As one of the engineers who helped create the Certified Onshape Associate exam, here are my top tips for your students.

Keep in mind, the tips below will primarily help your students improve their speed and accuracy during the exam. However, it’s also important to note that successful test-takers complete weeks, or even months, of guided practice before taking the Onshape certification exam. 

The Certified Associate logo

  1. Have a reliable internet connection. Confirm your students will have access to a reliable internet connection during the exam. To improve internet speed, your students shouldn’t have any additional programs or have unnecessary tabs open while taking the exam.

  1. Be resourceful. In case your students run into a feature or command they’re less familiar with on the exam, encourage them to have any prep material, videos, exercises, etc. handy so they can quickly reference them.

  1. Get hands-on experience. To pass an Onshape certification exam, your students will need a lot of practice. If getting students certified in Onshape is part of your curriculum, consider integrating certification prep into homework or class time. 

  1. Be aware of the time limit. Like many CAD software certification exams, the Certified Onshape Associate exam is timed. Your students will have 180 minutes to complete the test and they’ll likely need every minute. During the exam, they’ll need to be aware of how much time they have and adjust their pace accordingly. 

Hint: try giving out timed practice exams so they get used to the format.

  1. Use keyboard shortcuts. The easiest way for your students to increase their speed is to use Onshape keyboard shortcuts and commit them to memory.

  1. Keep track of answers in a second location. Each time your students solve an answer to a question, encourage them to write it down on a separate document or piece of paper. Being organized will prevent confusion about what their answer was for any given question.

stock image of an illustrated computer

  1. Before beginning, skip ahead. Many of the questions on the Certified Onshape Associate exam build on previous questions. To have a solid understanding of how the design will evolve, your students should take a couple of minutes to look ahead at future questions. This will help them streamline their modeling process by having a strong design intent.  

  1. Use the correct units. The exam questions use several different types of units (e.g., millimeter, gram, second). Before they even begin working on an answer, they should confirm which units they’re being asked to work with. They’ll lose points if they don’t use the correct ones.

  1. Use the correct end conditions. To properly add or remove geometry from different sections of a part, your students should get comfortable using the correct end conditions (e.g., “Through all” or “Up to face”). 

Hint: using a second direction can be especially useful for part modeling.

  1. Create multiple parts from a single master sketch. For efficient multi-part modeling, your students should practice creating multiple parts from a single master sketch. This will help size and align them in place. Also, your students should practice dimensioning and constraining the master sketch so that components easily update for them in future questions. 

  1. Don’t waste time recreating mates. When your students are asked to reuse multiple components in an assembly, they should fully mate one set of those components. Then, copy and paste those components to preserve the mates that were already applied. This shortcut will help your students avoid recreating the mates each time.

  1. Understand all aspects of drawings. Be sure to review all aspects of drawings with your students, including view types, callouts, drawing sheet templates, dimensional tolerance types, and more. These topics are a major focus for the drawing section of the exam.

  1. If stumped, save it for the end. If your students get stuck on a question, they shouldn’t be afraid to skip it, move ahead, and then come back to it later. Since the Certified Onshape Associate exam is timed, they should answer the questions they’re confident about first.

  1. Double-check answers. If your students have time at the end, they should double-check each of their answers. Silly mistakes are easy to make and every point matters. 

  1. If some of your students don’t pass, they shouldn’t get discouraged. At the end of the exam, your students will be given topics that they should work on based on their incorrect answers. They can take that feedback, build their knowledge, and become a better modeler so that they can earn their Certified Onshape Associate the next time.

How Your Students Can Take the Certified Onshape Associate Exam For Free

PTC/Onshape and SolidProfessor teamed up to create the Certified Onshape Associate Exam Pathway so students can take the exam at no cost. 

To be eligible for a free exam voucher ($50 value), a student must complete SolidProfessor’s online Certified Onshape Associate Prep Course which includes:

  • Expert-guided lessons

  • Practice exercises

  • Practice exam questions 

You can easily enroll all of your students in this prep course by becoming a SolidProfessor for Schools member.

Request a demo of SolidProfessor for Schools to learn how you can integrate SolidProfessor’s online prep course, practice exercises, and practice exam into your Onshape curriculum. 

For additional tips, please visit:  “What Teachers Need to Know About the New Certified Onshape Associate Exam.”

(James Jepsen is the Product Manager, Content R&D and Services at SolidProfessor.)