A couple of months ago, Scott Walker and I took a trip to Florida to help high school teachers in Duval County Public Schools to become ACA certified in Photoshop CC. Last week, we found ourselves back in Duval helping a group of forty-seven middle school teachers become ACA certified in Photoshop CS6. When we arrived at the school Tuesday morning, we were also asked to introduce them to the IC3 training. By the end of the week, all but seven teachers had passed the Photoshop ACA exam, with several also receiving their IC3 certifications.
Unlike the group we worked with in October, many of the teachers in our training last week had never used Photoshop before. In fact, most of them were not even CTE teachers! It was a new experience working with people who were unfamiliar with the software, and it gave me a greater appreciation for what these teachers must go through every year when they are given a new group of students.
We spent the first day walking the teachers through the Photoshop and IC3 training on OnlineExpert and showing them the student workbooks, then we asked them to go home that night and practice using Photoshop by doing some of the projects in the workbooks.
On Wednesday, LaQuanda Paschal, one of the teachers we worked with in October, gave a presentation to demonstrate some of the techniques she uses in class to help her students pass the Photoshop certification exam. Between studying Tuesday night and LaQuanda’s presentation, about half of the teachers felt ready to test on Wednesday afternoon and most of those passed that day!
Hello everyone! Not long ago, I shared with you some changes Adobe is making to their suite of Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams.
So, to get a first-hand look at the new exam format, I went and took the Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 exam for Windows. Now, mind you, it’s been :::covering my mouth::: years since I last took an Adobe exam, but I wanted to see what these new “scenarios” on the Adobe exams were all about. Plus, I had seen and heard some chatter from online forums and the like about how vastly different this exam is compared to previous Adobe exams. Given that part of my role as senior instructor here is to make sure we stay on top of exam changes, I took the plunge and took the exam.
And, yes, the exam has changed. But, the changes, in my humble opinion, were not drastic. I say that because though some questions look a little different, and yes, there are scenarios to go through, the core of any certification exam is still present. And that core is: Know the objectives and know ALL of the objectives!
Here is an example: Let’s look at the first domain of the Adobe Photoshop ACA 2015 objectives:
Domain 1.0 Setting Project Requirements
1.1 Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing images.
1.2 Demonstrate knowledge of standard copyright rules for images and image use.
1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities.
1.4 Communicate with others (such as peers and clients) about design plans.
Now, this is taken straight from the exam objectives as published on Adobe’s website. Someone studying Photoshop might be so focused on Photoshop that this domain just gets glossed over. And then, when a project question comes up on the test, the first thought is “uh-oh” or something worse.
And, with the scenario-based questions becoming a part of the Adobe exams, take a wild guess what types of questions are parts of these scenarios? I’ll give you a hint: Domain one. Besides, in order to be a Photoshop expert, shouldn’t one know what to do with meeting audience needs and know about copyrights and be able to work with others (like clients) on projects?
My point is, just knowing a program forward and backward is not enough to have a valid certification. For Microsoft Project, you need to know how a project manager operates, not just how to read a cost report. For Microsoft Access, you need to know how to structure a database, not just know how to change a field to a long date format. For Windows Server, you need to be able to design a server solution, not just know how to set up DHCP.
And, for the Photoshop ACA certification, you need to know how a Photoshop project is managed start to finish, not just how to change colors on someone’s shirt using a nondestructive method (yes, you need to know that, too).
So, resist the temptation to just ignore or gloss over test objectives that are not directly related to the program you are studying. In doing so, you will have a much better chance of passing an exam and, you will be a start-to-finish expert in the area you are certified in, not just a I-can-do-this-in-the-program person.
Hi everyone and Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels if you are traveling (I am not, thankfully). If you are studying for any Adobe CC 2015 exam, you will want to pull up a chair and read this carefully because the Adobe CC 2015 exams have changed and changed a lot!
When I first took an Adobe exam (Photoshop CS3 and you can figure out how long ago that was if you have an abacus), about half of the questions were multiple choice and the other half were simulations. The simulations were tasks I had to complete, in the program, such as doing a Gaussian Blur or using one of the many tools available in Photoshop to transplant one piece of a picture to another, such as replacing bad grass with healthy grass.
Now, Adobe is rolling out a new exam format. In this exam format, the exams are much more scenario-based, to where instead of having one task to perform in a situation, you have several tasks to perform, all tied to the simulation.
While this makes for a much more realistic knowledge test for the exam (which, having taken a lot of exams in a lot of disciplines, I happen to like), it is a big adjustment, especially for those who have taken a few Adobe exams and/or are studying for an Adobe CC 2015 exam.
We at LearnKey are always trying to stay on top of these changes. One way in which we are going to start doing this (and continue doing for many areas, not just Adobe) is to add practice labs, tailored to the new exam format. We will be adding some Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 practice labs to our website in the coming weeks. And, as other exams are updated, we will add labs for those. This will help bridge the gap between our current courses and a new Adobe series, which we have in our plans for 2016. But we are not going to make you wait for good exam practice material just because a test format changes.
In addition to the labs, we will, as needed, update our current workbooks to match up with any objective changes and test format changes in these new exams.
These tools will give you, the student, the latest and greatest preparatory materials needed to become successful in your certification quest for Adobe or, for that matter, any certification you are pursuing.
Last week, I took a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, with LearnKey Sales Champion Scott Walker to train a group of teachers from Duval County Public Schools. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to help each teacher earn their Adobe Certified Associate certification in Photoshop CC. Most of the teachers hold certifications in previous versions of Photoshop, but had not been able to pass the CC certification test. Florida law requires that teachers be certified in the software they teach, so having a certification in a previous version is no longer enough.
When you use a piece of software on a near-daily basis, you come to think of yourself as an expert. The problem with this mentality is you fail to take into account that you are probably using the same tools day after day, never utilizing other features the software has to offer. You tend to forget how to use those features, and sometimes you even forget they exist. Our purpose was to re-introduce those features and help the teachers become comfortable enough to take the ACA exam.
Using a combination of our video-based training, our pre- and post-assessments, and our student workbooks, we began going over some of the more obscure functions of Photoshop, as well as providing a refresher of the basics. The new project-based workbooks were a huge asset as they allowed the teachers to dig in and spend time actually using the software in ways they hadn’t in the past.
I have often been told by my wife (who is a teacher) and others that teachers make the worst students. At least with this group, that wasn’t the case. It was a really great experience, and the teachers were all friendly and attentive. By the end of the workshop we were able to help nearly all of them become Photoshop CC certified, and a few teachers took advantage of the self-paced nature of LearnKey’s training to become certified in Illustrator CC as well.
One of the teachers from this training sent us this picture of his students with their certificates of completion for Session 1 of LearnKey’s Photoshop CC course.
What’s new to Photoshop CC? Personally, I think that it is awesome that with Photoshop CC I will have access to updates or new features to Photoshop CC the day they are released. This means means that Photoshop CC users everywhere will always have the latest and greatest when it comes to Photoshop features. Those who take LearnKey’s Photoshop CC course will be prepared to take the Photoshop ACA Visual Communication exam and have access to hundreds of practice test questions along with relevant labs and demos to help students learn how to confidently use the newest features found in Photoshop CC.
Exam: ACA Visual Communication Certification
LearnKey’s new Photoshop CC course will introduce students to hundreds of new updates and features in the latest Photoshop update. Whether you are a graphic designer or a novice photographer you will learn how to edit photographs, images, or create logos and marketing pieces. LearnKey’s Photoshop CC course will teach students what they need to know in order to effectively and easily prepare to test their skills through the ACA Visual Communication Certification exam.
It was a great experience watching Justin Walker one of our LearnKey Courseware experts talk to a group of students from Fountain Hills High School in Fountain Hills Arizona.
These students are wanting to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and earn their certifications. We had a simple message for them – Certifications can and will have a positive impact on your career and college ready preparation. Industry experts now state 89% of IT hiring managers use “Certifications” as a filter for prioritizing resumes. Once in, career professionals who keep their certification track up-to-date earn on average 26% more than their peers.
It was a fun day speaking with four classes as they were good listeners and truly wanted to learn. Another benefit we shared with them is they get a chance to learn “distance learning” by using LearnKey courseware. Also, lets not forget that the teachers we met were fantastic. Thanks again to Bonnie Perkins, Jennifer Ray (CTE Leader) and Karla Primosch for allowing us to come in and speak.
Its great to see BLS/LearnKey team members out talking with students and teachers getting their input so we can make better courses! Thanks again for the great work Justin!
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.
The first of our Adobe CS6 courses has been released – Photoshop CS6 for Mac. In this course, LearnKey expert and Adobe Certified instructor Chad Chelius walks you through the features and tools of Photoshop CS6, while also covering the topics required for the ACA Visual Communication using Adobe® Photoshop® certification exam.
- Demonstrate knowledge of project management tasks and responsibilities
- Learn and understand terminology of digital images
- Demonstrate knowledge of Patch Tool in Content-aware fill mode
- Learn to adjust or correct the tonal range, color, or distortions of an image
- Demonstrate knowledge of preparing images for Web, print, and video
This version of the course was shot using Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Mac OS X. Don’t worry, Windows users – your version is coming up soon!
Visit the product page for more information about the course, including a full course outline and purchasing information.