A Certified Usability Analyst is a designer and developer who wants to showcase his expertise in user-centered design. The CUA examines usability for data collection, task analysis and identifying usability issues and proposing design solutions.
You must pass the CUA online test ($ 750) for the Certified Usability Analyst. The test is two and a half hours long and given several times a year.
Here are four related training courses for Certified Usability Analyst, but not required. Training courses range from $ 1,345 to $ 1,645 per person. If you want to complete the training courses, the exam fee is $ 175 instead of 750.
Average Salary: Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) earns over $ 99 thousand
This information for the Certified Usability Analyst is based on 265 survey responses.
Early career: 18.9%
Late career: 15.5%
Primary level: 1.1%
Exam and Preparation for a Certified Usability Analyst
(This portion is prepared based on an examonee who successfully appeared the Certified Usability Analystexam)
If you are just starting out your UX career, planning to switch to UX or want to demonstrate proficiency on your organization’s UX policies, a CUA certificate is all you need.
The course is for 10 days with weekly holidays, and after the completion of the 10-day course, the exam is taken on the 2nd day (so basically, the exam is held on the 14th day). Will be Coming to the exam section, this is an open book exam with multiple-choice questions. There is only 1 answer to each question. There are 4 sections in the test that need to be answered one section at a time. Passing number is 70 (which makes the test extremely challenging) but there is no passing mark by any category (FO!). Which means you can get fewer numbers in 1 category and more numbers in other categories. Bottom line – you need a total of 70 numbers. It’s over here.
Although it is an open book test, this test is not as easy as it seems. We have written a ton of tests in our lives and none of them were open book exams and therefore the method and technique of the study need to be drastically changed to crack this test. But don’t worry, I’m here to rescue you.
Regardless of your experience/knowledge of UX design, you need to have this continuous 14 days. This is the most important part of the process. The purpose is not to remember, but to always remember it! That doesn’t mean you don’t have to focus on WHAT memories, but you do need to put a ton of focus on the WHOE aspect of remembering. Now, let’s see what I mean by that.
Everything you need to do in class.
The course consists of 4 main topics that different teachers will teach. Now, based on your experience and knowledge of UX design, even based on the type of teacher teaching, some topics will be interesting and some will draw you to class. But that’s right.
You will find 1 original textbook for each topic and these are basically screenshots of presentation slides. So, it will not be like any novel or regular textbook. Please remember one thing. These books are like your Bible!
Make sure you always listen to the teacher so that you are in the right place and do not hold back. If you do not understand what he is saying then it does not matter, but try to understand. During breaks, you can always ask him or your neighbors. Now all you need to do is capture your brain and store it in your memory even if you do not understand it. When you return home for a second study, you will be able to appreciate it. But if you do not store it in your memory, as the environment changes and your brain focuses on other things, you may not be able to remember it even when you return home. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it becomes difficult to understand and remember.
Most of the test questions are situation-based and very few (about 25-30%) answer very technical and fast. So, the key to answering both these types of questions is keywords. All you have to do is highlight keywords or rotate them very individually so that when you randomly open a page, the keywords are what you first see. Now how does this help? Well, your brain needs to register these keywords and the more you modify, the stronger your brain will be knowing where this keyword was, helping you to quickly navigate around the book to find the answer to the question.
What you need to do after returning home from class.
The first thing you need to do is dedicate at least 1 hour to correcting what was done that day. 1 hour should be good enough but it can increase depending on your speed and understanding. Start reading at least one of the things you see on each page so that your brain knows it without even realizing it. To give a real-world example, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen someone at a mall, street, wedding, ceremony, etc., and you know who he knows but you’re not sure of their name. Or you could know their names but didn’t know where you met them. You should check your contacts, WhatsApp or Facebook right away to find out who that person is. Use the same concept in experiments. You know where the answer lies, but you do not know what the answer is.
There is a good probability that the technical questions consist of people’s names, numbers, percentages, names of laws, names of the theory, etc. It will not be asked in the exam but there is also a mark. Here is what you need to do for this technical question. Type them in Word or Excel and make sure you have them sorted alphabetically based on keywords. The keyword can be the name of the law, the type of person, situation/scenario or what the number represents. Do this every day and keep the list updated.
The other thing was I was making summary notes. The abstract notes are basically one-liners about what each slide is. Make sure you highlight the keywords again. I made my short notes only for slides that seemed new and important to me. I didn’t create notes for each slide. You can follow the same but this is your choice.
The questions are going to be framed in such a way that you have to dig a lot and find the sentence that gets the answer unless the answer is very complicated.
During the exam, you will be allowed to refer to your summary notes and technical notes made with 4 textbooks.
What you need to do on weekends (holidays).
All you need to do is just read your short notes, read the word/excel document that has the technical parts, and read the textbook as a simple novel. Modifying will not only help you remember WHERE but remember WHAT. The more you modify, the more your keywords are written with keywords, the more powerful your brain is at creating virtual books. Most of the time, you can think of the location of keywords or the amount of text in that slide, based on the relevant image on that slide.
These 2 days are for complete correction. Spend time with no hassle and then feel free to do whatever you want. I recommend fixing it once in the morning and once in the night.
In addition to the textbook, you will also be given a workbook that I have not been able to use at all. However, at the end of the workbook, there is a glossary of all the definitions of UX terms. Make sure you go through it at least 2 times in 2 days. While these may not help you with the test, there is a possibility that they can select some of them and create a situation-based question.
What you need to do on the day before the exam and the day of the exam.
Make sure you get summary notes, textbooks, technical notes in two days. But be sure to read them slowly so that your brain can capture keywords and remember the location of keywords.
Focus on remembering what is and what is not, because even if you have a fair idea of what the idea is, you will not have time to think about the meaning of your ideas.
The last thing you need to do is to go through the acronym Definition of UX Terms.
Be sure to carry 4 workbooks, 1 workbook containing a glossary, summary notes, and technical notes. The reason I say this is because on the day of the test I forgot my notes at home. But to my surprise, I didn’t even really need them. I only used 4 textbooks to answer all the questions.
See sample questions provided by HFI. Unfortunately, there are only 6 questions. I checked the whole internet for more questions but was not able to find any more. These 6 questions are fairly simple but do not expect such simple questions in the exam.
Oops! One last thing, on the day of the exam, when you start studying in the morning, drop your phone. From the time you get up until the end of the exam, you need to be fully focused on the exam.
What you need to do during the exam.
Let’s give you a breakdown of how the test is set up. As I said before, you have 100 questions, 4 sections and 3 hours. The best part is that there is no deadline for the sections and there is no pass mark for any of the sections. However, you must finish a section before moving on to the next section. This reduces a lot of stress because you only have to search from 1 book and not from all 4 books.
Time Management – You should have 180 minutes (3 hours) with you and answer 100 questions, which gives you 1.8 minutes (108 seconds) per question. Each section that facilitates the exam in the room will tell you how many questions. All you have to do is take a piece of paper and multiply the number of questions in each section by 1.8 minutes. With this number, you will be able to set a time limit for each category. Do your best not to exceed this deadline but most of the time it happens and that’s fine
You will have the option to flag questions in a section so you can check them out later. So what I did was just put 5-7 minutes in each section to just go back to these flagged questions and double-check the answer. I ended up flagging a ton of questions and changing the answers to about 10 questions. It really made a difference because if I hadn’t done it I would have failed since I got the failed 76.
When answering a question, make sure you are 100% accurate, not 99%, not 98%. Why so? This is because most of the query options are really, really close and similar. You have to be accurate with the answer. You need to forget about the knowledge you gained in your job, your experience, and what you learned in college. This is a completely different game. Either flag your question or go fast and verify your answer in the book or do both. Don’t worry about the page you are noisy when searching for the answer, believe me, you will not be the only one.
The biggest mistake people make is to not read the question correctly. Make sure you read it slowly and patiently. I have read two questions many times, even though I know what I was asking the question to be on the safe side. I know it is a waste of time, but it is worth it.
Many questions are long but there are a few questions that take 5 seconds to answer because they will be extremely easy and straightforward.
Here’s a great tip. Let’s say you put 35 minutes aside for a section and 10 minutes for the flagging question. So, in the end, you set aside 25 minutes to answer this section’s question. Assuming you take only 20 minutes to answer all the questions and 8 minutes to review the flagged questions, you now have 7 minutes free (35-20-8). Don’t go to the next section, use the minute to revisit the section. You can ask questions again in the section even if you have not flagged them. But make sure you do not exceed 35 minutes. I’m sure you’ll change the answer to at least 1 question.
Make sure you drink water every 15 minutes to keep you hydrated and give your brain some energy. You can also use the restroom during the test. During the test, I used the restroom 4 times. I told you, I’m under pressure
What you should not do in the exam !!!
So now, you know everything there is to do to appear for a Certified Usability Analyst exam. It’s time to say what you shouldn’t do.
Don’t use a ton of sticky notes! I didn’t even use a sticky note to study. Why? These are not easily accessible during testing. You need to be good with them or else you will tear them down. You will not be able to write it in a very small form unless you have written it in a very small way which is basically the reason for the test, but it is not time to read it fast. Would you like to mention a bunch of sticky notes or a few pieces of paper throughout your book? Your pick
Do not assume that you will have time to ask your neighbors questions because I believe it will be like a fish market there. People are sweating, turning pages, drinking water, clicking mouse clicks. You won’t even have time to turn away for a minute. But yes, if you have to use the restroom, please do.
When creating a note, do not create long paragraphs. You will not have the patience to read all of them even after correction because you will assume that you know it and do not need to read it again.
Do not use any concept examples to answer the question to be a Certified Usability Analyst. Examples are simply to understand your idea, not to remember the concept name. Don’t use examples as keywords.
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