Last month I was presented with what seemed like a daunting task. I was asked to learn Photoshop CS6 and take the ACA certification exam, so I could assist with Photoshop CS6 training for teachers in New York. I had never used Photoshop before so I was really nervous about having to learn this new skill and then assist in training others in this program. I am not ACA certified yet, but I have learned first hand how valuable our training is when learning Photoshop CS6.
As I prepare to take the ACA exam to become Photoshop CS6 Certified I want to share six things I have learned that will help anyone who is using LearnKey training to prepare for certification exams.
1. Dedicate a Specific Time and Place to Interact with Training
When I fist started going through the training I would watch it as I did other tasks or projects. After a day of disruptions from phone calls, email, or other projects I realized that I didn’t learn very much. During my next study session I set apart time to be distraction free to study Photoshop CS6. Doing this helped me to focus my attention on the course and remember what I was learning.
2. Follow Along with the Training
One thing that helped me learn the most about working in Photoshop was following along with the training and doing exactly what the author was doing. I had the training playing on my laptop and had Photoshop CS6 running on my desktop computer, so I could preform each of the actions the author was doing as he was doing them. Doing this helped me remain focused on what was being taught and become familiar with the navigation and layout of Photoshop.
3. Use Course Support Files and Projects
Included with the Photoshop CS6 Course are course support files and projects. The course support files contain all of the images used by the author during the training. These files were helpful because they allowed me to perform the changes and actions to images on my own, while easily following along with the training and author. Projects are activities that are designed to test your knowledge of Photoshop by requiring you to work through scenarios that require you to use your Photoshop knowledge to complete specific tasks. These files and projects helped to increase my knowledge and skills within Photoshop.
4. Use Photoshop Outside of Course
My biggest tip is to become familiar with the layout, tools, and navigation within Photoshop. By nature I focus more on the facts and less actual experience or application when I am learning. As I was going through the exams at the end of each session I found that I could answer the questions correctly, but really struggled when it came to questions that required me to perform tasks. I try to dedicate a little bit of time everyday to just mess around in Photoshop. I go through the tabs and try out different filters or effects. I do this so that I will become familiar with the location of the different tools and effects in the program.
5. Pass Session Exams and MasterExams
At the end of each session there is an exam that tests your fact knowledge of Photoshop. These exams are important because they provide you with a study guide made up of the questions that you missed. These study guides helped me to identify the areas I need to study up on. The MasterExam is made up of a bank of questions from all sessions within the course. It is recommended that that when you can pass our MasterExam three times with a score of 80% or higher you will be ready for the ACA exam.
6. You Get What You Put Into It
Going through the course one time will not guarantee that you will pass the ACA exam. So far I have put 25+ hours into learning PhotoShop and have passed all of the Session exams and the MasterExam for Photoshop CS6. For me learning Photoshop took time, dedication, and lots of patience. I would not have been able to pass these exams if I had simply watched the course. You do get what you put into it.
Well there you have it. My six tips to help you use our training to prepare for your next certification. I plan on taking the ACA exam within the next couple of weeks. I will keep you updated on my progress.