BAR Candidate Information Guide
The Builder Assessment Review (BAR) is a multiple-choice test with 145 questions that touch all aspects of the building business. The BAR is the first step toward earning the Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) designation, which emphasizes business management skills as the key to successful builder operations.
The CGB designation requires that graduates meet prescribed standards of business practice, have proven track records of successful project management and complete a comprehensive education curriculum.
Candidates must be a “builder” according to the following criteria: Primary executive or owner of company, superintendent or lead carpenter, or other employee in an executive or management position with discretionary authority over building and construction matters, excluding office management and or other administrative position such accountant, in a company that has built at least one home in the past 24 months.
The CGB Board of Governors oversees the policies and procedures of the designation.
The BAR is a timed, three-hour online assessment. It should be taken from a desktop or laptop with a secure Internet connection. The assessment cannot be accessed via a mobile device or tablet. You can only take the BAR one time.
Taking the BAR costs $95. Purchase it here.
What does the BAR cover?
There are five topic areas:
- Building Technology:including building codes, standards and guidelines, structures and interior and exterior finishes, green building (2 course credits);
- Business Finance:including business accounting and job cost, business management, construction contracts and law and estimating;
- Project Management: including design/build, project management, scheduling and universal design/build;
- Sales and Marketing: including customer service, land development, site planning and zoning and new home sales (2 course credits); and
- Safety: including recognizing the Big Four safety hazards and relevant OSHA courses
How is the BAR scored? You do not pass or fail the BAR. Your knowledge of the five topic areas are assessed to determine where you need more education to meet the knowledge criteria required to earn a CGB.
Results are derived from the number of questions answered correctly and indicate a value of 0, 1, 2 or 3, which is the number of courses required to complete the CGB designation requirements for that subject area. Scores include statistical adjustments to equalize the difficulty of passing all forms of the BAR. You are not penalized for guessing but are encouraged to answer all questions to the best of your ability.
What happens if I perform poorly on some parts of the BAR? Your results will indicate which courses and how many are required in a given subject area. You may be required to complete up to eight separate classes to achieve the CGB educational designation.
How soon will I receive my results? Your results are emailed to you within 48 hours of completing the online assessment along with an explanation of the next steps required for you to earn the CGB designation.
What if I think there was an error in my assessment? You have six months from the date of your assessment to request a rescore. Send your request in writing to:
NAHB Education, Distribution Specialist
1201 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005.
How do I arrange for special accommodations for BAR? Contact the NAHB Designation Helpline at 800-368-5242 x8154.
Once I complete the assessment, how do I earn and maintain my CGB designation? You must successfully complete the courses you need based on your assessment results and then complete and remit the CGB Graduate Application.
There are two graduation options:
- Premium option (includes a CGB plaque, a CGB lapel pin and access to valuable resources to help you promote and market your designation) is $145 for members and $218 for non-members.
- Standard option (a downloadable CGB certificate and access to valuable designation resources to help you promote and market your designation) is $75 for members and $110 for non-members.
If you have questions about the application, email CGBinfo@nahb.org.
Requirements to maintain the CGB
You must pay an annual renewal fee: $55 for members and $83 for non-members. You also must complete 12 hours of continuing education every three years after your graduation date. Examples:
- Complete an NAHB Education course (classroom or online)
- Teach an NAHB Education course
- Serve as a Subject Matter Expert for an NAHB Education course
- Be an active member in a Builder or Remodeler 20 Club
- Attend a national, regional or state trade show
- Attend an education symposium or event (including audio and web seminars)
- Attend an NAHB board meeting or chair an NAHB national committee
- Earn another building industry-related professional designation
- Complete a business management- or building industry-related course or seminar conducted by a college, university or technical school.
- Attend manufacturer product training: sponsored education on business or installation techniques, facility tours, fabrication process demonstrations or product demonstrations.
Taking the BAR
Before the Test. Answer the sample questions from the assessment so that you get a better understanding of what the BAR is like. Be sure to read each question carefully: Each question has only one best answer.
- Score the questions and find out how well you did in each of the five subject areas.
- Look carefully at the areas in the sample BAR in which you scored well and areas where you scored lowest. Then identify any areas in the BAR in which you think you need more study to perform well. Your answers to these two questions will give you a self-needs assessment:
Are You Ready? Plan your time effectively. Work steadily during the profile. Do not let a question on which you are uncertain of the answer take up too much of your time.
- Read each question twice to be clear about what the question is asking.
- Read all four answer choices completely and at least twice, because only one is correct. Incorrect answers usually contain common errors that may seem reasonable to a BAR candidate who does not fully understand the concept that is being assessed in the question.
Be careful not to make assumptions. A common reason candidates select a wrong answer is that they assume something that is not indicated in the question.
If you're ready, register now!