Here at SolidBox, we understand the value of the SolidWorks Certifications. These exams not only give you a nice title to show on you resume, they can provide you with an outline that you can use to track your growth as a SolidWorks user. We firmly believe that if a brand new SolidWorks user takes their SolidWorks Essentials course seriously, this should provide that user with enough information to tackle the CSWA (Certified SolidWorks Associate) exam. We strongly encourage all new users to not only take the SolidWorks Essentials course offered by their VAR (and they all offer this course so you have no excuse!), but also to just take the CSWA exam while the knowledge is fresh. This will further reinforce that knowledge with the chance to apply your newly acquired SolidWorks skills to real-world example parts.
Next, once your skills have had a chance to mature (generally one year is a good interval between tests), you should consider taking the CSWP (Certified SolidWorks Professional) exam. This test is more in depth, and may require a brush-up course for certain skills. Luckily, your VAR offers prep-courses for all SolidWorks Certification exams. The CSWP exam consists of three parts: a simple modeling challenge with modifications, a section involving configurations and design tables, and finally an assembly challenge.
After the CSWP, things get a little trickier. Instead of being able to jump right to the next level of certification, the CSWE (Certified SolidWorks Expert), you must pass four out of five Advanced CSWP exams. These advanced topics areSheet Metal, Weldments, Mold Tools, Drawing Tools, and Surfacing. So, just to be able to take the CSWE, there are four full length tests that you must pass. The good news is that by the time you’ve taken and passed the CSWP exam, your modeling skills are probably good enough to take and pass at least two of the requisite four Advanced CSWP exams, but you will probably have to re-learn all the surfacing tools if your daily workflow doesn’t include surfacing, etc…
If you’re the kind of person that responds better to a deadline, then give yourself hard deadlines for passing each test. It is perfectly reasonable to be able to knock out the four Advanced CSWP exams in a year, but even passing one every six months will put you on a track to success. And although becoming a better modeler, and ultimately becoming better at your job is a noble pursuit, it should be noted that companies that utilize SolidWorks take these certifications very seriously as well. We’ve heard time and time again, if two candidates are evenly matched but one has a CSWP and the other doesn’t, the one with the certification will get hired 99 out of 100 times.
How can you prepare for these SolidWorks Certifications? As I mentioned earlier, your SolidWorks VAR is the best place to look for SolidWorks Certification prep. There are ample classes offered throughout the year in many locations, so chances are good that you will have access to at least one training course. In addition to training provided by your VAR, SolidBox TV will continue to roll out brand new video content aimed at helping you develop the skills necessary to pass the CSWP, Advanced CSWP exams, and the CSWE certifications.
This 3-part video focuses on a part similar to the one you will find in Part 1 of the CSWP exam. Over the course of the video, you will learn techniques that will help speed up your modeling so you can spend more time double checking your answers. Click the links below to begin watching this video, and see first hand what it takes to earn the CSWP.