"We could certainly train individuals to pass our tests, but then ASE Certification would be an evaluation of our training program, instead of an assessment of an individual's job-skills knowledge," he says.
Clark says the best way to prepare for the test is to carefully review the Task List and take a "personal knowledge inventory" on each listed task, and work from there.
Although Clark says study materials are sparse, enterprising technicians and their managers can find top-notch training materials through suppliers such as Delmar, a part of Cengage Learning.
Kristen Davis, director of transportation industry solutions for the Clifton Park, NY-based company, says the company's ASE training series is a "core competency" for a business that's been around since 1945.
According to Davis, Delmar will release its E1 test materials in Spring 2009 to give technicians a way to prepare for the certification exam.
"We call this our ‘Assess, Train and Certify Model,''' she says. "The ‘assess' is the skill analysis, the ‘training' is the training products we have and the ‘certify' is the preparatory products that we have to help technicians become certified."
Delmar's E1 materials include a history of ASE as well as guidelines, techniques and strategies for taking and passing the certification exam. An overview of the task list follows, detailing the most recent procedures used to properly install, diagnose, service, and repair truck equipment and related support systems. At the core of the book's training methods are the ASE-style practice questions and answer rationales, which allow readers to apply their knowledge and practice putting it to use in a format that mimics the certification testing environment.
"An individual using our ASE test preparation materials is more prepared to sit for and successfully pass the ASE certification exam," says Davis, who served as the Work Order Skills Station Chairperson at the recent TMCSuperTech2008 competition.
Becoming ASE-certified is an important step in a technician's career development. As of spring 2008, more than 350,000 repair technicians were ASE-certified, including 2,093 who have passed the E1 exam.
"Our surveys tell us that, all things being equal, employers prefer to hire an ASE-certified professional," Clark says. "Enhanced employability is an important factor, especially in times of economic uncertainty."
Go to www.fleetmag.com to see a sample E1 Certification Task List
Delmar is currently the only provider of Transit Bus ASE test preparation products, and is now offering the materials in both online and print formats.