So right after I started truly studying for the CSWP some of the blogs had rumblings about things being changed. The first site I noticed (and I follow many) GabiJack.com, . Gabi is a Solidworks user and has been documenting her studies of the software including her initial certification. Her post regarding a conversation with fellow blogger, and solidworks employee, Mike Puckett. The most intriguing part of her insight was this:
The new test can be taken as a non-segmented test that will now be three hours and forty minutes long, or in three segments of forty to ninety minutes long each. The advantage of the new segmented format is that if you fail any of the segments, you would only need to repeat that one segment. The scores you obtain in any of the segments you do pass are kept for you, and once you pass all three segments you will receive your CSWP certification.
So it appears the SW folk took to heart users complaints about the ambiguity of the test, and in an effort to improve the system have built a way to avoid a single small mistake from ruining a score. Of course this is a bit more forgiving than actual practice of the software where missing a decimal on a scale factor can cause serious issues when prototyping an injection molded part (not doing that again!). Still though it’s nice to see a large company listening to it’s industry and users, plenty of whom have already passed the CSWP.
Not knowing what to prep for I began doing any old thing in the software I felt might help. I figured it best to get more comfortable with all the tutorials as the general material on the test seemed to be staying the same. More news came out a few days later saying the CSWP certification would be changing their logo. For those who do pass the exam this logo can be used on business cards, email signatures, and blogs (see one here soon!), and the new styles can be seen at the Solidworks Blog site.
Knowing there was a new logo was nice, but as I kept studying I wasn’t sure what test I was studying for. Sure nothing major had changed but it’s nice to know when an exam will start to look different. Then this morning I was flipping through tweets and saws @MikePuckett talking about all the updates he’s doing today and the exam being down for a few hours for maintenance.
Solidworks files will need to be downloaded specific to the test and changes made to the existing file, requiring a tester to use the actual software (something that could be circumvented in the past due to the question structure). A 2008 version of SW is also required, although luckily only the standard package is needed as all professional version add ins are covered in more specific tests.
With my license expiring soon I’ll be taking the test in the next few days. Hopefully all goes well and the next post will be an introduction of a cool new logo for the side bar. If anyone finds other details about the new test, or is taking it in the next few days please leave a note on what you thought of it.