Why get an AutoCAD or Revit certification

DEC 10, 2019

This post is related to the Autodesk Certification for AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, 3Ds Max, Maya, Fusion, etc.. Even though we are mostly referring to AutoCAD and Revit, since they are the most popular software, the information in this document also applies to the certification of Civil 3D, Solidworks, Maya, and other Autodesk products.

Why get an AutoCAD or Revit certification

Autodesk’s AutoCAD Certification Exam allows you to validate your CAD skills and get the recognition you deserve in the eye of your employer and peers. A certification shows that compared to most of your peers, you are committed to your craft and willing to go the extra mile to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Since certification is not, most of the time, a job or qualification requirement, most people don’t bother getting one. You can show that you are not one of those people.

In addition, you get the following perks:

  • You will have a professional logo that you can use in your email signature resume, blog, or business card.
  • You can add your name and business information to the Autodesk database of certified professionals. This database can be accessed by your potential employers, clients, or business partners.

In this course, we will learn about the steps you need to take to reach the status of Autodesk Certified User (ACU) or an Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP).

Autodesk Certified User vs. Professional Certification

Even though there is no official requirement in terms of experience and knowledge, it is recommended to have at least 50 hours for the ACU exam and 400 hands-on practice hours for the ACP exam. When you feel that you have the necessary AutoCAD or Revit qualification to take either exam, nobody can stop you from seating for the exam. In addition, you can take the exam whenever you want, with the only limitation being a maximum of 3 exams per the calendar year.

As most people know, taking a test is a skill of its own. It is possible to master a subject and not do as well as expected in a test. For that reason, we recommend taking the appropriate AutoCAD or Revit class or training course for the exam. Infratech offers several courses that cover most of the topics needed to take the exam. These are called the essentials courses. When combined with this guide, you should be in the best dispositions to take the AutoCAD certification exam online. Among the Essentials courses we have: Revit, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Fusion 360, 3Ds Max, MayaInventor, etc. 

AutoCAD Certification near me

While you can take the needed preparation tests online, you will need to visit a physical Autodesk Approved Center to take the exam.

The closest location to you can be found on this link.

Once you enter your location, you will get a list of the closest. You can contact each center for a schedule, price, and all other necessary information.

Testing Environment

Each center offers exams for specific software and versions, depending on their field of expertise and their logistic setup. For example, some centers offer the certification exam in only AutoCAD, Civil 3D, or Revit.

The exam is administered through the Certiport software, and your review is automatically uploaded to their site as soon as you hit submit.

In addition, the exam is graded automatically, and you will get your final result on the spot.

Content of the Exam

In general, the ACP has about 35 questions, and the exam lasts about 2 hours. We will see later how to prepare for the exam with some sample practice questions.

The Infratech Civil preparation course covers most subjects you will face during the exam. Understandably the questions in our curriculum are not the exact same one you will get during the real exam. It is against the Certiport policy to publish real exam questions. However, our course replicates the format, the length and the types of questions as closely as possible. In addition, we will provide you with video illustrations, books, and AutoCAD files, so you can prepare for the exam in the best conditions possible.

AutoCAD and Revit Certification Exam Tips and tricks

Make sure you practice with the same AutoCAD software version as the one you requested for the exam. You do not want to waste time on the day of the exam looking around the interface for commands.

Screen Setup

One of the most frustrating things for first-time test takers is juggling the different software they need during the test. You will need to switch back and forth between at list two programs: the Certiport testing program and the software you are being tested for, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Revit, or others. Thankfully this system, called Console 8 is being phased out and replaced with a new live-in-the-app test system called Compass.

So, if your test center is still using the Console 8 software, you have several options to switch back and forth between different windows.

Using ALT + TAB

With Alt-Tab, you can switch between open windows. There are more functionalities to Alt-Tab switch functions. Among functions, you can:

  1. Press the Alt button, then keep pushing the tab button to navigate through all windows that are opened. Once you detect the window you want to make current, simply release the Alt key to make it current.
  2. You can move through the windows in reverse, in case you missed a window, for example, by pressing Alt+Shift+Tab.
  3. Alternatively, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight and select windows.

Use a higher screen resolution

While the Alt+Tab method is an excellent solution, switching back and forth to find windows can be frustrating sometimes. If you can, try to size your windows so that they are visible at all times. To do this,

  1. Set the highest resolution possible, preferably 1920×1080 and above.
  2. Resize all the needed software in order not to maximize any software. An example of a setup with two windows is shown below.

Time management during the AutoCAD and Revit certification

The Autodesk certification tests are timed exams. You don’t have to complete the full test. However, you will be graded on the total number of questions. Even though any unanswered questions will be marked as wrong when you hit submit, you need to focus on the questions you think you can answer first. Once you are done and have enough time left, you can revisit the difficult questions you skipped. The strategy here is to pick up as many low hanging fruits as possible. All questions have the same grade, so it doesn’t make sense to stress yourself with the difficult questions at the very beginning of the test. That will only make you more likely to miss the easier ones. Even if you know how to answer a question, it’s probably better to skip it if the answer will take longer to come by. Some questions will require that you jump through many hoops to answer them. Just take a mental or physical note of the questions you want to come back to in a specific order. The software will let you know which ones are unanswered. But you may need to make a note of the level of difficulty of each one.

Read the instruction and choices carefully

Even though the Autodesk Certifications tests are not intended to be a reading comprehension test, some questions certainly look that way in their design. They can be confusing, especially for non-native English speakers. So before diving in, make sure to read each question very carefully to understand what is expected of you.

Do exactly what you are asked to do

The good thing about AutoCAD drafting is that there are many ways to accomplish a task. That significant flexibility in designing can be a curse for test-takers. If you are asked to draw a line, draw a line, not a polyline. If you are asked to use a specific command, use that command, not an equivalent one, or ribbon tool. For example, if you are asked to copy for a base point using snap mode to an object, don’t copy using coordinates just because you think you know the coordinates from a previous question. The files may be different; the object may be moved, units may be different, etc.

Useful tools and commands: Inquiry tools

The AutoCAD inquiry tool, or its equivalent in other software, is one of the most valuable tools when taking the Autodesk Certification exam. We can use it to run inquiries, extract information, and analyze objects.

If possible, keep it open at all times. You can dock it or activate the Autohide feature. This setup displays the window only when you hover your mouse over it. This will help manage the real estate we need so crucially.

Instead of looking at individual inquiry commands, we have a consolidated window where all inquiry commands are available.

Familiarize yourself with as many options as possible in the inquiry tool.

Useful tools and commands: Properties Window

The properties windows display the properties of a selected object.

We can use it to read, modify, or analyze the properties of a selected object.

When multiple objects are selected, the common properties of the objects are displayed.

For example, in the context of the exam, we can use it to specify a value or change a property. For instance, when asked to move a circle to a specific coordinate, we can simply type the X and Y values of the center of the circle.

Like the inquiry tool, we can also use the Autohide feature to maximize the much-needed space.

Copy and Paste

This sounds like an obvious one, but we must train ourselves to use this obvious command instead of typing values from the test software to AutoCAD. This will avoid typos, which can occur easily in high-stake and pressure-heavy situations like an exam.

Use the same number of digits as asked

This falls under the “do what you are asked to do” category. Very often, the question specifies the number of digits needed in the answer. A sample question may be: What is the length X.XX in meters of the red polyline? When answering the question, don’t type 6.521. Instead, you should respond 6.52. Remember, you are being graded by a machine, not a human.