Part One of CSWP: Part modeling and dimension updating

If you want to study and practice for the CSWP exam, be sure to check out this free CSWP Exam Guide featuring 34 tips from Certified SOLIDWORKS Professionals.

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. Solidworks Feature TreeThe 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. CSWP Exam Question 1All 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.

Barely Passing the CSWP Section 1
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.
Part II
Part III

SolidProfessor spoke to Certified SOLIDWORKS Professionals and compiled 34 tips you need to know to pass the CSWP exam. Download your CSWP Exam Guide for free.



  1. Hi, I just took the exam recently also, completed it on sept.28.. I guess there is a little room for errors on this part. but was good thou. The dimension technique is helpful on your posts.

  2. Yeah i passed the CSWA for 77 minutes so i decided to try the CSWP. I had the same part as yours and the result was the same 🙂
    95 points.
    It was hard because of the troubles in the rebuilding i’ve had.
    Now i am looking at the second part, but i need to have more info. I just don’t know what to expect. And don’t have no experience in checking for collisions, but i don’t think it is so hard.
    So tell me which is the hardest segment. should i try the second now?

    Sorry if my English is not very good!

  3. Hi…
    This is Sahaj, from India, looking forward to take the CSWP test on this March 11th-2010.
    Thanks to Chris, your tips gonna help me a lot.
    One thing I wanted to post here, which indeed made me feel proud, is that I’m a DS CATIA Part Design Specialist, (another cornerstone CAD tool from the Dassault Systemes, France)..
    So if there’s anyone out there willing to take the exam, I would be happy to help you…

    Sahaj. Write me at (sahaj.to.andromeda@gmail.com)

  4. Hello Christopher,

    Thanks for the great blog, I am preparing for the CSWP Core Exam, does the sample exam in SW website cover all the CSWP part 1 or there are more questions? please advise?

  5. Ammar,
    The sample exam is essentially just part one. This is the only portion that can be done through just models. Others portions of the exam provide an actual part file (available for download within the testing program). See the section 2 and section 3 overview (linked at the end of this post) for more on each section.

  6. Hello Christopher

    I cleared my CSWP exams, may i know when i will be getting my business card LOGo?

  7. Just completed segment 1 yesterday. After doing the sample on Solidworks website I found the actual test to be much easier than anticipated. I had the same part as you (wish i had seen this before taking so i would have known exactly what to expect) and finished 115/115 with about 30min remaining. Will take parts 2 and 3 sometime in the next week.

  8. Can you post the drawing for the part shown above? I would like to practice using the part.

  9. Hello.

    Can you have the model of the parts of your exam .
    It’s possible to send by email?

    Thank you

  10. Sorry David, it is against the TOS to share exact questions from the teat but review some of the links and other posts and you’ll find plenty of information describing them as well as a link to the sample exams. Thanks for reading.

  11. Thank you for your answer Chris.
    Can you know how many question on the CSWP sheet metal?

    I’m pass yesterday the part 1 of CSWP and I have 100% of good answer.

  12. Awesome blog! Your posts definitely helped me prepare for and pass seg 2&3 recently. I keep getting stuck on seg 1 though, and it’s because I can’t seem to join the middle boss to the second cylindrical extrusion (properly). Would it be wrong for me to ask how you went about it? If so then I apologize and fully understand.

  13. Anonymous,
    There are a number of ways to make the model so it’s hard to say. Its possible to extrude the entire thing as a single boss and then finish the edges. Without more details I can not make a suggestion. If you want specific help send a comment with your contact info and we can discuss.

  14. can you explain how to correctly extrude the middle base that connects the middle two cylindrical shapes?? i was able to do these problems in the exam, but with timing and rebuild errors i was only able to answer 3 correctly. i want to take it again but need to know the most efficient way to do this so modifications are quicker and easier. thank you

  15. I just finished segment 1 and had the same exact model 😀 I didn’t have time to figure out how wide the two small tabs are in the last one so I just skipped it.

  16. Just passed my CSWA. Thinking about having a stab at the CSWP as they’re only £20 a pop. Great tips, thanks.

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