By Carlos F Molina
Choosing to read this article is choosing to begin the path to API certifications. The most important objective of apiexam.com is to give affordable, safe learning advice in order for you to pass the API certification examinations, beginning now, and not having to make the course and spend the bunch of money it costs.
The way I see it, if you already decided you want to try certification, you have 4 options.
Study on your own beforehand, don´t take the course then take the exam
Not recommended. Maybe you are one of those people that can read English very well, and are used to taking and passing tests of all kinds. However, have in mind that there are several differences and correlations between API 650 and 653 that are not so clear to see, so you will need someone´s guide to really understand what you are studying
Study on your own beforehand, then take the course then take the exam
This is highly recommended, especially if you are already using the standards on a daily basis, if you have experience in the field or any certification in welding or NDE.
Don´t study beforehand, then take the course then take the exam
Not recommended if you are not using the standards on a daily basis. As you know, learning is a lot easier when you build up new concepts above old concepts you have. However, Is not just knowing and not studying, given that standards are of changing nature. I know several people that are experts in the field of tanks, but as they are not used to taking tests, or they don´t understand English well, so they flunk the exam.
Take the course and don´t take the exam
This is a big mistake. Ideally, you should try to take the exam immediately after you have taken the course, so the concepts are still “hot” in your mind. The craziest mistake you can make is taking the course and not the exam, because, let´s face it, it is certification what we are talking about. Certification opens new doors. Taking the course and flunking is not precisely comfortable to say.
So what is this website for? To give students a possibility to have contact with the standards on a daily basis, by means of Questions and Answers, Exercises, Examples, Animations, etc. My aim here is to make it so good that you won´t even have to take the course. Are you up to it?
This is what you should learn from API 653 in order to pass the exam
TAKE ACTION: READ THE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
API regularly launches a Body Of Knowledge (BOK), that summarizes the core teachings, concepts, and essential competencies that need to be mastered by new inspectors to receive certification. API 653´s body of knowledge is dynamic, since every year it incorporates new information and techniques. The current Body Of Knowledge was updated as of October 2013.
According to the current BOK, to be a successful inspector you will need to know the following:
|CONCEPTS FROM API 653|
|How to evaluate corrosion rates and inspection intervals|
|Establish joint efficiencies|
|Calculate maximum Fill Height for an Hydrostatic test|
|Determining the sizes and spacing of welds for shell openings|
|Determining requirements for Hot Tapping|
|Number of settlement points|
|Calculate minimum thickness of tank shell|
|Calculate minimum thickness of tank shell for reconstructed tanks|
|Determine if a tank shell corroded area is acceptable for continued service|
|Evaluate a pitted area|
|Calculate dimensions for replacement plates|
|Calculate dimensions for lap welded patch plates|
|CONCEPTS FROM ASME IX|
|Ensure you can proficiently review a PQR and a WPS and determine it’s conformance to Sec IX|
|API 650 AND 653|
|General welding requirements|
|Be familiar with and understand NDE applied to tank repair and construction|
|API 650 AND 653|
|General NDE requirements|
|API RP 571, Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed equipment in the Refining Industry|
|API Recommended Practice 575, Inspection of Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks|
|API RP 577, Welding Inspection and Metallurgy|
|API Standard 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction and the relatedportions of API Standard 650, Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage|
|API Recommended Practice 651, Cathodic Protection of Aboveground Petroleum StorageTanks s|
|API Recommended Practice 652, Lining of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tank Bottom|
Just study that, and you should do fine
HOW THE EXAMINATION IS ADMINISTERED
Since 2012, there is a change in the way the exam is being held. Before that, you would go to a Prometrics place with your hard copy standards that would be checked and take a paper written exam. But now, the exam is administered via a computer in a Prometric´s testing center.( That means that you will save some dollars on standards)
The examination consists of two parts. The closed book part tests the candidate on knowledge and tasks requiring everyday working knowledge of API Standard 653 and the applicable reference documents. The open book portion of the examination requires the use of more detailed information that the inspector is expected to be able to find in the documents, but would not normally be committed to memory.
There are 150 questions on the exam, of which only 125 are scored. The remaining 25 are pretest questions. The exam day is 8.5 hours long, and includes 3 hours for the closed-book section, 4 hours for the open-book section, a half-hour tutorial session, and a 1-hour lunch break.
Papers and books are not allowed in Prometric’s computer testing centers. All materials needed for the open-book portion of the exam will be displayed on your computer screen in English.
One final tought
THE ROLE OF MEMORY IN YOUR LEARNING PROCESS
In some websites advertising training courses, they rest importance to memory as an important tool in learning technical subjects lie standards and standards. I think they are wrong, because you learn mostly building above what you already know. There is no learning without memorization. In fact, the Body Of Knowledge states clearly that the fact that there is an open book and a closed book parts is because while there are some facts you need to use daily (closed book), so there are things that you won´t remember easily without opoening the book.
With that in mind, I never discourage anyone to learn trough flash cards if they feel is the best option for them. If you keep coming back to API exam, you will see how we use flash cards and other tools to make study of API 650 and 653 very dynamic.
Again I thank you dearly for your support and the success of apiexam.com. Thank you, and good luck! Cheers!