Posted to Industry Issues Forum on 5/20/2014
A thumbs-up for Prometric
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
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
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
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
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