Homeowner Electrical Exam for Permit
While I'm sure the original poster resolved his issue years ago, I came across this thread the other day in search of the same type of information. As such, I thought I'd add my experience for the benefit of future readers who may pickup on this thread:
I live in St. Louis and have had to two homeowner electrical tests. The first was a couple years ago when I upgraded my service panel to 200A. That test was focused specifically on 200A service and was pretty difficult. I barely passed. (And for what it's worth, the city of St. Louis no longer allows homeowners to upgrade their own service panels--inspectors found too many safety issues and ended up having to coach hapless homeowners all the way through the project).
This week, I had to take a residential electrical overview test in order to pull a permit for a kitchen renovation. As the last test I took was difficult, I was anticipating the same this time around but was relieved to find the test to be quite easy. General questions about GFCI protection, requisite wire/breaker size, etc. No need to memorize or locate any NEC tables or anything like that. (I waaaay overstudied. I suppose that's a good thing.)
Anyway, judging by the other posts and the sample test questions referenced, it sounds like tests vary wildly in difficulty between municipalities. I'm glad St. Louis does it the way they do. Even though the 200A service upgrade test is now defunct, at least it served as an appropriate, albeit imperfect, roadblock before attempting difficult and dangerous work. Conversely, the general overview test was sufficient to root out the idiots but provide an easy path for generally competent people to do basic, common electrical work.
Another poster made a great comment about unintended consequences of making tests unnecessarily difficult--in particular, it can result unpermitted, uninspected, dangerous work. It seems that these tests should serve primarily to weed out idiots. Anyone who is moderately competent can then work with an inspector pre-project, at rough-in, upon completion, and anywhere in between to ensure the work is completely safely and to code.
I've had surprisingly excellent experience with city inspectors thus far. I hope it continues. I understand my position depends on an agreeable inspector.