How Do I Get Started?
First, register into an ICDL Program
Register with an ICDL Authorized Test Centre or enroll in ICDL Custom Testing. (Note: you must be a Resident of Canada to participate in ICDL Canada programs.)
Ask for ICDL Diagnostic Tests
Once registered, we recommend you use Diagnostic Tests, which are reasonably priced, to get a "before" measure of your skills. Then go through the courseware that you have purchased. Keep your Diagnostic Tests available by "suspending and resuming" them until you are ready to "end" them for the final feedback.
Select your ICDL training resources
The CiA Training material available in Canada has been localized for use in Canada. It is very good for either self-paced or instructor-led learning. It consists of a series of booklets. It is organized into a string of "Driving Lessons" that are short and sweet. At the end of each group of lessons there are exercises that use data files that you will have downloaded from the ICDL Canada website. When an exercise takes you through its paces and calls for a file for you to work on, you already have it on your computer. There is a progress record that you can use to track your way through the Syllabus. Your Diagnostic Tests will also reference the Syllabus. So when you need to work on a particular skill you now know where it is -- you can also get focused with the training material.
A less expensive courseware option preferred by some is to use e-learning. This works from within your Personal Testing Account. Your purchase of licences, in this case, is for one year. A helpful feature is that the licence period starts separately for each Module used. So your licence always runs for one year for each Module. This suggests that you may want to wait for a real start for individual Modules, rather than browse around them all at the outset.
When ready and confident book your first ICDL Certification Test
This approach, when completed, will help you be ready and confident for each Certification Test. Some people do their tests one at a time.
- In Custom Testing it is necessary to do them in a maximum of three sessions. Many do 7 tests in two sessions and, occasionally, some even do this many in one of a few hours.
- If you are in an instructor-led program it would be a good idea not to do the tests until after the respective Module has been covered in class. Instructor-led programs typically schedule the tests so this is not a problem.
A note on sequencing in self-paced study for ICDL
Many candidates work away at their ICDL preparations as self-paced students. If you are one of these, when you start you will have an idea of which Module is the most familiar. Since the tests are designed to be done in any order, a good way to do them is by starting from the most familiar and work toward the least familiar Module. If you are using Diagnostic Tests you will have their scores to guide your sequencing.
If you are planing on Advanced Modules, always do the Base/Standard Module before its corresponding Advanced Module e.g. Spreadsheets before Advanced Spreadsheets, etc.
A good way to get the big picture is to access the Module Summaries.
ICDL test duration
The Certification Tests have a normal time limit of 45 minutes. Well prepared candidates typically do the tests in 20 to 25 minutes. You can see that if you are prepared for more than one module it is feasible to do two or three Certification Tests at a sitting. Once you start a Certification Test you need to finish it without leaving the examination workstation. However, you can take a short break between tests if you notify your Certified Tester or Invigilator. Make sure your appointment with the Certified Tester has the 45 minute cushion left before starting another test.
You can grow your ICDL Profile...
When you have completed a particular group of Modules such as "Base" or "Standard", have a look at what more you would like to have in your growing ICDL Profile. Expansion PACs can be obtained for additions of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 more Modules with their Certification Tests. Each Expansion PAC includes one validation and a formal ICDL Profile Certification. That is how you can keep your certification growing and up to date. Good luck with your New ICDL Profile program.