Introduction To ASE Testing
Participating in the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) voluntary certification program is your chance to demonstrate to customers that you possess the essential skills required to work on today’s modern vehicles.
These ASE certification tests allow you to assess your proficiency and knowledge in alignment with industry standards for specific automotive specialties.
If you’re an average automotive technician gearing up for these tests, you’re likely in your mid-thirties and may not have taken an exam in approximately fifteen years. Some of you may have pursued higher education or postsecondary courses, making you more familiar with test-taking.
Nevertheless, it’s essential to understand that the ASE certification tests you’re preparing for are different from the typical educational exams you might be accustomed to.
There are 8 certification sections that offers a way to validate your expertise in specific areas of ASE certification program, allowing you to stand out from the competition:
- General Electrical/Electronic System Diagnosis
- Battery Diagnosis and Service
- Starting System Diagnosis and Repair
- Charging System Diagnosis and Repair
- Lighting Systems Diagnosis and Repair
- Gauges, Warning Devices, and Driver Information Systems Diagnosis and Repair
- Horn and Wiper/Washer Diagnosis and Repair
- Accessories Diagnosis and Repair
Each certification section showcases your expertise in a specific field of ASE certification program.
From becoming a master of ‘Electrical and Electronic Systems Diagnosis,’ to fine-tuning your expertise in ‘Battery Diagnosis and Service,’ and expanding your skills in ‘Starting System Diagnosis and Repair,’ each section equips you with a unique skill set in automotive service.
Each certification serves as a stepping stone, guiding you toward expertise and success in the automotive service excellence."
Section 1: Mastering Electrical and Electronic Systems Diagnosis
ASE certification isn’t just about acquiring a piece of paper; it’s about showcasing your know-how when it comes to working on modern vehicles. The first section guides you through the web of a vehicle’s electrical and electronic systems, helping you make sense of complex wiring diagrams and the functionality of electronic components. This knowledge is your key to diagnosing and fixing issues in today’s tech-packed vehicles. As you grasp Electrical and Electronic Systems Diagnosis, you not only excel in your ASE certification journey but also equip yourself to meet the ever-evolving challenges of the automotive industry with confidence.
Section 2: Batteries - The Heart of Vehicle Power - Diagnosis and Service
In this section, we turn our attention to the vital aspect of Battery Diagnosis and Service. This section equips automotive technicians with the skills and knowledge needed to ensure optimal battery performance and extend their lifespan. Understanding how to diagnose and service batteries effectively is essential for maintaining a vehicle’s electrical system, and it’s a skill that can set you apart in the automotive service industry. As you dive into this section, you’re not only enhancing your ASE certification prospects but also ensuring that the vehicles you service remain reliable and road-ready.
Section 3: Ignition Unveiled - Starting System Diagnosis and Repair
This section delves into one of the most common automotive issues - problems with starting a vehicle. This section serves as a key foundation for automotive technicians, as it delves into the intricacies of the starting system. From understanding the various components that make a vehicle roar to life to diagnosing and resolving common starting system issues, this section is a treasure trove of essential knowledge. Mastering the art of Starting System Diagnosis and Repair not only strengthens your ASE certification journey but also empowers you to tackle one of the most common and crucial automotive challenges with confidence.
Section 4: Keeping Current - Charging System Diagnosis and Repair
The Charging System Diagnosis and Repair section will guide you through the intricacies of keeping a vehicle’s battery charged. It’s not just about replacing an alternator; you’ll gain a deep understanding of how charging systems function and how to resolve any issues that might arise.
Section 5: Illuminating the Road - Lighting Systems Diagnosis and Repair
Every automotive technician should be well-versed in Lighting Systems Diagnosis and Repair. This section offers valuable insights into ensuring the proper functionality of various lighting systems, from headlights to taillights, in today’s advanced vehicles. As an automotive technician, mastering Lighting Systems Diagnosis and Repair is more than just about fixing a burnt-out bulb; it’s about understanding the intricacies of these systems and ensuring your customers’ safety on the road.
Section 6: Monitoring and Alert Systems - Gauges, Warnings, and Driver Info Diagnosis
To round off our guide, we explore Gauges, Warning Devices, and Driver Information Systems Diagnosis and Repair. Modern vehicles are equipped with a plethora of gauges and warning systems to keep drivers informed. This section equips automotive technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to interpret, diagnose, and repair these crucial components. From understanding the nuances of dashboard gauges to decoding warning signals and managing driver information systems, this section ensures that you’re well-prepared to handle the advanced technology integrated into today’s vehicles.
Section 7: Sounding Off - Horn and Wiper/Washer Systems Diagnosis
The Horn and Wiper/Washer Diagnosis and Repair section takes you through the essentials of these often-overlooked yet crucial vehicle systems. This section equips automotive technicians with the expertise needed to ensure the reliability of horn and wiper/washer systems, enhancing driver safety and vehicle functionality. Mastering Horn and Wiper/Washer Systems Diagnosis isn’t just about fixing a noisy horn or a malfunctioning wiper; it’s about understanding the intricacies of these systems and ensuring that vehicles remain safe and operational.
Section 8: Enhancing the Ride - Accessories Diagnosis and Repair
The final section, Accessories Diagnosis and Repair, covers the various additional systems and features found in modern vehicles. This knowledge is essential for providing comprehensive service and ensuring customer satisfaction. This section equips automotive technicians with the skills and knowledge to diagnose and repair these added accessories, ensuring that vehicles provide a comfortable, efficient, and safe ride for customers. Mastering Accessories Diagnosis and Repair goes beyond the typical mechanical and electrical systems; it involves understanding and servicing the amenities that make a vehicle truly exceptional. Whether it’s an advanced infotainment system, climate control features, or other comfort-enhancing accessories, this section ensures that you are well-prepared to address the full spectrum of vehicle components.
Section 9: The complete ASE practice test with answers and explanations
Within this guide, we not only provide the answers to ASE quiz questions but go a step further by furnishing in-depth explanations for each response. By delving into the intricacies of these sections, individuals can develop a holistic grasp of automotive service knowledge, ultimately propelling them toward ASE certification with confidence and competence. This comprehensive approach to ASE test preparation ensures that candidates not only learn the correct answers but also the underlying principles, enhancing their ability to apply their knowledge effectively in real-world automotive scenarios.
Who Writes The Questions?
The questions on all ASE tests are written by service industry experts familiar with all aspects of the subject area. ASE questions are entirely job-related and designed to test the skills that you need to know on the job.
The questions originate in an ASE “item-writing” workshop where service representatives from domestic and import automobile manufacturers, parts and equipment manufacturers, and vocational educators meet in a workshop setting to share their ideas and translate them into test questions.
Each test question written by these experts is reviewed by all of the members of the group.
All of the questions are pretested and quality-checked in a non-scoring section of tests by a national sample of certified technicians. The questions that meet ASE’s high standards of accuracy and quality are then included in the scoring sections of future tests.
Those questions that do not pass ASE’s stringent test are sent back to the workshop or are discarded. ASE’s tests are monitored by an independent proctor and are administered and machine-scored by an independent provider, American College Testing (ACT).
A test is called an objective test if the same standards and conditions apply to everyone taking the test and there is only one correct answer to each question. Objective tests primarily measure your ability to recall information.
A well-designed objective test can also test your ability to understand, analyze, interpret, and apply your knowledge. Objective tests include true-false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching questions. ASE’s tests consist exclusively of four-part multiple-choice objective questions.
Before beginning to take an objective test, quickly look over the test to detei mine the number of questions, but do not try to read through all of the questions. In an ASE test, there are usually between forty and eighty questions, depending on the subject. Read through each question before marking your answer.
Answer the questions in the order they appear on the test. Leave the questions blank that you are not sure of and move on to the next question. You can return to those unanswered questions after you have finished the others.
They may be easier to answer at a later time after your mind has had additional time to consider them on a subconscious level. In addition, you might find information in other questions that will help you to answer some of them.
Do not be obsessed by the apparent pattern of responses. For example, do not be influenced by a pattern like d, c, b, a, d, c, b, a on an ASE test.
There is also a lot of folk wisdom about taking objective tests. For example, there are those who would advise you to avoid response options that use certain words such as all, none, always, never, must, and only, to name a few. This, they claim, is because nothing in life is exclusive.
They would advise you to choose response options that use words that allow for some exceptions, such as sometimes, frequently, rarely, often, usually, seldom, and normally.
They would also advise you to avoid the first and last options (A and D) because test writers feel, are more comfortable if they put the correct answer in the middle (B and C) of the choices.
Another recommendation often offered is to select the option that is either shorter or longer than the other three choices because it is more likely to be correct. Some would advise you to never change an answer since your first intuition is usually correct.
Although there may be a grain of truth in this folk wisdom, ASE test writers try to avoid them and so should you. There are just as many A answers as there are B answers, just as many D answers as C answers.
As a matter of fact, ASE tries to balance the answers at about 25 percent per choice A, B, C, and D. There is no intention to use “tricky” words, such as outlined above. Put no credence in the opposing words “some-times” and “never,” for example.
Multiple-choice tests are sometimes challenging because there are often several choices that may seem possible, and it may be difficult to decide on the correct choice. The best strategy, in this case, is to first determine the correct answer before looking at the options.
If you see the answer you decided on, you should still examine the options to make sure that none seem more correct than yours. If you do not know or are not sure of the answer, read each option very carefully and try to eliminate those options that you know to be wrong. That way, you can often arrive at the correct choice through a process of elimination.
If you have gone through all of the tests and you still do not know the answer to some of the questions, then guess. Yes, guess. You then have at least a 25 percent chance of being correct. If you leave the question blank, you have no chance. In ASE tests, there is no penalty for being wrong.
Preparing For The Exam
The main reason we have included so many sample and practice questions in this guide is, simply, to help you learn what you know and what you don’t know.
We recommend that you work your way through each question in this book. Before doing this, carefully look through Section 3; it contains a description and explanation of the questions you 11 find in an ASE exam. Once you know what the questions will look like, move to the sample test.
After you have answered one of the sample questions, read the explanation for the answer to that question. If you don’t feel you understand the reasoning for the correct answer, go back and read the overview for the task that is related to that question.
If you still don’t feel you have a solid understanding of the material, identify a good source of information on the topic, such as a textbook, and do some more studying.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow while preparing for the exam:
- Focus your studies on those areas you are weak in.
- Be honest with yourself while determining if you understand something.
- Study often but in short periods of time.
- Remove yourself from all distractions while studying.
- Keep in mind the goal of studying is not just to pass the exam, the real goal is to learn!
During The Test
Mark your bubble sheet clearly and accurately. One of the biggest problems an adult faces in test-taking, it seems, is placing an answer in the correct spot on a bubble sheet.
Make certain that you mark your answer for, say, question 21, in the space on the bubble sheet designated for the answer for question 21. A correct response in the wrong bubble will probably be wrong.
Remember, the answer sheet is machine-scored and can only “read” what you have bubbled in. Also, do not bubble in two answers for the same question.
If you finish answering all of the questions on a test ahead of time, go back and review the answers to those questions that you were not sure of. You can often catch careless errors by using the remaining time to review your answers.
At practically every test, some technicians will invariably finish ahead of time and turn their papers in long before the final call. Do not let them distract or intimidate you. Either they knew too little and could not finish the test, or they were very self-confident and thought they knew it all.
Perhaps they were trying to impress the proctor or other technicians with how much they knew. Often you may hear them later talking about the information they knew all the while but forgot to respond to on their answer sheet.
It is not wise to use less than the total amount of time that you are allotted for a test. If there are any doubts, take the time to review them. Any product can usually be made better with some additional effort. A test is no exception. It is not necessary to turn in your test paper until you are told to do so.
Your Test Results!
You can gain a better perspective on tests if you know and understand how they are scored. ASE’s tests are scored by American College Testing (ACT), a non-partial, non¬biased organization having no vested interest in ASE or in the automotive industry.
Each question carries the same weight as any other question. For example, if there are fifty questions, each is worth 2 percent of the total score. The passing grade is 70 percent.
That means you must correctly answer thirty-five of the fifty questions to pass the test.
The test results can tell you:
- where your knowledge equals or exceeds that needed for competent performance, or
- where you might need more preparation. The test results cannot tell you:
- how do you compare with other technicians, or
- how many questions you answered correctly.
Your ASE test score report will show the number of correct answers you got in each of the content areas. These numbers provide information about your performance in each area of the test.
However, because there may be a different number of questions in each area of the test, a high percentage of correct answers in an area with few questions may not offset a low percentage in an area with many questions.
It may be noted that one does not “fail” an ASE test. The technician who does not pass is simply told “More Preparation Needed.” Though large differences in percentages may indicate problem areas, it is important to consider how many questions were asked in each area.
Since each test evaluates all phases of the work involved in a service specialty, you should be prepared in each area. A low score in one area could keep you from passing an entire test.
There is no such thing as average. You cannot determine your overall test score by adding the percentages given for each task area and dividing it by the number of areas.
It doesn’t work that way because there generally are not the same number of questions in each task area. A task area with twenty questions, for example, counts more toward your total score than a task area with ten questions.
Your test report should give you a good picture of your results and a better understanding of your task areas of strength and weakness. If you fail to pass the test, you may take it again at any time it is scheduled to be administered.
You are the only one who will receive your test score. Test scores will not be given over the telephone by ASE nor will they be released to anyone without your written permission.
Types of questions on an ASE exam
ASE certification tests are often thought of as being tricky. They may seem to be tricky if you do not completely understand what is being asked. The following examples will help you recognize certain types of ASE questions and avoid common errors.
Each test is made up of forty to eighty multiple-choice questions. Multiple-choice questions are an efficient way to test knowledge. To answer them correctly, you must think about each choice as a possibility, and then choose the one that best answers the question.
To do this, read each word of the question carefully. Do not assume you know what the question is about until you have finished reading it.
About 10 percent of the questions on an actual ASE exam will use an illustration. These drawings contain the information needed to correctly answer the question. The illustration must be studied carefully before attempting to answer the question. Often, techs look at the possible answers and then try to match up the answers with the drawing.
Always do the opposite match the drawing to the answers. When the illustration shows an electrical schematic or another system in detail, look over the system and try to figure out how the system works before you look at the question and the possible answers.
Illustration is showing an electrical schematic or another system in detail, look over the system and try to figure out how the system works before you look at the question and the possible answers.
One type of multiple-choice question has three wrong answers and one correct answer. The wrong answers, however, may be almost correct, so be careful not to jump at the first answer that seems to be correct.
If all the answers seem to be correct, choose the answer that is the most correct. If you readily know the answer, this kind of question does not present a problem. If you are unsure of the answer, analyze the question and the answers. For example:
A rocker panel is a structural member of which vehicle construction type?
- a. Front-wheel drive
- b. Pickup truck
- c. Unibody
- d. Full frame
Analysis: This question asks for a specific answer. By carefully reading the question, you will find that it asks for a construction type that uses the rocker panel as a structural part of the vehicle. Answer A is wrong. Front-wheel drive is not a vehicle construction type. Answer B is wrong. A pickup truck is not a type of vehicle construction.
Answer C is correct. Unibody design creates structural integrity by welding parts together, such as the rocker panels, but does not require exterior cosmetic panels installed for full strength. Answer D is wrong. Full-frame describes a body-over-frame construction type that relies on the frame assembly for structural integrity.
Therefore, the correct answer is C. If the question was read quickly and the words “construction type” were passed over, answer A may have been selected.
Another type of question used on ASE tests has answers that are all correct except one. The correct answer for this type of question is the answer that is wrong. The word “EXCEPT” will always be in capital letters. You must identify which of the choices is the wrong answer.
If you read quickly through the question, you may overlook what the question is asking and answer the question with the first correct statement. This will make your answer wrong. An example of this type of question and the analysis is as follows:
All of the following are tools for the analysis of structural damage EXCEPT:
- a. height gauge.
- b. tape measure.
- c. dial indicator.
- d. tram gauge.
Analysis: The question really requires you to identify the tool that is not used for analyzing structural damage. All tools given in the choices are used for analyzing structural damage except one. This question presents two basic problems for the test¬taker who reads through the question too quickly.
It may be possible to read over the word “EXCEPT” in the question or not think about which type of damage analysis would use answer C. In either case, the correct answer may not be selected. To correctly answer this question, you should know what tools are used for the analysis of structural damage.
If you cannot immediately recognize the incorrect tool, you should be able to identify it by analyzing the other choices.
Answer A is wrong. A height gauge may be used to analyze structural damage. Answer Bis wrong. A tape measure may be used to analyze structural damage.
Answer C is correct. A dial indicator may be used as a damage analysis tool for moving parts, such as wheels, wheel hubs, and axle shafts, but would not be used to measure structural damage. Answer D is wrong. A tram gauge is used to measure structural damage.
Technician A, Technician B questions
The type of questions that is most popularly associated with an ASE test is the “Technician A says… Technician B says… Who is right?” type. In this type of question, you must identify the correct statement or statements.
To answer this type of question correctly, you must carefully read each technician’s statement and juge it on its own merit to determine if the statement is true.
Typically, this type of question begins with a statement about some analysis or repair procedure. This is followed by two statements about the cause of the pioblem, proper inspection, identification, or repair choices. You are asked whether the first statement, the second statement, both statements, and neither statement is correct.
Analyzing this type of question is a little easier than the other types because there are only two ideas to consider although there are still four choices for an answer.
Technician A and Technician B’s questions are really double true or false questions. The best way to analyze this kind of question is to consider each technician’s statement separately. Ask yourself, is A true or false? Is B true or false? Then select your answer from the four choices.
An important point to remember is that an ASE Technician A, and Technician B question will never have Technician A and B directly disagree with each other. That is why you must evaluate each statement independently. An example of this type of question and its analysis of it follows.
Structural dimensions are being measured. Technician A says comparing measurements from one side to the other is enough to determine the damage. Technician B says a tram gauge can be used when a tape measure cannot measure in a straight line from point to point. Who is right?
- e. A only
- f. B only
- g. Both A and B
- h. Neither A nor B
Analysis: With some vehicles built asymmetrically, side-to-side measurements are not always equal. The manufacturer’s specifications need to be verified with a dimension chart before reaching any conclusions about the structural damage.
Answer A is wrong. Technician A’s statement is wrong. A tram gauge would provide a point-to-point measurement when a part, such as a strut tower or air cleaner, interrupts a direct line between the points.
Answer B is correct. Technician B is correct. A tram gauge can be used when a tape measure cannot be used to measure in a straight line from point to point.
Answer C is wrong. Since Technician A is not correct, C cannot be the correct answer. Answer D is wrong. Since Technician B is correct, D cannot be the correct answer.
Most-likely questions are somewhat difficult because only one choice is correct while the other three choices are nearly correct. An example of a most-likely-cause question is as follows:
The most likely cause of reduced turbocharger boost pressure may be a:
- i. westgate valve stuck closed.
- j. westgate valve stuck open.
- k. leaking westgate diaphragm.
- l. disconnected westgate linkage.
Analysis: Answer A is wrong. A westgate valve stuck closed increases turbocharger boost pressure. Answer B is correct. A westgate valve stuck open decreases turbocharger boost pressure.
Answer C is wrong. A leaking westgate valve diaphragm increases turbocharger boost pressure. Answer D is wrong. A disconnected westgate valve linkage will increase turbocharger boost pressure.
Notice that in the most-likely question there is no capitalization. This is not so with LEAST-likely type questions. For this type of question look for the choice that would be the least likely cause of the described situation. Read the entire question carefully before choosing your answer. An example is as follows.
What is the LEAST likely cause of a bent pushrod?
- m. Excessive engine speed
- n. A sticking valve
- o. Excessive valve guide clearance
- p. A worn rocker arm stud
Analysis: Answer A is wrong. Excessive engine speed may cause a bent pushrod. Answer B is wrong. A sticking valve may cause a bent pushrod. Answer C is correct. Excessive valve clearance will not generally cause a bent pushrod. Answer D is wrong. A worn rocker arm stud may cause a bent pushrod.
There are no four-part multiple-choice ASE questions having “none of the above” or “all of the above” choices. ASE does not use other types of questions, such as fill-in-the- blank, completion, true-false, word-matching, or essay. ASE does not require you to draw diagrams or sketches.
There are no four-part multiple-choice ASE questions having “none of the above” or “all of the above” choices. ASE does not use other types of questions, such as fill-in-the- blank, completion, true-false, word-matching, or essay.
ASE does not require you to draw diagrams or sketches. If a formula or chart is required to answer a question, it is provided for you. There are no ASE questions that require you to use a pocket calculator.
Testing time length
An ASE test session is four hours and fifteen minutes. You may attempt from one to a maximum of four tests in one session. It is recommended, however, that no more than a total of 225 questions be attempted at any test session. This will allow for just over one minute for each question.
Visitors are not permitted at any time. If you wish to leave the test room, for any reason, you must first ask permission. If you finish your test early and wish to leave, you are permitted to do so only during specified dismissal periods.
You should monitor your progress and set an arbitrary limit to how much time you will need for each question. This should be based on the number of questions you are asking. It is suggested that you wear a watch because some facilities may not have a clock visible to all areas of the room.
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