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Technical Reading in the Automotive Service Technician Trade

Introduction

Success in technical training and in the trade requires that apprentices understand, connect with and recall important information. Knowing the language of the trade and developing strategies to quickly locate specific information in reading materials such as regulations, manuals and texts not only increases reader comprehension but also productivity on the job. Just as it is important to think about reading habits, it is important for apprentices to think about and develop strategies for exam preparation.

Whether writing tests that are required during technical training or getting ready to write the Red Seal certification exam, adequate test preparation is essential. As multiple choice testing is the most common form of assessment for certification, knowing how multiple choice questions are constructed and applying strategies for responding can significantly improve test scores.

Automotive Service Technicians use technical reading on a daily basis to complete job tasks. The complexity of these reading tasks, according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s Essential Skills Profile ranges from reading short texts to locate a single piece of information (i.e., reading short descriptors of parts) to choosing and integrating information from various sources or from several parts of a single text (i.e., reading repair manuals to diagnose and repair mechanical faults).

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As part of their daily routine, Automotive Service Technicians read and interpret comments from customers and co-workers to understand problems and required work to be scheduled. They access data for recalls, service history, and recurring faults, and interpret manufacturer’s specifications and maintenance schedules.

As is the case in most industries, safety is of utmost importance. Automotive Service Technicians read information to ensure safe work environments, and they read industry and government regulations to ensure vehicle safety.

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They must understand the factors that contribute to accidents, and interpret and apply the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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