Taking the IAAP Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) exam

My thoughts on earning a certification in Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS).

Update: I passed!

I passed with an above-average score in all three domains of 740/800, which I’m very happy with!

The certification shows my skill and commitment to creating accessible websites.

A big thank you to my manager for always supporting me, and Flag for sponsoring me to take the exam.

The Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) is an IAAP Technical Professional Certification that quantifies and represents a Candidate’s expression of their “current” hands-on technical digital accessibility proficiency.”

The exam

The exam went well. I chose to do a remote exam, so I could do it in the comfort of my home.

I’ve never done a remotely proctored exam before so that was quite interesting. I did have the choice of doing it in person which I considered, but ultimately decided that I would be the most comfortable at home and so would do better.

I did wonder whether it would feel like sitting a typical exam as all of my previous exams have been in a hall with pen and paper. That wasn’t a problem though, the remote proctor process felt serious and well-structured.

I think I did well. Not 100%, I don’t think many would be able to remember all of the screen reader shortcuts by heart.

I took my time and answered all questions in about 1.5 hours and used the last 30 minutes to review my answers.


I found it quite odd that there is no course guide or material provided. It’s an exam, rather than a course, which I’ve never really come across before.

Instead, the exam is aimed at professionals who are already applying their knowledge, which makes sense, it’s just not a format I’m used to.

Following the IAAP’s Body of Knowledge and its resources helped solidify my confidence in my existing knowledge and fill any gaps.


Know your screen reader shortcuts. I don’t think they are particularly important to remember in the real world — after all, you can just open the user guide. For the WAS exam, I recommend studying them and practice using a few screen readers.

Deque has a few PDF guides that help with screen reader, keyboard shortcuts, and gestures.

What’s next

I’ve started studying for the CPACC exam, so taking that will be next.

I decided to take the WAS exam first and the CPACC one later as my knowledge is heavily technical and I know less of the broader accessibility topics.

I’ve read many people advising to do the CPACC first, but this order just felt right to me.