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Eric Karie
FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 1:07:21 pm

I am new to FCPX (a month into it) I love this program and I love Apple products. My employer paid for me to take the FCPX certification, which is a 3 day certification program. It was $1,000 and I traveled from CO to FL to take the training. I was super stoked and happy to take it. While the teacher was very nice and very knowledgeable about FCPX (able to answer any questions that were asked), it was A LOT of information to absorb in 3 days time. The test was a real pain in the ass to take too!!! I do not see any way that ANYONE could pass this test unless you have previous training and or experience in video editing or unless you have a photographic memory! Apple advertises this training with the only requirement to take it as being a basic knowledge of working with a Mac OS system. It is also another $250 to retake the exam if you do not pass it. NO ONE in my class passed the exam and you have to score an 80% on the exam to pass. This means that out of 75 questions you have to basically get a 94% to pass. Not even colleges require this type of passing score. I have lost a vast amount of respect for Apple because of this!!! And it feels to me that Apple is in it just for the money, not to help people succeed. Shame on Apple!!!


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Mark Suszko
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 2:44:42 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on May 29, 2015 at 2:46:58 pm

I think it may not be a question of bad training so much as that your expectations were not in line with what was presented. If you've only been editing a month, as an extreme example, or have edited before but only worked with FCPX for a month, you probably are not ready to take a certification-level course, which is for turning general users into Power Users and Instructors. That could be why you and your classmates felt "overwhelmed". And I'll tell you a secret; anybody who is "certified" in a software app still probably needs to look something up from time to time. Certification by itself doesn't confer magical properties on the person being certified: you read stories every other month about younger and younger children, as young as 9, passing a Microsoft certification test for something or other.

Certification means you know what every button does and where to find it. It doesn't necessarily tell you WHEN or WHY to push that button to achieve a desired result. And it doesn't, by itself, make you a better editor. Maybe a little faster, because you know where the buttons are. Some of the best editors in the world never were
"certified" on the platform they used; they were highly motivated autodidacts.


I'm NOT saying Certification is rubbish. It can have a value within a certain context.

I'm saying that you seem to think it could make you Walter Murch in three days. Or something like this guy:







I have no idea if Dov is legit. He's certainly prolific at whatever it is he does. I do think he over-simplifies things a tad.


So what's YOUR solution? I think what you probably need is one of the canned courses from Larry Jordan, Ripple Training, or Linda.com and similar sources, as a basis, then a period of practice and experimentation, and only after that, if you feel like you're ready to approach "mastery", take a "certification" course, which becomes a handy way to "prove" to a non-industry person like an H.R. department interviewer, that you have documented skill sets.

I can tell you with some confidence though, that the guy or gal that will be your boss will not hire you just on if you are certified or not certified. They look first at your reel. Then at you as a person, to see if you can work with humans. Then at your other "paperwork".


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Tim Wilson
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:15:40 pm

I'll also add that certification tests typically target a specific failure rate. The goal is to triangulate between thoroughness of the training and the difficulty of the test in order for it to denote an actual accomplishment.

I have no idea what the target failure rate for your test was. I've seen the target be as high as 50%, although in that particular test, retakes were free...but they were very serious about making sure it was hard enough to be an actual barrier to be climbed.

Again, I'm not passing any judgement on either you or the setup you participated in. Maybe it's working exactly as the training facility planned it, maybe it's not. But if your employer hasn't had a chat with the training facility, they definitely need to. Whatever the facility's goals, if they weren't clear about their alignment with your goals, that's a problem.

I'd start by asking flat out, how many people they typically expect to see fail the test, and why, and what that means for the employer's ability to get their money's worth out of the proceedings.

Maybe somebody here has been through the specific training you have, and can speak to it more directly I can, but my hunch is that until your employer has had that conversation with the training center, it might be premature to blame Apple. Maybe not. But maybe.

In addition to the resources Mark mentions, please ask questions directly in the FCPX Techniques forum here at Creative COW. You'll find some of the sharpest FCPX pros in the world there (and here of course), including some folks who do indeed train people in this stuff for a living.

I'm sorry to hear this, though, Eric. It sounds like a mighty drag. Best wishes for happier outcomes.


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Neil Goodman
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:22:51 pm

IMO all "certification" is scam. Pay money so someone can tell me I'm certified? For what?

Ive never seen this as job requirement or lost a job to someone who was certified.


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Eric Karie
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:29:40 pm

Thank You! And thank you to the others who have posted here also in response to my post. I experience the posts as very knowledgable and neutral in a good way. I went into this certification training wanting an external source to validate my worth. I do feel that it was misleading that it was not clearly stated to have a solid foundation with FCPX in order to pass the exam before even beginning the course. I learned a ton in this class beyond the certification - both in working with FCPX and in life lessons. Whew, Major learning curve for sure!!! Again, thank you for the replies as they are Very helpful.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 11:48:35 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 29, 2015 at 11:57:22 pm

Neil,

It might be a scam if you pursue certification as simply something to list on your resume in order to get more money or impress your employer.

I however, don't have an employer. And nobody on the planet except me cares a whit if I'm FCP X certified.

But I do.

It was a personal benchmark that let me test what I *thought* I knew against an objective set of standards. And while I was studying for certification, I discovered and repaired a LOT of holes in my general X knowledge - processes or concepts that I'd simply not encountered in my daily work, but that I found fascinating and potentially important to know.

IMO, too much of education these days is about getting a piece of paper - and not enough of it is about engaging in the actual structured quest for knowledge.

My X certification is valuable. To ME. For that reason. And that's the only thing I'm interested in.

YMMV.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Harlan
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 1, 2015 at 5:53:20 am

My favorite certification "scam" is Avid's. You can't even take the certification test without buying a class. It doesn't matter if you've been working on Media Composer for a decade. Its just silly.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:40:01 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I think it may not be a question of bad training so much as that your expectations were not in line with what was presented. If you've only been editing a month, as an extreme example, or have edited before but only worked with FCPX for a month, you probably are not ready to take a certification-level course, which is for turning general users into Power Users and Instructor"

To Eric's point though, that's not how Apple advertises the program. Below is a list of all the prerequisites Apple says you need before taking the class:

• Knowledge of OS X and basic computer navigation
• Basic knowledge of video editing terminology is highly recommended


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Mark Suszko
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:56:51 pm

Let's take the exam together:

http://training.apple.com/pdf/fcpx-exam-prep-pro.pdf

I'm sure I would not get an 80 percent or better on this, yet. With time, though, I think I could do it. A bella or logic keyboard with the buttons all marked would help.

OTOH, nothing in that review material actually shows you how to edit a program together in any meaningful way. It demonstrates you've memorized all the shortcut keys and typical settings for things.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 5:35:13 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Let's take the exam together:
"


I'm not sure what you are getting at, Mark.

According to Apple's documents if you know how to use a Mac, and know some basic editing terms, then you have a suitable knowledge base to take the FCP X certification course. Eric's upset because he feels that is very misleading given the breadth and depth of what's covered by the course. Your opinion seems to mesh with Eric's (that this is not an entry-level course), but you are saying Eric had unrealistic expectations going in even though Eric's expectations were based on Apple's documentation that basically says if you can use a Mac you are qualified to take this course.


[Mark Suszko] "It demonstrates you've memorized all the shortcut keys and typical settings for things."

Has anyone here made the case that certification does anything beyond making sure you know commands and settings?

What that being said, I've never taken any certification course but I know some editors that have and say it really helped them become better at editing. Not better in a storytelling sense, but better at quickly and efficiently using the NLE so they spent more time 'in the zone' and less time wrestling with the software. I think that's a viable point.

Given the increasing amount of online tutorials and forums with helpful members (such as the COW) I'm sure much of the same lessons and experience can be accessed for much less money than an official course costs, but at the cost of the individual having to do a lot more leg work. The individual also needs to be at a point of knowledge and experience where they know enough to know what questions they need to be asking. A course, on the other hand, gives you access to an instruction and a pre-made curriculum but it won't be cheap. I don't think there is any 'right' answer as it's up to the individual to determine how they want to spend their time and money.


-Andrew


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:29:54 am
Last Edited By Aindreas Gallagher on Jun 1, 2015 at 12:32:38 am

isn't possibly the point maybe that FCPX, by virtue of where apple landed it, has people trying to get in line to sell rubes ripple vitamin water?

are there periodic regulars here trying to sell somebody something in terms of workflow or training?

*edit* I don't want to over do it - but are there maybe quite a few more carnies generally flocking around X as opposed to the other edit systems?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 5:30:14 am

Why of course!

All those Apple Building wraps in 2014 at NAB. The constant Apple ads in all the trade magazines. And in on-line Apple banners in video centric web sites. The fully sponsored Apple conventions. The constant stream of DEEP DISCOUNT offers to draw in the "rubes" The the classic signs of a company not confident of the quality of the product alone to build a loyal customer base, and Apples acknowledgement that the software needs to be constantly flogged like shaving cream!

FCP X users are "rubes" who have to be constantly convinced of the quality of our software compared to others who just let the product quality speak for itself without needing any hype? Is that it?

(You live in an interesting mental world, my friend and I'm kinda wondering now if you perhaps enjoyed the Bizarro Superman comic issues a bit too much as a kid?)

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 3:57:44 pm

Boy that leaves it quite vague does't it? How long does it take to have basic knowledge of video editing terminology? I'd say a lot more than a month, but it's quite a subjective little phrase.


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Noah Kadner
Re: FCPX Certification
on May 29, 2015 at 5:27:55 pm
Last Edited By Noah Kadner on May 29, 2015 at 5:33:16 pm

I'm not sure that the OP's expectations/goals were entirely realistic about the FCPX certification. Or perhaps he didn't have the time to research the program in depth.

If the goal was to earn a certificate that your passed the course, well it's no secret the FCPX/ProApps exams are not at all easy to pass and require thorough knowledge of the book to pass. If it were something anyone could pick up in 3 days cold, it wouldn't have much value as a distinction. You can join the Apple Trainer's group on Facebook and you'll find that even longtime trainers with years of experience with FCPX don't find the certification a walk in the park without extensively studying the book and the practice exam.

That said, I'd want to know some specifics about this particular AATC you went to and how they are training. Because if not a single person in your class passed that sounds like they potentially have some other issues.

On that note, why travel all the way from Colorado to Florida when solid AATC's in California and Texas are closer.

If the goal was to learn FCPX more in depth, I'd suggest one of the many available online training courses such as the Ripple Training Series. They do not offer certificates but the will definitely significantly improve your FCPX skillset. Which is what I would imagine your employer is more interested in with funding your education.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Certification
on May 29, 2015 at 11:46:52 pm

Agreed across the board. But what of the bizarre description of the course by Apple? An understanding of ow the OS works and some knowledge of video editing terms? Something is definitely awry here. And as Bill has mentioned below, you should NOT be able to pass a certification course with a month of editing experience and a 3 day course. You should not be allowed to register for the course (or at least have any expectation of passing). That's like taking a senior class as a freshman after going to school for a month.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 11:55:18 pm

A piece of the certification process is "what keyboard combo does this" - but the more interesting part to me was when they gave me a screenshot of the interface and said, basically, "mark an X where you need to click to accomplish (Function)."

No matter how smart or intuitive you might be, you either know where to click or you don't.

You've either used the program enough to know. Or you haven't.

It's one of the types of things that makes the certification valid. You are NOT going to be certified unless you really know how to work the program at a pretty deep level. Period.

And isn't that what Certification in something is supposed to be? Depth, breath, and clarity of knowledge?

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Nicholas Zimmerman
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 30, 2015 at 5:41:45 am

I believe they got rid of the shortcut questions at the 10.1 exam and beyond. When I took that one the instructor mentioned how they got rid of them because Apple felt you shouldn't be punished for customizing your keyboard. I remember a lot of them on the Level 1 & 2 exams, as well as Motion 5. I don't think the current FCPX or Logic Pro X exams have any of them.

________________________________________

NickZimmerman.net

Certified in FCPX, Logic Pro X, & Motion 5
________________________________________


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Eric Karie
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 30, 2015 at 7:17:41 am

Hi everyone,
I appreciate the replies here. When I wrote my original post I was and am still bummed that I did not pass the exam. I used the word scam because there is at the very least a misrepresentation from apple of the requirements regarding taking the training and getting certified. The only 2 things that are said are that a basic working knowledge of Mac OS and a basic knowledge of FCPX. Being very new to this I naturally thought that both Apple and the instructor would do everything to make sure that when a person takes the course that they would be prepared for the exam, not for failure. And again, no one in the class passed the exam.

I absolutely agree that a solid working knowledge of FCPX is absolutely vital and there are many great comments of what is needed to pass the exam. My problem is that the communication of the requirements were not clear to pass the exam. Through this learning experience I have a much deeper understanding of what is needed to begin having a solid understanding, flow and use of FCPX.

Regarding taking the exam at a later time... No, you cannot take the exam at a later time without incurring another $250.00 fee for each test, even if you do not take it at the end of training. So, to take the course if you do not pass the test or if you want to take it later you have to go to a training center that is Apple approved and pay the $250.00 each time that you take the exam.

On a really good note... The book that is used for the training is exceptional! Lynda.com is exceptional also and I have both. I am now in a place where there is a TON of tools and knowledge that are simmering just beneath my subconscious mind just waiting to come out in right timing and as I progress with learning FCPX.

The challenge for me in the beginning when I started learning was what editing platform to go with. Once I determined that I am choosing X to go with I naturally am learning some very valuable lessons, at times painfully along the way.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 29, 2015 at 11:40:27 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 30, 2015 at 12:10:53 am

Basically you're saying that certification is hard.

Yep it is. It's absolutely no cakewalk.

Nor should it be. A program you can learn thoroughly in a single 3 days session is an awfully simple program - and X while sometimes appears relatively easy for newcomers, is NOT a simple program when you get deep inside it.

I had nearly 3 years experience using X - then I proctored the test for an AATC program which let me sit in on the entire 3 day curriculum - THEN I studied the Apple material for a full six weeks - and after all that, I didn't get up to a 90% score! (I did pass and get certified, but I didn't ACE it.) I did that for the old Level 1 FCP X test, then the the old Level 2 test (which are now obsolete) and finally the new Professional Post certifications.

So yes, it's very comprehensive and designed not to test just factual knowledge, but a pretty deep understanding of how the program really works.

That you paid for a 3 day intensive and didn't "get it" fully, is not surprising to me at all. I've spent 3 years immersed in X - did formal and personal study for weeks - and still got 10%+ of the certification test answers wrong.

That doesn't make anything a scam. It just means you very much underestimated what it takes to become Certified in X.

That's all.

Also, I'm not sure why anyone thinks this is any different from, say, a Certified Public Accountant exam? There are tons of CPA training programs that give you a 3 day intensive course in THAT to brush up before you take the exam. But nobody expects those programs to INSURE that you'll become a CPA with nothing but the course and 30 days experience. And I don't recall that the CPA exams bother to tell the people seeking to take them what kind of training they need to have as prerequisites.

It was harder than you thought. Sorry. Now you have two choices. Up your game, do the hard work to study more, and re-take it. Or content yourself without certification. That's about it.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Russ Haskell
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 30, 2015 at 3:12:51 am

Yes, the test is not a cakewalk. Which doesn't mean it's right to call it a scam. (It would be a scam if certification was a slam dunk and the training cost an arm and a leg.)

Several years ago I went into the FCP 7 exam very confident – having aced the practice exam and having used versions of FCP for years. But…I walked out of the room chastened with a 79 (and a fraction). The kind of type of thing that tripped me up was looking at a UI (as mentioned by Bill) and being asked where precisely to click to accomplish an operation. But what really tripped me up was that I went in thinking I was more accomplished than I was …that really "knew" the answer, even though it took two or three clicks to prove that I did.

Ultimately got the 7 cert…and later the X cert – with a lot more preparation than I would have thought reasonable for someone who used the application daily. I'm glad I made the effort and it did deepen my understanding… but whether it is for others is up to them to decide.

Not a scam, however.

Russ


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Nicholas Zimmerman
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 30, 2015 at 5:38:37 am

It's not a scam. It's just not an easy test. At this point I've accumulated five ProApps certifications (X level 1&2, FCP 10.1, Logic Pro X, and Motion 5), and they all took incredible amounts of work to pass.

I've never taken the 3-day courses for FCPX, but instead utilized Lynda.com (FCPX Essential Training, FCPX Narrative Editing, FCPX Documentary Editing, FCPX Color Correction) and all of Ripple Training's existing courses for the Level 1 exam. I used the application daily for a full year ahead of the exam, and studied flash cards for a solid 5 hours the night before. I was terrified of the exam, having worked in the field for a few years, and having heard horror stories of MC and FCP7 certs. It ended up being pretty painless, and I came in a week later to take the Level 2 exam without issue.

For the Motion 5 exam I flew back to DigiTrain in Dallas, TX(even though I'd moved to LA) and took the three day course. It was a fantastic learning experience, but I went in with a solid background in Motion 5, having completed all of Ripple Training's courses. Getting to bounce ideas off of the instructor helped me gain a lot of skills with Behaviors and Parameter Behaviors I wouldn't have gained from static video training.

For Logic Pro X I stayed in Los Angeles and took the 3 day course at Logic Pro Help. David Nahmani (the author of the certification training book) taught the course, and it was brutal. I don't come from an music background, but I had used ProTools for mixing quite a few years. The first day of the course David told us, if you don't study, you will not pass this exam, and he was right. Out of the twelve people in our class, only two passed. I studied for about five hours a night during that course, and ended up passing by 1% point. I went in there in the exact boat you did for the FCPX exam. I was totally green, and the exam was extremely difficult, but it was doable.

Taking the three day course in no way guarantees that you'll pass the exam, but it is possible if you really, really, really try. Realistically, you're going to need either some luck (pretty sure that 1% on Logic was from a lucky guess), or some experience. Either way, you'll need a pretty decent amount of determination.

I know with some of the AATCs they'll let you come back whenever to take the exam. You don't have to take it on the third day of class. While that wouldn't have worked for you because of travel, it is an option if you have a local AATC. Like any difficult exam, you'll need to put in some time outside of class. If I hadn't studied so much for Logic, I probably wouldn't have come close to passing. Like somewhere between 40-50% is my guess.

In the end, I don't think any of the Apple ProApps exams are scams. They're all doable, you just have either go in with experience, or put some serious study time into it after class each night.

________________________________________

NickZimmerman.net

Certified in FCPX, Logic Pro X, & Motion 5
________________________________________


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Craig Alan
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on May 31, 2015 at 10:08:13 pm

Just get Apple's pro training series for the latest version of FCP X. That's the course. Learn at your own speed.

Yes they advertise these marathon 3 day crash courses with completely false expectations. Plus you will be in class with folks at all different levels. Much like all classes in any subject. There are 10 chapters. Take a day for each chapter plus a day to practice those lessons on your own media.

I would say maybe 2 hours a day and give your brain a rest.

At this rate, it would take at least 40 days to absorb all this. At which point, you're a certifiable beginner. But a much better educated beginner than 99% of people using the program.

I passed the FCP 6 certification exam on my first attempt and still considered myself an advanced beginner on a non-professional level. Just as a test of the test, I listed myself as a certified FCP 6 Pro in the Burbank area. I think there were only 5 other editors listed on Apple's PRO site in that region. I got 0 responses based on the listing. The only people that care about FCP certification are educational institutions. And as Bill pointed out some personal pride that you passed the test.

I think it would be a lot more educational to require people to pass the test in order to get into a class with a FCP X PRO to discuss editing technique.

For beginners I think they need to combine ripple training style with a numbered list of steps to reproduce the use of a feature that was demoed. That way you can watch to get the feel of its purpose and application but not have to remember each step.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Tim Wilson
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 1, 2015 at 1:13:48 am
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:24:50 am

[Craig Alan] "completely false expectations"

That's the key phrase on the entire thread.

After starting the thread with a sympathetic but neutral, "tell me more" perspective, I'm now steamed on Eric's behalf. The question for me has shifted from "What might you have done to pass the test?" to, "At what point do we declare that the training center has flunked?" -- because that's about where I'm at now.

And do note, I'm not laying this on Apple. Just the training center...but as I've thought about it for the last couple of days, I think Eric is on to something.

I reject the word "scam" though. Some of you geezers may recall that I had at one point banned it from the forum because it was being so abused in re: FCPX. X is/was not a scam because there was a price paid and a product delivered exactly as described in videos that had been available for months.

There was no scam in this case either. Money was taken and services were provided: three days of training given by a skilled, engaged, engaging instructor. No scam.

I'm a little more comfortable with the word "deceptive," and VERY comfortable with the word "misleading." They surely know that it takes more than basic knowledge of OS X and video terms + these 3 days to pass the test, but that's exactly the impression they gave.

This thread has featured a lot of great insight into the current state of testing, the very high skill level it takes to pass one, and the general value of certifications -- but ZERO reconciliation with the training center's message that a basic familiarity of OS X and some general video terms is enough background knowledge for taking the class at all.

THEY set the expectation that somebody going through three days of training with no more background than that has a reasonable expectation of passing a very difficult test.

Which is simply not true. You know it. I know it. Eric's "mistake" was taking the word of the people who wanted to take his money.


I'm not saying that everyone who works in that center is operating in bad faith. Probably just a couple, maybe even just one: whoever approved that description for dissemination into the world.

I also find it galling to see such a high price for retests. That's money they're basically pulling out of thin air. In fact, if the results of Eric's class are typical, the center may not be making most of their money from training at all. They may be making most of it from retests that they didn't warn the high likelihood of.

That is, a translation of this transaction might be, "We led you a little astray on the prerequisites, we didn't prepare you well enough to pass the test, and we're going to take some more of your money now."

I'm not saying that everybody should pass on the first round. As I mentioned, I understand that tests are designed to ensure that this doesn't happen, and I support that.

But I support honesty, too. Unless somebody can tell me, nope, Eric is wrong, that's not at all what what they said the requirements are, then I give Eric's position the nod: the training center said something that isn't true -- that basic OS X + video terms + 3 days of training = probably passing -- even though they knew it wasn't true.

They owe our community as a whole more respect than that. TELL people how hard the class will be, how hard the test will be, and how likely it is that they'll be to need to retest.

They KNOW the percentage of people who pass on the first try, but they've made an explicit choice not to tell people. My guess why: they imagined what would happen if they were honest, and felt they couldn't take the risk.

Look, when you choose a school for your kid, you can find the graduation rate. It's easy. Good schools BRAG about graduation rates. They WANT you to know. Yet these guys don't?

Let's say that they WERE willing to say what the first-try completion rate was. What level of failure is it reasonable to YOU as a customer to accept? Would you find it acceptable if they told you that 30% of people fail on the first try? 5%? 50% What's the number you'd find acceptable?

If the number they were to advertise is anything like what Eric described for HIS class (ZERO), people would go nuts. "Seriously? Are you insane? How can you try to tell me that you're good at your jobs?"

Or the potential applicant might say, "Okay, I'll roll the dice that I'm smarter than average, but maybe I'll add a retest to my budget."

But they'd KNOW the pass/fail percentage before they spent any money, and would evaluate accordingly.

So, no way would I say "scam" in the sense of criminal fraud, but I'm definitely ready to say, "You are operating in bad faith, but it won't take much to do better, so DO BETTER."

I have no doubt that people will disagree with me, but if you're going to take me on for what I'm actually saying, I insist that you start where Eric started, which is where I'm now starting, with the testing center's impression that the basic knowledge of OS X and some video terms is enough to give you more than a puncher's chance of passing.

Is that true? The consensus on this thread is no, of course not. It's not even close. You need MUCH more than basic OS X knowledge, MUCH more than some video terms, AND much more than 3 days of classes.

Yet the training center didn't say that, and didn't give ANY expectation of the likelihood that a retest would be in order....SO:

-- They don't know what it actually takes for their students to succeed: Incompetent

-- They know what it takes, but they're not telling: Bad faith.


Sorry this turned rant-y, but I really am steamed. So talk me down. Just try it. I dare ya. I DOUBLE DOG dare ya. LOL

No kidding though. How are they doing right by Eric and the rest of us, whether they know the truth and aren't telling it, or whether they just don't know?


[You'll note at the top that I edited this. Edited to make it shorter and milder. Yeah really.]


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Noah Kadner
Re: FCPX Certification
on Jun 1, 2015 at 6:32:10 pm

Eric- feel free to send me the details about the training center you went to privately. You can contact me via the the details in my signature. I'll make sure the appropriate folks look into it.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 4:56:42 am

Tim,

Not letting the AATC people involved off the hook at all, buti also feel there also should have been a bit of consumer due dilligance involved here as well.

I and others have posted here on the Cow about the fact that the certification tests are no cakewalk. So it's not like the information isn't out there for anyone who cared to look. All they had to do was search right here on the Cow!

And IIRC, the course descriptions for the old Level 1 Certifications are more aligned to the the prerequisites description being quoted here. If they were left in place as the old tests were retired, that's unacceptably sloppy, but perhaps not a sign of any desire to willfully mislead or defraud anyone.

just thinking out loud.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Craig Alan
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 4:21:15 pm

All the facilities that offer training have these 3 day options. These need to be blessed by Apple. They are based on the books that are blessed by Apple. There are hour amount estimates to complete each chapter. These marathon 3 day sessions are designed around these figures. There are people that can work that long and absorb that much and spit it out on a test. There is always a low percentage of people who pass the exam following the 3 day session unless they went in knowing most of it already.

Passing the test does not make you an editor. It means you know the interface. Pretty well. If you continue to use it. Other wise, unless you have exceptional longer term memory, it will fade.

Apple now charges $250 to take the exam at an approved training facility. There are only 11 people listed in the LA area on Apple's FC pro listing site. Which just shows you, it has little to do with getting gigs. Passing a test does not make you a pro.

That said the book covers the interface with a lot of detail. It's very tedious to learn that way because you are not editing something you are invested in. And the book uses pictures based on specific media. You can use it as a reminder but other tutorials will teach a feature as an example - not quite as specific. If you are not good at test taking and following very very detailed instructions you will not do well.

If you want to pass the test and want help from a training site, I suggest you go through the book by yourself. Take notes. And list stuff you don't get. The class will be a review and the instructors tend to be very good. That said, you will now be surrounded by other students who have no idea how to use the program.

I think you'd be better served going through the book yourself, Take notes and find someone in your area who is experienced and pay them for a private session to cover stuff you don't get. Or do a google search or try ripple training on line.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 5:51:26 pm

So, that said. Do you believe Apple's description of the requirements for the course are neglectful? That's what it all boils down to. Can a reasonable person be expected to have a shot at certification with only a basic knowledge of video editing terminology and a basic understanding of an OS even be permitted to take a course like this? In fact, basic editing terminology isn't even required. Just "highly recommended". Nothing about editing experience with NLEs in general or prior training. It's a hard test even for seasoned FCP X editors. I personally think that the neglect falls a bit in Apple's court. Bill points out that there are many resources that should have clued him in that this was beyond his knowledge, but as a beginner, you're not aware of these resources.


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Nicholas Zimmerman
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 5:59:59 pm

I don't personally feel that their prerequisites are necessarily off. It does seem that the instructor probably should have said something along the lines of "Make sure you study that book we gave you, this is a difficult test". I went into the Logic exam with practically no experience in it, but our instructor mentioned several times that if we wanted to have any hope of passing, we needed to study and practice with the book. I studied like hell, and at the end of the three days I passed the exam. It's entirely possible to pass after just three days, so long as you study nonstop for those three days. It's not fun, but it is possible.

________________________________________

NickZimmerman.net

Certified in FCPX, Logic Pro X, & Motion 5
________________________________________


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Craig Alan
Re: FCPX Certification a SCAM
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:49:20 pm

Yes if you're an upper percentage student it is possible.

I don't think that stressing and cramming for a test is the best way to learn. You need to develop a workflow using the different functions.

When you really start to master a tool, it becomes an extension of your mind. It becomes fluid.

I think the exam should be an actual edit. Here's your media. Ingest what you think you'll need to tell your story. Make sure to use media that will allow u to use a defined set of FC operations. Set up your library/event/project.

Organize the browser. Edit using operations on the list. Finally export. Doing not test questions.


Then I could see it being worth the kind of prices they are charging. The instructors should be helping people when they get stuck not coaching them to read the chapters and feeding them the steps that are clearly presented in the book.

If you know you are a slow learner then go through the book first. The book should be augmented with video clips showing the operations. That's all the instructors really do. They demo a bit and then talk you through the steps in the book. Fall behind feel frustrated. Know it already. Feel bored.

I think you should pass a test to get into the class. Again doing not testing. Show me how to do these three kinds of edits. Show me how to add a keyword. Show me how to add gain. Show me how to adjust opacity etc.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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