Join Now
International Automotive Technicians Network
A thumbs-up for Prometric
Posted to Industry Issues Forum on 5/20/2014 89 Replies

Hello, IIF

I took my L1 recert yesterday and things couldn't have gone worse. Last week was super busy and I developed a bad head cold and allergy condition. Since I don't do emissions testing in my area, I bought an L1 prep booklet for $40 that was marginally helpful on I/M, but didn't have much time left to study it.

Sunday night didn't go well and I got only four hours of sleep. So I got up 5:30 Monday morning, had breakfast, took a hot bath, and drove 100 miles to the Prometric test center. When I arrived, I was wishing I had cancelled.

Nevertheless, I found the folks at Prometric to be courteous and accommodating. An older man and lady signed me in. Obviously, everything I had in my pockets, even my handkerchief, had to go into a locker. I was allowed to keep my asthma inhaler and a packaged wipe for my eyeglasses.

I didn't find the checkout with the magnetic wand to be intrusive. But while these kind folks went by the book, they also supplied me with plenty of tissues to take care of my runny nose and didn't mind me taking several potty breaks in the process.

As far as I'm concerned, the computer-based test is far superior to the paper test. I was in a small, quiet room by myself, which is much better than sitting in a dinky high-school desk along with 20-30 other sweaty, dirty mechanics on a hot spring night in a non-air conditioned room. Which, of course, is how I've been doing it for the past 41 years.

As Albin Moore said in another forum, the L1 is experience-based and you can't fake it. Since I don't do emissions repairs and I/M testing, I missed 4 questions in those areas. But I scored nearly perfect on the drivability portion with the exception of a question on APP testing. Looking back, I think the answer was to be found in the Composite Vehicle Manual. Otherwise, the question was simply too vague. But I'm not sure I missed this question, either.

Myself, I think ASE testing is an excellent opportunity to see how one ranks against the industry as a whole. Right now, I can see I need to work a little more on emissions-related issues.

I've always considered ASE certification to be a standard credential for an automotive technician. I don't believe in the idea of a person being a sharp mechanic while not having the reading comprehension skills needed to pass an ASE test (or read a shop manual, for that matter).

Enough of the Fairy Tales. If a person can't understand the simple language of an ASE test and doesn't have the logical and critical thinking skills to solve a typical diagnostic problem, I don't see him having much future as an expert mechanic.

In any case, I'm giving a big thumbs-up to ASE for devising an excellent experience-based test and to Prometric for accommodating a sick, grouchy old Senior Citizen mechanic who should be retired but is too hard-headed to quit...


Gary from Colorado

89 Replies Received (View Replies)