Python Coding Apprentice
(PCA) (V.1)

If you’re just getting started with your career as a programmer this certification is the best place to test and validate your core Python skills. Python is an exciting coding language, it allows you to automate the boring stuff, stay on top of bitcoin prices, create a calculator, build a microblog with Flask, build a blockchain, play PyGames and so much more. 

What are the benefits of getting a Python Coding Apprentice Certification?

The PCA is a globally recognized industry certification on Python programming, which grants school students, aspiring coders, junior software developers, and IT professionals the ability to assess their knowledge and get credentials for their programming skills.

This introductory exam was designed for junior coders who are coding for the first time but are eager to test their capabilities and prove their skills. As with the Python Coding Specialist exam this assessment modality consists of a real live coding environment, combined with Parsons programming puzzles, drag-and-drop matching question type and multiple-choice question type.

If you are in the process of learning how to write basic scripts, working with basic syntax, variables, functions and control flow then this exam is the best way to validate that you have obtained the necessary knowledge to put those skills to work.

Exam Details

Number of questions: 25

Time limit: 45 minutes

Passing score: 75%

Format: Linear and Live-in-the-App

The examination procedure
The students will have to answer all the question within the given timeframe.

They are free to ignore as many questions as they want. They will have the option to flag the questions and then review them at the end of the test (within the 45 minutes timeframe). All unanswered questions will be marked as incorrect.

When the test finishes the result of the examination is sent to the Knowledge Pillars server for storing.

Find more information about our Exam Retake Policy and Exam Proctoring options.

Exam Objective Domains

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a general background in coding with Python. Prior to taking the exam, a candidate is expected to have approximately 100 hours of hands-on experience or lectures on developing using Python.

The elevated level of preparation required is derived from the industry-standard level of the exam and the fact that this certification reflects the candidate’s readiness to enter the job market. Moreover, this Certification is used as a job placement index by recruiting managers, for the correct placement of a job seeker. Knowledge Pillars PCA uses a task-based format in order to ensure the validity of the results.

To optimize the examination experience for the Candidate, Knowledge Pillars has taken certain steps to utilize a real Python coding environment during the examination, as well as to ensure a stable experience for the examinées. The exam is provided both in Testing Centers or remotely, via the remote proctoring system.

Skills Measured:

  • Data Types & Operations
  • Variables
  • Input and Output
  • Conditionals
  • Loops
  • Lists
  • Functions

Data Types & Operations

  • Strings
  • Integers
  • Floats
  • Type & Casting
  • String Concatenation
  • Logical Operators (and, or)
  • Comparison Operators (==, >, <)
  • Math Operations (+, -, *, /)
  • Assignment Ops (+=,-=,*=,/= )

Variables

  • Definition of a Variable
  • Naming conventions
  • Dot Notation
  • Use as parameters

Input and Output

  • Output (say, print)
  • Store user input (ask, input)

Conditionals

  • If
  • Elif
  • Else
  • Compound Logic
  • Nested If Statements

Loops

  • For loops with range
  • For loops with list
  • For loops with incrementation
  • While loops

Lists

  • Append
  • Remove
  • Indices
  • Loop through List
  • Random Choice

Functions

    • Define a Function
    • Call a Function
    • Function Parameters
    • Return
    Practice Test
    Everyone can achieve more with practice!

    PCA – Python Coding Apprentice Practice Test by Knowledge Pillars offers school students, aspiring coders, junior software developers, and IT professionals the ability to assess their knowledge and prepare for the PCA international certification exam. This assessment performed live-in-the-app combines a variety of Parsons programming puzzles, drag-and-drop matching and multiple-choice question types. You can also choose the objective domains you want to practice. Those students who sign-up and practice frequently are guaranteed to pass their international certification exam. 

    Each time you complete a practice test round, you receive a full performance and score report to help you focus on the exam domain objectives that require more practice. You can use the practice test as many times as you like within 90 days and observe how you improve by comparing your previous performance and score reports.

    Practice Test Details

    Number of questions: 120
    Access Limit: 90 days
    Format: Linear and Live-in-the-App
    Modes: Real Test and Practice Test

     Get Practice »

    Participating in BETA Exams

    A critical part of the exam development process is the beta exam. By taking the exam in its beta format, candidates provide us with useful information to evaluate the technical accuracy, relevance, and psychometric characteristics of the questions before we score examinees.

    Get 80% off the PCA beta exam. If you take the beta exam, Knowledge Pillars will send a 25% discount voucher to the same email that you use to register for exams AFTER the beta exam has been scored. You can apply that voucher to your next Knowledge Pillars exam registration. 

    Note Participation in the beta is on a first come, first served basis. Due to popular demand, we recommend that you register as soon as the beta registration period begins. 

    Candidates located in China, India, Pakistan, or Turkey are not eligible to participate in beta exams for security reasons.

    Preparing for a beta exam

    You will have access to the Exam Details page that lists the skills that will be assessed on the exam. Knowledge Pillars does not currently offer training materials for its exams.

    People interested in beta exams usually have access to other resources, are experienced with the technology, or work with the beta product. We recommend that you consult peers, community resources, and early-adopter articles for support if you need additional preparation materials.

    Beta exam scoring and results

    When you complete a beta exam, you do not receive a score immediately because the scoring model for the exam is not yet finalized.

    You usually receive your exam score within 2-3 weeks after the exam becomes available worldwide—this can be up to 16 weeks after you take the exam, depending on when in the beta period you took the exam. This time frame reflects the comprehensive process used to evaluate the beta exam results, including statistically analyzing the data to evaluate the performance of each question and reading and evaluating all comments provided during the beta exam. The rescore process starts on the day that exams go live, and final scores are released approximately 10 days later.

    Note Participation in beta exams is voluntary, and Knowledge Pillars makes no promises or guarantees regarding the beta exam process, availability of your scores, or the timing of your results. Generally online proctored exam results are presented within 72 hours.

    Passing the beta exam

    Passing a beta exam in your certification exam counts toward your transcript. You do not need to retake the exam in its final version and you will receive a digital badge as confirmation of your passing score. Make sure that you take another exam within a year so you can take advantage of the 25% discount you earned for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program.

    If you do not pass the beta exam, you cannot retake the beta exam. If you are interested in earning a certification that requires successful completion of that exam, you must wait to retake the exam at regular cost when it’s live, or you can apply the 25% discount that you received for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program.

    Technical Requirements

    The minimum system requirements are:

    • Operating system: Windows 7/8/10 OS, MacOS X 10.0x or newer, Linux OS
    • Minimum RAM: 1GB or more depending on the Operating System
    • Minimum processor: 1.0 Ghz or more depending on the operating system and the architecture
    • A color monitor with minimum display resolution: 1366px by 768px
    • Internet access
    • The latest version of the Chrome browser
    • Automatic updates, notifications, other popup windows, and anything that can disrupt the examination process should be disabled
    .Net Coding Specialist Badge

    Python Coding Apprentice

    Number of questions: 25
    Time limit 45 minutes
    Passing score 75%
    Format Linear and In-App
    Exam valid for 2 years
    Practice Test Yes »

     Download PCA Datasheet

    At school, I learned to create interactive projects and apps using Python code. In just a few months we’ve learned some core concepts of Python code like debugging, problem solving and algorithms. It’s so cool, in just a short time I can use loops and random numbers to create digital art and create a dialogue between two sprites. Python is a really powerful programming language and I’m ready to gain a recognized industry credential from Knowledge Pillars to help me gain an advantage, earn extra college credit and be ready for future career opportunities.

    Timothy Jenkins

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