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  • Are ASE Tests too Difficult?

    Posted by Tom on July 19, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    There seem to be quite a few techs and others constantly disparaging ASE Certification. They typically claim that the tests are meaningless and have no value.

    Could it be that for many of them this is the excuse used for being incapable of passing them?

    Are they in reality asking that the tests be dumbed down to their level?

    Tom Piippo replied 5 years, 7 months ago 8 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • rparnell1

    July 19, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    I would have to agree, the techs are looking for an easier test.  I have tested and re-certificated many time with no problems.  Now that I say that I hope to pass in 2 weeks when I sit to re-cert in 8 areas.

    I personally think the test should stay as they are.  Maybe we just need to find a way to make them carry a little more weight.

  • John Burkhauser

    July 24, 2018 at 6:53 am

    I feel there is value in the ASE tests (As I, too, get ready to retest.)

    I agree there should be some weight behind the certifications.

    The tough part is that being a hands on industry converted to a test form isn’t going to work for everyone.  On top of that, you get to take a slew of tests every five years with not testing in between.

  • William Pankiw

    July 24, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I have been a Master Certified Technician since the early 80’s (?) when it was called the NAISE before ASE, back when we were called “Mechanics”.  I have re-certified every 5 years as required.  My shop has been a Blue Seal Certified shop since it’s inception, and is the only one in our Zip code of 35,000 people.  I believe you can not require your Staff to be Certified in the ASE unless you show by example, be it a Service writer , Apprentice, or Technician.

    I have not been “Hands On” in my shop for the last 33 years, and I have no problem passing all 8 re-certifications by keeping up with technology. I believe you are either In or Out when it comes to this PROFESSION.  Those who complain about ASE testing being hard are just not committed.  If your performing all the work correctly on a daily basis, you should pass any test related to your job.


  • John Burkhauser

    July 25, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Well said Bill Pankiw

  • Alan Ollie

    July 28, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Most ASE techs I have found to understand how things work instead of being parts changers. I haven’t been hands-on in the shop in 20 years. I just took 4 tests and passed all. Coming from a racing background I understand how things kinda work. But the Euro cars we work on are so very different from 20 years ago. Can you say, Geek?

  • teazr333

    August 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I have been certified for over 25 years and not sure it really helped me, maybe it did help pick me for a job over another but not sure. I have never not passed a test I took. I have usually looked at the study guides if I wasn’t sure.

    Maybe it is just me but the ASE tests are what I call multiple guess.  They usually have 4 answers to choose from and most people that have any understanding of the system they are working on can eliminate at least 2 of the answers which is why I call it multiple guess. The last time I recertified it took 19 tests, 14 of them were in one evening and passed them all. Its past time to recertify again and not sure its worth it to me since I always seem to pay for it.

  • jay weckerle

    September 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    I have had a love/hate relationship with these tests. I have only ever certified A1-A8 and L1 because that is all I needed. I have been master certified since 1986. I have been a drivability and electrical specialist my entire career. I have never rebuilt an automatic transmission even though I have diagnosed many but I have never struggled to pass the test for auto transmission, sometimes with perfect scores. Just last week I diagnosed 6 check engine lights in one day. There are days the shop has me diagnose the cars and other techs replace the parts. I always struggle with the engine performance and advanced L1 and electrical tests and get my poorest scores on those even though I am exceptional at diagnosing those issues. I have always understood that ASE tests are as much about knowing how to test as knowing how to diagnose and repair cars. While I often disagree with the way questions are designed and I’m sure if I knew the answers (which are never given) I would argue how they came to that conclusion, but I don’t know that there is an alternative. Most trades have a certification system and few require the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills required to be an effective automotive or truck technician. The thing is, I like that it shows I really care and if no one but me cares, and that’s good enough.

  • Tom Piippo

    November 13, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I feel the combination of testing in the controlled environment, as they have always done, and proof of 2 years experience in the field, is a pretty good combination of showing someone ‘what you know’! Does this work for all technicians? Probably not. ASE has never been one to rest on their laurels, and are constantly changing tests and questions to stay relevant. The most recent change is the mobile device testing app. I’m not sure if it is released yet, if not it is coming soon. Soon techs will have the option of testing on their phone. After registering for the test, questions randomly pop up on their phone. Once they open the question, they will have a set amount of time to answer (say, 2 minutes) and they will have immediate feedback on the answer as well as the rationale of the answer. The idea is one of learning more than testing, sure they can cheat and quickly google the answer, but now they know the subject matter. This qualification/ certification will be good for one year and will be on-going for the tech on a subscription basis.

    Perhaps this is what those techs need who feel the current tests are too difficult. I worked on this project for several months as an SME.

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