top of page

2021 ICC Building Plans Examiner Practice Test

Building Code Masters' 2021 Building Plans Examiner Practice Exam for the ICC certification stands as an invaluable resource for aspiring professionals seeking to excel in the field of building plan review.

Designed with in-depth knowledge of the International Building Code (IBC), this practice exam offers a comprehensive practice test for candidates to hone their skills and knowledge. It meticulously covers essential topics, ranging from structural integrity and public safety to foundation, floor, wall, and roof construction standards.

The exam is designed to simulate real-world scenarios, providing candidates with a practical understanding of the complexities they might encounter in their roles as commercial plans examiners.

With a focus on clarity and relevance, Building Code Masters' 2021 Practice Exam equips candidates with the confidence and expertise needed to successfully navigate the challenges of the ICC certification.

2021 ICC Building Plans Examiner Certification Outline

The outline provided is directly from the specification of the coverage areas that are on the real certification exam from the ICC. All of the information about ICC certifications can be viewed through the ICC exam catalog.

General Administration (5%)

Project Administration (3%)

  • Verify completeness of plans, specifications, and project information.

  • Ensure designs are approved and supported by calculations.

  • Verify valuation consistency with industry norms.

Public Information and Legal (2%)

  • Address permit and inspection inquiries for new and existing structures.

Building Planning (21%)

Building Location (2%)

  • Confirm compliance with local ordinances, fire regulations, and setbacks.

  • Verify finish floor elevation in flood-hazard areas.

Allowable Increases (1%)

  • Verify allowable height and area modifications based on open perimeters.

Use and Occupancy Classification (2%)

  • Confirm correct use and occupancy classification.

Special Detailed Requirements Based on Use and Occupancy (4%)

  • Verify compliance with special provisions for various occupancies and uses.

Types of Construction (2%)

  • Confirm correct type of construction and components.

Height and Area Design (2%)

  • Verify designs within allowable height and floor area limits.

Exterior Walls and Openings (3%)

  • Verify compliance with fire-resistive requirements.

Interior Environment (3%)

  • Ensure compliance with room dimensions, lighting, ventilation, and sanitation.

Safeguards During Construction (1%)

  • Specify safety precautions at construction site.

Accessibility (1%)

  • Verify accessibility for physically disabled persons.

Materials Specifications (1%)

  • Confirm materials comply with code requirements.

Footings and Foundations (8%)

Footing and Foundations (3%)

  • Verify necessary reports and soil capacity.

  • Confirm correct footing size, setbacks, and reinforcement.

Stepped Footings and Special Foundations (2%)

  • Verify specifications for stepped footings, piles, piers, and special foundations.

Foundation Walls (3%)

  • Confirm stem wall size, reinforcement, anchor bolts, and dampproofing.

Floor Construction (4%)

Floor Systems (3%)

  • Verify floor system compliance with code requirements.

  • Confirm subflooring, decking, and crawlspaces specifications.

Concrete Slabs and Floor Systems (1%)

  • Ensure concrete slab design compliance.

Wall Construction and Coverings (12%)

Wood Wall Systems (2%)

  • Verify wood wall system compliance.

Steel Framing Systems (2%)

  • Confirm steel wall system specifications.

Masonry Wall Systems (2%)

  • Verify masonry grouting, bonding, reinforcement, and lintels.

Concrete Wall Systems (2%)

  • Confirm concrete wall system specifications.

Exterior Wall Coverings (2%)

  • Verify exterior veneers, siding, sheathing, and plaster specifications.

Interior Wall Coverings (2%)

  • Confirm interior wall and ceiling covering compliance.

Roof/Ceiling Construction (4%)

Roof/Ceiling Assemblies (3%)

  • Verify compliance with roof/ceiling construction standards.

  • Confirm insulation, vapor barriers, and ventilation.

Roof Coverings (1%)

  • Confirm roof covering classification and installation standards.

Public Safety and Special Construction (46%)

Means of Egress (5%)

  • Verify egress requirements, exits, and discharge compliance.

Number, Width, and Arrangements of Exits (4%)

  • Confirm occupancy load calculations and exit arrangements.

Exit Stairways and Ramps (4%)

  • Verify stairways and ramps compliance.

Exit Doors and Egress Windows (4%)

  • Confirm exit door and window specifications.

Protected Exitways (3%)

  • Verify compliance of exit passageways and stairway enclosures.

Special Exiting (3%)

  • Confirm aisle and seating spacing requirements.

Fire Alarm and Extinguishing Systems (1%)

  • Verify fire alarm and suppression system requirements.

Area and Occupancy Separations (3%)

  • Confirm area separation and occupancy separation compliance.

Fire-Resistive Construction (4%)

  • Verify fire-resistive materials and assemblies compliance.

Heat and Smoke (4%)

  • Confirm heat and smoke detection systems.

Interior Finishes (3%)

  • Verify interior finishes flame-spread and smoke developed classifications.

Safety Glazing (2%)

  • Confirm safety glazing specifications.

Opening Protectives, Penetrations, and Joint Systems (2%)

  • Verify opening protectives and fire-blocking provisions.

Miscellaneous Construction (4%)

  • Confirm exterior stairs, ramps, porches, and balconies compliance.

Building Services and Special Construction (1%)

  • Verify compliance of various building components.

Fireplaces and Chimneys (1%)

  • Confirm fireplace and chimney specifications.

How To Study For the Building Plans Examiner Exam

Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering building code questions is essential for someone about to take an exam.

In the office, a plans examiner should be able to answer general questions about structural framing, foundation, floor, wall, and roof construction standards. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the International Building Code fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 210 minutes (3.5 Hours).

Building Plans Examiner Practice Test Study Recommendation

Building Code Masters recommends that test takers be able to do the following before taking a certification test:

  1. Have the table of contents and index tabbed for easy access.

  2. Be able to look up 80 practice test questions in under 2 hours.

  3. Know the location of and mark all important tables.

This basic three step formula has proven successful for several examinees and speed is key just as it is in the field. Building Code Masters has several practice exams for Plans Examiners to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with.

How to Take the 2021 Building Plans Examiner Exam

The final step in completing your certification is scheduling and taking the examination. All exams can be schedule from the exam catalog or ICC account. Either log in to your account and follow the credentials tab OR go directly to the exam catalog and schedule from there.

From myICC account:

myICC exam scheduling

From Exam catalog:

Exam catalog scheduling


Good luck to all the examinees! May your hard work and dedication be reflected in your exam results. Trust in your preparation, stay confident, and give it your best effort. Wishing you success and a bright future in your endeavors!


Practice Exams

bottom of page