ASE Subject Matter Experts [THA 376]

Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS and AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching

Dive into the intricate process behind the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification exams. Sharing personal experiences as SMEs for the ASE exams, the panelists discussed the challenges and learning opportunities involved in the process.

Matt Fanslow, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, MN, Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z Podcast

Bryan Pollock, Willco Auto Care, Sanborn, NY and Lockport, NY

Scot Manna, ACDelco Technician of the Millennium. Scot’s previous episodes HERE.

  • Watch Full Video Episode
  • Another ASE Rant [E091]:
  • ASE Renewal App Rant [E105]:
  • The importance of ASE test questions (00:00:01) Discussion about the extensive work and expertise required to create high-quality test questions for ASE certification exams.
  • ASE’s role in setting pass rates (00:02:07) Explanation of how ASE organizes workshops to determine pass rates and exam difficulty, with input from industry representatives.
  • Challenges of writing test questions (00:03:30) Discussion on the difficulty of creating distractors and the extensive effort required to write and vet test questions.
  • Role of subject matter experts (00:06:21) Insights into the qualities of a good subject matter expert and their importance in contributing to the test question writing process.
  • Educational opportunities of ASE exams (00:10:46) Explanation of how ASE exams provide educational opportunities for technicians to identify areas for improvement and further training.
  • Qualities of a good subject matter expert (00:15:36) Discussion about the qualities and skills needed for a subject matter expert, including formal education and practical experience.
  • Experience is Key (00:18:44) Importance of real-world experience in writing test questions and the value of subject matter experts.
  • Communication and Mix of Expertise (00:19:47) The importance of communication skills and the mix of engineering and field experience in test writing.
  • Ensuring Fair and Effective Questions (00:22:41) The process of discarding or refining questions to ensure fairness and effectiveness in testing.
  • Creating Plausible Answers (00:23:17) The challenge of creating plausible answers and the goal of not tricking test takers.
  • Different Philosophies in Testing (00:35:19) Contrasting philosophies between the ASE renewal app and traditional exams, focusing on education vs. pass/fail.
  • The process of taking tests (00:36:46) Discussion on the feedback provided after answering test questions and its educational value for technicians.
  • Importance of continuous learning (00:37:42) Emphasizing the value of taking tests as an opportunity for education and the need for continuous learning in the automotive industry.
  • Advancements in automotive technology (00:38:06) Highlighting the rapid advancements in automotive technology and the necessity for technicians to stay updated through education and testing.
  • Responsibilities of subject matter experts (00:40:38) The panel discusses the responsibility and honor of being a subject matter expert and the importance of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) organization.
  • Challenges in writing test questions (00:41:11) The difficulties and learning experiences involved in writing test questions, including the importance of embracing voluntary certification.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on training workshops (00:52:16) The loss of intimacy and networking opportunities due to the shift from live in-person workshops to online formats, with a plea to bring back in-person workshops.

Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS

NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at

Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching

Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!