What to Expect on the CAD National Certification Exam

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If you want a career in computer aided drafting and design, a good way to stand out from other job candidates is to earn a certification. And one of the best certifications for beginners is the AutoDesk Certified User, or ACU. This certification shows employers that you have basic skills and competency in AutoDesk and are ready for a job in the industry. To earn this certification, you’ll need to pass the ACU exam.

What’s on the CAD National Certification Exam?

The exam consists of 30 questions that are designed to test your knowledge and skills in the AutoCAD software. Some of the questions will be given in multiple choice, matching, and true/false formats while other questions will require you to complete a task in AutoCAD. The content of the exam will test your abilities in these areas:

  • CAD Drawing: You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to draw basic lines and shapes, and to draw them accurately with the grid and snap functions. You’ll also need to show that you can create selection sets and use coordinate systems and inquiry commands.
  • Editing: Your designs will always require some amount of editing, so you’ll need to demonstrate these skills. You should be able to trim, rotate, copy, and move objects. You’ll also need to show that you can organize and reuse existing content.
  • Printing: The exam will test your knowledge of printing and plotting options, and whether you can annotate drawings with text notes and dimensions. Those notations are often crucial to the architects, engineers, and designers who will use what you produce.

You’ll have 50 minutes to answer all 30 questions. The minimum score required to pass is 700 out of 1,000. Point values for each question vary, so even if you run out of time and don’t answer every question, you may still earn a passing score.

How to Prepare for the CAD National Certification

Before you can be eligible to take the exam, you’ll need to have at least 150 hours of hands-on experience with AutoCAD. You can gain this experience through a CAD training program. At Charter College, we offer a Certificate in Computer Aided Design Program that will prepare you for the ACU exam. Our instructors have vast experience with AutoCAD and will help you become proficient in the software. You’ll work on a number of assignments that will strengthen your competence—and the more you practice, the more proficient you’ll become.

Once you’re ready to sit for the exam, you’ll need to find a Certified Authorized Testing Center near you and choose your exam date. The cost for an exam voucher is $90, but it could cost more if you wish to include a retake voucher or a practice test. On the day of the exam, you’ll need to follow these rules:

  • Bring your government-issued ID and present it at check-in.
  • Leave your bag in your car or at the check-in desk. You’re not allowed to bring cell phones, notebooks, or pens into the testing area.
  • You are allowed to take a short break if needed, but the clock will continue to run during your break.

If you need to schedule an at-home exam instead, you’ll need to contact your testing center. You do have the option to retake the exam whether you pass or fail. If you choose to retake it, you’ll have to wait a full 24 hours before accessing the exam again. Once you pass, you’ll receive your certificate as well as a digital badge that you can display on your LinkedIn profile or other social media accounts.

Are you ready to get certified? Our CAD program will give you the expertise you need to pass the exam and to launch a rewarding career in computer aided design. Call us today at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.