By Kirsty Hogg
Its exam day!!! After an early class on dash boarding, I head up to my room for a last quick look over my study notes. Feeling confident but apprehensive about what to expect, I head down to the exam waiting area. I’m 20 minutes early for registration and there is already a queue of around 70 people waiting to check in. Autodesk run a tight ship though, so it doesn’t take too long to register, secure my belongings and head back down the corridor to the exam computer lab. There are between 100 to 150 people in this session, all hoping to become certified in their chosen piece of software. As I sit down at a computer the first thing I notice is how incredibly cold the room is…this is going to be a long couple of hours!
It takes around half an hour to get set up with an exam account online, the PC ready with the required software and read through all the exam guidelines. The final step before hitting the exam start button (yes, an actual start button on the software!), is to agree to sign an NDA. Basically, the NDA is to deter candidates from sharing the questions and answers once they leave the exam.
The format of the exam is 35 questions, each involving some work in a model. All the model files are provided in the exam content but rarely was the same model used in two consecutive questions. This is quite annoying, having to open and close models every question. Also, you work with one PC monitor which means constantly minimising windows to read the question instructions and then alter the model. Worst of all is generally the answer you need to give is some form of data from within the model, and in most cases the copy and paste function doesn’t work. This means you have to try and memorise the exact format of the answer and fill out the exam form.
I’d spent a few of my weekend’s prior to coming out to the conference studying for the certification exam, so I didn’t find what the actual questions were asking too difficult. However, the head scratching part of the exam was the little booby traps that they had thrown into the models! To do what read as a relatively straight forward question, turned into a whole other problem once you got into the model file.
There are actually two types of certification you can do and browsing the two synopsis’ you don’t see a huge difference between what I took; the Professional Certification, and the other exam; User Certification. Having now taken the Professional Certification exam, I would imagine the difference would be the booby trap questions! You basically need to be able to fix a broken model in whatever form that takes. It could be a simple issue to do with visibility locks or something hidden deep down the list of “why won’t my model work” solutions.
By the time I had completed all 35 questions (not only was I absolutely freezing) I was fairly confident I had passed. After one final check through my answers, I hit the submit button to retrieve my results. I’m obviously extremely pleased to have gained certification and am now looking at trying for the electrical version of the program. It felt like a massive achievement for me on the actual day, mainly because of the 100 or so people that started their certification exams, well over 50% of them gave up and walked out after 20 minutes. I’m not the type of person that usually feels particularly proud of these types of accomplishments, but seeing how many other people appeared to struggle, it did give me a sense of pride for the rest of the afternoon!
We’ve come to the end of my review of the Autodesk University Conference 2019. Click here to read my review of this unique opportunity to progress our knowledge and experience as BIM Managers.