ASE exec says move to computer-based testing a boost

Jan. 1, 2020
Tony Molla, vice president of communications with ASE, says technicians will see benefits from the move to ASE computer-based testing.
Tony Molla ASE ASE tests automotive aftermarket automotive parts

Motor Age: What prompted ASE's decision to change to an all computer-based testing format?

Molla: The move from paper and pencil testing to computer-based testing is a natural evolution, not just for ASE, but for the testing industry in general. The efficiencies and advantages of computer-based testing far outweigh the paper and pencil counterparts, and that's really what's behind this evolution more than anything else.

Motor Age: What benefits will those taking the tests see with this format?

Molla: There are two major benefits to computer-based testing. The first, and most obvious, is instant results. Test takers will know when they leave the testing center how they did on the test, whether they passed or failed. These immediate results give someone immediate feedback and is one of the most popular aspects of our current computer-based testing program that we're expanding. The second and perhaps more significant advantage of computer-based testing is the simple availability. Up until now, ASE has basically tested twice a year with paper and pencil over three nights. That was six days a year that you could take an ASE test. The computer-based testing that we have in the summer and winter expanded that to a five-week window. The new computer-based testing will offer eight-week windows four times a year. So two months on, one month off will be the new ASE testing cycle. An individual will never be more than 30 days from taking an ASE test, which will make the availability a lot greater. Also, with computer-based testing, there will be a lot more opportunity to make appointments. You're not going to be locked into taking a test after work, at night. Now you can schedule it days, nights, weekends, even on a Sunday if the computer-based testing center is open.

Motor Age: Is there anything that technicians should know about the computer-based tests if they've never taken them before?

Molla: Technicians who have taken any ASE test before, whether written or on a computer, will find the process very familiar. The questions are going to be in essentially the same format. The major difference between taking a test with paper and pencil and on a computer is you're answering questions with a keyboard instead of with a No. 2 pencil and a bubble sheet. The advantages of computer-based testing mirror a lot of the advantages people perceive for paper and pencil testing. You can bounce back and forth between questions; with computer-based testing you can flag questions for later reference. There's lots more functionality with computer-based testing compared to the very binary paper and pencil testing. I think it's important for technicians to know that the cost will be similar as of next summer with the new testing partner.

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