The “Body of Knowledge” on the AWS Website list 14 “Subjects” for the AWS CWI exam. Each one of these subjects can have a considerably wide range of sub-topics. To truly be prepared to have anything related to one of the subjects thrown at you as a test question could require tremendous amounts of preparation. The textbook provided by AWS is the Welding Inspection Technology book published in 2008. It has about 300 pages and does a great job of condensing/filtering some of the subject matter.
What we did.
We “covered” the entire book in 2 days consisting of over 8 hours each day. The content in the book is very good. I used a different text myself years ago but I think this one is as good or better.
The “presentations” consisted of the instructor reading through select paragraphs in the WIT book with the exception of the “Welding Symbols” portion which involved a bit more interactivity.
Not every paragraph was read, but those with a key statement that one might “…see again..” were read pretty much in their entirety. In some cases, the reading in between was pretty rapid and in other cases, a little slower. An occasional “you may want to mark that” was also put out.
There wasn’t much of the instructor pausing to ask if there were any questions but if someone had one, we would stop.
Unfortunately, I think I may have slowed the reading process down some resulting in us staying a little longer than normal. My questions and comments were probably valuable in the overall scheme of being a good inspector but usually had little value when it came to “test prep”. Hopefully they didn’t take away from the others listening/learning experience. Good thing about it, if someone fails, they can blame it on “that guy that asked questions and made comments”.
I can tell you this, if someone can come in without a solid background in welding, inspection, symbols, and materials properties and get what they need to “pass the test”, they are of a strong mind!
How is it going for everyone else?
I really don’t know how everyone “feels” but from hearing a few comments, the amount of information being read over is pretty overwhelming. I can’t say if its effective or not. I’d love to stick around for the test and take it myself again but that’s not in the cards! Its my opinion that with learning anything, your past can play a significant part on how the present affects your future! That applies to many things and learning is one of em.
I can imagine that some of the words used/read during the past few days were “fresh in the mind” of some people and were then used in “deeper” information that was presented. This can sometimes slow me down when I’m learning something new. I imagine it can be an issue for anyone.
The instructor is doing a tremendous job in putting information out there that will help them answer the questions on the test.
There are people from different backgrounds. Some with NDE experience, some with ICC Special Inspector Experience, some with welding/fabrication/supervision experience and others. It would be great to know the results!
I am hoping everyone gets through the test and goes right to work using what they heard this week.
What do I “Think”
The amount of material covered coupled with the fact that most of the presentation has thus far been identifying topics/statements/items of interest/related to the test, the course is definitely a CWI Test Exam Prep course.
This is NOT where you come to learn about welding inspection in a manner that you can put to use and be ready to hit the floor. One may be “certified” but I compare it to a welding training program in which all that is practiced or taught is welding a 6G pipe. Sure, you may be “qualified” to weld in “all positions” but your 1st welds are gonna be an adventure unless plants start running all their piping at 45 degrees with weld joints table high!
If someone is thinking about attending this because you meet the “qualification requirements”, I suggest buying the WIT Book and workbook BEFORE you sign up. Take the quizzes in the back and if you don’t score at least 80 on each one, consider some serious PREP before you take this 6 day course. If you score well using the WIT, Sign up for the course and get your code book at least 6 mos before showing up for class!
Compared to “Self Study”
I have already written something on what I studied to become a CWI. When I indicated I did it without taking a course, I may come off as a bit “proud” (or some other term). After watching what some of these folks are going through, I had it easy!
These people that are here this week learning things that are pretty “new” to them are the ones that are pretty smart!
Before I took my CWI exam in 1989-90 I had taken welding in High School for three hours a day for three years, “borrowed” and read every welding related book or magazine I could find, worked part time welding, Attended 3 weeks of metal working school as a US Navy Hull Maintenance Technician followed by 30 weeks of US Navy Welding School, fixed submarines, worked with US Navy Codes and specifications, welded boiler tubes/piping/pressure vessels, and worked as a QC Inspector for a boiler company for a year..All before taking the test.
From the start of High School till I took the CWI Exam, I had essentially 9-10 years of experience if I included training time. ALL of that experience and training helped me. if you were to take ANY 4 years out of it, I doubt I would have passed all three parts!
What I did in taking the test and passing was NOTHING compared to what these folks are going to do! Those that pass, MY HAT IS OFF TO YOU!
This has been a great learning experience for me. I have gained some thoughts about things that I would like to do and things that I may not do.
I am looking forward to starting the often dreaded “practical” training tomorrow. I am hoping to be a little less talkative and maybe others can learn!
I’ve offered to help anyone that would like some help studying after class is over but nobody has taken me up on it. After listening to me during the day and staying late, who could blame em!