When it comes to testing for ASE certification it is important to know going in that some of these tests are no walk in the park. I know several guys who just walked into the testing facility and knocked all eight out at once and got their master certification that day. This is not me. I had to study for some of them.
Even with 12 years as a diesel tech, there are just some things I don’t keep up with or even really have a great understanding without looking at the book.
What’s the hardest ASE test? T1 – Gasoline Engines** and A9 - Light Vehicle Diesel Engines are the most difficult of the regular ASE tests.
This is not just my opinion but after a survey of 20 ASE master certified mechanics, the consensus was T1 ans A9. This does not include the X tests which are advanced test. Of course those will be building on the general test. This survey was based on the general tests A, T and E classes.
Check out the survey results and sample questions below. Results are Listed hardest to easiest
(50 scored questions) means there may be more but they will only score 50 ASE will often include questions that are experimental. They will not count against you if you get them wrong.
Knowing which tests were most difficult for me, I set out to ask other certified mechanics which ones caused a struggle with them as well. I surveyed 20 different master certified guys and there was a tie. T1 and A2 were the most mentioned tests.
Here is a table of tests listed by difficulty per the survey.
|Test #||Test Title||Number of Questions|
|1. T1||Gasoline Engines (Most difficult 😅)||(50 scored questions)|
|2. A9||Light Vehicle Diesel Engines||(50)|
|3. A2||Automatic Transmission/Transaxle||(50)|
|4. T3||Drive Train||(40)|
|5. A4||Suspension & Steering||(40)|
|6. T5||Suspension & Steering||(50)|
|7. T6||Electrical/ Electronic Systems||(50)|
|8. A6||Electrical/ Electronic Systems||(50)|
|9. A8||Engine Performance||(50)|
|10. T2||Diesel Engines||(55)|
|11. A3||Manual Drive Train & Axles||(40)|
|12. A8||Engine Performance||(50)|
|13. A1||Engine Repair||(50 scored questions)|
|14. T8||Preventive Maintenance Inspection||(50)|
|15. A7||Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) (Easiest 👍)||(50)|
|16. T7||Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) (Easiest 👍)||(40)|
|17. T4||Brakes (Easiest 👍)||(50)|
|18. A5||Brakes (Easiest 👍)||(45)|
So, let’s break them down a bit and see if we can get a plan for passing these more difficult tests
There are lots of practical things you can do to improve your chances of passing the more difficult tests. Let’s look at a few ways and get you that certification.
1. Study 📕
I don’t mean weeks of rigorous study with this. The best approach I have found is to read through the whole book and then taking the test the next day.
Here is a link to Amazon for all the study guides, ASE study guide Bundle for some help getting started.
You can actually listen to the study guides now with Audible Click Here to listen to the study guide for free! Courtesy of Amazon. You can literally sign up, study, pass, and then cancel before the free trial ends.
Here is a link to the ASE Audio Study Guide Audible Audible Audiobook if you already have an Audible account.
Ready straight through the book seems like it might not be the best idea but it really works. At the point of taking ASE tests, you should have at least 3 years of experience. With that experience, you should have encountered most of the ideas found in these tests.
So, reading through is going to help you remember things that maybe you haven’t worked on for a while.
2. Talk to your buddies who have passed that test
A great resource often overlooked is the people around you. If you work in a shop ask around and see if any of your fellow wrenchers have made it by that particular and test and get some pointers.
I remember vividly questions that came up that I had discussed with a friend and knew the answer right off.
3. Get a goodnight of rest and eat a good breakfast
Sounds classic but sometimes we forget the little stuff. Sleep and not being hungry are going to allow your brain to function at its highest level.
4. Pee before you go in there
I hope having the info from this survey helps you make a plan for knocking these tests out and get certified. It’s not impossible You can do this. Also check out the Easiest ASE test article So get you a guide and Let’s do this!