After taking the last round of ASE tests included with my results was a short letter that things would be changing for test takers. I guess everything in life changes, but I was a little surprised by ASE’s decision to go with the computer-based testing format and doing away with the written tests that have been offered for the last 25 years or so.
The official snippet in the letter that relates to this is to follow. “And if you haven’t heard, ASE is changing from paper and pencil testing to a computer-based format.
The written test will be offered for the final two times in May and November. Beginning in January, only computer-based testing will be offered, but it will be available eight months of the year at a secure proctored test Center”. Not mentioned is the fact that no proctored test centers are offered in my County going forward.
First I would like to go on record as saying that I have taken the ASE computer-based tests. The system works well and has many advantages over the old style of paper and pencil testing. I wrote an article about the problem with ASE study guides on my other site if your interested.
Furthermore, after I was done taking the computer test I knew whether I had passed or failed immediately. This was much better than waiting 6 to 8 weeks for test results. Another advantage to the computer-based tests was being able to set up a specific testing day and time.
Disadvantages of ASE Computer-based Testing
As I mentioned the big disadvantage of only offering computer-based testing is they will no longer be available at local high schools. I will have to drive a lot further to take the recertification tests when they’re due and they are always due. This may be one thing that will change over time as new computer-based testing centers are opened. This will also vary depending on your location and may not be an issue for you at all.
Another issue for me that may not apply to you is that when the paper and pencil tests were offered at the local high school I got to socialize with old friends and ex-coworkers that I haven’t seen in a long time. Since the ASE tests were offered during the spring and fall there was large turnouts at the test centers.
While we were gathered outside waiting to be let in, it was good to shake hands with old coworkers and swap stories with other automotive technicians. Now that the tests will be computer-based and offered during eight months of the year I do not believe that I will be running into a lot of these old friends anymore.
At least there are two more paper and pencil testing sessions still scheduled for 2011 in may and November. Hopefully I will be able to get some phone numbers and stay in touch with the people I enjoy seeing at these testing events.
In closing I would like to say that there is no stopping progress and that all good things must come to an end. It kind of reminds me about how my local Blockbuster DVD video store closed down, because everyone signed up for Netflix and now has the movies streamed into their home.
In other words if you do not adapt to the modern times you will become extinct. The ASE computer-based testing has a lot of advantages. This old-fashioned mechanic with 25 years in the auto repair business will have to adapt or become extinct.
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