Passing the Bureau of Automotive Repair Exam

Graduates Tin Nguyen and Frank Ovalle came in looking for some help with their resumes and job prospects. Both in very high spirits, it turns out that they had just passed the state Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) exam and are now licensed Smog Check Technicians. We had a moment to talk to them about how the automotive repair class went for them over the duration of the long 24 weeks.

“The course was really intense, teacher was always on top of me,” said Tin. Frank expressed that class was actually rather overwhelming at times. The multiple modules that needed to be covered included not only the basics of automotive performance but also the diagnosis of complex problems, the Clean Air Car Course, preparation for alternative BAR tests, and an extensive list of the systems common to all vehicles today and into the future. In the end, however, Tin and Frank were successful.

There was a lot to do but, “everything that [Rick] taught us was exactly on the exam,” noted Frank. Rick Powell has been teaching for nearly 30 years and is a part of the California Auto Teachers Association. “[He was] always very informative– any questions we had, no matter how dumb we thought it was, he would always have a good answer.”

Frank and Tin went on to describe that Rick used visual tools to get the point across rather than focusing solely on the textbooks provided to the students. “Hands on was very important, which helped a lot,” remarked Tin. In an automotive course, learning from the textbook is one thing compared to learning hands on. Students were able to bring in their own vehicles and familiarize themselves with both the course’s content and the specific workings of their car, truck, SUV, or van.

Tin said, “We were here everyday, I liked studying.”

“Every morning, it was motivating to show up, you wanted to be here,” expressed Frank.

Right now, Frank and Tin are working with the placement department to get their resumes ready for the job market and finally put their knowledge to use.

Congratulations to the both of you! You both persevered and completed a big course. We hope to see you again.



    I’ve been contemplating enrolling in the auto tech program at CCS for months but still hadn’t done anything to get the ball rolling. After reading about the positive experiences of Frank and Tin, I’m now inspired to finally take action.



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