Happy to say I recently checked off a pretty large goal off my list by achieving my CPACC certification! I sat for the exam in early February 2022 and received notification of my passing it early in March/
- I participated in a CPACC study cohort at work, four of us worked through the IAAP CPACC Certification Preparation Course course together. I took fairly detailed bulleted notes that I referred back to often. The course is well organized and I got a lot of great detail out of it.
- Prior to the cohort I had purchased a year-long license to that course twice and had trouble making the time to get through it on my own. Having others to talk to and hold me accountable was just the kick of motivation I needed, having study buddies is highly recommended!
- I read through the whole Body of Knowledge (BoK), outline, and sample questions provided at Accessibility Association as well
- In the weeks leading up to my exam, I created approximately 400 flash cards to study from, I think the act of making the flash cards were as helpful as studying them. I ended up using Anki because I wanted an easy way to sync flash cards between devices so I could also study from my phone on the go. That worked out great becuse every opportunity I had to swipe through a few cards did add up - waiting for a haircut, in line at the grocery store, etc.
- I had read a few horror stories about poor remote proctored exam experiences so I prepared a bedroom with minimal decoration far away from any noise or distraction. I had my personal computer set up with the Kryterion Sentinel program well in advance too as that is required for the exam. I didn’t bother even trying with my work laptop because of the warnings about avoiding firewalls and admin access requirement.
- The exam is 100 multiple choice questions and you get 2 hours to complete, you’re able to have a notepad and pen and nothing else nearby when taking it remotely. That means no phones, devices, smart watches, etc.
Exam Reflection #
- I was stopped after my second question to take off and show my glasses and confirm I'm not using a notepad (the only other allowed thing in a remote proctored exam).
- I took 1 hour 10 minutes, had 15 questions flagged for review after the first pass and probably agonized over these for longer than I should have. I was initially nervous about timing but now I would say the 2 hours they give was more than sufficient. I do appreciate that they offer more time to folks who feel they may need it as well.
- It goes way deeper into applying guidelines to real-world situations and often provides at least two reasonable options and forces you to choose the BEST. Makes it very difficult to feel confident in my responses but I do think it does a good job pusing you to apply what you've learned rather than relying on memorization.
- There were questions about the UN CRPD that I had no idea how to answer, and I felt fairly confident about that and the Marrakesh Treaty in particular. In hindsight I think maybe some extra due diligence reading through the linked materials available through the Deque course as well as the BoK would have helped, but it’s already quite a lot of information.
- There was a very specific question about the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 8341 that I was unprepared for, definitely need to read even further into the international and domain specific laws if you want to get all of these right.
- There was some wording that used "social" and "systemic" that led me to different answers than I would have put otherwise. Be mindful of the subtle context they're adding because it could change your answer.
- I studied a lot about the different types of color blindness, didn't personally get any questions that went deep enough to know all the particular types and names but I'm still glad to have learned that extra information.
- Before sitting for the exam I was under the impression that statistics were very important, only got a question about most pervasive type of disability and general percentage of people with disabilities stats.
Wrapping up #
In all, I would say this was one of the most difficult exams I've had to prepare for mostly due to the sheer volume of information involved. But passing it and having all that important foundational knowledge made the hard work worthwile in my opinion.