(A) General Engineering Contractor Exam Prep Course

Pass the A-General Engineering Trade Exam: Easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1: Commit to passing your California (A) General Contractor exam. Prepare for your exam on your own schedule. Utilize our multimedia resources to “Read, Watch, Listen, Learn, and PASS!”

Step 2: CSLB Application Assistance: We’re here to help you complete your (A) contractor application correctly. Call us for personalized guidance and ensure a smooth application process.

Step 3: Study and Succeed – Proven Results: Our clients typically pass their trade exam on the first attempt. Your success is our goal! Follow the Plan and Pass Your Exam!”

All qualifying individuals must also pass the California Contractor Law & Business Exam (sold separately below)


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🎯Pass Your A-General Engineering (Trade Exam)

  • Aim to Pass: Aim to pass the A General Engineering Contractor exam on your very first try.
  • Unbeatable Course: Experience California’s most effective and affordable A-General Engineering contractors’ license course.
  • Proven Track Record: Our clients consistently pass their Gen-A contractor trade exams, making us a trusted choice for exam preparation.

Pass Your A-General Engineering Contractor Exam:

Taking the California A General Contractors exam is a pivotal step in advancing your career in the construction and engineering industry. This exam, designed to assess your knowledge and skills in general engineering, is your gateway to becoming a licensed contractor in California, a credential that significantly broadens your professional opportunities.

By passing this exam, you demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of construction laws, business management, and the technical aspects of engineering projects. This not only enhances your credibility and marketability but also enables you to bid on larger, more complex projects that unlicensed contractors can’t access.

Additionally, having this license reflects your commitment to professionalism and adherence to industry standards, which can greatly increase your earning potential and establish you as a trusted expert in your field.

Thus, taking and passing the California A General Contractors exam is a strategic move for anyone looking to elevate their career in the construction industry, ensuring compliance with state regulations and opening doors to a more prosperous professional future.

Online Flexible Study Plan:

  • Comprehensive Manual: Dive into our industry-leading A-General exam preparation manual.
  • Master Multiple-Choice: Learn strategies to dominate multiple-choice exams.
  • Multimedia Learning: Engage with audio and video content featuring industry experts on general engineering, Math Review, and Title 8 Health & Safety Rules.
  • Question Bank: Access hundreds of researched exam questions and answers.
  • Interactive Tools: Use virtual flashcards and non-graded quizzes to reinforce key concepts.
  • Online Practice Exams: Test your knowledge with online timed practice exams.
  • First-Time Success: Aim to pass your General Engineering Contractor exam on your first attempt.

🌟 The Most Effective Course in California, at Any Price!

  • Online Advantage: Our multimedia course allows you to study at your pace and is the most affordable method for passing the General-A Contractor License Exam.

Hassle-Free Application Process:

  • Paperwork Assistance: We’ll guide you through the CSLB application process.
  • Expert Help: Email us for personalized assistance and a free line-by-line review of your application before submission to the state. TLC is here to help to make your CSLB Application easier than ever!

Exam Success:

  • Pass Rate: Our students have a high success rate if they take our course to its entirety. If you have failed in the past, we are here to help increase that score with the latest updated information specific to your trade.
  • Exam Scheduling: Once your application is approved and you are ready, schedule your exam through PSI. (Refer to the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin for more details. – PSI (A) General Engineering Candidate Information Bulletin

IT’S A FACT! When you read somethingwatch somethinghear somethingand then put that information to use – ONLINE PRACTICE QUESTIONS  & ONLINE EXAMS, your ability to retain our study materials increases exponentially!

📚 Course Details: A-General Engineering (Trade Exam)

  • Online Study: Skip the commute and study comfortably from your home or office.
  • Convenience: Our courses are designed to fit into your busy schedule, allowing you to prepare at your own pace.
  • Proven and Affordable: Rely on our proven methods to pass the A-General Engineering Contractor exam without breaking the bank.

California A-General Engineering Contractor (Trade Exam)

📝 Select Your Course Format:

Please choose the format that best suits your learning style and needs, and take advantage of our comprehensive study materials to prepare effectively for your (A) General Engineering Contractor trade exam:

  • eCourse: Online Manual: (Read Only) + A/V & Testing:

    • The Course is 100% Online
    • Online Manual (not printable)
    • Online A/V (Audio/Video)
    • Online Practice Testing
  • or Printed Manual + Online A/V & Testing:

    • Printed Manual
    • Online A/V (Audio/Video)
    • Online Practice Testing
  • or Printed Manual + CDs, DVDs, & Online Testing:

    • Printed Manual
    • CDs & DVDs
    • Online Practice Testing

Included In Each Course Format:

Each of our A-General Engineering Contractor License Trade Exam Courses includes the following:

  • Trade-Specific Manuals or eManuals: Comprehensive guides covering all relevant topics.
  • Audio Lectures: Listen to expert insights and explanations.
  • Video Lectures: Visualize key concepts through video content.
  • Flash Card Mode: Test your knowledge with Virtual Flashcards.
  • Online Practice Exams: Take multiple-timed practice exams.

📖 California A-General Engineering Contractor Exam Trade Manual

The California A General Engineering exam manual briefly covers essential topics of the California Gen-A exam’s trade section.

  • Broad Coverage: This manual provides a concise overview of essential topics for the California A-General Engineering exam’s trade section, including concrete, carpentry, masonry, electrical, HVAC, excavation, grading & paving, and more.
  • Code Summaries: Gain insights from summarized sections of the California Building Code, the California Electrical Code, and Title 8 Health & Safety Orders.

 Inside the Study Guide:

  • Math Review: Get a solid foundation with an introduction to construction math, covering estimating formulas, measurement units, elementary geometry, and the architect’s scale.
  • General Knowledge: This section provides the basic trade information needed to pass the General (A) trade exam.
  • Health and Safety: Become familiar with Title 8 and other essential safety regulations and practices.
  • A-General Exam Review Questions: Read and understand each question and read every word of the explanation. The principle behind the question is your key to success.

🎧 Audio/Video Lectures

  • Flexible Formats: Choose between streaming online audio & video files or opt for CDs & DVDs.
  • Expert Instruction: Learn from instructors with decades of experience, covering key General A exam concepts in depth. Lectures include Math Formulas, Plans & Specifications, General Engineering Knowledge & Review Questions, and Title 8 Health & Safety Orders.

Latest Online Gen-A Study Questions and Online Practice Exams

Virtual Flashcards:

  • Randomized Questions: Keep your study sessions fresh and engaging via online flashcards.
  • Progress Tracking: Know where you stand and what you’ve mastered.
  • Exclude Mastered Questions: Focus only on what you need to learn.

Trade Practice Exams and Updated Questions:

  • Seven Timed General Exams: Each practice exam consists of 120 questions, allowing you to practice under timed conditions.
  • Two Title 8 Health & Safety Tests: Specialized tests to ensure you’re prepared for all aspects of the General A exam.
  • Inclusive Trade Practice Questions: Each course includes practice questions complete with questions, answers, and in-depth explanations to deepen your understanding of trade concepts.
  • Updated Questions: Stay current with the latest General Engineering, Health and Safety, and trade-specific updates.
  • Test & Expand Knowledge: Our questions are designed not just to test your existing knowledge but to expand upon it through detailed explanations.

📞 Contractor Exam Application Assistance

  • Free Form Review: Request a free review of your completed contractor exam application to ensure it’s error-free before you submit it to the state.
  • Direct Assistance: All students enrolled in our A-General Engineering course can call us at (866) 685-8564 for personalized assistance in completing the application.

One-Year Unlimited Access

  • All-Inclusive Resources: Gain unrestricted access to all online eBooks, audio/video materials, test questions, and simulated final exams.
  • 365 Days of Access: Unlike other schools that limit you to 30, 90, or 180 days, we offer a full year of access to all online course materials, ensuring you have ample time to prepare.

🔍CSLB (A) Trade Exam Content & Source Material

  • In-Depth Overview: Gain a comprehensive understanding of what the A General Engineering Contractor trade exam entails.
  • Reference Compilation: Access a complete compilation of all reference materials used for the exam, ensuring you have all the resources you need.
  • Scope Outline: Understand the full scope of work covered under the (A)-general contractor classification so you know exactly what to expect.

The A-General Engineering Exam: Eight Major Sections

Section 1: Planning, Estimating (19%)

  • Interpreting plans and specifications
  • Code Compliance
  • Evaluating job sites
  • Coordinating projects
  • Estimating costs for materials, equipment, and labor

Section 2: Structural Principles (5%)

  • Constructing structures
  • Seismic requirements
  • Basic engineering

Section 3: Earthwork and Surveying (14%)

  • Surveying job sites
  • Preparing job sites
  • Assessing soil conditions
  • Assessing soil composition and expansion

Section 4: Subsurface Work (20%)

  • Shoring and sloping excavations
  • Preventing erosion
  • Tunneling, drilling, and boring
  • Installing pipelines
  • Connecting and testing systems
  • Connecting dry utilities

Section 5: Foundation and Concrete Construction (10%)

  • Constructing forms and falsework
  • Placing and finishing concrete
  • Installing pilings and foundations

Section 6: Buildings/Structures and Related Work (9%)

  • Installing mechanical systems
  • Installing plumbing pipes
  • Installing electrical systems
  • Demolition, disposal, and recycling

Section 7: Roadwork and Paving (5%)

  • Base for highways, roads, and parking lots

Section 8: Safety (18%)

  • Personnel and job safety
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Hazardous material safety

*Percentages are approximate

📚A-General Engineering Exam Source Material:

The CSLB utilizes the following publications to create the General (A) Engineering exam. California codebooks are online at https://www.dgs.ca.gov/bsc or purchased directly from the publishers.

2022 California Building Code. Title 24. International Code Council.
Phone: (800) 786-4452.
Free Access: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC/Codes
Purchase: http://www.iccsafe.org

2022 California Electrical Code. California Code of Regulations, Title 24. BNI Publications, Inc.
Phone: (888) 264-2665
Free Access: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC/Codes
Purchase: www.bnibooks.com

2022 California Fire Code California Code of Regulations, Title 24. International Code Council.
Phone: (800) 786-4452
Free Access: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC/Codes
Purchase: www.iccsafe.org

2022 California Plumbing Code. Title 24. International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
Phone: (909) 472-4100
Free Access: https://www.dgs.ca.gov/BSC/Codes
Purchase: www.iapmo.org

California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways: Part 6. Temporary Traffic Control. State CA, Department of Transportation, Caltrans.
Phone: (916) 654-2852
Free Access: www.dot.ca.gov/manuals

Excavation and Grading Handbook. Craftsman Book Company.
Phone: (800) 829-8123
Purchase: www.craftsman-book.com

Formwork for Concrete (SP-4). American Concrete Institute.
Phone: (248) 848-3700
Purchase: www.concrete.org

Fundamentals of Building Construction: Methods and Materials. Edward Allen, Joseph Iano. Wiley.
Phone: (877) 762-2974
INTERNET: www.wiley.com

Moving the Earth: Excavation Equipment, Methods, Safety, and Cost. McGraw-Hill Professional.
Phone: (877) 833-5524
INTERNET: www.mhprofessional.com

Standard Plans and Standard Specifications, State of California Department of Transportation. Caltrans Publications Unit.
Phone: (916) 654-2852
Free Access: http://www.dot.ca.gov

State of California General Industry & Electrical Safety Orders (Cal/OSHA) and State of California Construction & Electrical Safety Orders (Cal/OSHA). 2022. California Code of Regulations, Title 8. Mancomm.
Phone: (877) 626-2666
Free Access: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/LawsAndRegulations.htm
Purchase: http://www.mancomm.com

*Publisher information is current as of 10/22

🔍CSLB Scope for the A-General Engineering Contractor Classification

Business & Professions Code
Division 3, Chapter 9. Contractors, Article 4. Classifications

7056. A general engineering contractor is a contractor whose principal contracting business is in connection with fixed works requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skill, including the following divisions or subjects:

  • irrigation, drainage, water power, water supply,
  • flood control, inland waterways, harbors, docks and wharves, shipyards and ports,
  • dams and hydroelectric projects, levees, river control and reclamation works,
  • railroads, highways, streets and roads, tunnels,
  • airports and airways,
  • sewers and sewage disposal plants and systems, waste reduction plants,
  • bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and other similar works,
  • pipelines and other systems for the transmission of petroleum and other liquid or gaseous substances,
  • parks, playgrounds, and other recreational works,
  • refineries, chemical plants, and similar industrial plants requiring specialized engineering knowledge and skills,
  • powerhouses, power plants, and other utility plants and installations,
  • mines and metallurgical plants,
  • land leveling and earthmoving projects, excavating, grading, trenching, paving and surfacing work, and
  • cement and concrete works in connection with the above-mentioned fixed works.

Add the Excavation and Grading Handbook Revised
(A Vital Study Companion) $65

  • Comprehensive Content: The handbook offers extensive knowledge on excavating and grading, making it an indispensable study companion.
  • Visual Aids: The handbook is enriched with photographs and diagrams to illustrate how to execute the work effectively visually.
  • Additional Resources: Your purchase includes access to a lecture and an Interactive Study Center download, enhancing your learning experience.

This handbook serves as a vital resource for anyone preparing for work related to excavation and grading, offering both in-depth content and practical visual aids.

Excavation & Grading Handbook Revised

  • Essential Material: The  Excavation and Grading Handbook is a crucial component of the A-General Engineering course, It is recommended reading for General Engineering (A) students who do not have excavation, grading, and paving experience and are unfamiliar with the subject area.
  • Interactive: The handbook is available as a textbook and Includes a book code on the inside back cover to download an interactive study center to help brush up your skills or study for the license exam. (You will need a device with Microsoft Windows to use this functionality).
  • Shipping Details: Your materials will be shipped directly to you for your convenience.


* Shipping fees apply for the options not fully online.


Add the California Law & Business Course

Required For Your Original Contractors License

We offer our California contractor exam study materials as two separate courses. (Each course is sold separately).


Pass the Law & Business Exam

Pass the Law & Business Exam for Your Original Contractor’s License

  • Law & Business Exam Focus: This exam concentrates on California Contractor Law and best business practices.
  • Path to Success: To qualify for your first contractor’s license, you must pass both the TRADE and LAW exams. Utilize our resources to “Read, Watch, Listen, Learn, and PASS!”

Prepare for both exams to ensure you meet all the requirements for your original contractor’s license. With the right resources and study habits, you’re on your way to becoming a licensed contractor.


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Free A-General Engineering Practice Quiz! 

  • Try a free practice quiz to see what types of questions you’ll get on the A-General Engineering exam.
  • Similar to Actual Test Questions: These free practice questions are designed to be similar to those on the real exam.

Use this free test to get a preview of the types of questions found on the exam.

Welcome to your free A-General Engineering Quiz

REQUIRED - Enter your email address to receive a printable copy of your test results.
The heavy weight of large dozers generally makes them LESS suitable for:

On a well-compacted fill slope, a scraper should NOT get closer than ______ to the edge.

When operating a backhoe, travel and work with the front bucket:

When using a backhoe's front bucket for hauling, backfilling, or transporting gravel to a trench:

The main differences between a backhoe and a track hoe (or excavator) is that the track hoe operates on tracks and can swing ______ degrees to dump.

If it takes a loader two buckets to fill a waiting truck bed:

In general, the fastest and most stable drum roller is the:

The practice of sustainable design and construction is also known as:

A series of international standards (ISO 14020) distinguish three types of environmental labels that set out expectations for comprehensiveness and reliability of sustainable materials and product information. These include all of the following except:

The total carbon-related greenhouse gas emissions associated with a building is known as:

What sort of PPE (personal protective equipment) is recommended when using cleaning solvent?

What should be done with lifelines, safety harnesses, and shock-absorbing lanyards that have been subjected to impact loading?

What is the longest standard length of a scaffold plank?

On a 120V circuit, what color is the (protective) ground wire?

What is the minimum distance apart that acetylene and oxygen cylinders must be stored?

Which of the following is a correct method for storing acetylene cylinders?

Which of the following is the best choice for hoisting a full gas cylinder?

Cylinders containing ______ shall not be taken into confined spaces.

A dry chemical or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher rated at least ______ must be kept near operations where bottled fuel gases are being used.

No more than ______ of paints, solvents, and chemicals may be stored in a room unless an approved safety storage cabinet is present.