Auto Service World
Feature   September 1, 2003   by CARS Magazine

Sharpen Your Pencils!

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification tests are approaching fast... are you ready?

September isn’t just the unofficial end of summer; it’s also the start of the fall ASE testing season. Exams will be conducted at 700 locations across North America on November 13, 18 and 20, as Canadian and U.S. technicians look to earn the blue and white insignia worn by more than 420,000 service professionals.

Regular tests with the exception of X1, L1 and L2 can be taken as long as the ASE receives the non-refundable US $29 registration fee and payments for individual tests, most of which cost about US $24. Certifications are awarded if you pass one or more of the exams and have at least two years of hands-on work experience.

As many as 100,000 technicians will take the fall exams, says Tony Molla, ASE’s vice-president of communications. And this fall also marks the first regular Service Consultant tests.

“Now you’ll have certified service consultants speaking to certified technicians,” he adds.

Online registration forms are available at, while a toll-free registration hotline at 1-866-427-3273 opens September 2 in addition to traditional mail-in registrations. Mailed forms and fees must be sent to ASE/ACT, PO Box 4007, Iowa City, Iowa, 52243.

“Keeners can register for as many as four tests per day, although the ASE recommends that technicians attempt no more than 225 questions in one of the four-hour-and-15-minute sessions. It’s also a way to save money since the registration fee covers any number of tests.

While you can’t bring books, calculators or other reference material along, and dictionaries will be allowed.

Canadian test centres include:

B.C. Institute of Technology, Burnaby, B.C.

Okanagan University College, Kelowna, B.C.

Malaspina University College, Nanaimo, B.C.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alta.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alta.

Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science, Saskatoon, Sask.

Red River College, Winnipeg, Man.

Queen’s University, Kingston, Ont.

Fanshawe College, London, Ont.

Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ont.

Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.

Confederation College, Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Colony Hotel, Toronto, Ont.

University of Windsor, Windsor, Ont.

Centre Paul Rousseau, Drummondville, Que.

Dawson College, Montreal, Que.

Laval University, Sainte-Foy, Que.

New Brunswick Community College, Moncton, N.B.

Digby Regional High School, Digby, N.S.

NSCC Institute of Technology, Halifax, N.S.

Holland College Royalty Centre, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Tests conducted on November 13 will include Auto A1, A4, A5 and A8 regular; Speciality X1 regular; Service Consultant C1 regular; all regular Parts tests including P1, P2, P3 Brakes, P3 Suspension/Steering and P4, plus re-certification tests for P1, P2 and the new P3B &P3S; and all regular B2, B3, B4, B5 and B6 Collision tests, including re-certification tests for B2, B3, B4, B5 and B6.

The November 18 tests will include Auto A2, A3, A6, A7 regular; Advanced L1 regular and re-certification; Truck, T2, T6, T7, and T8 regular tests and re-certification tests (T1 -T8); School Bus, S1, S4, S5, and S6 regular tests; and Alternative Fuels F1 regular and re-certification.

The final round of tests to take place Nov. 20 includes all re-certification Auto tests; Advanced L2 regular and re-certification; Truck, T1, T3, T4 and T5 regular tests; School Bus S2, S3, and S7 regular and all re-certification tests (S1 – S7); all regular Truck Equipment tests including E1, E2, and E3, and the new E1 re-certification; and all regular and re-certified Machinist tests.

Certification credentials are valid for five years. And most of the re-certification tests — with the exception of L1, L2 and Engine Machinist re-certifications — are about half the length of a regular test.

It also pays to study

“The most consistent reason people fail an ASE test is they fail to prepare through a self-study guide or review material,” Molla adds. “And try not to work a full day, get yourself burned out and then try to take the test.”

Technicians who register for a test will receive an Admission Ticket within two weeks, showing the time and location of the exam. If the ticket doesn’t arrive, calls should be made to 1-319-337-1433 prior to Oct. 10.

The ASE is in the midst of considering computer-based versions of the exams that could be offered at proctored locations over longer periods of time –perhaps in two-week windows. An announcement regarding that program will probably be made in early November to coincide with Industry Week, Molla adds.

Be sure to visit for details and good luck from SSGM!

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