My name is Elizabeth. I am a 21 year old, living in Germany and I would like to become an Adobe Certified Expert.

I was wondering if anybody would be so kind to answer a few of my questions. I have been using Adobe Photoshop for a couple of years now, but only properly studying it for the past two years. Nevertheless, because I am self-teaching myself the software, I find it a bit difficult to really gauge how ready I am to take the test.

What's the best way to know that I'm ready to sit the exam?

Thank you very much for taking your time to read this. I am looking forward to hopefully hearing back from somebody.

Sincerely, Elizabeth

  • We have a similar question here: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/19951/… that might help you. However your question is too broad and each person you ask will give you different feedback. Please take a minute and tour our help center on what our site structure is and how to ask good questions.
    – user9447
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:06
  • Thank you for your tip. I deleted a few questions and kept the three that are most similar to my main question. Is that better? I have also read the question you linked me too and while that did provide help, I am missing the key answer to my question which is: time frame.
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:07
  • I just saw somebody made a change to it. Thank you if you're also that person, I was cracking my head to find a tangible question that wold provide a definitive answer. Would that be an accepted question now?
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:14
  • @ElizabethM Try asking your question on Reddit at /r/LearnDesign /r/Design or /r/graphic_design. They are more open to discussion-type questions (in fact encourage them).
    – fadelm0
    Oct 14, 2015 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


There's free online tests you can take to test your skills.

Adobe also offer its own training and I'm guessing it's the best way to learn exactly the real techniques they will ask you about in their exams. Yes, there's an investment in time and money. Personally, the people I know who are certified also have a work experience as teachers or specialists in the industry, and a part of their training was done on site; sometimes it's the employer who pays for an on-site training.

You can also join the Adobe Community Forum and ask the question there; lot of people are certified there and you can also measure your skills with the questions that are being asked and get more details as well about the process. When you'll see everything is easy for you to explain AND that you know the right words/terms as well, then I guess you can consider yourself ready for the test. Even by answering questions here you can get some clues about your own skills.

It's not all to know how to use Photoshop on your own, there's lot of technical sides to it that you might have never heard about. You'll probably need to invest in a few training manuals as suggested in the other answer. There's also seminars organized by Adobe that you can join.

Official Adobe training tools:


Example of questions (see PDF):


Become an Adobe Certified Expert


  • Thank you @go-meek for the feedback and tips. I've found those files before. Though today's realisation from the answers I've received, is that this test might be directed more to people interested in teaching, rather than designers themselves. Nevertheless I still look forward to finally feeling confident to take the test so thank you!
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 15, 2015 at 8:14

Get the Classroom in a Book from PeachPit Press for the application. When you can flip through it and know every section, you're ready.

That is really the only sure method.

While there are other resources such as practice tests, study guides, links, web pages... and a whole bunch of people/businesses charging you to "prepare" for the certification tests.... which all may seem like great resources, they really aren't.

I am Adobe Certified and over the years I've reviewed most of the practice tests and study aides out there, both before and after testing. If I were looking to take the tests today, with the knowledge I have currently, I'd merely invest the $50/$60 (or whatever it is) in the Classroom in a Book go through that thoroughly and I'd feel very confident.

The Classroom in a Book (CIB) is the only true study guide since the tests strictly cover how the application functions, not what you can create with the application. Most other publications focus on helping you create the latest whiz-bang doodad while going into as little technical education as possible. Only the CIB covers every possible technical aspect of every tool and feature available in the application.

In my opinion, the "practice tests" are pretty worthless. They are just questions someone thinks are similar to the actual questions - there's zero correlation between any "practice" test and the actual tests other than they will both present multiple choice questions related to a specific application. If they serve any purpose at all, it's to alleviate any apprehension regarding the general format of questions - but never regarding any actual content.

Related: Are there any tangible benefits to becoming an Adobe Certified Expert?

  • Thank you very much for your advice, @Scott. I'll definitely look into getting Classroom in a Book like you suggested. As a certificate holder yourself, would you be interested in helping me answer a few personal questions I have about the test via email? It would really help me a lot get more of an insight in this field.
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 15, 2015 at 8:16
  • I really can't answer any direct questions about the tests. That's part of the agreement you sign when taking it. The best I can tell you is know every part covered in the Classroom in a Book. The test are on how well you know the application -- its tools and features, not on how well you use the application to create something.
    – Scott
    Oct 15, 2015 at 15:09
  • I just got myself Classrom in a Book, the 2015 Photoshop CC version. I'll study that through and through. Thank you for your tips. Though I'm also interested in inquiring about your personal progress in studying for the exam. You see, I'm having a little trouble creating a gauge for myself on how well I really know the software, which in turn provides no time frame for myself. Did you just study through time or did you give yourself a specific set of months to learn everything?
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:14
  • I've been using Photoshop since version 2.0.7 and Illustrator since AI88. So really, most of my knowledge came from work experience. I didn't take the tests until roughly 2005 or 2007. That's 20 years of use before testing. I, personally, did use the CIB to study the areas of the application I rarely or never used though. This is how I can confidently state that really the CIB is the best resource which will provide any information you may be missing.
    – Scott
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:22
  • Well then thank you very much for the advice, I will start scanning CIB through and through! :)
    – Eliza Beth
    Oct 16, 2015 at 8:40

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