This special guest article from a CSWP expert is authored by Rohit Mitra, founder of SolidWize.
The Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Exam, or CSWP for short, can be a tricky exam to get through the first time around, but with solid preparation, pun intended, the test is a breeze. Now arguably the hardest portion of the exam, as well as the tightest time crunch, is Section 1. These first two tips focus on a couple ways to make sure you stay ahead of the time crunch and pass the CSWP on your first go.
1. Improve your modeling efficiency with contour selection
When you first start working with SOLIDWORKS, you think of a sketch as a single closed contour or a series of non overlapping closed contours. So when approaching the CSWP, many new users will create each nested contour as a separate sketch. This adds both time and complexity to the creation of the part, and this furthers the chance of there being errors within the part. By using the selected contours option, you can create multiple extrusions from a single sketch, making the modeling process both more accurate and more efficient. Check out the video below to see a full tutorial on how to use contour selection:
2. Use global variables to make updating a breeze
As I have already mentioned, Segment 1 of the CSWP can be a bit of a time crunch. Making your model easy to update from question to question, will not only save you time, but make it a lot easier to check for mistakes. This is precisely what you are doing by using global variables:
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
As I mention in my own SOLIDWORKS CSWP Course, there are a couple great free ways to practice for the exam. First you can download SOLIDWORKS’ CSWP practice exam, as well as their CSWA practice exam. Yes I did say CSWA and yes I do recommend going through both. Keep in mind that the CSWP practice exam only covers Segment 1 of the CSWP. The CSWA practice exam covers both part modeling and working with assemblies. You can download these by going to the previously mentioned CSWP course or by going to solidworks.com and searching “certification.”
The second free method I recommend, for practicing, is going through SOLIDWORKS’ Model Mania challenges. Model Mania is a SOLIDWORKS modeling contest held during SOLIDWORKS World, SOLIDWORKS’ yearly conference. The point of the contest is to create a part and then modify it in the fastest time possible, while trying to be as accurate as possible, so it mirrors the conditions of the CSWP fairly well. An example of one such challenge is pictured above. You can find the rest of the Model Mania challenges on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.
Bonus: If you want to be 100% confident that you are ready for the exam, my aformentioned CSWP Course has two full practice exams that will show you exactly what to expect on all three segments of the CSWP.
About the author, Rohit Mitra:
“I got my start with SolidWorks after joining (and eventually becoming project lead) of my college’s Baja SAE team, while studying mechanical engineering. After I graduated, I went to work for SolidWorks for a time before moving to Hawkridge Systems, the largest SolidWorks reseller to work in a technical support capacity. What I enjoyed most, while at Hawkridge, was helping customers design projects they were passionate about, so I decided to branch out on my own and start SolidWize, where I teach SOLIDWORKS users the ins and outs of 3D Modeling.”