EU Coalition for Electronics Education


  Phil McCauley, CETsr 

CST Committee Chairman 

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Competency Requirements

Certified Computer Service Technician - CST - 2003r

NCEE CST Project Manager, 2004, Phil McCauley, CETsr

Competency requirements list
CST - Computer Service Technician - 2003r

Final Competency Document 6/12/03 as approved by NCEE

1.0 Computer Assemble and Disassembly

1.1 Demonstrate the proper removal and installation of a CPU
1.2 Demonstrate the proper removal and the correct reinstallation of RAM including the use of proper banking procedures
1.3 List the tools required for removal and installation of all computer system components
1.4 Demonstrate proper safety procedures regarding handling, ESD, and personal safety
1.5 Explain the precautions and routines involved in the removal and installation of:
1.5.1 Power Supplies
1.5.2 Expansion cards
1.5.3 Motherboard jumpers and/or dipswitch configurations and settings on the motherboard
1.5.4 Connections on a motherboard
1.5.5 Secondary storage devices

2.0 Motherboards and Buses/System Resources
2.1 Identify CPUs used in specific sockets/slots
2.2 Explain ISA, PCI, and VESA expansion slot differences
2.3 Describe the AGP port and its function
2.4 Compare different chipset versions and features
2.5 Explain the purpose of IRQs and common selections for COM1,
Com2, LPT1, and LPT2
2.6 Explain the purpose and use of DMAs
2.7 Describe the purpose of I/O addresses
2.8 Identify memory module sockets and explain how memory is addressed
2.9 Define the function of the Control, Memory, Data, and Address Buses
2.10 Explain the configuration of CMOS and how to clear passwords
2.11 Describe Flash BIOS and demonstrate the ability to upgrade/update BIOS
2.12 Explain how BIOS Beep codes are used

3.0 Processor Characteristics
3.1 State the Word Size (Internal Data Bus) and External Data Path bit widths for various CPUs
3.2 Explain the differences between the L1 and L2 cache
3.3 Describe Advanced Transfer Cache and its benefits
3.4 Define the purposes and uses of MMX/SSE Technologies (SIMD)
3.5 Describe 3Dnow Technologies
3.6 Describe Dual Independent Bus technology (frontside/backside Bus)

4.0 Memory Characteristics

4.1 Identify and explain the differences in SIMM, DIMM, RIMM Ram packages
4.2 Compare RAM package bit widths
4.3 Describe SRAM, SDRAM, DRAM, DDR, and Rambus characteristics and installation procedures
4.4 Demonstrate proper "Banking" procedures when installing various RAM modules with various processors
5.0 Secondary Storage Devices
5.1 Describe EIDE hard drive technology and explain how data is stored on a hard drive
5.2 Compare PIO modes, ATA specs, UDMA (ATA33, ATA66, ATA100)
5.3 Describe EIDE cable differences for PIO mode/ATA33 and ATA66/ATA100
5.4 Describe SCSI hard drive technology and how it differs from the EIDE interface
5.5 Describe the CD-ROM/CD-RW technology and state its advantages and uses
5.6 Compare DVD, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW technologies
5.7 Explain the applications for Zip, LS120
5.8 Explain how to perform manufacturer-specific installation procedures

6.0 Peripheral Devices

6.1 Explain Modem technology and standards, and demonstrate the installation and configuration of a modem
6.2 Demonstrate how to install and use soundcards
6.3 Describe the basic features of video monitors and safety aspects
6.4 Compare the different printer technologies used in PCs
6.5 Describe scanner technology, installation, and operation
6.6 Describe digital camera operation and interfacing with PCs
6.7 Compare the MPEG standards for Digital Video
6.8 Explain keyboard theory

7.0 I/O Ports
7.1 Define the RS232c standard for serial ports and its purposes
7.2 Describe the SPP, EPP and ECP Parallel ports
7.3 Compare the USB ver1.1 and ver2.0 transfer rates and intended uses
7.4 Explain IEEE 1394 Firewire (I.Link) operation; state transfer rates and intended uses
7.5 Describe PS/2 ports and their purpose
7.6 Explain how infrared communications takes place in PCs
7.7 Describe Game/Midi ports
7.8 Explain how to identify various ports by their connectors on a PC

8.0 Power Supplies

8.1 Compare the usage and capabilities of AT, ATX, ATX12V power supplies
8.2 Demonstrate how to identify AT, ATX, and ATX12V power supplies
8.3 List the major differences between AT, ATX and ATX12V
8.4 Explain the removal and installation procedures for expansion cards in ATX and ATX12V systems
8.5 Explain the purposes of a UPS (uninterruptible power supplies)
8.6 Describe PC power supply troubleshooting procedures

9.0 Basic Networking Concepts
9.1 Demonstrate the proper installation and configuration of a NIC (Network Interface Card)
9.2 Explain why TCP/IP Protocol is widely used and the configuration process
9.3 Topologies
9.3.1 Explain and draw a diagram of a "Star" topology network
9.3.2 Explain and draw a diagram of a "Ring" topology network
9.3.3 Explain and draw a diagram of a "Bus" topology network
9.4 Networking Technologies
9.4.1 Describe Ethernet Technology and its method of data transmission
9.4.2 Describe Token Ring Technology and its method of data transmission
9.5 Cabling
9.5.1 Define 10BaseT (twisted pair) and describe its usage
9.5.2 Compare 10Base2 (thinnet) and 10Base5 (thicknet) coaxial cabling systems for the Bus topology
9.5.3 Compare the advantages of using fiber optic cabling
9.5.4 List the harmful effects of EMI (electromagnetic interference)
9.5.5 Describe methods of troubleshooting cabling systems
9.6 Describe the principles of data integrity and protection
9.7 Explain the basics of Network Operating Systems (NOS)
9.8 Explain how Directory/File/Drive Sharing is accomplished

10.0 Portables
10.1 Explain the technology and advantages of LCD displays
10.2 Describe precautions and usage of batteries in laptop PCs
10.3 Explain common power management techniques
10.4 Describe PCMCIA card types and their uses

11.0 Digital Concepts
11.1 Define baseband and compare the term with broadband
11.2 Explain how DAC's and ADC's convert Digital to Analog and Analog to Digital
11.3 Describe interfacing connectors and how both analog and digital data are processed
11.4 Describe and convert Binary, Octal, and Hexadecimal numbering systems

12.0 Troubleshooting/Preventive Maintenance
12.1 Explain how to distinguish hardware from software issues
12.2 Explain the functions of PC test equipment
12.3 List utility software that technicians should be familiar with (Scandisk, Defragmentation, OEM specific utilities, etc.)
12.4 List static safety procedures and static causes and effects
12.5 Describe the function of virus scanners and their methods
12.6 Demonstrate the ability to document and record a computer repair
12.7 Demonstrate the use of POST diagnostic cards for troubleshooting
12.8 List environmental problems common to PCs (temp, dust and dirt, smoke, etc.)

13.0 Operating Systems
13.1 Demonstrate the use of Basic Disk & File Management commands
13.2 Demonstrate the use of basic DOS 6.22 installation and troubleshooting commands (such as Fdisk, Format, Sys, Xcopy, etc.)
13.3 Demonstrate the ability to edit the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files to excecute software at startup, install a driver, and troubleshoot a PC boot process
13.4 Explain the use of Command Switches
13.5 Demonstrate Win9x/ME familiarity
13.6 Demonstrate Windows XP familiarity
13.7 Perform common functions of Windows Desktop
13.8 Demonstrate the use of Windows Explorer for file and folder management
13.9 Demonstrate the use of Windows Device Manager for installing and troubleshooting hardware
13.10 Explain Windows Registry Management as it pertains to editing, backup, and restoration
13.11 Define purposes and usage of Virtual Memory and display the ability to adjust Virtual Memory settings
13.12 Explain the common steps in configuring Windows
13.13 Define .INI Files
13.14 Explain the purposes and usage of Msconfig.exe (Win98/ME)
13.15 Describe the purpose of and how System Restore is used (Win ME)
13.16 Describe Software Uninstall Procedures for Windows Applications
13.17 Demonstrate the use of Linux Disk Management basics
13.18 Demonstrate the use of Linux File Management commands
13.19 Describe the process of creating/modifying scripts
13.20 Define KDE Desktop
13.21 Define GNOME Desktop and explain usage
13.22 Describe MAC Finder Functions (MAC 9.0 OS)
13.23 Explain MAC Dock Functions (MAC OS X)

14.0 File Management
14.1 Explain the differences and advantages of FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HPFS
14.2 Explain how MBR and DOS boot records are used
14.3 Demonstrate the ability to partition a given hard drive and explain the types of partitions and their usage
14.4 Explain the procedures for directory (folder) creation and deletion
14.5 Demonstrate file usage (saving, deleting, copying, moving, recovery)
14.6 Explain the purpose and usage of Scandisk
14.7 Describe the defragmentation process, how it is accomplished, and how often to use it
14.8 Describe how the Data Backup process works and compare the various types of backups

15.0 Application & Utility Software
15.1 List the applications of MS-Office 97/2000 and Star Office
15.1.1 Demonstrate ability to use word processors
15.1.2 Demonstrate ability to use spreadsheets
15.1.3 Establish and input data into a database program
15.2 Explain how performance Utilities/Diagnostics (such as Norton or McAfee) are used
15.3 Describe the usage of PCAnywhere and Laplink

16.0 Safety Procedures/Handling
16.1 Demonstrate proper use of ESD equipment (bench pads, straps, etc.)
16.2 Explain precautions when handling components
16.3 Explain why components must be stored in anti-static packaging

17.0 Workplace Practices
17.1 Demonstrate ability to use parts procurement resources, references and databases
17.2 Describe good and bad work bench housekeeping, area safety & efficiency, and first aid
17.3 Explain important concepts in warranty claims handling and billing procedures
17.4 Describe potential hazards in both shop and in-home environments

End of COMPETENCIES listing for CST, 2003R-FINAL, 6-12-03

CST Project Chairman, 2002-2003, Greg Hake, CETsr, York Technical Institute, York, PA

CST Project Chairman, 2003-2004, Greg Hake, CETsr, York Technical Institute, York, PA