I decided to take the CSWP exam at my near VAR. in order to be ready and in
sync with the test requirements and question style, I wanted to try and
solve some old CSWP exams from previous years, but I can't seem to find any
of them on the web besides the regular sample test which appears on
SolidWorks web site, which lacks the crucial 3rd hands on part. does anybody
of you guys can give me some info on the test besides the formal information
on the solidworks site? is there an additional source of CSWP exams?
Doing a google search of this newsgroup will give you some good advice.
One thread that came to my mind was this one:
The models in the CSWP aren't all that hard, and don't require any
knowledge outside of basic training classes. As I remember it it was
more of a speed and comfort-with-the-software thing.
VAR's tend to run bootcamps - maybe someone who has gone through one
can comment on its usefulness
Here are a couple links to past conversations. I also copied my
right after taking the test.
From: "Wayne Tiffany" -Find messages by this
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 13:33:21 -0600
Local: Sat, Jan 24 2004 1:33 pm
Subject: Re: Certified SolidWorks Professional
I was one of the very few that passed the test at SWW2004 and would
offer some tips. If interested, read on.
1. Go through the "What's new" in 2004 - I rudely found out the test
was 2004, not 2003. Even if you don't use it yet, study up on the
changes - the written test killed me.
2. Make sure you know how to do all the basics, even if you don't
normally use them. This would include lofts, revolves, sweeps,
ellipses, in-context mates & features, reference geometry, symmetry,
linking, patterns, min/max/center, external references, configs, custom
properties, etc, etc, etc.
3. Think about your special area - free form, sheetmetal, top-down
design. Really know how to use all the features available - study up
on what's available for tools & features in that area.
4. Drawings: Multisheet, section views, detail views, all types of
views, BOM, customizing the title block, inserting geometric
tolerancing, standard tolerances, all kinds of dims, datums, etc, etc,
5. Most of all - read everything. (Did you get this far in this
email?) Take the time to understand the design intent, read the
scoring criteria carefully, do the work, go back and review the scoring
criteria to make sure you covered what's required. I can't emphasize
this point enough.
All in all, I felt it was a good, fair test. Long day (8-5:30 - ran
out only for coffee) but a good solid check of most of the basics, not
just a "gimmee." The skills portion is "open book" in that you can use
the help section, but if you have to look up much, you will run out of
time. Most importantly, read.
The computer scoring method is nice because it is so fast. When I took the
CSWP test, the proctor graded each test while we waited. In just a few
minutes, we had our scores.
I will say that I doubt the computer scoring is perfect. On my test, the
computer scoring indicated that my models failed to provide certain
functionality although that functionality was definitely present. In fact,
the details that were scored as wrong were relatively simple tasks, not the
complex ones. Therefore, my confidence level on the incorrect details was
extermely high. I suspect that some of my methods did not match the
pre-defined methods the computer was searching for. Therefore, I submitted
a request for these details to be checked manually, but I never received a
Fortunately, I did pass the test so this was really an academic question. I
have always been curious about the accuracy of the scoring system.
Independent verification of the results would have been nice.
One piece of useful information might be to try to take the scoring
criteria as literally as possible, even if it seems a bit silly or not
the best way to do it. Since it is a computer that grades the model, if
you give it what it is looking for, the results should be predictable.
You may feel that you have to "dumb down" your models somewhat. There
aren't any truly difficult modeling problems on the test, the main
difficulty is understanding the criteria.
I got 400/400 from the Hands on part... 64/100 from the question. I
tought that the questions were not related on how well you use SW as
more like how well have you red the manual...
anyhow it was still a good measurement of SW skills IMHO.
here, at my VAR in Israel the test costs 200 US$+ 16.5% VAT (not cheap!). at
that high price one could expect that the SolidWorks guys or the VAR guys
(for whoever of them is scoring the exam), could at least bother and employ
someone who will score the test manually and in an intelligent way.
but what can a frustrated examinee expect?! :-(
I had a similar experience with the multiple choice questions. The
relevance of some questions seemed quite minimal. I remember getting wrong
things like changes in the name of certain functions from release to
release. I suspect many of us don't have every name committed to memory
although we can use the functions quite effectively.
I have taken and proctored the the exam, so I would like to share what
I know (very little) and what I have observed. The written portion of
the test is the "hardest" part. It's not so much that the questions
are overly difficult, it's more a case of users not taking enough time
with this portion of the test. The way the testing interface works,
it's very easy to blast through and finish the (multiple choice)
written portion in less than an hour. DON'T. Take your time, review
each question thoroughly, and most important, review the answers before
deciding on which one to choose. Even if you don't know the answer,
giving it enough thought will allow you to make a better educated
The basic skills and even the advanced modeling aren't as difficult as
the written portion. The most important thing is to follow the
instructions as they appear in the handout. You might think you have a
better way to model the examples given, and maybe you do, but the
automatic grading software is looking for specific things and will
deduct points if it finds otherwise. The handout will tell you what
the grading software is looking for, exercise your model as it says and
you can find errors before you submit the model. If the handout asks
you to "repair" something, don't simply remodel the part. You'll get
whacked for that too.
Pick an advanced topic that you are familiar with. If you design a lot
of sheet metal parts, do the sheet metal portion. Likewise, the top
down assembly or advanced modeling. If you start to struggle early,
you might consider bailing and moving to a different topic - you have
that option. Be careful, no matter how well you do on the written and
the basic skills portion, if you don't finish the advanced topic you
probably will not pass the test.
The grading software has been shown to be overwhelmingly more accurate
than human grading, and provides results in a matter of minutes vs.
days or weeks. You get to find out if you passed before you leave the
building (in most cases).
Look over the certification documents on the SolidWorks website, and
try out the samples before you go for your test.
Suggestions, comments, and other notes are welcome.
OK that's a very good attitude you have there Richard.
But tell me this why do we get no response to requests for improvements to
the SW forum?
There have been a few suggestions made there - FAQ, new user and wish list
sections to name but a few- and although these must be read by people at SW
no one replies to them.
No under consideration or not at this time or.... - nothing.
Is this an avoidance strategy? What is the problem SW has with interacting
with people on the official forum?
Correct me if I am wrong but there seems to be an attitude at SW that forum
visitors and esp. newbies are an inconvenience.
On the one hand SW are happy to engage and exploit individual goodwill to do
beta testing on the cheap and on the other any one with individual ideas
gets ignored or channelled into nice cosy managed little groups.