Adobe Expert Certification - Why are we all so afraid of the test?

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 by Judy Durkin Latest activity: Aug 1, 2013

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We go after Masters degrees. We add clock hours. But as Adobe Education Leaders, one subject that is never discussed is the dreaded Adobe Expert certification? I took the InDesign Expert exam and failed. But I know that it is one goal that I MUST achieve. So, let's talk about it.

How important is Expert certification to your job? Does it carry any weight in your school district? among your peers?

Should the Expert exams be gamified?

Sorry to bring up such a tender subject...

Comments (10)

Lynne Kesselman

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 4:02 PM - Permalink

Since I began teaching Career and Tech Ed in 2001, I have looked for some way to get my students industry-recognized certifications. My students do the work, understand the concepts, and become proficient with the software, so I think they they should be able to get certified.

For me there's no financial benefit at the workplace, but I hope to get ACA certified in Dreamweaver and Flash this upcoming school year, and am doing so basically in order to see what it takes to get my students certified. It seems that we will probably end up getting certified together, which should be interesting. If it benefits my students, I'll all in!

What seemed to hold us back was not knowing exactly where to go, what to do, and how to do it. We recently found an affordable, IT friendly online resource that will hopefully work with us to provide some additional training and the certification testing. If there are any other suggestions for us as we start out, I'd really appreciate hearing about them.

Here's a great article that just came out in Ed Tech Magazine regarding Adobe certification for students, with some great quotes from Melissa Jones, too.

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2013/06/one-way-fast-track-students-college-and-career-readiness

Melissa Jones

Posted on Mar 2, 2013 1:34 AM - Permalink

I'd really like to develop some content to help folks "level up" from ACA to ACE. If any of you AELs out there think you can help with that, let me know!

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 8:56 PM - Permalink

@Bill Guy sound sad that you went that route to your exam and that your experience was to "beat the system". I have not found questions to be wrong, or that the multiple choice means that it does not allow for multiple solutions for any given project. In fact some questions are specifically asking which of the following would not produce the required results. The test is as good as any driving licence theory exam. I didn't do any practice exams. For me the biggest help was helping people in online forums and by phone, it forced me to learn photoshop verbally. To visualise where a customer would be and to understand the problem they were facing. It does requre a good understanding of language and being able to visualise and verbalise photoshop.

I have not done the ACA so cannot comment on them yet.

Also I do believe, just as with a driving licence which is a theoretical exam and a practical test, our skills should be tested both in theory and in practice. I only retook one exam and that was because I choose the wrong exam on a recertification… which meant i did the Illustrator CS5 recert twice :P but that's my own fault for not being awake.

Bill Guy

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 1:50 PM - Permalink

Well I think you have made my point and the driving license test is a great example. To pass the written test you need to study the book as to how to answer the questions as they are written. The same is true with any of the Certification exams. It has very little to do with the creative aspect of the program. And while you study the book (or pre tests) it does not mean you will be able to really know how to drive till you get behind the wheel. And as to the test itself, when I took the CS5.5 ACE there were a couple of answers that referred back to a previous version keyboard shortcuts and not the current. Also a number of the questions pertain to functions that may only come up once in blue moon. This is why I often refer to the ACE exam as Photoshop Trivial Pursuit.

My problem with any quantifying test is that it only will show the depth of knowledge and not the application of the creative force. It is like the difference in music where you can play the notes but it is Jazz that brings it alive.

Kristie MacLaughlin

Posted on Aug 3, 2012 10:59 PM - Permalink

I completely understand what you're saying, Bill, but you're not going to hire a carpenter who holds his hammer by the claw, are you? ;)

I was lucky enough to be able to take my certification tests for free through Adobe's User Group Manager program. That took a considerable amount of weight off the failure possibility (although, I didn't fail.) I do agree, there were a few questions that did refer to some pretty obscure parts of the programs. Again, I was lucky because I was in the industry for 16 years before I started teaching, so I knew the answers. But I believe that a true "expert" should know those aspects of the programs. If you have that depth of knowledge of the programs, then I think it's safe to say that the creative talent helped you get the technical knowledge.

Bill Guy

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 7:38 PM - Permalink

I had been putting off taking the ACE for Photoshop for many years. My problem with the test was that it is multiple choice and in Photoshop there is always more than one way to do something. Because of some job opportunities this year I decided to bite the bullet and take it and did pass. Here is what I found;

Forget books and pod casts. The best way to pass is to purchase pre tests. Try to get as many as you can because the questions on these pre tests are the same as in the ACE exam. Learning the questions and what answers that are expected will help you pass.

It does not help to second guess and sometimes even if you know what they are asking is wrong, just pick their answer. After all you want to pass, not be right.

Do employers look at ACE? YES some will because they don't understand the programs and this shows them that you do. In the pile of resumes that will land on their desk your ACE will stand out from the recent Art School grads and even the MFAs. If nothing else it will get you the interview. After that you can dazzle them with your skill.

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 5:45 PM - Permalink

I think the ACE exams are great for myself to know I have not left out major blocks. Those areas I realise in the exam I don't feel totaly confident I make sure I get more comfortable before the new term begins. It's also a good way to gain respect from students. Looking to also take the ACA's just so I know what they are before I can decide if we will promote them to our students.

Ravian Budde

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 12:03 AM - Permalink

I've been pushing to get ANY Adobe certification instigated in our college, they don't seem to care about it at all!

Not sure if they don't see any value in have Adobe Certified Educators or if it is a cost thing (not that it costs much at all!).

As Linda mentioned, I would love to have the Certification for my own personal achievement!

Cheers.

Hussin Khan

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 12:02 AM - Permalink

I got my last job coz I was adobe Certified...it pays!

Linda Dickeson

Posted on Jul 31, 2012 9:41 PM - Permalink

The ACE exams would carry no weight in my school district, but I'd love to pass for personal reasons! I'm hoping for an InDesign ACA exam to start with, then on to the ACE!