Perhaps you’ve only just discovered the wonderful world of SOLIDWORKS certifications, or maybe it’s something you’ve been aware of for a while. Either way, you’ve reached the point where you’re thinking about, or preparing to take the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional exam, CSWP. Well, you’ve come to the right place! After recently completing the exam with a perfect score, I want to share few tips and tricks that might assist in achieving this certification. In addition to self-accomplishment of a challenging exam, there are other reasons why you should want to take these certifications.
Before we begin, let’s talk a little bit about the certification pathway. While there are currently no prerequisites needed to complete the CSWP certification, it is intended to serve as the next step in the SOLIDWORKS certification program, after completing the CSWA certification (Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate). That said, it’s common for most people to acquire their CSWA before taking a shot at the CSWP certification.
The CSWP exam is divided into three separate segments. These segments can be performed in any order and at any time. If unsuccessful with a particular segment, only that needs to be attempted again. Once all three segments have been successfully completed, you will be awarded the CSWP certification. More detailed information regarding the certification, as well as each of the individual segments can be found on the SOLIDWORKS website.
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Time is everything!
Perhaps, the greatest piece of advice that I could have received prior to performing the exams is to be mindful of time! Each exam segment has an allotted time limit, which has been well gauged in relation to the number of questions and complexity. That said, if you find yourself stuck on a question, don’t spend more than a couple of minutes troubleshooting before moving on. Take note of the question, and revisit it if you have time at the end of the exam. Before you begin any segment, ensure as best you can that you have a quiet and comfortable workspace, with no interruptions.
SAVE AS you go
Unless starting a new problem set, use “save as” to create a new file for each question. For example, you begin question 1 with a new part and save it as Q-01. Question 2 now uses that same part but requires modification, before you do so, perform a “save as” on Q-01 and name it Q-02. This way you can go back and check or correct any questions quickly.
Get a bird’s eye view
In many cases, questions are based in a series, building off the work performed in a question prior. This being the case, a quick review of all the questions at the beginning of the exam, could be very useful in determining the best design process or use of features. However, this really should be a quick review, as again, you’ll want to be mindful of your time.
Read the signs!
The exam switches back and forth between multiple choice questions and user inputs. The multiple-choice questions are a great opportunity to check your work, especially with a subset of questions, where each build off the last. If you’re answer differs by more than a few decimal points compared to the multiple-choice options available, this is a strong indicator that you might want to go back to the first question of the subset and check your work.
The keyboard and mouse are both your friends
Set yourself up for success by customizing your mouse gesture wheel, shortcut bar and hot keys. The last thing you want, is to be searching for a feature or wasting time by not having the right shortcuts in place. Something as simple as hot keys for commonly used views could save you valuable time.
So…think you have what it takes to pass?
Give it a shot! And if you don’t, we have workshops to help build your confidence to pass your exam with flying colors. I’ve taken the workshop and I truly believe that it was a contributing factor to my successful score.
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