August 5, 2021

CIW Site Development Associate: Tips for Test Success

We're here to help simplify your exam research. To save you time, we trawled CIW’s content and unearthed the critical bits!

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Taking the CIW: Site Development Associate Exam can be a tad overwhelming. CIW’s instructions, FAQ, and documents can take quite a bit of parsing to understand.

We’re here to help simplify your exam research. To save you time, we trawled CIW’s content and highlighted the critical bits! The following answers will clarify what you can expect, how you should prepare, and alleviate those pre-exam nerves.

Studying for the CIW Site Development Associate Exam


How much do CIW exams cost?

Exam prices vary from country to country, but in the United States, they cost $150 per exam.

What do I need to know for CIW exams?

As a web developer, understanding how and why concepts work is much more important than memorizing large lists of tools and elements. For CIW exams, however, you must know what tools and elements also do.

Develop an understanding of web development best practices, protocols, error messages, and elements. If you’d like to gauge the level of difficulty of the questions (and the type of content you’ll need to understand), has a small list of sample questions that can give you a better idea.

How should I study for the CIW Site Development Associate Exam?

The best way to study for this certification is to build websites. Practicing web development, particularly without referencing W3Schools and similar tools, will set you up for success.

To check whether you’re prepared to take the exam, read through the CIW Course Description Topics. If you can comfortably understand and explain everything within the provided lists, you’re prepared for the exam. If, however, some of these topics aren’t clear to you, spend time reading up on and developing websites with those!

Taking the CIW Exam


What do I need to bring to a CIW Exam?

As the exam is entirely on a computer, you will not need paper, pens, or pencils. You also will not need to bring a calculator, as no part of the CIW exam is designed to require the use of a calculator.

You will, however, need to bring two different forms of identification. According to CIW’s exam page, this can include:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Government ID card
  • Employee ID card
  • Credit card

Also, we recommend bringing water. Even though it’s only a 30 minute exam, it never hurts to have something with you that can keep you hydrated!

How long will the CIW Site Development Associate test take?

CIW recommends that you show up to the testing site 15 minutes earlier than your appointment time, just like you should with an SAT or ACT.

The exam itself lasts 30 minutes. In that time frame, you’ll be responsible for answering 30 different questions. That means, for this CIW exam, time management is critical. You’ll only have a minute to answer each question, which means that you’ll need to read, recall, and answer each one quickly.

What sort of questions should I expect on the CIW Site Development Associate Exam?

The CIW exam consists of questions that a computer can quickly grade, so you don’t need to worry about writing sentences, paragraphs, or essays about HTML and CSS. Instead, expect multiple choice and matching questions.

As far as content, the test is designed to be broad, but CIW provides a thorough list of expectations. Generally, you need to know site development basics, HTML, and CSS, emphasizing tables, forms, hyperlinks, and media.

If you’d like to see the specific content you’re required to know, click the button below.

Exam Objectives

What are CIW exam interfaces like?

Before taking the CIW: Site Development Associate Exam, the exam software will show you a tutorial and an opening screen with instructions. Go through this beginning section carefully; they will show you how to use the testing system, rules, and what to expect. There is no penalty for taking your time with this section. The timer will not start until you begin the actual test.

After the CIW Exam


What grade do I need to pass the CIW Site Development Associate Exam?

CIW Exams are graded by a standard percentage score. To pass, you’ll need to answer 63.33% of the questions correctly. That means that you need to aim for 19 or more correct answers.

The exam is entirely online, which means that you’ll receive your score directly once you submit your exam. If you pass the test, less than two weeks from the test day, you’ll receive an automated email with further instructions to obtain your certificate.

If you don’t pass, you’ll be able to retake the exam 24 hours after your first attempt. However, if you don’t pass the second test, you’ll have to wait 30 days before the next attempt.

I passed, now what?

Congratulations! You are now officially certified as a site development associate.

You’ve learned the basics; you’re equipped to create websites using HTML5, CSS, and GUI authoring tools!

Plus, you’ve obtained a permanent certification. CIW Certifications don’t expire!

Are you looking for courses that take the guesswork out of CIW Exam preparation?

Stay Tuned: Our upcoming Web Development Pathway is being constructed to be CIW certification aligned!

Are you interested in learning more?


Olivia has background in behavioral ecology and data analysis. She develops and implements SEO, CRO, social media strategy, and authors multi-disciplinary content for our blog, & our social media sites. She's contributed to many of the STEM tie-ins within our curriculum, authored our SEL course, and is a specialist in neurodiverse learning strategies.

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