I am curious to hear from anyone who has taken the online CSWP test.
It is free to subsciption users if you register before December 31st
and take it by jan 31.
I have read a few of the posts on the Solidworks website's forum but
would like to hear from more people. It seems as though the example
illustrations that yoiu must follow are isometric views with
dimensions and that they can be difficult to interpret.
If you have taken advantage of this offer please post your comments.
I am sure I am not the only one looking for info on this subject.
i took both tests at the end of october for free.
passed both tests.
yes, the isometric view is misleading (i believe deliberately).
since the test is progressive (the model builds off the previous question),
if you get the first question wrong there is no way to get the remaining
questions correct in that group.
If you read the forums, you know about my attempt (SW crashed and work
wasn't saved). I think the isometric views are misleading, but I also
think how they are presented is poorly conceived, and the problem
descriptions are a bit too sloppy to be called misleading, but rather
Congratulations! You did very well to pass this exam.
I agree the views were misleading. I don't think it was intentional,
just not well implemented. I've seen a much earlier CSWP test with clear
orthographic views of the sample part. The test I took had a question
with small features on the far side of the part shown in an isometric
view that made it damned near impossible to understand the design
The way the instructions were presented was a big problem for me: in a
window that couldn't be dragged for size. There were some "arrow"
buttons that would reduce the window size, but they also hid the
instructions and some dimensions so you couldn't see them without
changing the window again. In my opinion the test itself is a real
impediment because you have to hide or un-hide or re-size the
instruction window or the SW design window to see what the hell is going
Anyone who takes this exam should have a dual-monitor setup so the
instructions can be moved to the second monitor and don't interfere with
the modeling. Another option is to quickly scroll through the
questions, while printing screen shots, so you have a paper copy of the
instructions that won't get in the way of your work.
My biggest complaint was, as you said, the progressive nature of the
questions, where an un-noticed mistake on one question could be
penalized over and over again. Most court systems prevent a defendant
being tried again for the same offense!
Speaking of being penalized, there were two scores for every exam
problem: 0% or 100%. No partial credit, no analysis of the modeling
technique, just a simplistic question that required an answer such as
mass or coordinates of the center of mass. Easy to score by computer,
but I seriously doubt if this evaluates ones ability to use the software
in a 'real world' situation. I've never known an employer to require
perfection, but these questions have no other outcome: perfection or
I've been an employee, employer, consultant or business owner for 40
years. Based on my experience, I will never ask a prospective employee
or consultant to prove his ability with a CSWP score. It simply doesn't
provide results that are meaningful to me.
In the interests of full disclosure, I failed the exam with a score of
85 of a possible 200 points, and a passing score of 150. I wasted a
*lot* of time trying to deal with the window obstruction I mentioned.
The easy response is to say "he criticizes the exam because he failed".
That's understandable and reasonable. But I've designed effective and
successful products for these 40 years, using several 3D CAD systems for
the past 18 years, SolidWorks for the past 9 years, and I didn't leave a
trail of unhappy clients behind me. I simply don't think this exam
fairly or accurately evaluates my ability.
I'm going to take the exam again, and I'll damned well pass it, just for
the satisfaction of saying I did it. But I won't think I'm a better
designer or SW user for having done so.
It's funny you say that Art because I've seen people go through the
tutorial and become productive in SW. They certainly won't be building
cell phones and they mess up a lot on large assemblies, but the exam
doesn't test that kind of smarts either. Sometimes it is hard to say
what an exam like this is testing. Is it testing your knowledge of how
to pull the levers or how to get things done. Is it after best
practice or just being obtuse. I suppose it would be fair to put in
some difficult interpretation as long as it was correct and
unambiguous as a check to see that the test taker had the background.
But as you say, 40 years is hard to argue with and you probably
started out with a 4H pencil and lots of contructions which most
yununs would be puzzled by..
Thanks for the constructive comments, Paul. I was productive with SW
from the time I shut down my seat of I-DEAS, so I don't have any problem
getting the job out the door. I agree the CSWP doesn't measure design
skills, and doesn't claim to. You offered some good possibilities for
its purpose, and I suppose the answer lies somewhere in there.
My complaint isn't about the content (although I found it simplistic,
repetetive and boring) but rather about the implementation. The
documentation was presented in a format that was as user-hostile as
anything I've seen, and some of the diagrams were very difficult to
interpret. My impression is the test has been reconfigured to make it
easy (i.e. cheap) to score by computer, and I think the content has
suffered as a result.
I had the chance to take the modeling portion of a several-years-old
CSWP a few weeks ago. It had clear, unambiguous printed documentation,
and actually tested the ability capture design intent and to use a fair
range of modeling skills. I breezed through it and met every one of the
As far as the "40 years" thing goes, when useful CAD became affordable
20 years ago I embraced the "tube" and dumped the "board". I'd have a
lot of trouble interpreting those old drafting constructions today.
funny you say that Art because I've seen people go through the
I agree with much of what you are saying. I would post your
statements in the SolidWorks forum too as I know a lot of people will
have interest in this top, with the SWW8 coming up fast and all.
Thanks for the input ...
New question: I followed the instructions to get the exam but there
is never any field to enter the PROMO CODE... what gives??? At what
point do you actually enter the Promo Code? The last menu I made it
to wanted me to confirm the order that would charge to my credit
send an email to email@example.com with coupon code (middle of
page listed above) in subject line. specifiy which test you want.
the free voucher is only available to subscription customers.
Yes - I am Subscription customer.
The website has been fixed.
The PROMO CODE field is now back where it is supposed to be.