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Crash Course in ASE P2

By Mark Phillips

Counterman presents 14 parts topics to freshen up for the test.
Mark Phillips

It’s that time again. The ASE P2 is around the corner and Counterman magazine is providing its annual test preparation guide. We present an overview of 14 parts categories, written by our technical editor, Larry Carley, to give a brief refresher to test-takers. Next year will mark the end of an era in the ASE tests. Starting in 2012, all tests will be in a computer-based format, instead of pencil and paper.

The last written test will be given in November 2011. ASE is changing over to computer-based testing to offer flexibility in scheduling and convenience to test-takers. In addition, parts pros will know whether they passed the test before they leave the testing center. Certificates will be mailed after the end of the two-month testing window. According to ASE, the computer-based tests will be offered in two-month windows, four times a year.

Though future tests will be taken on computers, they will not be offered over the Internet to be taken remotely. All test-takers must report to specified test centers. ASE says this ensures a consistent and reliable testing environment and will allow for the verification of the test-taker’s identity.

ASE says the tests will initially be offered at more than 360 test centers in the U.S. and Canada. Computer-based tests will look very familiar to those who’ve taken paper tests. There will be multiple-choice questions and every question has one single correct answer, ASE says. There are three wrong answers.

The Test
About 57 percent of the P2 test covers parts and vehicle systems. The remainder covers management or business-transaction knowledge, including things such as customer relations and sales skills; cataloging skills, inventory
management; merchandising; and general operations.

In the general operations category, there are 10 questions on topics such as: calculating discounts; determining the need for special orders; performing money transactions; performing sales and credit invoicing; assisting with employee and customer training; and knowing the value of company policies and procedures.

There are 11 questions that cover customer relations and sales skills. Test-takers can expect topics such as: identifying customer needs and skill level; handling customer complaints; demonstrating proper telephone skills; solving customer problems; and balancing store and in-store customers.

The counterpro’s ability to tackle cataloging issues also plays a part in the P2. Six questions will cover topics such as: locating the proper catalog and identifying needed parts; catalog terminology and abbreviations; performing catalog maintenance; and utilizing additional reference materials, such as technical bulletins, interchange lists, specification guides, websites, etc.

Three questions are allocated to a counterpro’s knowledge of inventory management. These include issues such as reporting lost sales; verifying incoming and outgoing merchandise; handling special orders and outside purchases; knowing the reasons for performing a physical inventory; and accounting for store-use items.

Finally, there are two questions concerning merchandising. They can be on topics such as:  understanding display strategy; inspecting and maintaining shelf quantities and condition; utilizing sales aids; and identifying impulse and seasonal items.


Steering & Suspension

Manual Transmission/Transaxle

Ignition System


Fuel System

Exhaust System

Engine Mechanical Parts

Emission Control Systems

Electrical System

Drivetrain Components

Cooling System


Automatic Transmission/Transaxle

HVAC Heating & A/C System

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