I haven't taken a test for a few years, since the EIT (engineer in training) so the 3 hour format of the CSWP was not something I was looking forward to. Thankfully having the new sectional format laid out earlier this week at the Solidworks blog put my mind to ease and let me approach the test differently. In a land of coffee breaks, conference calls, and customers with questions the test is now more along the lines of how most users utilize the software. Short 1 to 1.5 hour sessions to get to a solid stopping point then tackle the next project.
So, with a 90 minute first section on part creation and dimension changing ahead of me, I fired up the Testing software this morning and began the CSWP exam. Before starting I reread my earlier post of testing tips (gleamed from the CSWA, talks with CSWP, and other blogs).
The 5 question setup was just like the new sample test posted by SW(PDF) and below is my take on things.
Questions 1 and 2 of CSWP part 1.
First question was rather basic a simple model that was done in 9 features. The answer was multiple choice for the mass of the part but the answer were all over the place so even a modeler with a few mistakes could get a ballpark close enough to answer correctly. Other than the features this managed to test assigning a material, creating a new part file, and reading a drawing a good start to what the system is used for. The second question involved only dimensional changes and only took an additional 30 seconds to answer thanks to the "Edit All" button in the Equations screen. All I had to do was type in the 5 new values, click rebuild, and click update on the mass properties screen and it was off to the next questions. It's worth noting that this answer was NOT multiple choice but rather a text input measured to 2 digits. I've heard that there is some leeway on this for rounding purposes but given the concrete nature of the question it's safe to assume that even a small error (say missing the value of a single radius) could warrant a wrong answer.
Question 3of CSWP part 1
Another multiple choice, but this time the values weren't all over the place. In 10gram intervals it's safe to assume again that even a small answer could get the wrong answer, however if you are off by more than rounding accounts for it's worth checking NOW to see what's wrong.
The only additional feature here was the Hole Wizard, but the question gives you all the properties so this is a matter of knowing the Hole Wizard button and being able to correctly select a center point. Not necessarily difficult, but again important for what it's testing. More so than the features this was testing sketching and design intent. Knowing what will change in the next question also allows you to model this in order to easily remove features that disappear (or suppress them) and avoid having to fix to many dangling sketch entities.
Another key note here is that dimension that change are now announced with a large Circle and major features that will change get their own drawing view with bold AA/BB/CC call outs. Of course it's always important to refer back to a drawing but I've heard complaints int he past about people failing because they didn't see that "that one" radius changed. Now there is even less room for excuses.
Question 4 and 5 of CSWP part 1:
The last two questions function like the first two one multiple choice followed by one free answer. Also similar was that no features were added from 4 to 5. Once 4 was completed it was again a matter of updating the values given, a quick fix if the equations are utilized correctly.
Here I must have missed something. I noticed it in question 4 when I came up with a number that rounded to a value not available. Luckily rounded the other way got me the right answer but I new something was up. I was able to find the problem and confirm that the error was small enough to give me the right value in question 4 but with only 10 minutes left in the test changing it created a host of problems to rebuild. I gave it my best shot to remodel the part from scratch but must have come up short as my results were under 100%. Regardless I knew that just the one error wasn't going to cost me a passing grade so after some effort I decided to spend the remaining 15 minutes double checking the other questions to make sure I did pass.
Low and behold it was enough and the morning 90 minute session paid off with this screen.
Four out of 5 and a passing grade on section one. It's nice to know that I don't have to spend 20 minutes trouble shooting a small error and can take section 2 with a clear mind.
Anyone else who's taken the new test drop me a line and let me know how it went, or if you have question let me know. Good luck.
Also check out reviews for other sections of the test.