3-Steps to Selecting Your Esri Certification Exam

03-29-2023 08:15 AM
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A Personalized Approach to Exam Selection

To get the best results when personalizing your Esri Technical Certification journey, start by reviewing our blog that explains the basics of our Exam Naming Convention. Then personalize your certification journey by asking yourself a few key questions to envision the journey and select the exam that's right for you.

3-Steps to Selecting Your Exam

The first step in determining which exam is right for you leads you straight to the Esri Technical Certification website to view a list of exams

  1. Select the exam by title: Which title best resembles my role and ArcGIS responsibilities?
  2. Select the exam by level: Which level matches my years of experience?
  3. Select the exam by version: Which version aligns with my journey timeline (now or future)?

Review Each Exam Title

When initially selecting an exam, it is important to determine if the exam name is appealing because it represents my 'current' self or my 'future' self It doesn't matter which response you chose, both are great reasons to make a certification goal. What's important is to understand that who we are now is a short-term journey and who we want to be is a longer-term journey. We're talking about time because the next task is to pick the exam level which is based on time -- years of expertise.

  1. Which exam title interests me?
  2. Does the title reference the software, role, or responsibilities?  
  3. Does the title describe my 'current' self or my 'future' self that I'd like to be after my certification journey?

Evaluate Each Exam Level

You will need to decide which level is right for you. Certification exams are currently available at four levels: foundation, associate, professional, or specialty.  

The foundation level indicated skills and experience with Esri software at between 0-2 years, whereas, the associate level would require 2-4 years’ experience, and finally, the professional level is set at 4+ years of experience. Specialty certification exams are the most complex of the four levels and singularly focus on a specific topic or product. Additionally, specialty exams are shorter in length and do not provide the test taker with the enhanced score report. 

  1. How many years of experience do I have with the software?
  2. How many of the software tools do I use and how often do I use them?
  3. How many workflows do I complete alone, and which do I complete with my team? 

Select the Exam Version

To understand where you are on your certification journey, you'll need to conduct a self-assessment. Each exam is available to the public with 2-versions. By completing a self-guided assessment, you will be able to determine if your skills best align with the older version, the newest version, or study and take the next version when it publishes.  

  1. Perform a self-guided skill assessment by watching the preparation video and reviewing the Learning Plans to support your exam preparation process.
  2. Review the exam information guide to determine if your skills and experience align with that being tested on in the exam.
  3. Test your knowledge of best practices against the ArcGIS Documentation to refresh your knowledge or learn new topics that will appear in the exam you are interested in.

When you have completed your skills assessment and are confident you have chosen the best exam to fit your skills and experience, return to the Esri Technical Certification website to find an exam, and either 'Wishlist' the exam and learning plan to Esri Academy's My Wishlist while you prepare or purchase from the exam details page.

Want to learn more about how the GIS community supports exam development? Click here to ‘subscribe’ and participate.

-- Best to you on your certification journey!

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About the Author
I manage the Esri Technical Certification Program and the Global Training Ecosystem. Ask me how to become Esri Certified.