PCEP and PCAP Certification Test Information and Prep Courses

 

TechSmart launches supplemental learning materials to prepare students for the PCEP and PCAP Certification Exams

TechSmart is excited to announce the release of a collection of supplemental learning resources that significantly increase the alignment of the CS201: Coding in Python 1 and CS202: Coding in Python 2 courses with content assessed by the Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer Certification (PCEP).

This student-led resource prepares students who have completed the first two semesters of the CS200 learning pathway to succeed on the PCEP exam.

 

TechSmart has also released student-led supplemental resources that bridge the alignment of the CS203: Coding in Python 3 and CS204: Coding in Python 4 courses to the Certified Associate Python Programming (PCAP). These resources prepare students who have completed the second year of the CS200 learning pathway to succeed on the PCAP exam.

Even with the supplemental resources, it is strongly recommended for a student to go through Python Institute's Practice Test package, which essentially allows the student to take and review up to 15 practice tests.  This will be essential to maximizing success-rate on the PCAP exam.

Student-led learning

Acknowledging that TechSmart's CS200 level courses are already complete courses that are intended to fill a semester each, the PCEP/PCAP Test Prep content will be student-led courses. These materials require no additional implementation work from schools or teachers, and can be provided directly to students. Students who are interested in completing the courses can self-pace through the content on their own time.

Course Access and Login

An external site called Thinkific is used to house the test prep materials. The courses can be accessed by students with this URL:

Login

When students access the course for the first time they will need to create a free Thinkific account login. 

Printable guide for creating a Thinkific account can be found here.

To ensure that students have access to the course upon graduating or leaving the school district, it is recommended that students use a personal email address (instead of a school email address) to enroll in the course. 

 

Ordering PCEP/PCAP Test Vouchers

The Python Institute has kindly offered bulk discount packages for TechSmart's partner districts.  Along with acquiring the exam + retake vouchers for your students, we highly recommend including the practice tests for your students to experience what the exams may consist of.  With the practice test voucher, variations of the practice test can essentially be taken up to 15 times with reviews of each attempt.  This will be valuable preparation for students before moving on to the actual exam. To inquire about discounts for exam and practice test vouchers, you can email Roobed Trejo at roobed.trejo@openedg.org or support@openedg.org.  Make sure to mention that you use TechSmart's curriculum in your inquiry.

The general test voucher ordering sites can be found here:

FAQs

Why should students take the PCEP/PCAP?

Coding certifications are one way to signal to hiring managers that candidates have a deep understanding of a programming language. When combined with a robust coding portfolio, coding certifications such as the PCEP and PCAP can help students with little or no professional experience land their first coding internships or entry-level jobs. The PCEP and PCAP, in particular, are recognized across industry as leading Python certifications.

Do my students need these Test Prep materials in order to pass the PCEP/PCAP?

The CS201 and CS202 courses were designed with PCEP alignment in mind, so there is already a strong overlap between what is present in the TechSmart curriculum and what is assessed by the PCEP. However, there are a small number of topics that are very specific to the Python language itself that are not included in TechSmart's curriculum. It is certainly possible that a student could achieve the PCEP's 70% passing score without prior knowledge of these additional topics, but we believe students would strongly benefit from at least a quick primer on the advanced topics presented in these materials.

Similarly, the CS203 and CS204 courses were designed with PCAP alignment in mind.  Not all topics that may be addressed in the PCAP are presented in CS203/CS204, thus the purpose of the supplemental course. It's less likely a student would pass the PCAP without at least going through/understanding much of the supplemental course content or utilizing Python Institute's practice test package.

Are there teacher-facing materials to support students' learning with these materials?

There are not. The test prep materials are intended to be student-led and self-paced. Teachers are welcome to sign up for the course though to familiarize themselves with the content and be available for students if they need assistance.

What is the cost to enroll in the TechSmart Test Prep courses?

TechSmart's PCEP/PCAP Test Prep courses are free! Pricing information related to scheduling and taking the PCEP Certification Exam can be found here.  Taking the PCAP Certification Exam information can be found here.

What technical content is covered in the TechSmart PCEP Test Prep course?

Please refer to the CS202 course syllabus for a detailed list of standards and topics covered by the PCEP Test Prep materials.

How will I know if my students are ready to take PCEP or PCAP exam?

We believe students will be best prepared to succeed on the PCEP after the completion of CS201 and CS202 courses as well completion of the TechSmart PCEP Test Prep course. We also recommend providing students with the Python Institute's free practice test as part of their official study course. This will further help a student determine if they are ready to take the PCEP Certification Exam.

We believe students will be best prepared to succeed on the PCAP after successful completion of CS203 and CS204 courses as well completion of the TechSmart PCAP Test Prep course. We highly recommend providing students with the Python Institute's PCAP practice test package with a decent discount provided if purchased with the actual PCAP exam voucher.

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