Niki Jacob - Advertising Art & Design Instructor

Intro to Computers & the ACA Certifications

Brain Buffet / GMetrix and the ACA Certifications

As an Ad Art student, you will be required to pass at least one Adobe Certification in order to graduate. If you follow the timeline you should have at least three (3). You will receive logins for these as we progress. 

Brain Buffet

Brain Buffet is our online learning software that will walk you through every program we have certifications for. You are more than welcome to complete a program if you would on your own time if you would like to have a specific certification. By the end of senior year you should, and if you do the timeline that I put out you will have three certifications: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. There are 19 different software programs in Brain Buffet you have access to.

  1. Guide on the side as a real-world manager would.
    This style of learning — sort of a flipped/self-paced hybrid — allows you to work at your own pace and take ownership of your learning. This allows me to focus on individual students that need me and allow for the majority of students to just move forward. I’ve been using this style of teaching personally for years now. What really sold me was that if students miss a class, were absent (physically or mentally), transfer in late, etc… they don’t miss a thing! Every minute of instruction is recorded; the instructors (the videos) have infinite patience to repeat themselves, review, or deliver the entire lesson again; and students proceed at their own pace. This approach lets you go at your own pace so no one feels rushed, and no one feels bored.
  2. Assess like real-world bosses/clients.
    I’m a firm believer that practice alone does not make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect! Additionally, learning is not practice — it’s more watching a documentary. If students aren’t following along IN THE SOFTWARE, they’re not learning what they need to in order to be successful in the industry and on the exams.
  3. You MUST complete projects in Brain Buffet.
    They will be a TEST grade and the quizzes or assessments will be counted as Quizzes.
  4. We will have weekly “Job Reviews” to discuss our progress,
    defend our work, and talk about problems or questions in order to learn how to perform well in an annual review for a real job. 

Remember: The goal is not to complete projects. The goal is to pass the ACA exam. Try to do as much in class as possible so I am there to help.


GMetrix is our online Simulator. GMetrix ACA practice tests are designed to assess your knowledge of Adobe software based on the objectives required by the official certification exam, as well as to familiarize you with the testing interface and processes.

You must pass a GMetrix simulator test with an 80 in order to be considered for the ACA Testing. 

Testing dates are listed on the front page of the website.

Adobe Certified Professional

Hopefully, by the end of this year you might be able to leave with one certification; Photoshop. That is the goal!

After you complete the certification exam and pass, you will receive a certificate of achievement. This information will eventually go on your job resume and digital portfolio. You might even think about putting it under your email signature. After all, we need to market you as well.

Adobe Certified Professional digital certification badges

Digital certification badges are web-enabled versions of a credential outcome and gives you the ability to share your certified skills online in a way that is simple, trusted, and can be easily verified in real-time.

When you earn an Adobe Certified Professional certification, you will be notified of a corresponding digital badge. Use your digital badges to tell potential employers, academic institutions, colleagues, and peers about your credentials.

Your digital certification badge makes it easy for you to validate your abilities with potential employers on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as email and online portfolios. Find out more about Adobe Certified Professional digital badges on Acclaim.