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How to Pass the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) Exam on Your First Attempt

Updated: Apr 4


Are you planning to take the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) exam? Passing this exam can be a challenging feat, especially for first-timers. While the CSWA exam is the easiest of the three SOLIDWORKS certifications, the average passing rate is just 64%. In this article, we'll provide you with tips to help you pass the CSWA exam on your first attempt.

Tip 1: Gain Experience Using SOLIDWORKS

To pass the CSWA exam, you need to have at least 60 hours of experience using SOLIDWORKS. This can include time spent doing assignments, tutorials, or just experimenting with the software. The more you practice using SOLIDWORKS, the more confident and comfortable you'll become with the software.

Tip 2: Use Two Monitors on Exam Day

Using two monitors can help you save time by reducing the time needed to alternate between the exam questions and SOLIDWORKS. This can increase your productivity and help you complete the exam efficiently.

Tip 3: Launch SOLIDWORKS Before the Exam

Launch SOLIDWORKS before launching the exam application. This will ensure you don't waste time waiting for the software to load during the exam.

Tip 4: Watch Video Tutorials

Watch video tutorials to learn more about SOLIDWORKS and its features. You can find many helpful video tutorials online, including our website. These tutorials can help you improve your skills and prepare for the exam.

Tip 5: Practice with Sample Questions

To familiarize yourself with the exam format, practice with sample questions. You can find many sample questions on the internet, including our website. Try to complete each question within 15 minutes. If you can't complete a question within this time frame, you may not be ready to take the exam. You can find the solutions to our questions in the forum here.

Tip 6: Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning keyboard shortcuts can help you save time and increase your productivity during the exam. There are many keyboard shortcuts in SOLIDWORKS, but the three most important shortcuts are Ctrl+8, S, and D. These shortcuts minimize the time you spend dragging your mouse around the screen and keep it in the center.

This brings up all the sketch tools near your mouse pointer
S key shortcut
D key shortcut

Tip 7: Approach Questions Methodically

When you receive a question, approach it methodically. Look at the functional dimensions (the "A", "B", "C", etc.) and start with the view that has the most functional dimensions. This will make it easier to complete the question. See the example below (insert picture).

The correct view to start creating your part

Tip 8: Have an Order for Your Modeling

Have an order for your modeling to save time and complete the exam efficiently. Start with extrudes, then extrude cuts, and finish with fillets and chamfers. See the example below (insert picture).

Be orderly: start with extrude, then cut extrude and finally fillet/ chamfer


Following these tips increases your chances of passing the CSWA exam on your first attempt. Remember to practice, use shortcuts, and approach questions methodically to save time and complete the exam efficiently. Good luck!

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