top 5 tips to pass your NWSA TTT1 or TTT2 practical examination

top 5 tips to pass your NWSA TTT1 or TTT2 practical examination

The National Wireless Safety Alliance, or N.W.S.A., is a telecommunications safety driven certification initiative. The NWSA’s roots extend back to meetings that were held in 2013 between industry leaders and the National Association of Tower Erectors (N.A.T.E.). In 2015, the N.W.S.A became official and the development process began. The first N.W.S.A certification examinations began in 2017.

The N.W.S.A. offers a certification program for telecommunications workers in the form of the Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT2). These certifications aim to standardize the skill set required by communications workers at various levels of performance.

                As a certified NSWA practical examiner, I have seen many prospective candidates pass or fail the exam and have come up with a list of the top 5 things you can do to set yourself up for success.

  1. Pay attention to details. The NWSA practical examination provides all tools and instructions necessary to pass the exam. I have seen many a would-be technician lose precious points by simply failing to follow the instructions provided. Make sure you are following ALL the instructions. Don’t just skim through and hit the major points. As in the real world, attention to detail will be your friend as you navigate the practical exam.
  2. Use the right tool for the job. Part of the impetus behind the NWSA certification program is to combat poor and unsafe work practices. One such practice is the tendency to use a tool that is “close enough” because of its versatility. If the exact, correct tool is available, use it!
  3. Use your fall protection correctly. When I am not fulfilling my role as a National Wireless Safety Alliance practical examiner, I am a Fall Protection and Rescue instructor. This one makes me cringe every time I see it. Bad habits developed in the field regarding the proper use of fall protection systems make me want to shake my head when they present themselves during the exam.
  4. Be prepared. The N.W.S.A. website provides reference to several documents and savvy individuals will also notice other resources publicly provided. Take the time and do your research in order to ensure your preparedness.
  5. Relax! The N.W.S.A. practical examiner has no personal stake in whether you pass or fail. The practical examiner doesn’t even score your test! I have seen folks make mistakes based entirely off nervousness. Don’t let the fact that someone is watching you keep you from doing the things you know how to do!

The National Wireless Safety Alliance and the National Association of Tower Erectors has an amazing framework going for what could be a national standard in telecommunications workers’ certification. There are a couple things to bear in mind while pursuing this certification.

  1. This is does not test rescue competency. This certification should be supplemented with rescue training to protect yourself and your fellow employees from at height emergencies.
  2. The N.W.S.A. is a certification program only and does not provide a specified path to the skills being tested. This means you will have to pull from industry knowledge, consensus standards, and training organizations in order to maximize your chances of success.

So study hard, prepare well, and I’ll see you at the next practical examination!

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