It had been a long week for sure. The material was covered quickly and in a manner that could make things difficult for someone new to the concepts. I had problems staying focused and it was NOT because I didn’t have an interest in every word the instructor said. I was just tired!
I was ready though. I think every minute I spent there helped me to be a better inspector and instructor! A few participants seemed to be a little “stressed” from all of the material to absorb based on some statements but it is truly understandable! I experienced a few tight jaw moments myself.
Our agenda for the day was as follows:
- Finish up visual inspection of Replicas
- Review NDE “Pictures” to define methods
- Practical “Mini-Quiz” and Review.
- 45 question “Practical Exam” timed at 2 hours
Because this was a “Practical” section of the training, we would actually be inspecting welds. This was “hands on” and our hands were on the following items.
- The AWS Weld Replica Set– Not the same as the test!
- The AWS Inspector Toolkit– 10 Piece but the one in the photo includes a profile gauge. Our was a flashlight of VERY POOR quality.
- The AWS Book of Specifications– This is free and I suggest reading it a few times. Study any words or phrases you do not understand.
The review of the NDE methods in the context of the “Practical” was more about reviewing the images that depict a specific method being applied. The “theory” around NDE methods would have been something already learned during the “Fundamentals” section of the course. Having a firm grasp on the “fundamentals” can be a
There was one individual in the class that had recently taken the test and passed parts B and C yet failed part A (1 question) so that is obviously not a hard fact but more of an opinion on my part.
The mini quiz was a chance to apply some of the knowledge and skills we had gained to actual problems similar to those on the exam. It consisted of 16 questions. It was my understanding from the instructor that the actual exam test questions would be slightly different in their level of involvement/complexity. This was confirmed by the participant that had recently tested.
During the quiz, we worked with another student, shared examples and we could discuss the questions if we liked. I was paired with a young man that admitted to absolutely no experience related to welding. I had spoken with him a couple of times and as opposed to the common negative attitude of some having a hard time comprehending the information, this guy was nothing but dedicated to learning all he could. During the quiz, I asked him a few times if he needed any help. he declined each time. He wanted to see where he was at. I thought that was a great idea!
The questions are NOT just a simple matter of “Accept or Reject”. If more than one discontinuity was present, answers would consist of statements involving the condition of each discontinuity. This requires each part of the acceptance criteria to be reviewed thoroughly and each answer read in detail.
The instructor did a great job in explaining a suitable process for going through these questions and selecting the answers. If you are a person that likes to hurry through tests, this can be a challenging test and any suggestions from an instructor should be strongly considered if getting the best score possible is your desire.
After the quiz was over, we reviewed each question and allowed people to discuss any questions they had. I myself learned something I had been doing wrong for many years. That can be read here if you are interested in the details of my mistake.
One of the best parts about the “
I don’t know how everyone else did but I know how well I did. It was NOT the same score!
2 hour “test.
After review of the short quiz, we started an actual 46 question test with a 2 hour time limit. A little time was spent on the scantron sheet and how it might differ from the ones used on the actual test.
The test itself was very similar to the shorter one. The questions were laid out in a manner where there was a dividing point for the ones requiring the replicas. One person started at the start of the replica questions and the other started on the other. Only one set of replicas was needed for 2 people.
It will not be like that on the actual exam.
I completed the test in 1 hour and 15 minutes. We were allowed to grade our own tests and I was a bit disappointed to see that I left two questions unanswered! 4 points gone there! But it didn’t stop there, I missed a few other questions too. My final score was an 82. I left my sheet with the instructor. Packed my stuff and headed back to Tennessee. I would have liked to stick around and review/discuss questions but I was ready to get back to the house! It would be great if
As of this writing, I have not reviewed the questions I missed to see where my mistakes were. My test taking strategy does not lead to good scores and is not suggested as a way to pass a test. My theory on tests is this. I take enough time to read the question and answers to understand what they say, apply the requirements by usually looking them up (there are exceptions), and then answer the question. I do not return to “problem” questions and rethink them. When I do get a score, I consider that score an accurate measure of my knowledge and not my educated guessing ability. In real life, I am a bit on the slow side on things but those mistakes are a bit more costly.
What did I think about the “New part B”
There has been much discussion about the new part be being greatly different than the old one. I took the full CWI exam in 90, 97, and 2007. My opinion of the topic has been limited to this point since I had no experience with the “New part B” and my memory of the old one is limited.
The things I remember about the old test are :
- Weld Replicas sometimes made me wonder if I was looking at an intended discontinuity or “wear and tear”
- The Book of Specifications was not laid out in a manner similar to any code or specification.
My thoughts about the new one in the context of what I experienced this week are:
- The Book of Specifications is laid out in a manner that is familiar to me. I think it is easier to navigate and the highlighted “tabs” along the edges make for quick navigation.
- The weld replicas now include a pipe section with multiple welds but the requirements of the two types of piping within the BOS are clear as are the questions related to them. (Other than a requirement for grinding referring to “smooth”, I HATE “SMOOTH”).
- There were no requirements to measure any tensile specimens and numbers were “given” on the test. Much easier and one less opportunity to make a mistake. (I think I missed one of those 🙂 )
- No “conversions” of metric/imperial were required. I faintly remember that being on my previous tests but it may have just been something I studied.
I could go on an on and will probably write some more after I read through my notes and get settled back in. I really value my time with my wife and being home so I have skipped over a few things I may want to address later. I will be adding some more details with other posts and hopefully, they will answer any questions. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions!
I also just ran across a presentation online that was used in the class that may be of interest. http://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/Bureaus/BOPD/2017_QAW/Metals/Coryel_AWS_CWI_%20Exam.pdf