Fixed Operations Certification: Tips for a Success Outcome on the Certification Test

By Tony Yerman

“How do I prepare for and pass the certification test?” I get this question at least once a week. Usually after someone’s failed attempt. So, here’s my advice for taking and passing any of the five Mike Molino RV Learning Center Fixed Operations Certification tests.

First off, I always recommend that a person has at least the minimum required experience to become Certified; one year for Service Writer/Advisor, Parts Specialist and Warranty  , and two years for Service Manager or Parts Manager. This is important for someone to have a reasonable idea of what the position deals with daily.
Next, I suggest training that coincides with on-the-job work experience in the position. There are countless independent trainers that offer online, remote, and in-house training. In my opinion, probably the best training to prepare for certification testing is the RV Learning Center’s online courses.

Currently, Service Writer/Advisor, Parts Specialist and Parts Manager courses are available, with Warranty Administrator coming in June 2024. An online course for Service Managers will be available in late 2024 to early 2025. In the meantime, printed Learning Guides are available for purchase in the RV Learning Center’s online store.
Any training, especially the RV Learning Center’s training, should be done with the cooperation and mentoring of department managers or other veteran dealership colleagues. It’s helpful to have someone to answer questions and to help apply the knowledge to your daily routines.

Now let’s turn to how to best use the RV Learning Center’s online courses. It’s a good idea to have a training plan. What I mean by this is to start a course and take a set amount of time to complete it. A Learning Center Learning Management System (LMS) course term is13-months long, a course term begins on December 1 of a given year and ends on December 31 of the next (subsequent) year. Whenever you start, you have until December of that year to complete. For example, for the current 2024 course term, the term began on December 1, 2023, and will expire on December 31, 2024. Students who enroll anytime between December 1, 2023, through November 30, 2024, will have access to the 2024 course term which expires December 31, 2024. Each course takes about five to six hours to complete. Breaking your study time into 30–45-minute chunks should not only help you retain what you learn but also enable you to complete the course during your enrollment period.

I then suggest that you divide your time into three pieces, with the idea of taking and completing the course that many times. So, for six months, you would want to be able to take the test every two months. The Certification tests allow for two retakes after the initial attempt. By allowing time to complete the course three times, you give yourself a chance to

study areas of weakness that you might have, before you retake the test, if you didn’t pass it the first or even second time.

When you complete your test, you will receive a transcript of the test. To protect the integrity of the test bank, you will not receive a list of missed questions. Instead, your transcript will give you scoring percentages for each part of the test.

Here is an example of a transcript. You can see two attempts at the Parts Specialist test.

The scores on either test, surrounded by boxes, are below the total passing score. On the first attempt, if “Manage Parts Inventory” was the same as in the second try, this person would have passed.

The fluctuation in scores between the two tests, tells me that the person really doesn’t fully understand the tasks associated with the position—at least not to the level of being ready to earn a certification. If they had two scores that were just under the passing score of 81% and the rest as they did on the first attempt, they would have passed. On the second attempt, they went from two, well below passing to two well below and two just below. After the first attempt, I would have recommended studying the parts with the two below passing scores and reviewing to keep the rest at the levels seen here.

In either case, there is a good twelve-month period between attempts. This person would have had to take the course twice already and again for a third time to prepare for a third attempt.

Having the course long enough to study between tests and taking the tests in shorter intervals would have helped this person pass. Asking for guidance from someone in-house would have made a big difference as well. I certainly hope this helps and you’re always welcome to contact me for help. Tony Yerman, email- - phone- 440-336-0703