How to crack the CP-SAT certification code?

Certified Professional – Selenium Automation Testing (CP-SAT) is the only globally recognized Selenium certification which is actively pursued in countries like India, USA, UK, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador.  I am proud to say that I am one of the certified trainers for the program and have trained across the world for CP-SAT (including the train the trainer program).  One of the major concerns that participants have is that they find the certification exam very difficult to pass.  I don’t have the full statistics but there are not more than 50% who clear the exam in first attempt.  Here I am going to the sharing my views on this and also share some tips to prepare and clear the CP-SAT exam.

As per my role in ATA Steering Committee it has been one the responsibilities to review the course curriculums and exam questions patterns time to time to keep it relevant and fair.  We keep reviewing the curriculum to ensure we cover the topics in terms of coverage and depth, please mind the fact that the CP-SAT training run for 2.5 days with certification exam in the remaining half day.  Considering the limited time, we pick the topics carefully to ensure that there is enough learning for participant to spend time in class and later they can practice and get expertise.  We also include the peripheral topics to ensure that we don’t cover the tool in isolation and cover the ecosystem to enable participants to use Selenium effectively.

CP-SAT is an open exam and we are seeing more and more participants taking the exams directly (without training). For someone who has attended the training it becomes relatively easier as they have exactly covered the curriculum and also got trained from a certified ATA trainer (the selection criteria for that is very stringent). Anyways for anyone who is taking the CP-SAT exam there are certain guidelines which when followed can help crack the exam, let me share them.

  • Study the Learning Objectives presented on the ATA CP-SAT webpage http://agiletestingalliance.org/sat.html and use this as basis for your preparation.
  • Read the questions carefully to see which combination for test script is being asked, for e.g. the question can be to write script in TestNG framework, WebDriver architecture and for Firefox browser. If participant submits a script in JUnit, WebDriver and for Firefox, even though it is fully functional still you will not get full marks.
  • Create the test environment with relevant Jar files (or POM file for maven) and project structure in IDE before the exam starts.
  • Use the last 5 minutes only to prepare the archive file of your project that needs to be emailed to atasupport@agiletestingalliance.org. Before you export the archive file please ensure that all the Jar and exe files has been removed and list them in a txt file.
  • Double check your archive file for small size (it should be in KBs) and ensure all your script for given questions is there.
  • Name the classes and html (for Selenium IDE) as per the question you are answering, for e.g. question1.java or question5.html
  • Even if you find a certain question difficult and you are not sure how to solve it (may be due to lack of time), you should still attempt some steps of the question as there are points given on steps. It will all add up!
  • Read the entire exam paper carefully before you start and allocate time for questions and keep track of time. Even if you spend an hour to answer a 10 marks question and do a great job at it, you will still get no more than 10 marks and then you will find difficult to complete remaining questions. Be Agile, inspect and adapt.

Ultimately there is no alternative to hard work, you need to work hard to learn the tool and the CP-SAT certification exam is designed to judge the depth of your knowledge.  You will need to practice coding and get into problem solving mode to make good use of your knowledge. If you are to get ATA Certified for CP-SAT then you gonna have to earn it. All the best!!

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