A Complete Guide to Getting Your SOLIDWORKS Associate Certification

SOLIDWORKS Certification chart


Welcome to the beginning of your SOLIDWORKS certification journey. Your first milestone is to earn your SOLIDWORKS Associate Certification. While it is not required to earn the SOLIDWORKS Associate Certificate before pursuing your SOLIDWORKS Professional Certificate, this important first step will introduce you to the SOLIDWORKS Certification process and will give you experience with how the testing procedures work.


What is the CSWA?

The Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate exam is a basic skills test to show that a user knows their way around the software and can model prismatic mechanical parts.  It can be used as a baseline for any company to verify that students who have completed the SOLIDWORKS Essentials course have learned and retained the information presented in the course.

"Earning your CSWA Certification will advance your career as a user. It will help you gain confidence in your skills and set yourself apart. As a manager of a CSWA user, it will help insure a base line of competency and build a community of users."

– Tim Humphrey
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SOLIDWORKS CSWA Certification Lanyard Badge

What skills may be required to pass the CSWA exam :

  • Sketch entities - Lines , Centerline, Circle, Arc, Rectangle, Slot, Ellipse
  • Sketch tools - Add Relation, Trim, Offset, Convert, Mirror, Fillet
  • Smart Dimensions
  • Sketch relations - Coincident, Concentric, Tangent, Parallel, Perpendicular, Equal, Collinear
  • Boss and Cut Features - extrudes, revolves, sweeps, lofts
  • Fillets and Chamfers
  • Linear, Circular, and Fill patterns
  • Intelligent Feature conditions – Starting and Ending constraints.
  • Reference geometry – Coordinate Systems, Planes, Axis, Mate References
  • Materials - How to assign the correct material to update the parts density.
  • Mass properties - Specifically how to find center of mass from a given coordinate system.
  • Inserting components into an assembly.
  • Standard Mates - Coincident, Parallel, Perpendicular, Tangent, Concentric, Distance, Angle
  • Drawing View Types - Model View, Projected View, Auxiliary View, Section View, Detail View, Broken-out Section, Break View, Crop View
  • Annotations

**There are several iterations of CSWA exam test questions and models, therefore some or all the above skills may be needed.**

How do I prepare for the CSWA?

Obtaining your SOLIDWORKS Associate Certification (CSWA) can be challenging.  According to current SOLIDWORKS records, only about two thirds of all SOLIDWORKS users who take the CSWA are successful. In the same study it was shown that users who attended formal SOLIDWORKS training had a pass rate of 85%!  This is why completing our  SOLIDWORKS Essentials course is a critical first step toward achieving your CSWA.  Additionally, to help our students pass the CSWA and achieve first-time success, we have created Certification Prep content.  This include sample exams, tutorial lessons, and videos so you can be confident in your knowledge of SOLIDWORKS and feel ready to pass the CSWA exam.

SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Course for the CSWA


The GoEngineer SOLIDWORKS Essentials course is designed for beginner SOLIDWORKS users.  The material covered in this course will help you prepare for the CSWA exam and working with SOLIDWORKS CAD design tools.

We offer this course in several formats to fit both your schedule and ideal learning style: 

Traditional Classroom Training is conducted at GoEngineer training facilities throughout the country. You will be taught by one of our Certified SOLIDWORKS instructors in a classroom setting limited to 12 students or less.  Classroom SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training is scheduled from 8:30am-4:30pm for 4 days.

Online Instructor-Led Training is similar to our classroom training except you can participate from anywhere via our remote training platform.  These courses are taught by the same Certified Instructors as our Classroom training and class size is limited to 12 students.  To better accommodate schedules, our Online Instructor-led SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training is scheduled from 9am-1pm PST (7am-11am CST) over 6 days.    

We also offer SOLIDWORKS Essentials in our popular Supported, Self-Paced Training format.  This allows students the most flexibility in when they complete the course content, allowing students to move at their own pace but still receive support when they need it.  While enrolled in the course, students have access to our on-demand training support team and can even schedule one-on-one office hours sessions at a time that works best for them.


DESCRIPTION:    SOLIDWORKS Essentials is a four-day training class that teaches how to use SOLIDWORKS to build 3D parametric models of parts and assemblies and prepare drawings of those parts and assemblies.

PREREQUISITES:  Access to SOLIDWORKS 2018 or newer. Mechanical design experience; experience with the Windows® operating system


All the ways to take


SOLIDWORKS Essentials Self-Paced Training Available at GoEngineer
Self Paced Training


SOLIDWORKS Essentials Instructor-Led Training Available at GoEngineer Instructor Led Training 



SOLIDWORKS Essentials Classroom Training Available at GoEngineer Classroom Style Training  


Private SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Available at GoEngineer
Private Training


GoEngineer SOLIDWORKS CSWA Preparation Course


Begin your CSWA training with GoEngineer's industry approved Certification prep course.  This course was designed by SOLIDWORKS instructors and will not only give you the skills to help succeed with the CSWA exam, but also start to prepare you for your next achievement, the CSWP exam.

SOLIDWORKS CSWA Sample Exam Question

CSWA Practice TEST

Now that you have studied and built a solid basic foundation of SOLIDWORKS and its capabilities, its time to try a sample exam. This example CSWA test is provided for you to ensure you are capturing the skills you need to pass the CSWA. 

Please download the pdf example test and complete start to finish before reviewing the videos below


CSWA Practice Test Review Videos

CSWA Practice Part 1

This video covers question 1 from the CSWA Sample test for the first Part Modeling challenge.  This video includes two modeling approaches for some of the features presented with in as well as the use of intelligent end conditions accomplish this geometry.

CSWA Practice Part 2

This video covers question 6 from the CSWA Sample test for the second Part Modeling challenge.  This includes adding the Hole Wizard, plane creation and intelligent end conditions for this part.

CSWA Practice Assembly 1

This video covers question 4 from the CSWA Sample test for the first Assembly Modeling challenge.  This includes tips and tricks for locating the Origin of the base part or making your own Coordinate system if required.  Additionally, changing the standard view orientation for the assembly to match the question images. 

CSWA Practice Assembly 2

This video covers question 5 from the CSWA Sample test for the Second Assembly Modeling challenge.  Including a revisit of making a Coordinate system and the use of a Coordinate system Mate to locate the base part.  Additionally, there is a quick mention of the Width mate for centering components.


So, you're kicking the tires and trying to decide if this is worth your time and effort? Discover some good reasons to challenge yourself and commit to study and learn enough to become a Certified SOLIDWORKS user!


Find out the main goals and some of the requirements for taking a certification exam. For a complete list of all the FAQ about SOLIDWORKS certification please see:



Showcase your accomplishments by choosing to be listed in the SOLIDWORKS Certification Directory as well as use it to discover who else is certified in your local area.



Perhaps you have taken a certification exam but did not pass? The good news is that the 3DExperience Certification Center keeps track of all your exam results, of which can be used to determine which area or topic needs additional study. This can also be used to find out the statistical average scores from all users who have attempted the same exam.


If you are a hiring manager then you may be tired of hearing about all of the self-proclaimed ‘Super Awesome Hero’ SOLIDWORKS users that submit resumes full of promise. However, they do not have any official SOLIDWORKS Certifications listed, so how do you correctly determine that user’s skill level? Obviously, as you are on this webpage, you can guess our recommendation!”


Proof of authenticity is important when there is an industry established standard. As such SOLIDWORKS maintains a verification database to provide everyone with the ability to perform a ‘background’ check to make sure everything is genuine.

How to Make a Virtual Tester Account From the Website

In this video, learn how to make a virtual tester ID from the website.

How to Make a Virtual Tester Account From the Tester Program

In this video, learn how to make a virtual tester ID from a test client.


In this video, learn how to make a SOLIDWORKS ID to gain access to your Subscription Benefits.


In this video, learn how to make a customer portal from an administered account. 

my.solidworks Prep Course

With over 40 individual training video topics covering the basics, it will provide a great review for getting ready to take the exam.  For additional CSWA Certification Preparation, please be sure to check out the My.SOLIDWORKS.com learning path.


SOLIDWORKS CSWA Training Manuals

Utilize guides and manuals written by certified SOLIDWORKS Instructors to help prepare you for the CSWA exam.

Official Guide to Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Exams: CSWA, CSWA-SD, CSWSA-S, CSWA-AM

Official Guide to Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Exams: CSWA, CSWA-SD, CSWA-S, CSWA-AM

by David C. Planchard CSWP


additional buying options

This Certification Guide covers Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA), Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Sustainable Design (CSWA-SD), Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Simulation (CSWA-S) and the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Additive Manufacturing (CSWA-AM) exam.  It contains a complete overview break down of the current CSWA Sample exam, along with additional models to build and practice with.

SOLIDWORKS 2023 Basic Tools Training Manual.


by Paul Tran CSWE, CSWI


additional buying options

SOLIDWORKS Basic Tools is the first book in a three part series. It introduces new users to the SOLIDWORKS interface, SOLIDWORKS tools and basic modeling techniques. It provides you with a strong understanding of SOLIDWORKS and covers the creation of parts, assemblies and drawings. Every lesson and exercise in this book was created based on real world projects. Each of these projects has been broken down and developed into easy and comprehensible steps. Furthermore, at the end of every chapter there are self test questionnaires to ensure that you have gained sufficient knowledge from each section before moving on to more advanced lessons. This book takes the approach that in order to understand SOLIDWORKS, inside and out, you should create everything from the beginning and take it step by step.



Additionally, you can check out some models to interrogate from the SOLIDWORKS Part Reviewer at 3DContentCentral.com.



Finally right before you take your real Certification Exam, please attempt the free CSWA Sample Exam using the Virtual TesterPro Client for the most realistic practice.





  • Exam Vouchers can be requested twice a year – one in the first half and another in the second half of each calendar year.
  • Once a voucher code is generated, it can be redeemed by anyone. This allows users to share or giveaway their unused vouchers.
  • Exam vouchers expire 180 days after they are issued.
  • Once a voucher is entered into the VirtualTester, the exam must be taken immediately.





If you are a hiring manager and you want to use the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate exam as a litmus test to see if a candidate is worth interviewing, you can purchase Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate credit for about $100. This is an extremely affordable way to vet out potential candidates. Or perhaps, you are a SOLIDWORKS user who is anxious to earn a specific certification and you have already used up all of your available exam vouchers. In this case, you will need to purchase additional test credits. Check out this video to see how the procedure works.”
How to use a test voucher
Now that you are ready to take that exam, see how you can use your test voucher!
managing test credits
As a hiring manager, watch this video to see how to create certification vouchers from purchased test credits to give out to prospective interview candidates to test their current SOLIDWORKS skill level.



Users who validate their skills with certifications represent an elite segment of the SOLIDWORKS community.  For some, there is nothing more gratifying than achieving challenging certifications, and certificates are displayed like badges of honor. Others pursue certification to gain a competitive edge in the job market. No matter what your motivation, getting certified provides a clear path to SOLIDWORKS mastery.  All certified users are added to a SOLIDWORKS directory corresponding to their level of achievement.


Next, click on the Magnifying glass icon from the side left menu. 


Review this video before proceeding.


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