Paula Droddy
Technology Instructor

ACA Certification - Advice Needed

I am hoping to add ACA certification opportunity for my students. My school is on board. I would like to get this certification and work my way up to higher certifications from there. I have looked at so much information online and still don't feel like I know what the steps are. Information overload. Can anyone break it down for me?


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Rob Schwartz

Posted on 3/8/17 1:44:24 AM Permalink

​Hi Everyone! I was just a part of a huge rollout in Idaho, and have some tips! I was also the lead teacher for the Top Certifying Center for the ACA and won the #1 Instructor Worldwide for the ACA World Championship back in the day.

Couple tips as things have morphed some in recent years:

1. Get set up with "Console 8" for delivering exams- it's much easier to roll out and updated more frequently. The old system is going away and glitchy.

2. Reach out to your Certiport Rep for a solution. I recommend at least training materials and the exams... Idaho had the most successful rollout ever and they used ​ACATestPrep for learning, and then the exams. If you have extra $, gMetrix can help, too... but don't get Gmetrix instead of curriculum- they're just practice exams. The kids gotta learn, not be tested to death!

3. Site licences are better than vouchers if you have a lot of kids testing. ask for where the break even is. Most kids need to take the exam twice, so don't buy single vouchers.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have specific questions- I'm kinda living and breathing the ACA these last few years!

Rhitt Growl

Posted on 3/8/17 2:11:33 AM Permalink

Thanks for the tips. Does Console 8 run on Mac OS? Certiport's current Mac delivery system is a real pain to set up.​

Rob Schwartz

Posted on 3/8/17 2:41:57 AM Permalink

Sorry to report, but no. :(

I can't go into details yet because I don't know what's been released yet... but these problems should be a distant memory for Mac and PC users in the near future! ;)

Karen Henchy

Posted on 4/26/14 9:58:45 PM Permalink

I appreciate all of the information. I am working to implement this program next year (hopefully it will be approved) and all of the information has been helpful to me.

Paula Droddy

Posted on 3/3/14 2:44:13 PM Permalink

Thank you for all the advice everyone! Been crazy busy with track and uil academic events. I am looking forward to starting the process soon!

Kevin Cagno

Posted on 2/26/14 3:59:48 PM Permalink

I have worked with Certiport ( to offer the tests to the students. The process is pretty straight forward and they can help with deciding what would work best for your situation. We have become a testing site for Certiport and have a site license (yearly fee) so that students can take the practice test as much as they want. I took all the tests myself and found that there is a little bit of a learning curve in just taking the tests that the students have to overcome. It has worked well for us and we have 10-12 graders taking and passing the tests. They are nowhere near the difficulty of the ACE tests that Adobe offers but do a good job of making sure that the students have solid entry level skills. We have been offering them for about 3 years now.

The online prep packets you can get on the Adobe site ( ) are helpful but they only have them for 4 of the tests.

Rhitt Growl

Posted on 2/26/14 5:33:11 PM Permalink

Thanks for the post. As a teacher that is new to this, it is encouraging to hear from someone that has been offering the exams for a while and has been successful.

rob johnson

Posted on 2/22/14 1:46:00 AM Permalink

Rhitt Growl

Posted on 2/18/14 4:16:52 AM Permalink

I just started the ACA process for my students but have not gone through any of the certification testing myself. I plan on doing it before the end of the school year. Last year, my school district told me that I was going to have to offer the ACA exams to my students this year and like you, my head was spinning and I felt very overloaded.

This is what I did to start the process for my students:

  1. Decide what exams you are going to offer. This will depend on what Adobe Programs you use and what you want the students to be certified in. I only have my kids for one year and we use Illustrator a lot…so that was my choice. In the future I plan on offering exams for other Adobe products but for this year I decided to keep it simple and go with Illustrator.
  2. Get a ballpark idea of how many students will be taking exams and how many exams you want them to take. Certiport has a variety of purchasing options…they range from single exams, to school wide licenses, to district wide. I only have six students so I purchased 10 exams, 10 retakes, and a 10 pack of practice exams. The students can take the practice exam as much as they want. I purchased 10 of everything because it will cover all of my students for their Illustrator exam and for the exams that I plan on taking (Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign). If I wanted the kids to get certified in another program I would have had to purchase more exams.
  3. I contacted the Adobe Sales Rep for my state. He connected me to a sales rep at Certiport. If you don't know who your Adobe Rep is just contact Certiport yourself and tell them you are interested in offering ACA exams for your students and they will help you begin the process. You have to fill out some online forms but it is pretty quick and easy and the Certiport people walked me through the process (they are super-nice and very helpful).
  4. After I was set up as a testing center, the Certiport rep sent me an invoice for the exams, retakes, and practice exams. I handed the invoice to my principal and she faxed Certiport a purchase order. After they received the PO, the vouchers for my exams were loaded into my account within two days. Certiport received our PO last Wednesday and I had my students take their practice exams today.
  5. While the whole PO thing was going through, I went ahead and watched all of the videos on the Certiport website about becoming a testing center (once you have an account with them and are a testing center, you will have access to a video library that walks you thought the steps of giving the exams…from setting up your computers, to creating testing groups, to proctoring the exams). If you are the person that registers your school as a testing center, by default, you are the person that will manage the account for your school. Being the account manager allows you to assign other teachers at your school to certain roles with Cetiport. So, if you have other teachers that will be giving the exams, you can assign them the role or proctor (after they register with Certiport…again, very easy for them to do). I am the only person at my school offering the exams so much of this didn't apply to me. But, I do plan on getting two other teachers at my site to register so I can make them proctors so they can proctor the tests to me.
  6. I set up a "class" in Certiport for my student to join before taking the exams. Setting up the class in Certiport will help you (and the teachers giving the exams) stay organized and you'll understand this step more once you get past the first five steps.
  7. After that, I had my students register with Certiport, enroll in the class that I created, and then start taking their practice exams. I have one desktop in my room dedicated to testing so I sat with each one of them as they created their accounts (to make sure they did it right).
  8. Today they started taking their practice exams. They could have taken the full exams today but I am waiting until the end of the school year for that.
This post is getting a little long but the info above should be enough to get you started. I know I left out some details so if you have any questions, please feel free to post them back here.

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 2/11/14 8:19:21 PM Permalink

Seems the first step to be able to offer the students certification, besides teaching them the software, is to find a test centre or apply to become one. If you are a certiport test centre then it's a small step, as for us this is where we will start.

Plan is:

1) Get qualified as a Certiport Test Centre (after preparing environment specified). Get IT staff and 2-3 teachers qualified to procure exams.

2) Let teachers try study and take the exam (can't expect them to train for the unknown)

3) Select 5-10 students to pilot.

We are also hoping to make a visit to a school that already has ACA testing to learn from them, it does mean some travelling, but we think it will be worth the while. Our goal is that all software teachers should have past at least one ACA (for relevant software) and preferably an ACE or three.

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 2/11/14 7:11:30 PM Permalink

I think we are many considering this.

Would be great if someone (hope they are following this) that has gone the road could coach us through the process with bi-monthly meetings and assignments on what we need to do before the next meeting. Would be great to use the collaborative tools so we all don't need to struggle by ourselves to find the road. Others have done it… could they share there experience in a forum where we can listen and ask questions? Please?

If I work this out before you do I'd be happy to coach ;)

Adobe Education

Posted on 2/4/14 7:47:40 AM Permalink

Hi Paula,

ACA is designed for folks who want to demonstrate entry-level industry skills in our products. You can learn more about the ACA here: There are free study materials on the site as well. Click on "View Preparation Materials" to learn more.

You can also take a look at these two PDFs that can help you think about the best path for you as an individual: and for a school:

I hope this is helpful. If you want to be put in direct touch with someone about getting the ACA for your school, send us an email via the contact form. Before you get to the email section there is also FAQ's about the ACA exam that may also be helpful.


~Adobe Education