Quiz Analysis: Air Conditioning Start-ups

by Pat Murphy

Another good performance by the technicians! The results from the latest quiz that ran in Contracting Business (CB, May 2004, p. 85) are impressive.

Please remember, I compose these questions and answers for Contracting Business (they don’t come from the NATE question data bank). I also want to encourage everyone to send comments to me. The more information I receive from you in the field, the better I can maintain and improve the NATE tests and certification process. Help me make our industry the great profession we all know it to be by sharing your knowledge.

These quiz questions follow the same format that the NATE test uses, as approved by subject matter experts from the industry who are members of the NATE Technical Committee. When I write these quiz questions, they aren’t screened or approved by the NATE Technical Committee. You, the industry field technicians, are the screen.

The format is:

  • What 80% of technicians have an 80% chance of encountering at least once during a year.
  • A question will target one knowledge base element (knowledge area of technician expertise-KATE).
  • Questions will not have “all of the above” or “none of the above” type answers.

I invite you to join in this process. Send questions that follows this format and I will use them either in the published quizzes or submit them to the NATE Technical Committee for validation and use on the NATE tests. Share your knowledge.

Now, the results from the quiz that ran in the May issue of Contracting Business (CB, May 2004, p. 85). The answers appeared in the June issue (CB, June 2004, p. 76).

  • There were 45 submittals.
  • The average grade was 82.8%, which would be a high passing score on the NATE tests.
  • There were 13 grades of 100, 10 grades of 90, 9 grades of 80, and 6 grades of 70.
  • The total number of passing grades (38) gives a passing rate of 84.4%.
  • There were only 4 quizzes that were only off by one correct answer to pass.

It’s great when 84.4% of those taking the test are passing with an average grade of 82.2

Only questions 1 and 8 hade low passing percentages.

Question 1. Familiarity with various pressure measuring systems is becoming a necessity as you may have to switching between the different measuring system. Generally accepted text books will have the conversions.

Question 8. Research by many trade associations is showing that to properly seal a duct, system gaps exceeding 1/4-in need to have mesh tape as part of the sealing requirements to make sure the mastic does not eventually crack and open the gap again, causing duct leakage.

Contact me if you think of anything that might make all technicians better by including it in quizzes or in the NATE Tests.

Congratulations to the technicians who scored 100% on this quiz! They are:

  • Brian Brown, Richardson Heating and Air Conditioning, Frankfort, KY
  • Mark Ellis, Milwaukee Stove, Madison, WI
  • Robert Fenner, Pax-Sun, Inc., Lufkin, TX
  • Doug Fisher, Overcashier & Horst Heating, Sylvania, OH
  • Steve LeMay, Gustave A. Larson Co., Plymouth, MN
  • Thomas E. Spall, T.E. Spall & Son, Inc., Carbondale, PA
  • Mike Trautman, Buckley Heating & Cooling, Peacedale, RI
  • Louis J. Vannicolo III, American Air Distributing, Inc., West Chester, PA

and five technicians from Central Virginia Repair, Richmond, VA:

  • Bob Bailey
  • Larry Jenkins
  • Jack Summerville
  • Charles Washington
  • Chris Washington

Pat Murphy is vice president of certifications at North American Technician Excellence (NATE). He can be reached at 703/276-7247, ext. 363, or by e-mail at [email protected].

For more information about NATE, contact Carl Smith at 703/276-7247, ext. 361.

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