The ASQ CRE Exam is daunting.
While you may desire to become certified, you also know the CRE body of knowledge is broad. The exam is 150 questions in four hours that may tax your ability to achieve a passing score.
There is a lot to know in reliability engineering. Your journey of learning really never ends.
Your work and education experience are your primary means to prepare.
Using many of the elements of reliability engineering every day helps you master the vast body of knowledge. Not every reliability engineering position requires the use of every element of the body of knowledge.
So, what can you do?
Paths to Best Prepare
You have to take the initiative to master the material.
Your CRE preparation starts with an honest assessment of what areas you already know well, and which you need to improve.
The online ASQ CRE sample exam is a great way to assess your readiness. (Note: the online version does require you to register with the site or sign in and the exam does not appear to work within Safari – and did work fro me using Firefox).
The online version gives you feedback on how well you perform related to various sections of the body of knowledge. The PDF version does provide some feedback, so is a viable option. In either case, plan on 2 hours to take the 75 question sample exam.
With the assessment in hand, you can determine what you need to learn as you prepare. This may range from a specific section, say the maintenance section only, or anything dealing with statistics, to everything.
This is where you have options on how to proceed.
This really applies in all cases.
Gather the references and work sample exam questions. Read, study, review, and practice.
We did a survey last December to determine the CRE recommended references to get you started.
How you study matters. Just reading the book generally, only goes so far. You need to work the examples, get feedback on how well you know the material.
One approach is to form or join a study group. You may find others where you work or post a note on the Certification Study Groups forum.
Another way to get feedback is to post your questions or concerns to the Linkedin CRE Preparation group. There are over 500 other CRE interested or already certified members willing to share their knowledge or help you answer a question.
Of course, you should subscribe to this series of CRE Preparation short tutorials.
This provides a weekly short tutorial on one of the many topics in the body of knowledge.
Take a live in-person course
A quick search will reveal numerous ASQ sections and even a few community colleges offer a CRE Preparation course.
These often meet for 2 to 8 hours regularly over 1 to 3 months.
Take a live online course
I regularly teach an online course (32 hours in 16 two hour sessions using an online platform (so you can be anywhere and attend, plus the sessions are recorded so you can review or catch up as needed.)
Attending a live in person or online class provides a direct means to discuss topics that you need to master directly with the instructor.
I’m not aware of any other live and online CRE Preparation courses. If you find one and would recommend it, please let me know.
I’d like to list all the options here.
Take an on-demand, online course
There are two options that I know about for on-demand and online courses.
These are self-paced and provide the benefit of being online, so no travel. Plus they are flexible enough to permit you to focus on just the topics you need to master.
ASQ offers an online self-pace course, the Certified Reliability Engineer Certification Preparation e-learning course provides a mix of reading, presentations, and sample questions and allows you to focus on areas you need at your own pace.
The Accendo Reliability CRE Preparation course is online and on-demand.
It has the additional benefit of having instructor support, unlike the ASQ online course.
You have options. From just go for it, and give the exam a try, to a range of study and course options.
If obtaining the ASQ CRE certification, the first step is yours. There are options available to support and encourage you.
How do you plan to do your CRE preparation? Let me know in the comments section below.