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
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
2. Know what specific topics
to study for the exam
3. Use the proper tools
4. Have a plan for learning
the specific topics for the exam
Commiting to spend adequate
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
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
- The GD&T Trainer
CBT or the Fundamentals of GD&T Self-Study Workbook (Available
- 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
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
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
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
Tips for Taking the Certification
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
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
4. If you have back problems,
bring a cushion for extra support.
5. Eat a light meal before
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
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
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
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.