Recently one of the CRE Preparation course students sat for the ASQ CRE exam at one of the Prometrics testing centers.
She passed – which is great, and she knew this as she received grading immediately after finishing the exam.
That is a new and nice feature. What we do not know if what happens if you do not pass.
Do you get feedback in a meaningful manner?
Here are a few other notes on the exam experience Raye reported.
No loose paper permitted in the exam room. Including small scraps of tissue found in the corner of jean pockets.
After dropping your keys and jacket into a locker, you are searched. Maybe searched more than once.
Anytime you move to enter the testing room (say coming back from the restroom) you are searched.
The funny thing is you are permitted to bring in a spiral or three-ring binder which may have blank pages. Yet the small corner of an old parking ticket is forbidden.
You are given a small pad of paper to use for notes, calculations, etc. and you have to return it after the exam.
The computer presentation of the exam and answers were pretty good.
There is a demo so you can become familiar with the format. Check it out here.
The demo includes instructions on using the system, what to expect, and a sequence of sample questions.
One nice feature is the ability to flag a question.
It allows you to skip questions and quickly find them later. I tried to finish the exam and it warned me that I had flagged questions and I would not be allowed to go back to any questions once I confirmed I was finished.
Check it out and plan how you will use the flag feature during your examination.
The testing space was ‘kind of dark, crowded, and room was noisy’.
Your experience may differ, of course. The folks at the testing facility offered earmuffs for noise and they helped.
Finally, if you leave the room to take a break, visit the restroom, or enjoy a bit of water or snack, you have to be searched again – maybe stand in line.
The time it takes to reenter the room is out of your control and the exam clock is still running. Be prepared to focus on the exam for the duration.
Maybe just stand and stretch for a quick break.
Thanks to Raye for the information. If you have taken the exam in one of the Prometrics centers, please let us know your experience.
Add your insights to the comments below, or send me a message and I’ll compile for a future article.
A request for information
Over the weekend I had the pleasure to meet with a follower of the blog and regular visitor to Accendo Reliability.
He is relatively new to reliability engineering and wanted to know more about:
- Where to start learning reliability engineering?
- What is a good path to master reliability engineering?
- Is there a guide or path through the material on the site?
All great questions. He obviously wants to learn. There is a lot of great material on the site, yet not well organized. I know that.
Given the aim of the site is to provide professional development materials, making it easier to find would be a good thing.
So, please, let me know what you would find most useful:
A set of Start Here pages that outline key articles and material for those new to reliability engineering (the basics and introduction material, for example)
A set of guides or paths that step you through the material. You could select where to start (with basics or with advanced. material).
Ebooks, courses, podcasts, email sequences, or some combination.
Or, something else.
Please hit reply and let me know a little about you and what would make Accendo Reliability your go to reliability engineering professional development choice.
In short, what do you need to be a successful reliability professional?
How can I help?
Tim Gaens says
Nice report of Raye, good to know what awaits us when going to the exam.
Perhaps you should have split it into 2 topics.
For the second part of the post, I think your doing a great job already.
Of-course the information on the website appears to be overwhelming .
But the tags and the search functions help a lot.
Some testimonials of the people that been on your CRE course would be a nice addition to the posts. With some of the experiences that the students have.
Fred Schenkelberg says
Thanks for the kind words and suggestions Tim, much appreciated.
I’m thinking about interviewing a few of the students to gather more information about the exam experience. Plus, I think getting a students view on the preparation process, too, would be helpful for others.
Becky King says
I took the computer test in October and I had a similar experience with the testing center – loud, crowded, cold room,and some serious searching of me and my materials. The one thing that I really was disappointed with was that I was not allowed to take a pad and pencil for calculations. I was given a marker and 2 laminated sheets that I could trade out as needed, but could cause delays in getting back to the test. The marker and sheets were clumsy and ill suited to the task. I liked the computer based test environment, the tag function, and the immediate results. You can get a look at the test environment on the ASQ website ahead of time, which I recommend, and there is a tutorial available before the test time began. My test was 160 or 165 (can’t remember which) questions in 4 hours 10 min. The extra questions were trial questions, but you don’t know which ones count and those that don’t. I needed every second of time and was glad I didn’t have to leave the room with the delay in getting back in as time runs even if you are out of the room.
Fred Schenkelberg says
Hi Becky – thanks for the note and information. I agree being familiar with the test software prior to arriving is a great tip. cheers, Fred
Evan Lewis says
I took the exam at a Prometric center in September. The computer-based testing took a little getting used to – I’m used to paper and pencil exams – and for example flagging a question for later review wasn’t (for me) as easy as the old trick of just putting a pencil dot beside the question. Also, the part about getting searched was something I anticipated, and while the exam proctors were all very professional about it, it still took time and was a distraction. Be aware that visits to the restroom take longer than anticipated because of that, and since the clock continues while you take a break, these should be limited as much as possible – so go easy on the morning coffee. I found the room as quiet as it could be given there were about 20 other individuals taking exams in the same room, and the desk seemed smaller than I had anticipated, so jockeying the reference texts, pads and a calculator got a little cramped. I say all of this not as a criticism, but for me it just served to make the exam more stressful. I took every second of time and am pleased to say I passed. Receiving the result instantly was a pleasant surprise – a big plus for computer-based testing.
My best advice – be sure to arrive early.
Fred Schenkelberg says
Thanks Evan for the update concerning the Prometric testing centers