How to Prepare For The Illinois State Board Exam

Oct 26 2018

As a future cosmetology student or a current student, the Illinois state board exam is probably something you’re thinking about. Test-taking is a huge source of anxiety for many people. If you’re feeling nervous, that’s okay! Sitting for the exam is a normal thing to feel nervous about. At Douglas J Aveda Institute, we strive to make sure all students feel comfortable, confident and prepared to sit for the state board exam. Here are some helpful tips that can make this process a little easier for you.

Meet the Requirements

Before we dive in, make sure you have the basic prerequisites for the exam. According to the Illinois General Assembly, you must meet the following requirements before applying for the state board exam:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Complete high school or receive a high school equivalency
  • Graduate from either an approved cosmetology school

What You Need to Sit For The Exam

When applying to sit for the state board, your application will need to include the following:

  • An official transcript proving your completion of required training and proof of a passing grade on the final exam administered by your school
  • Required application and examination fees
  • Transcripts showing proof of remedial training (basic skills any employee needs to be hired)
  • Proof of any name change
  • Proof of licensure if you are a licensed cosmetologist in another state

Woman in grey sweater studying in a library

What You Should Study

The Illinois state board exam is separated into seven sections. Those sections are outlined as follows on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website:

Salon Safety and Sanitation

  • Infections
  • Sanitation Procedures
  • Tools, Gloves and Chemicals
  • Medical Emergencies and Blood

Analyze and Treat Scalp, Hair, Skin and Nails

Cut and Style Hair

  • Advising Clients
  • Cutting Hair
  • Reducing Bulk

Waving and Relaxing

  • Client Characteristics
  • Product Effects
  • Selecting and Using Products

Hair Coloring and Lightening

  • Client Characteristics
  • Product Effects
  • Selecting and Using Products

Nail Services

  • Implements
  • Manicures and Pedicures

Skin Services

  • Makeup
  • Removing Unwanted Hair

Materials to Use for Studying

A big part of preparing for the exam is knowing what texts and materials to study. At Douglas J. Aveda Institute Chicago, we recommend studying these materials:

Get Ready for Exam Day

To make sure you’re ready on the day of your exam, you need to have a valid form of ID. Acceptable options are a valid driver’s license or state ID, a valid U.S. passport or Military Active Duty ID, or a valid consular ID. When sitting for the exam, we recommend that you dress in a neat and professional manner. This could be an appropriate dress, a skirt and blouse, or nice slacks and shirt. Whatever you choose, make sure it is clean, ironed and ready to go ahead of time. The last thing you need on the morning of your exam is to be worried about your outfit!

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Life After the State Board Exam

After you pass the state board and become a licensed cosmetologist, an exciting list of career options may be open to you. Hair color specialist, makeup artist, beauty blogger and beauty advisor are just a few of the creative career possibilities to choose from. Preparing yourself for the state board exam is key if you want a successful, long-term career in the beauty industry!

Stylist coloring a client's hair

Begin Your Beauty Education Today

A bright future in the beauty industry could be yours! Enrolling in beauty school is the first step. To learn more about our programs at Douglas J Aveda Institute in Chicago, schedule a tour today. Our Aveda-based curriculum was designed to prepare students to enter the industry with technical and professional skills. If you have any questions about our school, programs or financial aid*, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.