Except for the slight hiccup on Part one all was well, but what to do about section two. Sure there is some limited information on it but the CSWP exam test only really shows what part one so there is little to work with other than what’s posted at the Solidworks blog.
Segment 2: (40 Minutes)
- Creating configurations from other configurations
- Changing configurations
- Mass properties
- Changing features of an existing SolidWorks part
So of course the question now is “What questions are on the CSWP exam”. This section consisted of 9 questions (11 total but two are instructional pages only) split into two main sections.
Question 1-6 of CSWP Part II.
After loading the Testing client and reading the instructions, question 1 prompts you to click a link which will download the needed file. Old CSWP exams had been criticized because a user could complete them without actually opening Solidworks (parts could be modeled in other systems and masses and COM’s could be found that way). That’s not the case anymore.
The first file downloaded had a few configurations, and each question asked for a new one. Add in a few features, suppress a feature and grab a mass. Bam! 6 questions out of the way. It’s no wonder this test takes 40 minutes. Granted a novice with command of help files could get a few answers but getting a passing score in time here shows that a user is capable of modifying basic features and getting needed data without wasting two days.
Question 6-9 of CSWP Part II
These other questions were based on a new file. Once loaded the tester is asked to make some various changes to sketches, move a features start conditions, modify some cuts and still maintain the overall design intent. Done incorrectly there is plenty of room for errors and the 40 minutes could easily be used up trouble shooting and rebuilding. With system familiarity though all the questions can be answered without ever seeing one of these obnoxious windows (Thankfully I took this screen shot after the test just to show one). Most answer were needed in free format to two decimal places, although at least 2 of 9 question were multiple choice.
Looking at the test as a whole it’s important to remember it is a certification exam. So what really is it certifying. Is this person a pro at product design? Can they reverse engineer anything in minutes? Are they going to slow me down on remedial tasks? This sections helps to answer them.
Instead of making the user build a part from a drawing Solidworks the exam roughly mirrors real world use. Many times a designer is looking for design intent and can small details like the size of ball end mill are not a major concern. It’s feasible to call a supplier and ask but they’ll need the file at some point down the line, why not let them in on the design now. With PDMworks and co located design teams a lot of times you send a file that you have worked on and I’ll tell you a few things to change to make it manufacturable, marketable, or profitable. In my past position with a contract manufacturer and injection molder this meant a lot of “Uhhh, yeah, we are going to want some draft on that 5 inch deep part that you want cosmetic sides on, unless you want to spend a fortune on tooling.” Having a person on the other end be a CSWP means you can let them in the design process and know they are capable of making there changes without corrupting too much work.
Also check out other reviews of the CSWP exam