Adobe Certified Professional: What is on the Premiere Pro exam?

Adobe Certified Professional: What is on the Premiere Pro exam?

Adobe’s official exam guide for Premiere Pro lists the exam objectives, including key terms, concepts, tools, and settings that you need to know to pass the Adobe Certified Professional in Digital Video Using Adobe Premiere Pro exam. In this article, we provide definitions of the terms and explanations of the concepts, tools, and settings in an effort to help you prepare for and pass the Adobe Premiere Pro certification exam.

Whether or not your goal is certification, if you’re interested in a Premiere Pro class for yourself or for your team, check out our Introduction to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud class.

Read on to learn what you need to know to pass the Adobe Certified Professional in Digital Video Using Adobe Premiere Pro exam.

Working in the Video Industry

This objective covers critical concepts related to working with colleagues and clients as well as crucial legal, technical, and design-related knowledge.

  1. Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing video editing projects.
    1. Determine whether content is relevant to the purpose, audience, and audience needs.
      1. Key Terms
        1. client goals – What are the goals of your client? Why are they having you create this video?
        2. target audience – The group or groups of people your video is hoping to reach.
        3. demographics – The target audience can be defined in demographic terms (e.g., by age, gender, religion, geographic location, political affiliation, etc.).
        4. accessibility – You should understand that you and your client may be legally obligated to make your video accessible to people with various disabilities. Two important ways to ensure that your video is accessible are:
          1. Add closed captioning.
          2. Make sure there is adequate contrast on text used in the video.
        5. captioning – Adding captions to your video makes it more accessible to people who are hearing impaired and can also value for people who aren’t fluent in your language or simply like to be able to read what you’re saying while they watch and listen to the video.
    2. Identify requirements based on how the video will be delivered, distributed, and/or consumed.
      1. Key Terms
        1. email file size limits – We’re a bit perplexed by this one and doubt very much you’ll will be asked about it on the exam. Yes, you may have difficulty sharing a large video by email. In that case, there are alternatives, such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
        2. compression – The process of removing information within a digital file to make the file size smaller.
        3. codec and architecture – See Key Concepts below.
        4. input and output file formats – The input files are the assets you use in your project. The output files are the files you export. Exporting is covered below in Publishing Digital Media.
        5. aspect ratio – The proportional size between height and width. An image with a resolution of 1200 x 900 pixels has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Select the correct Codec and architecture based on capture and delivery requirements – You should know the following for the exam:
          1. H.264 is the most commonly used codec for online distribution of video.
          2. MP4 is the most common container for H.264 codecs.
          3. WAV and MP3 are containers for audio. WAV files contain uncompressed audio and are the best files to use for high-end professional projects. MP3 files are much smaller and a good choice for video that will just be distributed online.
  2. Communicate with colleagues and clients about project plans.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of techniques for communicating about design plans with peers and clients. For the certification exam, the only thing your likely to need to do for this section is categorize tasks by project phase: pre-production, production, and post-production. These terms are well explained in this article.
      1. Key Terms (Pre-production)
        1. shot list – List of shots required for production along with detailed information about each shot.
        2. script writing – The process of writing a script and the steps leading up to it.
        3. storyboarding – Creating a sequence of drawings that show the shots and camera movements that happen during a scene.
        4. location scouting – The process of finding locations to shoot your film, and possibly of negotiating for the right to shoot in those locations. See Location Scout: Everything You Need To Know for a description of what this job entails.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of basic project management concepts.
      1. Key Terms (Production)
        1. setup – The location and position of the camera and lighting when shooting a scene.
        2. filming - The actual filming of the clips that will or may go into the film.
        3. handoff – We're not sure what Adobe has in mind by this term. It might mean a physical handoff of a video camera while doing a shoot; for example if the camera has to follow someone though a window. Or, it might mean the handoff of assets created in production to the post-production team. In any case, you’re not likely to encounter this term on the exam.
      2. Key Terms (Post-production)
        1. importing
        2. editing
        3. color correction
        4. audio mixing
        5. distributing
  3. Determine the type of intellectual property rights, permissions, and licensing required to use specific content.
    1. Identify legal and ethical considerations for using third-party content.
      1. Key Terms
        1. Creative Commons
        2. public domain
        3. copyright
        4. intellectual property
        5. derivative work
        6. commercial use
        7. attribution
        8. work for hire
        9. fair use
        10. fair dealing
    2. Identify when and how to obtain permission to use images, audio, or video.
      1. Key Terms
        1. model release
        2. location permitting
        3. property release
        4. rights
        5. permissions
        6. licensing
      2. Key Concepts
        1. permission to use an image is separate from permission to use a person’s face or a restricted location
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of key terminology related to digital audio and video.
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of digital video and audio terminology.
      1. Key Video Terms
        1. frame rate
        2. aspect ratio
        3. safe zone
        4. image and video resolution
        5. file formats
        6. video codecs
        7. pixels
        8. rendering
        9. aperture
        10. shutter speed
        11. ISO
      2. Key Audio Terms
        1. clipping
        2. levels
        3. natural/ambient sound
        4. room tone
        5. Foley sound
        6. audio sampling rates
        7. file types
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of how color is represented in digital video.
      1. Key Terms
        1. white balance
        2. bit depth
        3. working color space (RGB, CMYK, YUV, HLS)
      2. Key Concepts
        1. Choose the right color space.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of basic editorial principles and best practices employed in the video industry.
    1. Communicate visually using standard film/video timing techniques.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. following the action
        2. leading in and out of shots to give editors time to cut
        3. matching shots
        4. zooms and pans
        5. wide vs. tight shots
        6. establishing shots vs. closing shots
        7. shooting B-roll footage
    2. Identify general editorial principles and guidelines for video.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. sequencing shots
        2. cuts (L and J cuts, cross cutting, match cuts, cutting on the action, cutaway, montage, jump cut)
        3. transitions
        4. compositing
        5. audio levels
        6. mixing
        7. background music
        8. narration
        9. sound effects
        10. still images used in video (file formats and image specifications)
        11. titles
    3. Define common photographic and cinematic composition terms and principles.
      1. Key Terms
        1. aspect ratio
        2. rule of thirds
        3. foreground
        4. background
        5. color
        6. tone
        7. contrast
        8. cropping
        9. depth of field
        10. field of view
        11. types of shots include: close-up (CU)
        12. extreme close-up (ECU)
        13. medium close-up (MCU)
        14. medium shot (MS)
        15. wide shot (WS)
        16. long shot (LS)
        17. extreme long shot (ELS)
        18. background (BG or bg)
        19. foreground (FG or fg)
        20. over-the-shoulder (OTS)
        21. point of view (POV)
        22. cutaway
    4. Identify appropriate workflows
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Ensure continuity and quality as the project moves from preproduction through postproduction
        2. Maintain technical quality for deliverables
        3. Communication, documentation, and tech sheets

Project Setup and Interface

This objective covers the interface setup and program settings that assist in an efficient and effective workflow, as well as knowledge about importing digital assets for a project.

  1. Create projects and sequences.
    1. Choose appropriate project settings for video.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. project location on drive(s)
        2. sequence settings
        3. scratch disk
        4. playback engine
        5. display format
        6. audio samples
        7. ingest settings
    2. Create a sequence that matches the delivery requirements.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. editing mode
        2. timebase
        3. pixel aspect ratio
        4. fields
        5. timecode
        6. working color space
        7. resolution
        8. sample rate
        9. video previews
        10. tracks
        11. sequence presets
  2. Navigate, organize, and customize the application workspace.
    1. Identify, navigate, and manipulate elements of the Premiere Pro interface.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. menus
        2. panels
        3. toolbars
        4. search within panels
        5. timeline
        6. Project panel
        7. Program and Source Monitors
        8. Button Editor
        9. zoom level
    2. Organize and customize the workspace.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. using/switching default workspaces
        2. showing, hiding, nesting, and docking panels
        3. Workspaces panel, shortcuts, and menus
        4. customizing, saving, and resetting workspaces
    3. Configure application preferences.
      1. Key Settings
        1. Auto-save
        2. General (bin settings, default scale to frame size and transition duration)
        3. Audio Hardware
        4. Media Cache
        5. Timeline
        6. Memory
        7. Playback
  3. Use non-visible design tools in the interface to aid in video workflow.
    1. Control and work with the timeline and media.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. playhead
        2. panning
        3. zooming
        4. playing
        5. pausing
        6. keyboard shortcuts (j, k, l keys, spacebar, backslash, etc.)
    2. Use markers.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. setting timeline and clip markers
        2. marking in and out points
    3. Use guides.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. title safe areas
        2. action safe areas
        3. rulers and guides
  4. Import assets into a project.
    1. Import media from various sources.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. file
        2. importing layers from .psd
        3. dynamic linking
        4. all files are linked
        5. dragging and dropping
        6. creating a proxy on import
        7. interpret footage
        8. Media Browser
        9. adding assets from Essential Graphics and Essential Sound panels
    2. Manage assets in a Premiere Pro project.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. relinking files
        2. updating file locations for missing/moved/updated media
        3. organizing assets in bins
        4. thumbnails vs list view
        5. metadata
        6. renaming a sequence
        7. removing unused assets
        8. collect or consolidate files with the Project Manager

Organizing Video Projects

This objective covers video project structure including layers, tracks, and assets for efficient workflow.

  1. Manage tracks and sequences.
    1. Use the Timeline panel to manage tracks.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. clips vs tracks
        2. adding/deleting tracks
        3. locking/unlocking tracks
        4. renaming tracks
        5. targeting a track
        6. expanding a track in the timeline
        7. patching
    2. Manage sequences in a complex project.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. nesting sequences
        2. linking/unlinking audio and video clips
        3. syncing audio with video clips
        4. renaming sequences
        5. sync lock
        6. creating a multi-cam source sequence
    3. Recognize the different types of layers in the Layers panel.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. background
        2. pixel
        3. adjustment
        4. type
        5. fill
        6. shape
        7. vector
        8. Smart Object (embedded and linked)
        9. active/inactive (hidden)
        10. artboard layers
  2. Enable and disable track output.
    1. Hide, show, mute, and solo tracks

Creating and Modifying Visual Elements

This objective covers core tools and functionality of the application, as well as tools that affect the sequences within the project.

  1. Use core tools and features to edit audio and video.
    1. Assemble a video sequence using a variety of tools and panels.
      1. Key Panels
        1. Timeline
        2. Source Monitor
        3. Program Monitor
      2. Key Concepts
        1. setting In and Out points to determine an edit
        2. splitting, inserting, overwriting, lifting, and extracting clips
  2. Add and animate titles and modify title properties.
    1. Add superimposed text and shapes in a sequence.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Type tools: point text, paragraph text
        2. Create shapes with the Pen, Rectangle, and Ellipse tools
        3. Use the Essentials Graphics panel to browse and select relevant templates
    2. Use appropriate controls to modify text and graphic appearance.
      1. Key Text Controls
        1. font
        2. size
        3. alignment
        4. kerning
        5. tracking
        6. leading
        7. horizontal and vertical scale
      2. Key Appearance Controls
        1. fill
        2. shadow
        3. stroke
        4. background
  3. Trim footage for use in sequences.
    1. Resize clips using a variety of tools.
      1. Key Terms
        1. adjusting scale, aspect ratio, or frame size
        2. letterboxing
        3. adjusting for mixed aspect ratios
        4. using vertically shot video from phones
    2. Trim and refine clips using various methods.
      1. Key Tools
        1. Rolling Edit tool
        2. Ripple Edit tool
        3. Rate Stretch tool
  4. Transform digital media within a project.
    1. Modify clip settings.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. labeling
        2. renaming
        3. setting poster frame
        4. changing clip speed
        5. creating a freeze frame
    2. Adjust the audio of a video clip.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. audio gain and channel remapping
  5. Use effects to modify video in a sequence.
    1. Use basic auto-correction methods and tools.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. Know how to use the Basic Correction
        2. Creative and Vignette controls of the Lumetri color panel
    2. Apply effects presets.
      1. Key Tools
        1. effects
        2. transitions
        3. presets
    3. Apply effects presets on multiple clips.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. creating and adjusting the length of the adjustment layer
        2. nesting
    4. Composite video clips using tracks.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. keying (luma/chroma)
        2. opacity
        3. masking
        4. mattes
        5. alpha channel
        6. picture-in-picture
  6. Use keyframes to control video properties over time.
    1. Modify effect settings.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. adding and adjusting keyframes
        2. adjusting effect properties
    2. Apply and adjust video motion effects.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. adjusting clip settings over time by using keyframes
      2. Key Effects
        1. motion
        2. opacity
        3. other visual effects
  7. Manage audio in a video sequence.
    1. Apply effects presets.
      1. Key Tools
        1. effects
        2. transitions
    2. Add audio to a sequence.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. synchronizing
        2. linking
        3. replacing
        4. merging clips
        5. mono and stereo tracks
    3. Adjust audio on the timeline or using the Effect Controls panel.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. adding audio transitions and effects
        2. adding, removing, and adjusting keyframes

Publishing Digital Media

This objective covers publishing and exporting video and audio sequences in multiple formats for various publishing platforms.

  1. Prepare video and audio sequences for publishing to web, screen, and other digital devices.
    1. Check a project for errors and project specifications.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. gaps in timeline
        2. audio levels
        3. broadcast safe color and exposure
        4. resolution
        5. title safe area
  2. Export and archive video and audio sequences.
    1. Export a single frame, a clip, range of sequence, or an entire sequence.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. file formats/video codecs
        2. alpha channels
        3. file names
        4. export locations
        5. exporting only audio or video
        6. exporting captions
        7. controlling the source range
    2. Export using Adobe Media Encoder.
      1. Key Concepts
        1. batch processing
        2. adding to queue
        3. more than one target screen size or playback device
        4. multiple formats
    3. Archive a project.
      1. Key Tool
        1. Project Manager
      2. Key Concepts
        1. collect files
        2. consolidate and transcode
        3. disk space

That’s it!

It’s a lot, of course, but it’s what you need to know to pass the Premiere Pro certification exam. Best of luck!


Written by Nat Dunn. Follow Nat on Twitter.