DAS Examinations

Examination Policies

Individual course examinations are online, in multiple-choice format, and pass/fail. A passing grade is 80% for webinars and 85% for in-person courses, in accordance with accepted graduate school grading scales.

After completing each exam, you'll receive immediate notification of your pass/fail status, as well as any questions you answered incorrectly.

Please be sure to print the page with your exam results for your records and record them on your tracking sheet. SAA will record your results internally but won't send out an email confirmation of your results.

Examination Options

Take an In-Person Course

  • Upon verification of your attendance at an in-person course, SAA will send you a link to the exam (included in your course registration fee). You will have access to the exam for one week from the time the link is sent.
  • Once you begin the exam, you will have 60 minutes (for one-day courses) or 120 minutes (for two-day courses) to complete it.
  • After you complete the exam, you'll receive immediate notification of your pass/fail status, as well as any questions you answered incorrectly.
  • Please be sure to print the page with your exam results for your records and record them on your transcript sheet (attached below.) SAA will record your results internally but won't send out an email confirmation of your results.

Test Out (Foundational tier only)—More knowledgeable students may choose to test out of a Foundational Course.

  • Within five business days of purchasing a challenge exam through the SAA Bookstore, SAA will send you a link to the exam. You will have access to the exam for one week from the time the link is sent.
  • Once you begin the exam, you will have one hour (webinar) or two hours (in-person course) to complete it.
  • No retakes are permitted for challenge exams. If you fail the challenge exam, you must attend the in-person or webinar course before retaking the exam. In that even, the challenge exam fee will not be refunded.

Watch a Webinar

  • Within four weeks of the date you purchased access to a webinar, SAA will send you a link to the course exam. Access to the webinar and exam will expire two months from the webinar purchase date.
  • Once you begin the exam, you will have 30 minutes to complete it.

Note: If other participants watch the webinar with you, please verify their attendance by filling out the DAS Webinar Roster form. Completed forms may be sent via email to education[at]archivists.org or via fax to 312.606.0728.SAA will send participants instructions for purchasing the specific DAS exam ($35/members; $55/nonmembers). Once an exam is purchased, SAA will send a link to the exam within five business days.

 

Retaking an Examination

  • If you fail an exam, you may retake it for free (with the exception of challenge exams; see above) within two weeks. To do so, email education@archivists.org with your request.
  • If you fail an exam a second time, you may retake the exam (for a fee).
  • If you fail an exam a third time, you must retake the course (at a reduced rate).

Comprehensive Examination

The DAS comprehensive examination is the culminating requirement to receive a Digital Archives Specialist certificate. As this is a certificate program, the exam covers material taught in a specified series of courses rather than testing broad knowledge (as a certification program would). As such, questions are developed based on course content. SAA has structured the program so that those interested in taking the comprehensive examination take courses from across the curriculum; although there is no expectation that an individual take each of the courses, knowledge across the scope of topics is beneficial.

The DAS comprehensive exam is an in-person, proctored, paper-based exam of 100 multiple-choice questions that test knowledge on all DAS Core Competencies and across all four tiers. The breakdown of questions per tier is 55% Foundational, 35% Tactical and Strategic, 10% Transformational, and 10% Tools and Services. To prepare for the comprehensive exam, students should peruse the DAS Curriculum Suggested Readings List.

With the continual evolution of best practices and standards in the field of digital archives, the course material in this program is continually reviewed and revised by the DAS Subcommittee, which works with a psychometrician to ensure the entegrity of exam construction and interpretation. Exam questions are continually updated to reflect course revisions. So that exam questions correlate with the course content, it is important that all courses be completed within 24 months and that the comprehensive exam be taken within five months of completing the final course to ensure that you are tested on the appropriate course material.

The comprehensive exam is administered during the annual SAA meeting (in August) and at various sites across the country in February and November each year.