Suppose you are considering learning SOLIDWORKS and wondering what it was like for someone to start from scratch to become a certified professional. In that case, this story is for you. SOLIDWORKS is an easy-to-learn 3D software, but that does not mean that you will learn it overnight. In this post, I will talk about my beginning, progression, and tricks for taking the official certification exams.
After installing SOLIDWORKS, I looked at the first video I found on YouTube and tried to learn how to begin with it. I will always recommend trying all the tabs in the standard menu bar. Just put the cursor at the top of it, read what is written, and try it. You will gain an initial idea of the different features that will help you afterward in learning. Through my little experience, one of the best ways to learn SOLIDWORKS is to do a small Project. In doing so, you will search on the internet whenever you face up a problem, watch some videos and in time you will learn new skills and features. During my first Project, I gathered some experience and a first overview of the software, but that was not enough to learn it in an organized way.
Past the Starting Point:
Like anything else, and to learn something new, you need to make an effort and organize a plan. An easier way is to follow a well-structured course. That saved me a lot of time and made me learn SOLIDWORKS in an easy-to-understand and effective way. I was in the finishing phase of my studies. I thought It would be better to start learning the associate, beginner level and get a certificate to increase my chances afterward to get a Job.
The first step was to find the right course and choose the best one. I searched in Udemy, and I found the “SOLIDWORKS: Become a Certified Associate Today (CSWA)” made by TforDesign. It was granted best-selling and highest-rated Course in Udemy, so I went for it, and that was the best choice to make. The course took me from a beginner Level to an Associate Certification Level. What I really like about TforDesign was their teaching method. They made short and concentrated videos for every topic or feature, making them easier to understand and follow. Even afterward, when you need to review a topic, you can directly go for that one focused video without remembering which minute the point was mentioned. Like I mentioned in the beginning that the best way to learn is through projects. During the course, you will take exercises and do projects. Through them, you will notice fast growth in your skills. The learning-by-doing method followed in the TforDesign courses is one of the most effective learning methods, especially when learning SOLIDWORKS. TforDesign have since established their own platform with more content which you can check out to learn SOLIDWORKS online.
After finishing the course, I have obtained all the necessary knowledge and skills needed to pass the SOLIDWORKS Associate Certification exam – CSWA. Those included skills in sketching, features, and assemblies. I took the CSWA exam and passed it. After passing the CSWA Exam, I was motivated to do the next level exam, the CSWP Exam. I needed to purchase a course to help me prepare for it. This time the choice was easy. Based on the Proverb “never change a winning team,” I purchased the TforDesign SOLIDWORKS Professional Level Training, gone through it, and finished it.
At the moment, I have obtained both the CSWA and CSWP certifications. So, let us talk more specifically about the official CSWA and CSWP certification exams.
About the Official SOLIDWORKS Exams:
The CSWA exam lasts 3 hours and must be done continuously at the same time. This means once you start, you can’t pause it in the middle and need to complete the whole exam in 3 hours. The CSWP exam is divided into three separate segments, Segment 1: 70 Minutes, Segment 2: 50 Minutes, and Segment 3: 80 Minutes.
Dividing them into 3 Segments allows you to take each segment at a different time, but you can also do all three in a row. That seems a lot of time, but in reality, it is not. Most people fail the CSWP exam because they run out of time. To speed up your work and gain time, you must learn shortcuts and Mouse Gestures. In a previous post, I discussed the 7 most essential shortcuts to speed your SOLIDWORKS workflow. Make sure to check it out and start using those shortcuts.
Tips When Taking the SOLIDWORKS Official Exam:
At this point, you are ready to take the exam. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when doing that.
So, here was my story and tips on how it started and how it went. How was your experience learning SOLIDWORKS? Share your story in the comments.
P.S. For more tips, you can check out one of our earlier blogs with 8 tips for taking the official SOLIDWORKS certification exams. Also, if you are looking for comprehensive online SOLIDWORKS courses, check out the TforDesign school.
By Ahmed Ben Lamine Ghouma, TforDesign Community Member
Ahmed holds a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering and aims to learn and improve constantly.