Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) Exams


COTC is excited to offer students an opportunity to take Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams starting in 2021. Adobe recommends students have approximately 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience to be prepared to take (and pass) the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams.

ACA exams are available for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects and Premier Pro. Students can complete only one exam at a time to become an Adobe Certified Associate. Students may also earn an enhanced status and become an Adobe Certified “Professional” in the following areas by successfully completing multiple exams as indicated below:

  • Adobe Certified Professional in Visual Design: Photoshop (required) and Illustrator or InDesign.
  • Adobe Certified Professional in Video Design: Premiere Pro (required) and Photoshop or After Effects
  • Adobe Certified Professional in Web Design: Dreamweaver (required) and Animate or Photoshop

Students who complete the Digital Media Technology (DMT) Certificate at COTC will be prepared to take (and pass) the ACA exams.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ACA Certification?

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification is an industry-recognized credential that effectively validates one’s expertise in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Those who possess the ACA certification can confidently prove that they have the skills and knowledge to meet the demands of today’s design industry.

How do I take the exam(s)?

COTC is a licensed testing facility for the ACA exam.  Exams can be taken online from the comfort of your home or office. Students will need to register with the COTC Testing Center to schedule and get access to the testing system.

Each exam costs $71. If students wish to have the option to retake the exam that increases the price per exam to $86.25. This fee is the responsibility of the student.

Students interested in taking the exam should contact Assistant Professor, James Jarc:

What should I expect when taking the exam?

The exams consist of both factual and practical questions. Students will be asked to complete a series of fill-in, matching, or multiple-choice questions about the software. Additionally, they will be presented with in-app simulation tasks that direct the test-taker to perform a function of the program. Each exam takes approximately 50 minutes to complete.

Are there study guides or test prep materials available?

Yes! You can access many test prep resources on the Adobe Education Exchange:
This resource includes study guides, objectives, tutorials, and even practice exams!

What other preparation is recommended before taking the Adobe Certified Associate exams? 

Adobe recommends students have approximately 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience. The Digital Media Technology Certificate will help prepare students in a variety of ways for careers in digital media design as well as help prepare them to take the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams. Students should take the following courses before they take the ACA exams. 

  • DMD-101: Digital Software Fundamentals
  • DMD-113: Introduction to eLife: Foundations of Digital Literacy
  • DMD-240: Video Production I
  • DMD-120: Web Design & Development I
  • DMD-208: Multimedia Production
  • DMD-104: Design Fundamentals
  • DMD-105: Photography I
  • DMD-121: Web Design & Development II