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BrainBuffet preps students for for the Adobe Certified and Microsoft Office Specialist Exams
Over 90% of all students who take our courses pass their ACA exams! We believe that learning should be FUN and our courses are designed with educators AND students in mind. Students learn the software by completing real-world design projects while building their own portfolios.
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With our new course dashboard, lessons and resources are easier than ever to access and navigate. Students are able to review and save their work as they follow along with BrainBuffet instructors.
QuickBites are little pop-questions that quiz you on the most critical information during a presentation. Answer all the QuickBites to advance to the next lesson.
In addition to our step-by-step tutorials, our ACA courses include a student workbook, project rubrics, and quizzes. Teachers with a school account are able to track student progress, export quiz grades, and have access to our teacher resources.
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Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)
If you have students who are part of an educational institution who are allowed extended time by law for state exams (IEP, 504, etc.), then they will also get extended time for the ACA Exams… but you’ll need to invest some extended time to make sure students get what they need!
Please Note: THIS PAGE IS OUR ADVICE AND TIPS FROM EXPERIENCE, BUT WE DO NOT SPEAK FOR CERTIPORT. YOU WILL NEED TO CONFIRM THIS INFORMATION AND PROCESS WITH CERTIPORT DIRECTLY.
1. Go Straight to the Source
OK- we’re great at developing fun curriculum, but this is far beyond our scope. We want to give you the best help we can, but there are so many variables we don’t want to misdirect or misinform anyone. Certiport’s page on Accommodations for Disabilities is your best reference point for details and help. This page is a guideline with some tips and tricks… but not the definitive resource. We’re just trying to help with some loose guidelines that should help, but you’ll need to rely on Certiport directly for details and specific answers.
2. Time and Paperwork
Two of my least favorite things -- and things many designers kinda stink at -- but that’s what you’re in for! Every school and district seems to have a different way of handling this, so get on this soon so you have time to get things done. You need to assume it takes Certiport about 10 days to do their part… so leave yourself some time to get your part done.
Our advice: Start the paperwork at least 30 days before you plan on beginning testing.
3. Recruit Help
Most schools and districts have a specific person who’s appointed to take care of student IEP records and can pull reports for you. Try to find who that is and enlist their help in the process. This person can help you find the information you need in your own school’s system or can point you in the right direction if they can’t get the info for you. It’s often the guidance counselor or database clerk for your school who can help you or point you in the right direction. You probably can’t handle this alone.
4. Get Organized
This process can be daunting -- especially for the organizationally challenged! Below are some tips from one of our newest team members, Jessica Campbell:
- Have a record of student logins and passwords. We strongly recommend forcing a username/password convention or using the school’s system for usernames/passwords, but if you can’t, be sure to have student info recorded somewhere.
- Have proof of diagnosis. You will also need to submit proof of their diagnosis. Go to the guidance counselor and ask for the paperwork that the parents have to submit in order to set up an IEP; sometimes this is a letter from a doctor. They also will accept the Certification of Disability form that attaches to the IEP. They won’t, however, accept the IEP itself, unless it includes the child’s diagnosis. Contact Certiport if you aren’t sure your documentation is appropriate.
- Prefill forms to eliminate errors and problems. The form that students need filled out is the Exam Accommodation Request Form from Certiport. We strongly suggest filling these out for the students to eliminate problems so that all parents have to do is sign them. If you want them to fill them out, they normally take twice as long to get back!
- Make yourself the secondary email. The student’s email address used to sign up for their Certiport account MUST be email address #1. We strongly suggest making your email address email #2 so you also get a record and confirmation that the request is approved, and what the testing accommodations are so you can be sure to stay in compliance.
- FAXES ONLY. These forms MUST be faxed, and can not be emailed. You can email for questions and such, but the official documentation MUST be faxed to the number on the bottom of Certiport’s form.
- ACCOMMODATIONS EXPIRE. The accommodations EXPIRE after two years. If you teach students for multiple years, we recommend saving a copy of all the paperwork you send in, so that in two years you don’t have to hunt everything down all over again.
The tips above are things that experienced teachers have learned over the years, but again, you must do the research and confirm the process with Certiport in case of a change or inaccuracies here. This page is only a guide to getting organized to prep the paperwork.. but actually prepping the paperwork is beyond the scope of this page and can vary based on location, legal/privacy issues, etc.
Quick Links for More Info:
- Certiport Accommodations Page
- Certiport Accommodations PDF Quick Reference Sheet
- Certiport Exam Accommodation Request Form
- Need Help? Email Certiport Customer Service at email@example.com
- Outside of the US? Contact the Solution Provider in your country.
Proctoring the exams is a relatively painless process, but the process may vary based on your own school/district/testing center policies. This is a general guideline for teachers to make the process as smooth as possible for the students.
1. Sign up before testing day.
We STRONGLY recommend having students sign up for their Certiport account well in advance of testing day. We also STRONGLY recommend that you use a consistent username/password convention for all students. If they are assigned computer logins by the school, use those. No matter what, be sure you have a record of student username/passwords in case they forget. If they sign up on their own, have them write the username and password on an index card and collect from them to use as a last resort. The LAST thing you want on testing day is a student getting anxious because they lose time waiting for a password reset!
Suggestion if you have to do this manually:
USERNAME: Use their student number preceded with S. (Example: S123456789)
PASSWORD: FI, LI, MMDDYY (Example: RS040177 for Rob Schwartz born April 01, 1977)
2. Proctor username on board, temp password for the period.
Shout out to Brian Carlton at Ft. Lauderdale High for this awesome tip!
- On testing day, write your username on the board and have kids enter that when they’re getting ready to test.
- TEMPORARILY change your PROCTOR password to something quick and easy at the beginning of the testing period (Examples: 123, jkl, 111, ppp).
- Be sure to change it back after logging all the kids in!
This will save time as you can log a student in in about a second this way. I had up to 44 students in a class, and this saved me about a half-hour on testing days! Use a different password every testing session to make sure you keep your account secure and ALWAYS change it back to a complex, secure password after each exam session.
3. Use Exam Groups.
Exam groups really help in a couple of ways, but here are the main things:
– It ensures students select the right exam
– It allows you to keep records of pass/fail forever (they fall off your reports after a year or two without them)
To set up exam groups, you need to have an elevated account in Certiport for your testing center, so this option may not be available to you, but I always used them and loved being able to print out a sheet for all students who passed an exam (or per teacher or period, depending how you set them up).
4. Jess’s Super Organized Tip
“Give the kids a custom ‘Certiport Login’ sheet. I keep a spreadsheet of all their usernames and passwords, then mailmerge it into another Word Doc that walks them through item by item how to log in to the test. The process of logging in can be confusing, especially for younger kids. So when each kid walks through the door, I hand them a customized sheet with their own information on it. I put my proctor username on that instruction sheet, so they can see it all more easily.”
There MUST be more than this out there -- these are just the basic tips I always used. Different locations have different policies, so you really need to be sure you have a handle on what’s required in your testing center (Florida schools have exceptionally strict policies beyond the Certiport policies, for example.) Be sure to check with your location for any specific policies or procedures for your students and do what you can to alleviate the stress for the kids on testing day!
If we can, we’ll expand on this section… but for now, this should get you started and if you have another tip, please leave it below!
Quick Links for More Info:
This page gives some quick tips for students before testing. It’s not comprehensive at all, but is a great start! If we can get permission from Certiport to use pictures of the screen, we intend to make this much more detailed and specific!
1. Reset simulation questions.
RESET THE QUESTION IF YOU POKE AROUND THE INTERFACE!! It’s OK to poke around… but after you find the right answer (or if you mess up), be sure to reset the question and just do exactly (and only) what you need to do to answer the question. If the sim shows you the right result, you did it right. If not, try another way or try again. Sometimes the sims can be a little picky.
2. If you’re not a fast reader, skip the scenarios.
Some of the questions are “scenario-enhanced,” meaning that there is a background story to give you a better picture of why you might be performing this task in real life. Often, the actual question is just a separate line under the “scenario” story. If you’re short on time or simply a slow reader, try skipping the scenario. If you don’t have enough information from the actual question, you can read the scenario… but many questions can be answered without the scenario.
Also, the scenario is exactly the same on every question; there are normally 5 questions for a scenario. You only have to read it once, but it’s there for review if you need it.
3. Mark for review… but sparingly.
If you encounter a question where you know the answer but it’s not coming to your mind at the moment, you can mark it for review and review it at the end. BUT if you mark every answer for review, that’s the same as marking nothing for review. Use this very sparingly.
4. After reviewing a question, do not hit “next” or “back”.
After you review a question and answer it, DO NOT hit the “next” or “back” buttons -- click the one that takes you back to the overview. (What you see may be different if you’re using Console 8, the Mac launcher, or the old PC launcher). If you hit next or back and encounter another question, verify the answer for a multiple choice or matching, but if it’s a sim… see the next tip!
5. Redo any sim you go back to.
Anytime you go back to a simulation item, we STRONGLY recommend that you redo the question. In theory, it shouldn’t reset the question if you don’t touch anything, but many of us who have been doing this a long time find that scores seem to seriously drop when simulations are reviewed but not touched/changed. This makes us think that sometimes it resets the question if you just go back to it, even if you don’t touch anything. (It shouldn’t… but computers often do things they shouldn’t!)
6. You know it or you don’t.
Don’t stare at a question thinking the answer will come to you. It’s a timed test. If you don’t know the answer, mark it for review and come back to it if there’s time… but don’t waste a bunch of time staring at a question you don’t know the answer to when you could be answering questions you DO know the answer to!
We’re really hoping to get permission to go into more detail for this whole page and the associated video, possibly even make a series of tutorials to help students on testing day… but for now, this is all we can do! We’ll add more when and if we can!
Quick Links for More Info:
What’s covered in Industry Exams is dictated by the needs of industry, and this industry changes fast! This might explain why the ACA exams cover things you never have in class or even in earlier professional experience.
1. Industry says what’s important.
Industry exams are meant to measure if someone is employable with industry skills at the level of the exam (the ACA measures “entry-level” performance). These standards are often higher than in classes or courses because the demand is that the industry gets what they want and need, not the student/employee. If the industry turns a direction that creates demand for a new workflow, the industry exams must add that to the assessment.
This industry changes fast, and the exams attempt to keep up with the ever-changing industry needs for new hires. This may be why you are seeing new concepts, workflows, or tools that teachers never used or experienced before, even if you have industry experience.
2. Many Adobe apps cover many industries.
Another thing that may make the exams seem unusually difficult is that the exams try to cover the breadth of industries that use the application. For example, a Photographer, Ad Designer, and Social Media designer might all use Photoshop… but they’ll all have very different workflows, tools, and even document setup needs. Because of this, the exam may be testing for use in an industry/area that you’ve simply never experienced.
3. The MQC should just barely pass.
The exams are designed (in a perfect world) so that a minimally qualified candidate (MQC) should just barely pass. The MQC for the Adobe ACA is roughly defined as follows:
The Minimally Qualified Candidate (MQC) has approximately 100 hours of instruction and hands-on experience with the product, is familiar with product features and capabilities, as well as relevant career concepts. The MQC is generally self-sufficient and able to apply knowledge of graphic design principles to perform basic or routine tasks involved in her or his job role with limited assistance from peers, product documentation and support services. The MQC generally works in collaboration with colleagues or with supervision. Furthermore, the MQC will be able to answer most routine conceptual and applied questions about how to use the program and usually does not have to refer basic questions to others.
Keep in mind that this describes someone fully employable if they pass the ACA exams -- they should be ready to hire and start working at a design firm. These are high standards!
The reason the ACA is valued highly by schools and employers, and in many institutions carries a weighted GPA or college credit, is that it is difficult to obtain, just like AP classes. This really is the standard of the ACA exams, and as a result they will be challenging. But with the proper training and a lot of hands-on experience students can handle this! But it’s hard… and it’s supposed to be.
Think about it this way: students don’t post on social media or get special recognition for passing a class final… but they do for Honors and AP classes. The ACA is the same way… and should be just as difficult and prestigious.
Quick Links for More Info:
When building a new program, testing centers often ask us which application of the six ACA exams is the best to start with. Of course there may be some factors on a particular campus that might make a specific program rise to the top, but aside from that… here are a couple tips:
1. Start with what you know.
If you already have a teacher who knows a program and is most comfortable starting with a particular application, we suggest starting with that. Teachers are the most valuable resource for programs, and the ACA teaching and testing center process has its own learning curve. If a teacher already knows a program well, start there and build off of that over time.
2. No preference? We suggest starting with Photoshop.
If there is no particular preference about the applications, we suggest starting with Photoshop. This program is the “base” certification for the second level ACA Specialist certifications across the board.
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE VISUAL DESIGN SPECIALIST: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE WEB DESIGN SPECIALIST: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Animate
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE VIDEO DESIGN SPECIALIST: Photoshop, Premiere, AfterEffects
Other than this, we really think this is a decision that is best made by the teaching staff involved with the students. They most have their fingers “on the pulse” of what their students enjoy and what they already know and can bring some existing expertise to the program!
Quick Links for More Info:
One of the things we’re most proud of here is that our system integrates into existing curriculum easier than any other. There’s very little overhead and management with our system; it’s more like having an on-demand industry professional come in and lecture whenever you want! Here are some of our fave tips and tricks for the most effective and seamless integration into your classroom.
1. Professional Guest Speakers… EVERY. DAY.
BrainBuffet is modeled after the types of resources you’d use in the real world. Real-world, on-the-job learning or staff development in a workplace isn’t done with lessons, worksheets, and lesson plans. The real workplace is much more free-form and the burden is on the learner. We’re adding more “classroom friendly” tools like lesson plans and worksheets, but the actual curriculum is straight video learning. We do this on purpose to make our training just like professional learning platforms like Lynda.com, Udemy, etc.. or like many students AND professionals I know- YouTube!
2. Guide on the side like a real-world manager would.
This style of learning -- sort of a flipped/self-paced hybrid -- allows students to work at their own pace and take ownership of their learning. This way, teachers can focus on individual student needs since the majority of students will be able to just move forward at their own pace. I’ve been using this style of teaching personally for about 15 years now, after stealing the idea from one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever met, Mike Skocko of the MacLab. What really sold me was that if students miss a class, were absent (physically or mentally), transfer in late, etc… they don’t miss a thing! Every minute of instruction is recorded; the instructors (the videos) have infinite patience to repeat themselves, review, or deliver the entire lesson again; and students proceed at their own pace. This approach lets the kids go at their own pace so no student feels rushed, and no student feels bored.
3. Assess like real-world bosses/clients.
I’m a firm believer that practice alone does not make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect! Additionally, learning is not practice -- it’s more akin to watching a documentary. If students aren’t following along IN THE SOFTWARE, they’re not learning what they need to in order to be successful in the industry and on the exams. They MUST complete projects in the software. Personally, that’s all I grade. Quizzes, worksheets, etc. can be extra credit… but the only thing an employer (or client) will “grade” is a successful project, so that’s all I grade as well! Fun ways to grade this work in the software can be Student Portfolios or Multimedia presentations that have students document their work. Otherwise, you can do weekly “job reviews” to discuss their progress, defend their work, and be a mentor to them on how to perform well in an annual review for a real job. Clients/bosses often compare your work to other professional examples… you can do the same with student work!
Remember: The goal is not completing projects. The goal is passing the ACA exam. Try to do as much in class as possible to facilitate individualized learning so that the greatest number of your students are successful on the exams.
Everyone’s teaching style is different… but this is what we offer here at BrainBuffet and we don’t intend to be more like the competitive products (which are all very similar). We’re intentionally creating a new and different kind of curriculum to prepare students for the real world of design. It’s proven itself successful in classrooms and districts with the highest certification rates in the world, so we’re confident and we’re not going to change our form much! (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!)
We realize this style is not for everyone. If you prefer a more traditional set of instruction and learning materials, we have partnered with Adobe Press on a series of books directly targeting the ACA. It’s the only series from Adobe Press directly mapped to the ACA Objectives. You can check them out on Amazon or Adobe Press.
Quick Links for More Info:
- Contact your Certiport representative
- Call Certiport at 1-888-999-9830
There are reasons that we don’t follow the order of the ACA objectives in our curriculum -- it doesn’t make sense! The first Objective Domain is about working with clients and project planning, but you can’t do that effectively without knowing the software capabilities first.
1. Learning and working steps happen in opposite order.
The order you learn software and the order you work in are almost opposites. On the job, you’d meet with the client and understand their needs and wants first. But you can’t do that effectively unless you know the software and what it can do! You need to learn what the software can do and what your own skill level is before you can have an intelligent discussion about client goals and designing to specifications. We teach the objectives in the order that they occur naturally in the learning process… which sometimes aligns with objective order, but sometimes is completely opposite.
Example: You can’t learn how to effectively manage a Photoshop project until you understand Photoshop. We have to cover the objectives in a way that makes the most sense for the learner, not the employer/client.
2. It’s a mix.
Sometimes it makes sense to cover objectives in order. Each project generally covers objective domains 2-5 (in that order) throughout the process, but they’re covered over and over again in each project. Many of the Challenge lessons in our lesson plans would require that students work through all objectives in order -- especially when it’s designing for someone else and getting their own images where client goals, copyright, and design concepts will come into play.
We understand that teachers want to have a good idea that all the objectives are covered. In our lesson plans (available in the teacher’s lounge for teachers only), we list the objectives covered in each lesson, but we don’t face that info to the students in the lessons; it’s distracting and the students generally don’t (and I suggest shouldn’t) care. Fun projects, student ownership of their own learning, and completing tasks that matter and make sense are the most effective way to ensure student engagement -- and we’ll be sure every concept is covered!
Quick Links for More Info:
If you’re not having fun learning… you’re doing it wrong! Our style is unapologetically fun and casual. Mostly that’s because we’re fun people who like to enjoy our day in the classroom, but there’s another reason as well… science!
1. You retain more when enjoying the learning.
This is pretty obvious with the recent surge in studies about brain science and human motivation. Dan Pink, Jane McGonigal, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Ken Robinson are some great authors to check out (click their names for TED Talks). If kids aren’t having fun in a class, they’re learning less than if they were.
2. Efficiency is ineffective.
Brain science research indicates that the “efficiency” model used in the past is ineffective. Giving the kids short, direct answers in an attempt to condense the knowledge to make it more accessible actually has the opposite effect. The jokes, sidebars, or tangents (many just fun stories) could easily be edited out, but the research shows that it results in much more engaged learners. The human brain is like a muscle. It doesn’t get stronger by lifting light loads− it needs a little challenge to trigger the “sticky” part of the brain. Great research in the books Make It Stick and Made To Stick.
3. The real world is real.
Nobody in the workplace talks like a polished presenter -- especially creatives! Design is a creative, expressive industry. The people in it are creative, expressive people. Getting talked “at” in a stuffy, impersonal way forces the hearer to drift off. Keeping it light and fun makes it more engaging. Need proof? Look around at your next PD workshop with a “professional” and stiff delivery. But when the presenter is relaxed and the crowd is laughing, EVERYONE is paying attention!
We know our style isn’t everyone’s bag, but it WORKS. Students love our stuff, and as a result, are engaged and you don’t need to threaten them to keep them engaged! Check out the feedback in the footer to see how well it’s working for students and teachers across the globe!
Quick Links for More Info:
After you’ve successfully completed your ACA certification, what should you do? Here are a couple of tips:
1. Get your acclaim badge & post your pass.
If you have social media, LinkedIn, or an email, you can add your Acclaim badge to your signature or profile. This is a way to showcase what you’ve accomplished to potential employers. Make sure you tag Brain Buffet and say you got #certifiedwithBB!
2. Start building a portfolio.
A portfolio is a way to show future employers your capabilities. We recommend Behance.
3. Work towards a Specialist certification.
Once you’ve completed a program, the second level is the ACA Specialist certifications:
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE VIDEO DESIGN SPECIALIST: Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE VISUAL DESIGN SPECIALIST: Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop
-ADOBE CERTIFIED ASSOCIATE WEB DESIGN SPECIALIST: Animate, Dreamweaver, Photoshop
These tips will help ensure that you go into the test as prepared as possible. The testing centers that use these tips generally have over 87% pass rates! These tips are what all of the most successful testing centers have reported to us as their process for testing week.
1. Finish the curriculum a week early.
If you finish the curriculum a week early, you’ll have time to use the BrainBuffet quizzes and reviews most effectively. Wait until the last minute and you won’t know what you need to review! Finish every project, every challenge project, every worksheet.
2. Review using the Quizzes on BrainBuffet.
Our quizzes ensure that you’ve learned what you need to know when taking the test. The biggest benefit of the quizzes here over other resources you may have is that we link back to the exact video that covers the concept on anything you miss! If you missed a question, go back and watch the video -- there will be a link to the exact video you need to review in the feedback section of your quiz. If it’s a hands-on skill in the application, do it in the application again. Students: DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
3. Relax on testing day.
Stressing on testing day can lower your score as much as not studying or finishing all the projects. If you do everything above, you’ll be ready for the real test. Don’t stress out and stay up all night cramming. Get a good night’s rest, a great breakfast, a little exercise, and then go knock the test down!!
Here’s the real deal: If you’ve done all of our projects and challenges, and review anything you don’t know the week before testing, you’ve got a darn good chance of passing! If you don’t… you’re rolling the dice! Don’t gamble on this, especially if you don’t get to test again if you don’t pass the first time (many people don’t pass the first time, but do on the second).
If you don’t get a second chance if you fail the first time.. the system outlined above and in the video is the BEST chance you have at knocking it down on the first try! Best of luck!
Quick Links for More Info:
Yes! This is the hardest thing to troubleshoot because it’s inconsistent. But that normally points toward a computer problem, not a network or website problem. If you have any of the following problems, please watch the video to completely clear your cache. Instructions are at RefreshYourCache.com for every major browser.
Confirming it’s the cache: Try using an incognito window. If that solves the problem, it’s definitely your cache, and there may be a network policy in your district that won’t allow you to flush the cache. Your IT department may need to help.
If the instructions on RefreshYourCache.com don’t work (or only work temporarily), but incognito windows do… you’ll have to do what we call an aggressive cache dump, detailed below.
- Flush ALL DATA for ALL TIME. Everything has to go. Good idea to do the first day of school with every class.
- Turn off and Reboot computer after flushing everything. I know it shouldn’t make a difference, but often it does!
- Every student, every computer. This is a computer setting saved locally with the user login. Each student will have to do this on each computer they use. If it’s fixed for Joe 2nd hour, it won’t work for James 3rd hour using the same computer. If either moves to a different computer, they’ll need to do it again.
- Change the Student Password: This may help reset the key for login. Input their email or username here OR change it yourself (if you're a group leader) from the My Class page.
- If the above doesn’t work, try again. Did you really delete EVERYTHING? ALL data, even the stuff you think couldn’t possibly affect it? Be sure to scroll and make sure you didn’t forget to check ANY of the boxes for data to clear.
This is difficult to troubleshoot as all inconsistent problems are.
Our first suggestion is to verify that you can access other sites.
Second, try to clear your browser cache. Sometimes computers load an old version of a page they saved on an earlier visit; this should clear it up.
Third, and I know it seems like it shouldn’t matter, reboot your computer. It’s been too many times that I refused to reboot thinking, “It’s the web, it can’t be my computer!” only to discover that rebooting fixed it.
If none of those ideas work, drop us a line.
The Project Files can be found in two places:
In the Project Files Topic page, or
In the Resources tab
Once you open the folder of your choice, you will see the files separated by project.
Open the folder you need. Inside, you will see the images needed for the project.
Choose the image you need. Then, open the menu with the three white dots located in the top right corner and select “Download”
Just refresh the page to fix that. The videos time out after a certain amount of time if the page loads and the video doesn’t play. Schools often have limited bandwidth, so we use this feature to keep the site running as smooth as possible in classrooms!
To view students' course progression
Visit the My Class page and click on the Course Progression tab found on the left side.
Select the desired group, course, and project from the dropdown menus.
Use these icons to switch between Progression Overview and Topics Completed:
Use these icons to Hide Other Students or access a Detailed User Report:
To view students' quiz reports
Click on the Quiz Reports tab found on the left side, underneath Course Progression.
Select the desired group, course, and quiz from the dropdown menus.
Use the Review Quiz option on the right side to view the quiz question-by-question.
You can also export quiz data by using the green "Export All Data as .csv" button.
Students can request a password reset themselves using this link.
However, if students cannot receive emails from outside sources, their group leader must change the password for them.
This can be done by visiting the My Class page and clicking on the Student Tracking tab found on the left side.
Select the desired group from the dropdown menu, then search by student name if needed.
Select the blue Reset Password button next to the name of the student whose password needs to be reset:
This will open a pop-up, allowing you to change the password. Click "OK" and the password will be changed immediately.
Yes! To manually mark a topic complete for a student, visit the My Class page and click on the Course Progression tab on the left side.
Select the desired group, course, and project from the dropdown menus. Then, find the desired student in the list or use the search bar to search for them by name.
Then, click on the Detailed User Report button next to the student's name.
This will open a new tab with the detailed user report. Here, you can mark an entire course complete by clicking the checkbox next to the course title. Or, open the course's dropdown menu to mark specific projects or topics complete.
You can also de-select anything that is already checked if you need to reset a student's progress.
If you are a school or testing center, we recommend you contact your Certiport representative. Certiport has exclusive pricing for our courses and they can accept purchase orders. You can find your Certiport Rep by using the form on THIS PAGE.
If you aren’t doing ACA or MOS Certifications on your campus, please use the contact form to contact us directly.
If you are an individual purchasing a course for yourself, you can do so from the Packages page.
Let's say your license has 40 seats, or concurrent users, with a total of 300 student registrations.
Ms. Coll has 3 morning classes with 40 students each.
Mr. Schwartz has 3 afternoon classes with 40 students each.
Then, our school would only need one license since we have registered 240 students and none of our classes need access at the same time.
Ms. Rios has 3 morning classes with 40 students each.
Mr. Fruend has 2 morning class with 40 students and 2 afternoon classes with 20 students each.
Since both teachers have classes that need access at the same time, this school would need to look into two separate licenses or upgrade to a site license.
To find your group's registration link, visit the My Class page.
You will see all of your groups listed on the Class Information tab.
You will see these options to the right of each group:
Choose View Link to view the entire link, or choose Copy Link to have the link automatically copied to your clipboard.
This link can then be distributed to students in whatever way you choose (written on the whiteboard, emailed, etc).
When they click the link, they will be automatically enrolled in the group. This method will work even if a student already has an account; they will just need to sign into their account first.
To see your group's expiration date, visit the Class Information tab of the My Class page.
You will see an expiration date next to each group:
All users can login using the login page found here.
To change your profile information, first, log in.
On the same page, you can also change all your information. Please be aware you cannot change your username.
On our older site, one teacher login and one student login was created per license and this was shared among the class or classes.
Now that our website has moved to BrainBuffet.com, each teacher and student gets their own account. This means that usernames and passwords from the ACATestPrep website will not work.
When an account is created, login credentials are emailed to the account holder. If they were not received, we recommend checking your spam folder and if it's not there, then try the Lost Password Link.
If you did not receive an email with your login information, please contact us.
If you use ACATestPrep on GMetrix, thank you for using our courses!
GMetrix and BrainBuffet have a licensing agreement that allows GMetrix to offer our ACATestPrep and MOSTestPrep courses through their site.
Even though they offer courses, we do not have access to their system. This means that if you have questions about your GMetrix account, you will need to contact them directly or click here.
If you need to cancel an individual/monthly subscription, you can do so by visiting the My Account page and clicking on the Subscriptions tab to manage your subscriptions.
Group leaders have access to a number of Getting Started tutorials on the My Class page/Teacher Dashboard.
These instructional videos will walk you through registering/removing students, resetting student passwords, accessing instructor files, and more.
If you have a question that you cannot find the answer to, feel free to reach out through our Contact Form.
The BrainBuffet team has been working on re-vamping the Photoshop and Illustrator courses, using a mix of new content and the best of our current and previous content. With the new evergreen model, we will be able to make small changes as we go to keep up with the most current updates to the program and to the certification test, rather than labeling the courses by year (CC15/CC18/CC21).
The “Certification Course” is the one your students should work in if they are preparing for the certification exam. The “Enrichment Projects” course is what your students should work in if they need or want any extra material. Enrichment Courses are made up of mostly old and vaulted projects. These legacy projects are no longer being used to teach to the test but are still full of fun and relevant practice.
We plan to move to this evergreen model with all of our courses eventually. We'll be sure to keep users updated on what is coming next and when!
In most of our courses, the pre- and post-assessments for each project are the same exact quiz. Students take the pre-assessment to assess what they know at the beginning of the project and then re-take the same quiz at the end of the project to get a better idea of how much they have learned.
However, we have received feedback that most teachers/users would like these quizzes to be separated so that the attempts are more distinguishable on the quiz reports.
So far, the Illustrator Certification Course assessments have been separated; the Photoshop Certification Course will be done next. Then, we will continue to separate the assessments as each course is updated.