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How to Pass the ASME GD&T Certification Exam the First Time

Taking the ASME Y14.5.2 certification exam can be a trying experience, especially if you donít pass. With a reasonable amount of preparation, most people should be successful. This paper provides the information you need to pass the GD&T Certification exam on your first try.

Unfortunately, the majority of people who take the certification exam do not pass on their first try. It is not that the exam is unreasonably difficult. The main reason for poor performance on the exam is simple, inadequate preparation. Preparing for an exam is much like preparing for a sporting event. You need to make the commitment, know the rules, have the equipment, and a plan to practice.

There are four components for preparing for a major exam:
1. Commit to spend adequate preparation time
2. Know what specific topics to study for the exam
3. Use the proper tools for studying
4. Have a plan for learning the specific topics for the exam

Commiting to spend adequate preparation time

The commitment to prepare is crucial for success. Many people have the will (or desire) to win but do not have the will to prepare.  If you work hard to prepare, the exam will be much easier to complete. A person who is familiar with GD&T and may have some industrial experience using GD&T should be able to adequately prepare for the certification exam in 60-120 hrs of study time. This sounds like an enormous amount of effort, but if you spread it over three months, it is only 40-90 minutes a day.

Know what specific topics to study for the exam

Decide which certification level you are going to test for. There are two levels of certification: technologists' level and senior level. Each level has a different topic list to be tested on. The questions on the exam cover the items shown in the body of knowledge topics list. The body of knowledge topics lists can be found in Appendix B of Y14.5.2.

Use the proper tools for studying

The following is a list of tools I recommend to assist you in studying for the certification exam:
- The ASME 14.5M-1994 standard
- The ASME Y14.5.2-1995 standard
- The GD&T Trainer CBT or the Fundamentals of GD&T Self-Study Workbook (Available
        from Effective Training Inc.)
- Study aids—such as flashcards—for memorizing definitions and concepts

Plan for learning the specific topics on the exam

I recommend a five step plan to prepare for the ASME certification test.

1. Make three commitments. Be willing to set aside adequate time. Be willing to work hard. Be resolved to pass on the first try.
2. Purchase a copy of ASME Y14.5.2-1995 Certification of Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professionals and examine the body of knowledge topics list for the level of certification exam you are going to test. Use this list as a study guide.
3. Purchase a copy of ASME Y14.5M-1994 and read the entire standard.
4. Take a comprehensive course that explains many of the concepts and provides feedback on concepts that you learned or need to study further to obtain a basic understanding of GD&T and Y14.5.
5. Study daily. Use the body of knowledge topic list from Y14.5.2 and your knowledge obtained from the training you received. Mark out the items you know and study the remaining items.

Tips for Preparing for the Certification Exam

1. Start the preparation early. Donít wait until a week before the exam.
2. Study in small daily sessions.
3. Think of questions that could be asked about each topic and write down the question and answer.
4. Find a study buddy to work with on a regular basis.
5. Make flash cards of the concepts that you need to master. Use the flash cards when ever you have a few spare minutes.
6. Read the entire Y14.5 standard. Be sure to study sections 1 & 2 and appendix A.
7. If you do not thoroughly understand a concept, seek help. What you donít know will negatively affect your results.

Tips for Taking the Certification Exam

These tips are little things that can help you during the test. Collectively, the little things can make a difference when taking an exam. All the tips are not for everyone; pick the tips that you feel are going to help you.
1. Bring extra pencils and erasers.
2. Get a good night's rest before the exam. If you are driving a long distance to take the exam, stay in a nearby motel.
3. Arrive early and choose a seat that will be most comfortable. Perhaps an end seat will allow a little extra room. If a chart pad will be used during the day, position yourself so you can see it easily. Check out the room temperature, lighting, and potential noise from the hallway, and use these factors when choosing your seat.
4. If you have back problems, bring a cushion for extra support.
5. Eat a light meal before the test.
6. Wear a watch. You may not be in sight of a clock in the room.
7. Be sure you understand the instructions for each section before it begins. If the instructions are unclear, ask for clarification immediately.  Do not wait until you are in the time allotted for answering questions.
8. Answer the easy questions first, then do the ones that are more difficult as time permits.
9. NEVER leave a question unanswered. If you have no idea of the correct answer, guess. If you guess, you at least have a chance of getting the correct answer.
10. If you finish a section early, review the answers to questions that you werenít quite sure of.

Questions about how the GD&T Trainer will help to prepare for the ASME Y14.5.2-1995 Certification Test

Will taking the GD&T Trainer courses help my employees pass the ASME Certification test?
Passing the GD&T Trainer Fundamentals course requires correctly answering over two hundred lesson questions, passing twenty-eight quizzes and passing a final exam. There is even a GD&T Certification test inside the GD&T Trainer. Many of the questions on the GD&T Trainer Certification Test cover the same material as the ASME Certification Test. The knowledge acquired from the GD&T Trainer will certainly help to prepare for taking the certification test.

One of the strong points of using the GD&T Trainer as part of your plan for preparing for ASME certification is the large number of questions that must be answered to pass the course.

Keep in mind the GD&T Trainer is based on Y14.5 but does not teach every technical point in Y14.5. The GD&T trainer focuses on the information needed to interpret drawings in industry, while the ASME Certification exam is a test that covers each paragraph of the entire standard. Very few companies, if any, use the entire Y14.5 standard when creating their drawings. One should not rely only on a GD&T course in preparing for ASME Y14.5 certfication.


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This file last modified 01/08/09