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Apple Certification Questions/Journey


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~Luke

 
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Member Since: Feb 26, 2013
Location: Worcestershire
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Hello,

I have a few questions which I hope some Certified Apple members can answer - If you're not Apple Certified and still know the answer please still answer.

Please don't just refer me to the training.apple.com or certification link - I have had a good read on there.


My questions are:

1.) I read that the Associate, ACSP, ACTC are certifications per version of OS ie ACSP for OS X 10.8 etc. Would I have to do a full exam every year to renew or is there an upgrade exam or 'differences between OSX' revision material?
- Do I really have to buy expensive books each year or are there other methods?

2.) If I started with the Integrations material for 10.8 (which is a free PDF) and then take the exam to gain 'Associate status' will I have to do the same later for 10.9 or could I do 10.8 integrations (for Associate) and then do 10.9 for ACSP? In other words can you do anything higher to get re-certified? (Cisco works like this).

3.) Do you think now would be a good time to do the 10.8 integrations or would you say 10.9 will be released soon and due to re-reading and getting re-certified it would be a waist and just worth waiting to do the 10.9 one?

Any information you can give will be greatly appreciated as I cannot find the answers to these on the Apple website.

Thank you.
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~Luke

 
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Surely someone knows? Or has an idea?
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Raz0rEdge

 
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There are a few members here who've worked at Apple stores and were Apple geniuses, apart from that, not sure who is a Apple Certified person..so not sure you'll get an immediate response to very specific questions about the certification process, especially if it isn't readily available on Apple.com

The only thing I can is that Apple has kinda switched to a faster yearly release cycle for OS X with the idea being a major release one year followed by a minor release the following year before another major release.

So Leopard (major, 2007), Snow Leopard (minor, 2009), Lion (major, 2011), Mountain Lion (minor, 2012)..so the next version 10.9 (whatever it is going to be codenamed) will be this year and likely a major release..as to specifically WHEN 10.9 is going to come out is anyones guess..have to wait for the WWDC or some other Apple conference to get that info..

--
Regards
...Ashwin



Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.
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electronink

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Luke View Post
Hello,

I have a few questions which I hope some Certified Apple members can answer - If you're not Apple Certified and still know the answer please still answer.

Please don't just refer me to the training.apple.com or certification link - I have had a good read on there.


My questions are:

1.) I read that the Associate, ACSP, ACTC are certifications per version of OS ie ACSP for OS X 10.8 etc. Would I have to do a full exam every year to renew or is there an upgrade exam or 'differences between OSX' revision material?
- Do I really have to buy expensive books each year or are there other methods?

2.) If I started with the Integrations material for 10.8 (which is a free PDF) and then take the exam to gain 'Associate status' will I have to do the same later for 10.9 or could I do 10.8 integrations (for Associate) and then do 10.9 for ACSP? In other words can you do anything higher to get re-certified? (Cisco works like this).

3.) Do you think now would be a good time to do the 10.8 integrations or would you say 10.9 will be released soon and due to re-reading and getting re-certified it would be a waist and just worth waiting to do the 10.9 one?

Any information you can give will be greatly appreciated as I cannot find the answers to these on the Apple website.

Thank you.
_________________________


Hi, Luke:

I'm Apple certified (Associate: Integration & Management 10.8, ACSP 10.8, ACTC 10.8, ACMT 2013 (yep, that's 10.8 also)).

Briefly:

(1) You'll take a full exam to qualify at a level once, then a recertification exam as a newer version of the OS comes out -- which is just about as long. Books, webinars, geeky friend -- all work well. Don't buy books new if possible, but books are always good for reference. Sometimes ebook versions are available, and are substantially cheaper (though the DRM is a pain when transferring between your computer and tablet/reader).

(2) Every version has its own test, and is specific to that version. Higher certifications will "refresh" lower certifications, but only in a specific track. ACSP/ACTC/ACSA is one track, ApplePro certs are a different track, Mac Associate is a different track, etc.

(3) Me? I do every test as it becomes available (but then, I make Sheldon (BBT) look well-socialized). Take whatever's current. Yes, it will change. No, it will not change as soon as we hope it will.

Meandering version:

Apple Repair Track (ACMT):
If you are certified in the Apple technician track, you take two tests. One, the hardware test, is yearly, approximately at the same time each year as when you first qualified. The second, the OS, you'll take every time there's a new OS released. This may or may not be yearly -- with 10.6, there was no newer OS version to test on for a two year period. The newer version OS might be around a while in actual use before authorized tests are released for that version.

Mac Associate certifications (Integration, Management):
The Associate level certifications are separate from the ACSP/ACTC/ACSA track, and only apply to and are only affected by those specific tests. If you have an Associate cert (e.g., a certified Mac Associate Integration 10.6), and you obtain the ACSP 10.7, your Associate certification remains unchanged and is not "upgraded" to 10.7.

Apple OS certifications (ACSP/ACTC/ACSA):
With the OS track (MIS, ACSP, etc.), you'll take your test for whatever the current OS might be, and retake it for the new one when it's available. Apple only officially recognizes and supports the current version of OS, plus one version back. For instance, I've been a Mac Tech since 2005, but only have the most recent two OS versions listed on the Apple site (10.7 and 10.8 certifications). The certification for a particular version is specific to that version. If you certify as an ACSP for 10.5, you'll always be certified at that level for that version of the OS.

Once you obtain an ACTC at one OS version, you have the option of taking one test to recertify your ACTC at the next adjacent OS. From that single recertification test, your ACSP will also be "refreshed" to that new OS. One caveat is that you *must* take the recertification test within the indicated period of time, else, you are back on the individual tests track again.

If you want, you can take both tests again with a new OS, rather than one test for the ACTC level.

Sometimes, people achieve an ACSP in one OS, and the next OS becomes available. During this transition time, you can progress in either OS for a certification, but I do not know if you can "jump" OS versions (ACSP in one, and an ACTC in the newer). Apple might allow this, though, within a certain time period. I didn't specifically experience this, though. I've always immediately taken every test in a version as it's available. If it happens to you, you probably have something like a 90-day window.

Does that make sense?

If you take any of the ACTC follow-on specializations (Mobility, Security, Directory), your "general" ACTC (and ACSP, as well) is upgraded (again, similar to Cisco with the current CCNA specializations, though that will probably change September 2013).
If you take all three of the ACTC courses, you can then qualify for the ACSA certification.

While almost every version of OS X has common elements, every version has enough things that are different (and some are wildly different), that it makes reasonable sense to try to know as many versions as you can. The tests typically will cover the current version of OS, plus questions from the previous version, and even *might* ask about earlier versions. For example, 10.8 tests asked about 10.7 and 10.6 differences and compatibility, where 10.6 tests asked about 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, and even one or two questions from 10.2.

Two more things:

I know that it is very difficult to get clear answers about the certification path(s) from Apple; I ran into that for many years, and still find that different groups at Apple have differing opinions on how the certifications work. Some of the opinions are partially correct, and some are just flat wrong. Someone being at Apple doesn't guarantee accuracy, unfortunately.

The second thing is that while you can probably just read a book and pass the test, you're really robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn the subject in depth. If at all possible, play with the hardware. The actual items will teach you a number of things that either are much clearer than as explained in the book, or don't exist at all in the book(s). As with Cisco, where the simulators don't do everything the real thing does (though they are great for practicing for the test simulators!).

Does this help? Let me know -- thanks!
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