The Nail School Diaries: Part 18: Taking the State Boards

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Follow Amie Pollard, nail school student and recipient of the Beauty Changes Lives|CND|Tippi Hedren Scholarship, through her days of school!


November 10, 2014


Hey everyone! So as you all know I recently graduated from my nail tech course and the next step was to take my state board exam!

Well, I will get to that in a bit, but first let me tell you about my first nail technician convention that I attended on October 26th! The 8th annual NENE (New England Networking Event for Nail Technicians) was held at the Best Western in Manchester, NH. It is a small convention that has grown little by little each year. This year the convention room was filled beyond capacity, forcing them to book a larger room for next year!


The point of a networking event is to meet with people from different companies to see, learn about, sample, and purchase their products. The first 50 people to register and buy their ticket received a great goody bag. One of the girls I graduated with and myself were both in the first 50 people so that was so exciting! Who doesn’t like free goodies? Our ticket included also included a delicious buffet lunch. As a fresh-out-of-school nail tech in the making, events like this are so beneficial. I learned about a lot of companies and products I had never heard of, and I also got some great advice from women who have been in this industry for many, many years! I walked out of there with some great business ideas and a raffle prize! I won a Lumos Bottom coat/Top coat duo pack and a box of 24 mini Dadi’Oil cuticle oils! I was really hoping to win the big raffle for the day: the entire Shellac line and a CND UV Light! Oh man, no luck there though. All in all it was a great day and I can’t wait for next year!


I spent 4 hours on Saturday meticulously packing my bag for my test. I went through each item for each segment and placed it on the towel I was packing for the segment. Even though I checked, rechecked, and checked AGAIN, I still found that I was second guessing myself. Anxiety can really get to you if you let it!


My husband and I left Monday to travel to Bangor (a town in the central part of Maine). My exams were scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10, so we traveled up the day before because it is a 3-hour drive and I did not want anything to interfere with my getting there on time. DL Roope, the company that administers the exams, is used by Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, West Virginia, Montana, and North Carolina. They have very strict rules about being on time, so if you show up after the door is locked you forfeit your $142 and have to pay ALL over again and be rescheduled. They give you the option of paying $25 to receive your results that day, otherwise you have to wait approximately 2 weeks before you get your results in the mail! YIKES! I totally paid because I knew I would go crazy if I didn’t.

The morning of my test I got up bright and early to get myself ready. I checked my bag AGAIN one last time and made sure I had my admissions letter, photo ID, and money ready to go. When I got to the testing facility, literally ¼ mile down the road from the hotel we stayed at, I thought I was going to vomit! I wasn’t nervous that I would mess up, because I was confident in my skills and I knew what I was doing. I was feeling anxious just because this was such a big deal! And, I also didn’t want to fail and have to pay out another $150. My practical test was first which I was so thankful for; I just wanted to get the hardest part over with. There were only three of us, one of which was someone I graduated with. Once we got started, my nerves went away and I just got in the zone. Before we knew it, two hours had passed and we were done. After we finished, we had an hour to break for lunch. When 1pm came around, I was so ready for my written test. You all know how well I did on my written tests while I was in school, so I was not feeling worried about this part of my exam. This part only took me 30 minutes and I was done. And that was it! It was over and a whole new set of nerves set it! Now I had to (im)patiently wait for my results. It was around 2pm when I got back to the hotel, and the results go up on DL Roopes website at approximately 5pm, so I had to wait another 3 hours! (Still better than 2 weeks.) When 5 o’clock rolled around, I almost had to have my husband look for me, but I was brave and did it myself. And…I passed! I received an 89 on my practical and a 95 on my written! Not as good as I was hoping, but I will take it. If I could give them one suggestion, it would be to give us a copy of the sheet that they mark off while we’re testing so that we can see what we did “wrong.”

Now all I have to do is send my license application, and the fees for my license and background check and I’ll be ready to go! I’m so ready for this new chapter in my life, and I hope that I can update you all very soon on where I will be next! See you later! -Amie


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[Images: Amie Pollard]

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