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WAS Notes: I Took the WAS Exam

I'm done studying for the WAS certification. These notes are more about the overall experience of studying and taking the exam.


Well, I finally did the thing. I took the Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) certification exam today. I feel pretty good about it. I don't know what the pass/fail threshold is, but I was confident in enough of my answers that I would be surprised if I failed. Honestly, I probably could have taken the exam a few months ago and felt similarly good, but I wanted to reinforce my baseline knowledge, and spending more time studying led to Trivia11y existing, which feels worth it.

I haven't taken an exam like this since college, so the last-minute cramming and pre-exam stress was a fun (not really) throwback to those days. I scheduled the exam for the last day of the testing window, but the earliest time slot since I like to procrastinate to a point, but not on the day of. At that point, I just want to get things over with.

I opted to go to a physical location near me where they have proctors running the exam regularly. I showed my ID and a credit card to prove I was me, since they seem to be very concerned about fraud, I guess? Then I dropped off my phone and keys in a locker and took the exam at one of their computers.

One nice feature of the exam is that you can mark questions for review, which is very helpful if you want to keep your pace without forgetting to go back to questions you weren't sure about. I only changed my answer for a couple of questions, though, since by test day, you kind of either know it or you don't. The exam is two hours, but I only took about 75 minutes, and that included a second pass to double-check all of my answers.

Now I get to wait for the results, which should come in 4-6 weeks since I took the exam on the last day of the testing window. I'm not sure why it takes so long, but my best guess is that they need that time to review aggregate scores for different questions and figure out if any of them need to be thrown out. There were definitely a few that were phrased strangely or could have used more context, and I said as much in the feedback form before finishing the test.

Now that I've taken the test, I would say that my study guide served me well, so I would recommend following a similar path if you're studying. The only things that I wish I spent more time on were studying the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices Guide and screen reader shortcuts, but that only accounted for a small number of questions, and I think I ended up guessing one of them correctly anyway.

I suppose the next thing to do is get ready for the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) exam, so I can get that sweet, sweet Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA) certification. I think I'll wait for the results from this first, though. For now, it's time to take a little summer break 😎