2023 Edition

Automotive Service Excellence Test Guide

ASE Test Summary
What: ASE certification tests are designed to identify automotive professionals with particular skill sets and work experience.
Who: Automotive professionals who wish to obtain professional credentials.
Where: Testing is available at approved test centers around the country.
When: Computer-based testing in January, February, July, and August, while paper-and-pencil based tests are available in May and November.
How: Test-takers can register with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence via telephone or the Internet.
Type: Both the computer-based and written tests are multiple choice format.
Why: ASE certification can lead to promotions, pay raises, respect within a community of professionals, and a sense of accomplishment.
Time: A maximum of 1.5 hours.
Language: All tests ara available in English, while only certain tests are available in English-Spanish bilingual format.
Preparation: Tests.com offers preparation materials online.
Cost: Costs vary by test. There is a $36.00 registration fee.

By Larissa Cunningham, Tests.com Contributing Writer

An automotive professional can demonstrate a high level of specialized knowledge and advanced skill by becoming certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE Certification is beneficial in a number of ways – it may qualify technicians for career advancement and demonstrates one’s commitment to continuing education and skills development.

ASE Test Series

There are 14 ASE test series, each covering a particular area of certification. These tests are written and approved through a rigorous test-creation process by industry professionals. In order to be certified in any series, you must pass one of the tests in your chosen series and demonstrate that you have at least two years of work experience related to that series. In many cases, it is necessary for you to re-take the test every five years in order to maintain certification.  Each test has between 40 to 70 questions that are scored.  There may be additional questions that are not scored.

The Automobile/Light Truck Certification Tests, or A Series, include eight certification exams. One who passes all eight exams is named master automobile technician:

  • Engine Repair (A1)
  • Automatic Transmission/Transaxle (A2)
  • Manual Drive Train and Axles (A3)
  • Suspension and Steering (A4)
  • Brakes (A5)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems (A6)
  • Heating and Air Conditioning (A7)
  • Engine Performance (A8)

The Automobile Service Consultant Test (C1) is designed specifically to measure one’s abilities relating to customer service and shop-related communications.

The Alternative Fuels Series (F1) is for those who would like to be certified in compressed natural gas vehicles. This test certifies that one has successfully demonstrated skill in repair, maintenance and more.

The Medium/Heavy Truck Test Series (T Series) is for those who wish to specialize in working with Class 4 through Class 8 tractors and trucks. The series includes eight exams:

  • Gasoline Engines (T1)
  • Diesel Engines (T2)
  • Drive Train (T3)
  • Brakes (T4)
  • Suspension and Steering (T5)
  • Electrical/ Electronic Systems (T6)
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (T7)
  • Preventive Maintenance Inspection (PMI) (T8)

The Truck Equipment Test Series (E Series) is for those seeking certification in the area of truck equipment, three tests are available within this series:

  • Truck Equipment Installation and Repair (E1)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems Installation and Repair (E2)
  • Auxiliary Power Systems Installation and Repair (E3)

The title of ASE-certified Master Truck Equipment Technician is given to those who pass all three tests.

The School Bus Test Series (S Series) includes

  • Body Systems and Special Equipment (S1)
  • Diesel Engines (S2)
  • Drive Train (S3)
  • Brakes (S4)
  • Suspension and Steering (S5)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems (S6)
  • Air Conditioning Systems and Controls (S7)

The tests are designed to test one’s skills and knowledge related to school buses. Those who pass tests S1 through S6 are officially designated Master School Bus Technicians.

The Transit Bus Test Series (H Series) is for those interested in working on transit buses. The exams include:

  • Diesel Engines (H2)
  • Brakes (H4)
  • Electrical/Electronic Systems (H6)
  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) (H7)

The Collision Repair and Refinish Test Series (B Series) pertains specifically to the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective paint refinisher and repair technician. Tests include:

  • Painting and Refinishing (B2)
  • Non-Structural Analysis and Damage Repair (B3)
  • Structural Analysis and Damage Repair (B4)
  • Mechanical and Electrical Components (B5)

To become an ASE-certified Master Collision Repair/Refinishing technician, a candidate must pass all four tests.

The Damage Analysis and Estimating Certification (B6) test is meant as a companion to the other tests in the Collision Repair and Refinish series. This test is ideal for anyone with specialized knowledge in the area of estimating repair costs, assessing damage and working with customers.

The Engine Machinist Test Series (M Series) includes three tests:

  • Cylinder Head Specialist (M1)
  • Cylinder Block Specialist (M2)
  • Assembly Specialist (M3)

The tests are designed for those who work with gasoline and diesel engines in cars and trucks. A Master Engine Machinist is anyone who passes all three certification tests.

The Parts Specialist exams (P Series) include:

  • Medium/Heavy Truck Dealership Parts Specialist (P1)
  • Automobile Parts Specialist (P2)
  • Medium/Heavy Truck Aftermarket Brake Parts Specialist (P3)
  • General Motors Parts Consultant (P4)
  • Medium/Heavy Truck Aftermarket Suspension and Steering Parts Specialist (P9)

The Advanced Engine Performance Specialist Test (L1) is designed for those with highly specialized knowledge related to emissions and drivability of cars and light-duty trucks. Only those who already certified in the Engine Performance (A8) category are eligible to take this test.

The Electronic Diesel Engine Diagnosis Specialist Test (L2) is similar to the L1 test and is meant to demonstrate mastery of diesel engine issues specific to medium/heavy-duty trucks. The exam requires that candidates have already successfully completed the regular Diesel Engines tests (H2, S2, or T2) and Electrical/Electronic Systems tests (H6, S6, or T6). The five content areas covered on this test include:

  • General Diesel Engine Diagnosis
  • Electronic Diesel Engine Controls Diagnosis
  • Diesel Fuel Systems Diagnosis
  • Diesel Engine Air Induction and Exhaust Systems Diagnosis
  • Specific Fuel Systems Diagnosis

The Undercar Specialist Designation (X1) is for those who wish to be certified as specialists in suspension, steering, exhaust systems and brake service and repair. In order to take this test, one must already be certified in Suspension and Steering (A4) and Brakes (A5).

ASE Test Format

Automotive Service Excellence Certification tests are offered in both written and computer-based formats. Computer-based tests include A1-A8, B2-B6, C1, L1, L2, P2, and T1-T8. All test questions, regardless of test format, are in multiple-choice format.

ASE Exam Registration

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence administers all ASE certification tests. Candidates may register for written tests online, via telephone or regular mail, but may only register for computer-based tests via telephone. While many test centers exist across the country, test takers must choose a test center that offers their test. Not all test centers offer the written test, nor do all test centers off the computer-based test. Test takers will choose a local test center at the time of registration. Written tests are administered in May and November, while computer based-tests are administered in January-February and July-August.  There are registration fees and other costs to take the tests.

Tests last up to one and a half hours.

Special Note: English-Spanish Bilingual Testing

Unfortunately, not all of the tests are available in bilingual English-Spanish format. However, the four of the most popular tests are now available to Spanish speaking test-takers:

  • A1–Engine Repair
  • A4–Suspension and Steering
  • A5–Brakes
  • A6–Electrical/Electronic Systems.

Are you getting ready for an ASE exam? Check out our Automotive Test Directory. To learn more about the ASE exam, read our interview with test expert James Hwang.

ASE Practice Test

ASE-G1 Auto Maintenance Light Repair Practice Test Kit

ASE A1 Practice Test - Engine Repair

ASE A5 Practice Test - Brake Systems