Part Two of CSWP: Configurations, Suppression, Sketch Planes and Design Changes

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.

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

Nothing too crazy but still, who knows what they’ll ask until you take it. Luckily things went well for section to and I got a pretty look at this screen.Pass the CSWP with a Perfect Score

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).Solidworks rebuilding errors 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
Part I
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. Chris, did you save your assemblies? Just wanted to look at them before I start.

    And, were there any theoretical questions in CSWP exam? There were in CSWA, but I had the guide on that. Here I have nothing to get prepared with, excluding your blog and samples of Segment I.


  2. Basil,
    In relation to the CSWA, No there were not any theoretical questions. The old CSWA had a few simple multiple choice about what certain features did to show if a user had an understanding of how the system read certain parameters. That is not the case in the CSWP as all answers were finite values.

    The only “theoretical” item that may be useful is knowing specific call outs of holes etc. Use the linked sample test and the Solidworks tutorials and you should do alright. Best of luck.

  3. Yes I tried! 115 of 155 Passed with shame. It was a peace of cake. I don’t know what hapened. May be on the very last i didn’t round the the mass or missed something. It was easy, but you get the mass in 3 digits and just have to round it correctly in 2 digits and use a “,” as a separator.
    On the last question i was trying to fix some troubles and time hits me. I was ready with the object but it just was not right defined.
    There was a mistake. I should just get the mass and ignore the mistakes.

  4. Abhi,
    The second portion is still done at the part level. This is noted in the beginning of the post. Section three covers assemblies.

  5. Your last paragraph is really confusing to read. Thanks for the info on the tests, they have been beneficial.

  6. Hi Chris

    Thanks for this effort, but what about creating configurations from other configurations ? what do they meant by this ??

  7. Hey there, thanks a lot for all the information you gave here, I’m minutes away from the test and I had no idea what to expect for… raised my confidence a bit 🙂

    Take care.

  8. Hey Chris, Thanks again, I read your info and it helped me a bit.
    I got a bit of mess with that “What’s Wrong” screen you gave earlier in the last two questions…
    And I never used design tables before and I currently don’t have MS Office on my PC so I guess that’s why I couldn’t answer the part regarding this – And unfortunately I’ve failed.

    From your experience, does the office excel is pre-requisite for the design table part ?

    I think If I’d manage the other 6 questions well and got screwed over that design table it’s a bit unfair but I have only myself to accuse…

    Can’t wait to take it again in two weeks…
    In the meanwhile I’ll try segment 3 and go to see the new SolidWorks 2011 in the reveal event tomorrow in Israel.

    Thanks again, can’t wait to use your help regarding the sheet metal specialist and mold specialist 🙂

  9. Dear Shai!
    Without design table! You can use Cinfigure Dimension/Feature to make a Configuration. It’s very easy to do! Right-Click on dimension you need to configure an choose “Configure….”! Enjoy!

  10. Hi,
    Were we supposed to revert back to the original part after we modify it for the second section of segment 2? I got question 8 and 9 wrong and I am wondering if it is because I just cumulatively modified it? I passed with the minimum but wanted to know where I went wrong 🙁

  11. Thanks for the information. It will help me a lot while preparing for segment 2. As the cswp is updated, segment 2 now is 50minutes. I want to know how many questions are there in segment 2? How many questions are there in both setions?

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