DAS Exams

Exam Policies

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

Exam Access

Webcasts: You'll have 60 days from the time of purchase to complete any webcast exam. Once you begin the exam, you must complete it in one sitting within 30 minutes.

Face-to-Face courses: Each course portal is open for 60 days. After the course, you'll have the remainder of the 60 days to complete the exam. Once you begin the exam, you must complete it in one sitting within 60 minutes (for a one-day course) or 120 minutes (two-day course).

Exam retakes: Each exam is limited to one retake per person. If you fail the exam twice, you'll need to purchase a retake exam in order to try again.

Testing Out

More knowledgeable students may choose to test out of any Foundational course. You'll have two opportunities to pass the exam. If you fail both times, you'll need to take the course in order to try the exam again.

Practice Test

The DAS Practice Test may be purchased by anyone at any time. It is a timed, 100-question test consisting of retired DAS Comprehensive Exam questions. Learn more about the practice test and purchase it here. Additional resources are provided with the test to help you study!

Comprehensive Exam

The DAS comprehensive exam 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 exam 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. 

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 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 DAS Comprehensive Exam is administered in-person during the annual SAA meeting (usually held in July or August) and at various sites across the country in February and November each year. We are looking into offering the exam online.