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Esthetician Exam Practice Test

Is your goal to become an esthetician? If so, an esthetician practice test is your best bet to reaching that goal.

To pass the esthetician exam, you are expected to know the content of the exam like the back of your hand. With just a little esthetician exam prep you will be more than ready to ace your exam.

Summary: Take an esthetician practice exam below to start preparing for your test.

Esthetician Practice Tests

Practice Test #1Quizlet
Practice Test #2Quizlet
Practice Test #3Quizlet

Esthetician State Board Exam Outline

The National-Interstate Council (NIC) of State Boards of Cosmetology requires individuals who are looking for a state esthetician license to pass a challenging exam.

The NIC is the leading authority on the examination of estheticians trying to obtain their state license. Of the 50 states, 31 of them require you to pass the NICs exams to get your license. The other 19 states offer similar exams that are largely based on the NIC model as well.

There are 2 parts of the NIC’s esthetician state board exam:

  • Written Portion – Designed to test your knowledge of guidelines and procedures. Multiple-choice questions.
  • Practical Portion – Designed to see how you perform under pressure. Hands-on questions.

Fast Facts:

  • 2 Portions: Written and Practical
  • Number of Questions: 70
  • Time Limit: 2 Hours

Administered by the NIC in 31 states. Other 19 states follow similar exam outlines.

If you take an esthetician state board practice test it will most likely be based on the NICs model. Listed below is the NIC’s exam outline for the esthetician exam.

Domain I: Scientific Concepts: 35%

There are 25 questions in this category, they assess the following:

  1. Apply knowledge of infection control procedures
  2. Apply knowledge of safety procedures and guidelines
  3. Recognize and understand skin disorders and diseases
  4. Understanding function and composition of the hair
  5. Understanding basic chemistry

Domain II: Skin Care and Services: 65%

There are 45 questions in this category, they assess the following:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of performing a client consultation and documentation
  2. Apply knowledge of client protection (i.e., draping of head and body)
  3. Skin analysis (e.g., Fitzpatrick skin types/conditions/characteristics)
  4. Contraindications for skin services
  5. Treatment protocol
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of cleansing procedures
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of steaming procedures
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of exfoliation procedures (i.e., chemical, mechanical/manual)
  9. Demonstrate a basic understanding of massage movements
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of methods of extraction
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of the functions and applications of masks
  12. Demonstrate an understanding of the conclusion of facial services
  13. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the use of electrical equipment used in skin services
  14. Demonstrate an understanding of makeup
  15. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of other services

Here is the official content outline if you want to review it.

Esthetician Exam Overview

What to Expect at the Test Site

There are items that you are not allowed to have while taking the test, these items include:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Smart watch
  • Camera
  • Computer
  • Notes
  • Any printed material
  • Any sort of bag (purse, handbag, etc)
  • Any sort of accessory(hat, coat, sunglasses, etc)

If you have any of these while taking the exam you will fail. The test site will have a designated area for you to safely store away all of your items.

What to Bring For Your Exam

You will be required to show a form of ID to enter the exam site so you must bring a government issued ID. The practical portion, or hands on portion, requires you to bring many materials.

Some of those materials include:

  • 3 containers, which are to be labeled: “to be disinfected,” “soiled linens,” and “trash”
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels
  • Astringent or toner
  • Gloves
  • Tweezers

Do I Live in a State that Gives the NIC Esthetician Exam?

As mentioned above, 31 states currently administer the NIC’s esthetician exam. Review our table below to see if you live in one of those states.

Important Note: If you live in a state that the NIC does not administer the exam in, your exam will most likely be very similar to the NIC’s exam outline.

StateWritten ExamPractical Exam
New HampshireNICNIC
New Jersey
New MexicoNICNIC
New York
North CarolinaNICNIC
North DakotaNIC
Rhode IslandNICNIC
South CarolinaNICNIC
South DakotaNICNIC
West VirginiaNICNIC

If you are moving from one state to another and want to become a licensed esthetician by reciprocity, it is likely that your new state’s board of cosmetology will accept the NICs esthetician exams as equivalent to their own.

However, it is always best to double-check with your new state’s board to see which tests are actually required, as laws regarding state exam requirements can change occasionally.

Esthetician Exam FAQs

There are 70 questions on the esthetician exam.

Yes. You have 2 hours to complete the exam. If you feel that being under a time constraint might be an issue, then take an esthetician practice test to master the timing.

Yes, you must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly to pass the test.

31 out of the 50 states offer the same National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) exam. The other 19 states give very similar exams.

Gianni Evangelisti
Gianni has been working in the test prep industry for 6+ years. Gianni has created test prep materials across multiple different exam categories.