Complete guide to AutoCAD certification exam preparation

Why certification?

Certification exam by Autodesk is one of the easy methods of validating your CAD skills. Certification adds credibility to your resume and it also gives you access to the certified professional logo which you can use on your resume, blog or visiting card.

A certified professional is also added to the Autodesk database of certified professionals which can be viewed by your potential employers.

autocad certification exam preparation

There is no compulsory eligibility criteria for appearing in the exams and you can appear as many times as you want however within a duration of 12 months you can’t appear in this exam more than three times.

As per recommendation of Autodesk, it will be useful if you have 400 hours of hands-on experience working with AutoCAD before you appear for AutoCAD certification exams.

How to get AutoCAD certification:

Certification exams are online exams which are conducted by Autodesk authorized testing centers, these testing centers act as a one-stop solution for all your certification related queries and needs. Locate your nearest testing center and contact them via phone or email for all your queries.

AutoCAD certification exam cost:

You can get the quote on the price of certification exams from your testing centers or you can also purchase exam vouchers from Certiport. The exam generally costs between 100 to 200 USD but the price varies depending on your location.

See this pricing detail of certification exam for US candidates, as I have already mentioned these prices may vary depending on your geographical location.

Syllabus of Exam:

The exam is not version specific and you can prepare for the exam using any version of AutoCAD but I would recommend you to choose AutoCAD 2013 or later release. Examination syllabus is quite basic for the certified user as well as professional exam but you need to have a clear understanding of tools and commands of AutoCAD.

None of the advanced topics like Dynamic Blocks, Sheet set manager and Design center is in the syllabus. See this detail syllabus for Autodesk certified user as well as the Autodesk certified professional exam.

The pattern of exam:

The exam is online and you will have access to the version of AutoCAD software for which you are appearing in the exam. You can switch AutoCAD and exam window by using the ctrl+tab key. The time tracker will be visible throughout the exam and you can also pause the exam if required by the permission of invigilator.

The exam gets automatically paused if the internet connection is lost during the exam. You can also mark questions as “unanswered for review” and you can also change answers as many times as you want before submitting it finally.

autocad certification exam

The professional certification exam will have a total of 35 questions to be answered in a time limit of 2 hours. Most of the questions will be based on data files which you will download in the beginning of the exam.

The questions will be related to manipulating data files and then finding some values based on manipulations. There will be some objective and match type questions as well.

Evaluation and result:

As soon as you submit your exam you will receive a detailed diagnostic report with your areas of improvement and final score. If you fail to clear the exam then you can appear again, there is no waiting period for re-exam but you will have to pay again for the exam.

The certification remains valid forever for a particular version so there is no need to appear for the exam ever year to keep your certified status active. However, you can appear for the exam to get certification for any newer version of AutoCAD.

How to prepare for certification:

The best resource for AutoCAD certification exam preparation is this Pluralsight course which is developed exclusively for the certified professional exam training. The course contains video lectures of 5.6-hour length covering all topics of certification exam in detail with sample AutoCAD certification exam questions.

This Pluralsight course will help you to focus only on topics required for certification exam avoiding unnecessary topics. The course will also introduce you to some of the best practices for the certification exam, here you can view and enroll in AutoCAD certification course.

If you are not interested in certification course then you can follow AutoCAD mastering book by Sybex publication also. This book has topics of certification exam marked as “certification objectives” so you don’t need to go through entire book for preparation.

Best Practices for the exam: 

These are some of the points that you need to take care of before and during your exam

  • Clear your fundamentals and study only topics mentioned in course content don’t distract yourself by trying to learn as much as possible.
  • Make sure your AutoCAD software is functioning well before starting exam interface.
  • Ensure good hardware configuration of your PC for optimum performance.
  • Ensure good internet connectivity although you can pause your exam and failed internet connectivity automatically pauses exam but still it is better to avoid this situation.
  • Press Ctrl + Tab to toggle between AutoCAD software and exam window to save time.

Want to know more? visit these links Autodesk certification and Certiport

Learn AutoCAD from basics to a professional level with our self-paced online courses.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce.

I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.

40 Comments

  1. Joel August 16, 2017 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Jaiprakash if I want to do the ACU exam where do I start to prepare? Going to do it at the AutoDesk University this year 2017.

  2. richagotecha June 17, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Hey. I am doing bachelor’s in civil engineering and I am currently a sophomore. Which test should I take? ACP or ACU?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey June 17, 2017 at 4:06 am - Reply

      I would suggest you to take ACU exam.

  3. Ray Ohanlon March 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Is there a reason why the word “preparation” is spelt incorrectly on the top banner/logo ?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 14, 2017 at 11:56 pm - Reply

      It was obviously a typo, thanks for mentioning Ray it’s now corrected.

  4. Shibin ziyad March 14, 2017 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Hi sir, is AutoCAD 3d include in autodesk users exam ?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 14, 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

      No Shibin 3D is not include in the any certification exam.

  5. Sai Kiran Kosgi January 26, 2017 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    HI, could you please help me with what the course syllabus for the certified “user” exam is? and how much hands on experience would be needed to clear the certified user exam? is it just the basics? A reply would be appreciated. Thank You

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 28, 2017 at 12:34 am - Reply

      You can see complete course syllabus of certified user exam here https://goo.gl/zrRGm0

      The exam contains mostly basic questions and I would recommend you to have at least one year of hands-on experience with AutoCAD for appearing in the ACU exam.

  6. ashishrhirani January 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    What is the difference between Autodesk Certified Professional and Autodesk Certified User?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey January 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      The certified user exam requires less hands-on experience with AutoCAD software and it is comparatively easy whereas the professional exam is little difficult and requires more hands-on experience.

      • Ashish Hirani January 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm - Reply

        is the pluralsight course for ACP exam enough? what are the charges of the Pluralsight course (apart from the 10day trial period)?

        • Jaiprakash Pandey January 16, 2017 at 11:38 pm - Reply

          The ACP course contains all of the topics of exam with lots of sample questions, it costs 29$ for a monthly subscription of Pluralsight which gives you access to their complete library.

          • ashishrhirani January 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

            I have already been using autocad. Obviously there are new things there to be learned every time. However in how many days would i be ready for the autocad certified professional exam?

          • Jaiprakash Pandey January 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

            In my opinion experience of 2 years is more than enough for you to appear in certification exam, the exam is not very difficult and you can pass the exam if you have good knowledge of only basic AutoCAD software tools and commands.

  7. andrewgbluegrey December 20, 2016 at 6:07 am - Reply

    how much is for the test

    • Jaiprakash Pandey December 21, 2016 at 2:54 am - Reply

      It varies from region to region, you can contact nearest testing centre for exact price of certification exams. Details are mentioned in the article.

  8. Ashish Hirani November 29, 2016 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    When I check the autodesk certified professional search (“http://www.certiport.com/portal/pages/ACPSearch.aspx”)
    It gives an option for Autocad Certified Professional and Autocad 20XX certified professional – what can I do to opt for only autocad certified professional. (I do not want it to be version related)

    • Jaiprakash Pandey December 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      As far as I know the certifications are version related and you need to choose the version for which you are appearing in the exam.

  9. Jahurul Haque September 9, 2016 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Jaiprakash
    I have one confusion.If we copy the value from the command line and then paste to answer box ,do we include units? for example if the distance is found from the data file that show in the command line is 12.987″ ,do we enter 12.987 or 12.987″ in the answer box? Appreciate your reply.Thanks
    Jhaque

    • Jaiprakash Pandey September 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      That depends on the question but in most cases, you will only need to enter the data not the unit symbol.

  10. Anonymous August 12, 2016 at 12:59 am - Reply

    Hi there
    I have two question
    1) Is it possible I learn all Auto cad by myself & then go for test?
    I mean still I can do the test without spend any courses?
    2) with my situation,after pass test,what kind of certificate I gonna get?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey August 12, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

      Yes, you can learn AutoCAD yourself but you need to at least follow a book (or AutoCAD help) for proper learning. If you work for a substantial amount of time with AutoCAD then it will be easier for you to pass the certification exam.
      After certification, you will get Autodesk AutoCAD 201X version certificate by Autodesk where X indicates the version of software for which you appeared in the exam.

  11. Rajani July 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Jaiprakash
    I completed my M.Tech (CAD) in 2013 but didn’t learn any software. Since then I have been aloof of everything as got busy with family and new born. Now I want to start my career. I have done CREO 3.0 from CADD centre but it doesn’t have much scope in chandigarh.
    I want to do AutoCad now and would like to freelance. I heard that Autodesk certification increases chances of getting some work.
    I want to know if just self study would be OK for certification or do I need to enroll for the course.

    Thank you

    • Jaiprakash Pandey July 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      Certification is not a guarantee of more credibility but it will certainly add value to your profile. For freelance work it sometimes becomes mandatory to mention that you are a certified professional to get the projects, so yes in those cases it will be helpful but you need to learn intricacies of the software and preferably work with any small design firm for at least a short period of time to have hands on experience on the software which will later help you in your freelance career.

      Self-study is more than enough for certification if done in right way, but the course will help you in avoiding topics which are not necessary from the certification point of view and it will also give you a clear picture of what exam is actually like.

  12. Tom Sawyer June 17, 2016 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Is it possible that I can secure a job with just a professional autodesk certificate?I’m a university dropout and would like to find ways to get to a technical career.I have experience and basic knowledge in using autocad as I was studying Mechanical Engineering.So is it possible that I can secure a career as an autocad drafter with the professional certificate?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey June 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      No, certification does not guarantee the job. You need to fulfill criteria of different companies for working with them. But a certification adds credibility to your resume and there may be some employers who may hire you based on your skills and they may consider you even if you don’t have any formal technical degree.

  13. Akhilesh sharma May 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    can you also tell me the procedure of payment?
    because i am willing to take this exams in next month..
    i’ve registered on certiport but they are asking to buy a voucher first, so is there any other ways than that or should i buy a voucher and then redeem it in near by exam centre.

    • Jaiprakash Pandey May 8, 2016 at 2:32 am - Reply

      Locate your nearest testing centre from this link http://www.certiport.com/locator and you can purchase test vouchers from them. They will guide you with rest of the test process as well.

      • Akhilesh Sharma May 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        thank you sir !

  14. Akhilesh sharma May 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Mastering AutoCAD is quite costly, it is around 3,274. is there any other book.?

    • Jaiprakash Pandey May 8, 2016 at 2:30 am - Reply

      If you are not comfortable with AutoCAD mastering book then you can take this course although it is a paid option its worth it https://learn.thesourcecad.com/p/all-courses
      Moreover, you can also look for other online courses that offer detailed courses.

      • Akhilesh Sharma May 9, 2016 at 12:47 pm - Reply

        is there any big difference in AutoCAD 2015 and Autocad 2016..??
        because i used AutoCAD 2015 while doing my diploma in AutoCAD.

        • Jaiprakash Pandey May 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

          No, there is not much difference between the two versions. The only major change was in rendering options palette and environment.

  15. Nilesh Kumar March 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    How can one verify the certificate provided after completion of exam?
    I have my certificate, but want to check its authenticity. Please suggest

    • Jaiprakash Pandey March 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      You can search for Autodesk certified professionals from this page, and if you are in the list then your certificate is valid.
      http://www.certiport.com/portal/pages/ACPSearch.aspx

      • Ahmad Sarfaraz May 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm - Reply

        Dear Jaiprakash Pandey,
        Thank you for sharing your experiences.
        Could you please tell me about exam registration fee?

        • Jaiprakash Pandey May 3, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

          It varies from region to region, the best way to check for registration fee is by calling one of the nearest Authorised test centres. You can locate your nearest test centre here http://www.certiport.com/locator

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