Cert CloseUp: QuarkXPress Certification

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In early August 2004, Quark Inc announced the launch of the company’s QuarkXPress Certified Expert program. The intent of the program is to identify individuals who are proficient with the company’s flagship desktop publishing/page layout program, QuarkXPress. Earning this credential requires passing a single exam, delivered online, that puts candidates through their paces to demonstrate sufficient expertise, skills and abilities with the software to design and deliver projects using QuarkXPress. No information about other prerequisites or experience recommendations are currently available.

The exam was developed by Quark training partner, Against the Clock, which also developed the course designed to help individuals prepare for the exam. Against the Clock trainer and QuarkXPress maven Erika Kendra is writing a certification preparation book titled “QuarkXPress: Creating Digital Documents “ (due in late September 2004). See www.againsttheclock.com/bookDetails.asp?book=46 for more information. Built around real-world exercises and projects, this book is designed to help candidates prepare for and pass the QuarkXPress Certified Expert exam.

The exam is built to an interesting model. It’s delivered on the Web, costs $169 for the first take (retakes cost $89), consists of 100 questions and fills a three-hour time slot. I’m not sure how the company plans to authenticate exam-takers or to prevent potential abuses possible in unproctored exam situations. I suspect the questions will be so involved and complex that those who must look things up to answer them won’t have time to finish enough of the exam to earn a passing score.

For more information, check out the QuarkXPress Certified Expert page at www.quark.com/partners/certified_expert/requirements.html. Interestingly, I can’t find any detailed objectives available for the exam, nor any information about the minimum score needed to pass or ongoing recertification requirements (though it’s not unreasonable to speculate that credentials will be tied to program versions, or that individuals will have to recertify within a certain time period following release of new versions). That said, the company does plan to provide benefits to those who earn the credential, including access to certified-professionals-only premium Web content, use of credential logos on business cards and listing in a directory of certified individuals.

Note: In March, 2004, I wrote a Cert CloseUp on the Adobe certification programs, several of whose elements also touch on page layout/desktop publishing tools and topics as well. See www.certmag.com/articles/templates/cmag_webonly.asp?articleid=633&zoneid=41.

Ed Tittel is technology editor for Certification Magazine. E-mail Ed with your questions and comments at etittel@certmag.com.


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