Tips in taking the AS9100D Test (2017)


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Friend sent me these tips on taking the exam:

If you could add to it - it would benefits all of us in this journey.

This is the first test in the auditor requalification requirements and divided into two parts:

Knowledge portion - is the first part and split into 25 sub-sections with two or three questions for a total of 60 points in this section.

Story problem or scenario portion - has 18 scenarios with two or three questions that are related to each scenario for a total of 40 points in this section.

General comment—first portion is very difficult and if you do not have a good knowledge of the order of the sections in the 2015 standard it will be difficult to pass this in the 75 minutes that has been allotted.

Second part appears to be easier and most will not need the 45 minutes to take the entire section. However, with 15 - 20 extra minutes this section should be reviewed for accuracy.

Section 1 Knowledge

The questions read like a quotation from the standard with a potential of up to 4 correct answers. Several questions say “pick the 2 correct answers” with maybe half of the questions having more than one correct answer.

Some questions have words placed in bold lettering to emphasize the word. Examples might be as applicable, as necessary, extent necessary. These potential answers should be checked against the standard to ensure that the standard is using that specific word. If not, this is potentially not a correct answer. In most cases the standard language is the same as some of the answers.

To score at least 80% in the knowledge portion of the test, time management is critical! This is not an easy test because the 75 minutes allowed is not adequate if you are not fully versed in using the 2015 standard. Before taking the test, you should be PREPARED to quickly locate inside of each section of the standard the parts and pieces referenced in the question.

If you repeatedly use the table of contents to search for the points mentioned in the questions (i.e.context of organization, risk planning) you will run out of time. Of the 30 questions, I ran out of time and lost maybe 10 points which would have allowed me to pass this portion and supported any shortcomings in the second half.

You need to have the sections of the standard in your head, such as which section is Management Review in? Which two sections address non-conforming material? Where in the standard is competence addressed? What about organizational knowledge?

My solution - take a blank sheet of paper, number 4 thru 10 and document what you know is in each section to determine how much you are missing. Then return to the standard and carefully study what you do not know!

Remember…if you use the table of contents to find items more than a couple of times you will have a time crunch and may not answer all the questions, lose too many points, and be forced to take the test over again. You have 3 opportunities to retake the test!

Time Management: in the upper left hand corner of the screen of the test is the time clock. On the right-hand side of the screen you will see the question number 13/25. This is the half way point in the questions and you should adjust your speed based on how you are doing - half way time is 37 or 38 minutes.

Section 2 Scenarios

18 scenarios were presented with each having two or three questions with 45 minutes to answer all the questions. This section moves faster and you may have 15 to 20 plus minutes available after you finish.

Very few questions had just one or two correct answers. Many of the answers might be good, but not in the standard. Example – good lean manufacturing techniques to improve on-time-delivery is a good answer, but not in the standard.

PFMEA is not mentioned in the standard, but it is a risk management tool. Be careful of the wording in the answers as they occasionally include “may be done, “could be” and other words which might lead to an answer. Look for relationship of answer to the scenario.

In most cases, you will probably answer the question without using the standard. In some cases, you will open the standard and see what is stated. When you complete the scenarios, and if you have time, it is worthwhile to open the standard and review your answers against the scenarios.

Do not push the exit button on the last page until you are sure ALL your answers are good!

Typical Scenarios

1 A company is going to implement the new standard this year and a major aerospace company comes along and states they are going to use a new technology on their product. They want you to participate and you agree but the engineering manager says this might be difficult.

2 You are conducting an audit and observe a lot of unidentified parts on the shop floor. Management Rep says no problem as their experience operators can tell the difference. Customer recent returns show damage on some of the parts. The parts are sensitive to the environment and are observed stored outside.

Two or three separate questions with multiple answers go with each of the 18 scenarios. There is a total of 40 points.
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Let me add that if you have a PDF copy of the standard then Ctrl-F is your friend. Even if you know where a requirement is in the standard, a search is quicker to get you there and save time.
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