Advancing in your automotive technician job can be a challenge, but there is something you can do to increase your chances of earning a better mechanic salary and becoming more desirable to employers. ASE certification is the logical next step in your auto tech career, giving you the credentials you need to really take things to the next level.
The NIASE, or National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, assesses and certifies those with the skills to become Master Technicians. With over 40 categories of testing, there’s something for everyone’s area of focus. L3 is the designation for Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist. This particular certification requires three years of automotive repair experience as opposed to the two required for other categories.
The topics covered in the L3 test include diagnosis and repair of:
- The battery system
- The drive system
- Power electronics
- Internal combustion engine
- Hybrid supporting systems
This is a comprehensive exam and you will need to prepare as thoroughly as you can by obtaining a study guide and practice test.
The ASE website
The NIASE website features many helpful resources for preparing for your L3 test. You’ll find free study guides for all areas of certification on the Test Prep & Training page. These are available for download in PDF format.
You can also access an L3 practice test on the website. These are charged at a rate of $14.95 for the first one or two, $12.95 for between three and 24, and $11.95 for 25 and up. They are administered online and are accessible via a voucher system. You purchase the vouchers at the above cited rates, and then use the resulting code to take whichever test you choose.
The practice version of the test is half the length of the real thing. At the end, you will receive feedback in a performance review, which tells you which questions you got right or wrong.
A search for L3 ASE study materials will quickly return not only the official website, but also a selection of aftermarket preparation programs. These are not endorsed or assessed by the NIASE, however there is a list of companies on their website for informational purposes. If you choose to utilize these outside resources just be sure to read plenty of reviews so that you can be sure you’re getting accurate information.
Taking the test
When it comes time to schedule your actual test day, you may also consult the ASE website for information about testing locations and how to schedule your time slot. Testing is available 12 months out of the year and there are weekend times available as well. All ASE testing is now done on a computer-based system. If you want to familiarize yourself with the interface, you can use the demo on the website to check out the actual format.
There are 45 multiple choice scored questions on the L3 Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Specialist test, in addition to 10 or more unscored questions which are used for research purposes. The extra questions are not marked on the test so you will still need to complete the entire thing to the best of your ability.
The NIASE recommends planning not to take any other ASE tests on the day you take the L3, due to its complexity. Taking advantage of all available resources, including L3 study guides and practice tests, will help you to be as prepared as possible to pass the exam on your first try.
If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Obtain an L3 ASE Study Guide and Practice Test and was authored by Valerie Johnston.