit.
- Install and terminate a low-voltage, armoured XLPE SWA cable. Candidates will need to devise a BS EN 60309 16A socket outlet circuit using this type of cabling.
- Install and terminate a data cable. This will involve the deployment of a Cat 5 cable, an ethernet wire used to associate domestic and business networks to hardware. This could be used to connect routers, printers & gaming systems to any device with an ethernet port.
- Install a fire-resistant FP200 cable (an alternative product to mineral-insulated cable, more on this to follow). Delegates will need to prepare a carbon monoxide detector safety circuit using FP200 cabling.
Common mistakes made
- Failure to install circuits and instalments in line with industry-recognised bs7671 standards, as articulated in the 18th edition wiring regulations.
- Failure to install circuits and instalments with respect to information detailed in the unit’s installation specifications.
- Failure to select the appropriate format of protection device, and/or positions chosen equipment incorrectly.
- Failure to select the appropriate size/format of circuit conductors.
- Failure to secure installation glands and clamps properly.
- Lack of awareness of conductors and cable types.
- Does not remove enough, or conversely removes too much, insulation when attempting to produce an efficient electrical connection. Subsequently increases the threat of electrical contact.
- Circuit or installation not connected properly undermines operational functionality.
- Failure to appropriately segregate extra-low and low voltage cabling. Again, compromises efficiency of circuit or installation.
Section B: Inspection & Testing of the Composite Installation (incorporating scorecard points B1 to B12)
After producing the composite installation, candidates will address its initial verification, testing, inspection and commissioning stages. On completion, delegates must prepare appropriate certification, containing all relevant details. For this particular electrical task, this will mean composing an Electrical Installation Report. This should include basic housekeeping information (date/name of electrician etc), test results, and commentary on any issues faced. To deliver this task, students are allocated 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Candidates will need to:
- Again, compose a risk assessment based on the potential hazards of the activity, and location conditions. Ensure equipment is suitably inspected pre and post-safe isolation; no apology is made for repeating this! Don’t lose silly points!
- Conduct a visual inspection of the circuit or installation in alignment with guidance articulated in two, key electrotechnical documents. These are the Requirement for Electrical Installations (bs7671:2018), and the IET’s Guidance Note 3.
- Execute the tests documented below. Again, ensure bs7671 and GN3 guidance is adhered to throughout:
- Continuity of protective conductors
- Continuity of ring final circuit conductors
- Earth-fault loop impedance (EFLI)
- Prospective fault current (PFC)
- Insulation resistance
- Functional testing
- Produce an accurate and detailed Electrical Installation Report, and an appropriate onward schedule of inspection and testing activity. Compose these items using the model templates listed in Appendix 6 of the bs7671 wiring regulations.
Common mistakes made:
- Failure to select appropriate equipment for any of the aforementioned tests.
- Failure to conduct testing in alignment to bs7671 regulations.
- Failure to conduct testing in alignment to GN3 guidance
- Omits results, or fails to record accurately.
- Does not validate test results in coordination with bs7671 standards.
- Failure to compose a suitable Electrical Installation Report
- Failure to plot appropriate future inspection and testing scheduling.
- Unable to commission circuit or installation function as per expectation.
Section C: Fault Diagnosis and Rectification (incorporating scorecard points C1 & C2)
In alignment with the section title description, this involves diagnosing circuit defects and applying solutions accordingly. Students will be graded on the full fault-finding and rectification process and will be given two hours to complete this activity.
Candidates will need to:
- Deliver the risk assessment as per the notes in previous sections, and check equipment before and after safe isolation!
- Select the appropriate tools and equipment to facilitate accurate fault diagnosis of the specific electrical circuit or instalment.
- Deliver the industry-recognised pre-emptive checks that must be executed prior to any fault diagnosis activity.
- Extract potential fault information from the ‘fault symptom’ documentation which will be handed to the delegate by the assessor during the examination.
- Accurately record appropriate solutions for addressing identified defects.
Common mistakes made:
- Failure to locate the defects within the electrical circuit or installation
- Failure to note anticipated methods for rectifying outstanding issues.
Section D: Online multiple-choice exam
This final test takes on a different format to the earlier assessments. Delegates will need to sit a 30-question, multiple-choice exam, based on a variety of electrotechnical themes. To successfully pass, candidates must register a score of at least 80%, which equates to 24 correct answers out of 30. Students are allocated one hour to complete this examination. At an average of 2 minutes per question, this should be a more than adequate timeframe to conduct this test.
The assessment is ‘open-book’, which means approved literature can be brought into the examination hall or remote environment. The two authorised texts for this particular exam are the Requirement for Electrical Installations (bs7671: 2018), and the IET’s Guidance Note 3.
Candidates will answer questions on the following topics:
- Health & safety elements to consider whilst working in the electrotechnical industry
- Deployment and maintenance of electrical tools, equipment and instruments
- Regulations contained in the Requirements for Electrical Installations (bs7671:2018)
- Motor control & overload protection
- Techniques used in the verification, inspection, testing, installation, commissioning, and certification of electrical circuits and instalments.
- The Building Regulations (2010). This includes reflection on both Part P and other sections.
- The impact and utilisation of environmental and sustainability solutions within the electrical sector.
Advice for this test
Multiple-choice tests can often be more challenging than initially meets the eye. Therefore, it’s crucial that candidates do not become complacent in their approach. The AM2 multiple-choice exam shares similarities with the objectives of the equivalent City & Guilds testing format. Indeed, AM2 assessors do not want regurgitations of isolated facts and figures, learned ‘off by heart’ during revision preparation. Rather, they’re eager to identify delegates who have an appreciation of electrotechnical theory and can correlate how this washes through into the application of electrical tasks.
Prospective electricians, right from the onset of their studies, should always aim to acquire an in-depth understanding of the industry’s principles and regulations. In this way, they’ll be able to translate theory into practice and be much better equipped to address challenges whilst out in the trade. Therefore, although tempting when revising, try not to commit information to memory without truly understanding its origins. A more all-encompassing approach to revision will serve you well in all of your examinations, and, more importantly, in your future career.
Open-book exams: watch out!
As previously referenced, this test is open-book, allowing students access to set resources during the assessment. However, don’t succumb to a common pitfall! Often, delegates will become over-reliant on this documentation, impacting their approach both before and during their test. Students often overestimate the level of support these texts will provide on exam day. This can lead to them taking their foot off the pedal, and reducing time and energy spent on revision activities. Clearly, this can compromise performance in the assessment.
There is also the tangible risk of over-utilisation. An open-book exam is designed to offer delegates a supportive buffer, jogging memories and facilitating direct references to content. However, unfortunately, some end up using these resources as glorified answer papers. Repeatedly sense-checking responses against the information contained in the texts is a wholly unproductive activity. This could easily disrupt momentum, or, worse still, put you at risk of running out of time.
Of course, checking any answers at the end of the exam is perfectly acceptable, as is if you’re genuinely unsure of the answer. However, consistently reflecting back on answers that you’re already fairly confident on is a completely futile endeavour. You’ll certainly not receive any extra points for grading the paper prior to the assessor!
Clearly, decent, age-old advice for any examination also applies in the context of the AM2 assessment. Individuals will always perform best when they’re calm, relaxed, and focused. The easiest way to achieve this state of mind is to feel the reassurance earned from preparing well. From day one, try to be attentive in your approach, and ensure you regularly contribute to course discussions. This will support you to better grasp complex electrotechnical theory and prompt you to ask questions when unsure of something.
Furthermore, aim to practice technical skills as much as physically possible, as this will really pay off in your assessments. You can enlist the help of both your tutor and employer to achieve this end, as they both have the provision to support you in this endeavour. Whether that be access to a workshop, or the protection of working hours to hone technical skills, each should play their role.
Most importantly, however, be confident in your ability. Advancing this far down the training journey is not a fluke; you’ve achieved this by demonstrating various skills and theoretical knowledge. Remember, the AM2 assessment is first and foremost a reflective module. Therefore, many of the tasks you’ll be asked to perform will have already been navigated in prior modules. Furthermore, by this stage, the likelihood is that you’ll have delivered these on a regular basis in workplace conditions.
So, stay composed, be positive, and be confident!
Key supporting information
Aside from the specific watch-outs of each section, we’ve composed a list of general hints and tips for the over-arching assessment process. Please read and digest these pointers, actioning wherever possible.
Prior to attending the AM2 assessment, candidates must complete an ‘assessment checklist’. This is structured in line with the examination criteria, methodically and chronologically running through each activity, in each section. Delegates must declare their perceived level of competence in each task. They will do so by marking one of two boxes. These are named ‘I have knowledge/experience of’, and ‘I have little or no knowledge/experience of ‘
It’s imperative to select boxes honestly, as this helps all parties (you, your employer, and training provider) to decide whether you’re appropriately equipped to take the AM2. Completing disingenuously could lead to a significant waste of time and money, and cause unrequired stress and concern. This document must be brought to your respective assessment centre when undertaking the exam. It should be signed by all aforementioned stakeholders, as an indication of assessment readiness.
On completion, this checklist should then be exploited to help construct a focus action plan. This will support you in addressing any weaknesses and prompt you to re-visit areas where further improvement of skills or knowledge is required.
Ensure you’re tutor and employer are fully engaged on this plan from the onset. They’ll be able to offer feedback, challenge your initial analysis, and prevent you from drifting off track. Indeed, they have a responsibility to help you to tackle any issues prior to attending your AM2 exam.
Take time to study all appropriate documentation and learning resources. There are a number of texts which will prove extremely useful during the assessment process. As we’re aware, the Requirement for Electrical Installations (bs7671:2018), and the IET’s Guidance Note 3, are deployed as approved, supplementary literature to support completion of the Section D multiple-choice online test. However, candidates should also extensively review the Building Regulations (both its Part P section and otherwise), as well as the On-Site Guide (bs7671:2018)
Practice completing the full suite of electrical certification. Although not every certificate will need to be produced in your AM2 assessment, composing this documentation will further familiarise candidates with specific concepts and approaches. This includes the sequencing of inspection and testing across initial verification and periodic inspection, which are likely to be topics addressed in the multiple-choice exam.
An important note
Finally, remember that the assessment is concerned with testing your understanding of electrotechnical theory, and its subsequent practical application. You will not pass by simply learning buzzwords or facts in isolation of their theoretical basis.
It’s possible for candidates to arrive at the same answer, despite exploiting different methods in reaching this conclusion. This is because key knowledge can be interpreted in varying ways, but by having an awareness of the core principles, approaches will always converge at the correct outcome.
Recent changes to the AM2 assessment
Just over a decade ago, the AM2 assessment underwent some significant changes. These adjustments were implemented in order to generally improve the candidate experience, and align it to the contemporary context. We detail the key changes below, and offer some commentary on the impact this has had on attendees:
- Deployment and termination of Mineral Insulated Metal Sheath (MIMS) cabling removed from assessment criteria.
- Implementation of steel conduit removed from assessment criteria.
- Electrical equipment is now pre-installed, and therefore there is no longer a requirement for the candidate to set up circuit components prior to delivering assessed tasks. This means that only the wiring element needs to be addressed during the examination(s).
- In contrast to the previous examination approach, all wiring is required to be installed through the deployment of a pre-installed cable tray, and steel & PVC compartmental trunking and conduit.
- On completion of the verification, inspection, testing, and commissioning stages of Section B, candidates must produce a well-crafted Electrical installation Report. This was not a previous requirement.
- As referenced in the notes on the ‘Section A’ composite installation task, an ‘S’ plan central heating and hot water system installation must be navigated. This should have an integrated solar thermal sustainable energy component.
- The requirement to inspect, test, and install a Cat 5 data cable is a new addition.
- The timeframe for the ‘Section A’ composite installation task has been reduced from 10 hours to 8 hours 30 minutes. However, don’t worry! This is still more than enough time to deliver all of the required activity.
N.B. These changes were introduced in January 2011.
Easier, or more difficult?
A considerable number of industry stakeholders have suggested that this examination is less challenging than the previous one. This mainly hinges on the removal of the Mineral Insulated Metal Sheath (MIMS) component, which was a task that proved to be a particular stumbling block for many participants. However, there are also a couple of areas that offer tougher testing expectations.
For example, as we know, in Section B, delegates must now produce a detailed and accurate Electrical Installation Certificate. Furthermore, the introduction of techniques associated with modern technologies, such as data cabling and ‘S’ plan system installation, are additional features to the previous curriculum. Not only do candidates need to know how to physically execute these two tasks, they’re also expected to grasp the wider electrotechnical themes behind these activities. Therefore, there is an argument to suggest that navigating this assessment is as equally as difficult as it has been previous years, if not more so!
As well as offering some handy advice on the exam itself, we’ve also prepared some useful ‘housekeeping’ information. This provides some basic guidance for your onwards interaction with the assessment centre and instruction on how to ensure you receive your AM2 certification.
- All assessments must be sat in a different venue to where candidate studies have been conducted. This promotes integrity and transparency in the examination process. There are AM2 assessment centres nationwide, so you should be able to easily locate a facility close by.
- In order to have confidence that you’ll be updated on the outcome of your exam in a timely fashion, ensure all personal details handed over to the assessment centre are a hundred per cent accurate. This will also aid the certification production process.
- If you’re concerned that you haven’t received your AM2 certificate, reach out to your respective assessment centre prior to contacting your learning provider. Candidates should wait two weeks before escalating any issues around missing certification.
- In the unfortunate case of losing your certificate, the NET can assist in administering you with a new document.
For reference, the NET, or National Electrotechnical Training organisation, preside over the governance of the AM2 assessment. They ensure that the test is fit for purpose, and delegates are subjected to a fair and consistent testing process.
If you’ve lost your certificate within a month of passing your assessment, the NET will send out a replacement free of charge. Any losses or damage to certification after this point will incur a fixed charge.
We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive overview of the AM2 assessment. Through detailed analysis of the content, structure and format of the examination, we’re optimistic that prospective delegates will now have all the information they need to tackle these tests with confidence.
Remember, given the complexity of the modules involved, it’s extremely important to prepare diligently for this exam. Revise thoroughly, practice regularly, and embrace all of your training course activities from day one. Tutors and employers have a vested interest in supporting you on this journey, so ensure you lean on them for assistance throughout.
Please also ensure you make a note of the potential assessment pitfalls. Being aware of these common issues may be the difference between passing and failing. Try to address each individual component making up the body of your practical tasks, and answer every question on the multiple-choice test. A guess, or indeed a last-ditch response might earn you that critical extra point!
Having a clear mind going into test day will really help you to perform well. Therefore, ensure you’re across all of the basic preparation elements, such as completing your pre-assessment checklist and purchasing copies of the ‘open-book’ literature well in advance of your test (you should be using these to revise with anyway!).
Focus on your weaknesses, refine your technical skills and be confident about your strengths. Do this, and you should have no issue navigating this concluding stage of the qualification process. Lastly, take confidence from the faith that your tutor and employer clearly have in you. Nobody would support an individual to take a test that they weren’t ready for; this certainly wouldn’t reflect well on them!
The reward for passing this last hurdle is massive, but that doesn’t mean you need to put pressure on yourself. Be cool, calm, and collected, and take that final leap towards becoming an electrician!
If you require any further information on the AM2 assessment, regardless of what stage in your training you’re at, then please liaise with your tutor, employer, or a relevant industry stakeholder. Alternatively, the NET website is packed full of useful information on the full examination process. This includes additional guidance on the test itself, assessment centre locations, and how to book an assessment. You can visit their landing page here.
If imminently taking the AM2 assessment, we wish you the best of luck in your examinations. And, hopefully, a fruitful future career as a fully-qualified electrician!