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CPF exam concerns

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Karlee, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Karlee

    Karlee Grumbler

    Through reading the recommending material in the study guide I am concerned about some contradictions in the material. Some book say that one way is better than another and some only give one optional indicating that this is the only way. So this post is for those people that have already tacking the exam and has the knowledge on what is ask in the CPF exam or people that have read all the suggested material on the study guild and can give me their best educated guess. I am not concerned on the opinions of which is better, I have my own, just straight facts and what is required to to know on the test. Plus, any helpful suggestions for studying for the test and particular subjects to concentrate on.
    1st concern- whether original works on canvas should be stored horizontally (flat) or vertical and the appropriate time to store them flat if any.

    2nd concern- I know its best to have a rigid support on canvas and it is best to have a dustcover for many reasons but in the "Caring for Art" by Jill Snyder suggested to cut the corners of the backing to allow air flow. This contradicts what the other books say. In another it said not to use backing on canvas. Clearly some of these books are out of date and the suggested materials and techniques have been proven faulty. How is one studying for the test suppose to interpret these contradictions?

    3rd concern-picture wire. There seams to be many different suggestion to hang a picture. It seems only two (I'm guessing, its hard to keep track of what book said what and how many suggest other wise) talks about two point hanging systems. From my understanding or those two books you should never hang a picture with on point because of stress it create on the frame, so does this mean what the other book suggestions are wrong? Again, how are we suppose to interpret these contradictions. Not to mention some of books suggest screw eyes is okay to use (yuck)!

    Though I am finding reading and studying these material are quite enjoyable, these contradictions are frustrating and creating anxiety about tacking the test this month.
    I really hope I pass.:icon9:
    Much advise is needed.
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  2. Karlee

    Karlee Grumbler

    Hand Cutting mats on the CPF exam

    How in depth does the test go into hand cutting mats? I use a CMC and only hand cut a mat twice in the six years I've been framing.
  3. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hi Karlee

    You may also want to post these same questions on the PPFA Framer's Corner. They should have the answers.

    Good luck
  4. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I know you have concerns, but you have to be "clear as day" and sight the actual book and text, if any one is going to venture further advice.

    When in doubt common sense applies. If you believe the material about cutting holes in the dust cover is incorrect (and it is) then trust what you know. If you have a new book and the knowledge contradicts the old go with the new.

    As far as technology and the test goes, it is two fold, one you have to have some knowledge of being able to measure and figure sizes and lengths and widths and united inches on your own with no computer assistance. The second tech area to be concerned with is the digital printing and it's handling and care. I would also read up an "How to care and store" the vast array of items coming into a shop for framing.
  5. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Although I haven't seen the study guide recently, it seems to me that it recommends certain chapters of certain books, as opposed to the whole book.

    So, Chapter 3 of "How to Stuff Stuff in Frames" might give good advice on glass, but Chapter 4 advocates using masking tape, then the guide would say something along the lines of "How to Stuff Stuff in Frames" Chapter 3. So you would ignore the other advice in the book.

    There is a Guidelines Task Force working to create documents that gather all the good, current advice in one place by topic (Guidelines to Framing Art on Canvas, for example) which should improve the study guide. It is all being done by volunteers, however, so it gets done in between everything else...
  6. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Congratulations, you have already discovered some of the flaws in the CPF process. The main one being conflicting information. The other one is that the test contains multiple questions about the same thing only said in a different way. It's called redundancy and is a real annoyance while taking this test. It should be.. asked and answered.. not let's see if we can trip them up with multiple versions of the same thing. A 200 question test could be reduced to probably 100 and still work fine for testing their knowledge.

    Another one is asking how to do something that NO ONE would ever do in a frame shop... such as methods of measuring that are the opposite of how to do it. This one was really annoying as it made no sense to do it that way.

    The test really isn't all that hard to pass, so just read the materials that they tell you to read to prepare for it and you'll do fine.

    As for hanging methods, yes it will create stress on a frame but in relation to the actual weight of said frame it means nothing. Only when it is a large, heavy frame (or a long narrow piece) should you consider 2 hanging points to spread out the load on both the wall and the frame.

    Screw eyes do have their place for tiny frames where no other system would fit. As it is already a tiny frame, then it is also not large enough to have a negative effect on the eye that would cause it to pull out. On larger frames, then yes, they area bad idea.

    I'm sure someone on here will chime in to argue my comments and then you have to decide which to accept.
  7. Ken R.

    Ken R. CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Everything I needed to know

    ..I learned from my little 1974 book "Professional Picture Framing for the Amateur"............now you know why I call my shop The Angry Beaver Chop Shop.

    JUST JOKING................JUST JOKING.....:D
  8. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Good idea.
  9. Karlee

    Karlee Grumbler

    Thank you Framah this was really helpful, and I am glad I'm not the only one with this frustration. I feel a little better about the test now. I guess it boils down to my test anxiety. I really don't like test. Really nerves about passing. There is processes in the books I have never done before and materials I'm not familiar with. I guess I will spend the last two weeks studying more of those carefully.
    As for the Framers Corner, I registered yesterday and will post those other questions I have.
    Once again thank you for your suggestions. Wish me luck!:D
  10. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Is there another "practice" test and or study guide somewhere?
  11. susang

    susang SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Please don't stress! Check your answers and make sure that you don't get out of sequence with the "fill-in-the blank" grid. Take all of the time if you want. Don't worry that the person next to you finished in a half hour. Check your answers if you want. Do the practice test many times and feel free to read in between the lines. All answers come from the reading material. Don't bother reading what isn't on the list. Most pass!
  12. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Framah didn't say when he took the CPF exam, but his criticism may be moot, since the exam changes at least every four years.

    I was on the Certification Board when it was completely rewritten, and I do not recall any redundancies. There were, are, and always will be some questions that may appear to be "trick" questions, but every question has only one answer that is unquestionably more correct than any of the others, according to the reference materials. Every question/answer has full provenance; that is, every answer is taken from the Study Guide information.
  13. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I took the CPF exam back in the ‘80s and it has changed a lot since then. There was no study guide that I was aware of at the time, and although some of the questions seemed ambiguous, I managed to do quite well.

    Just the fact that you have found inconsistencies, proves to me that you are ready for the exam.

    As Jim said, there is always a “more better” answer from which to choose.

    Almost always, more conservation techniques and materials are better than less.

  14. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    SO my concensous for the questions... pick what you think they want you to say... even though I dont agree with the answer. :icon9:
  15. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No, pick the answer that is given in the Study Guide references. If you disagree, then you can ask to join the Certification Board and campaign to have the answer changed. But before you get to that point, you will probably understand why the answer you thought was wrong is actually right.
  16. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    For Example.... Study guide question # 7

    Customer wants a triple mat and non glare glass.The BEST matting technique would be....

    A. standard triple cut mat with spacers between the mat and glass
    B. standard cut triple mat with no spacers between the mat and glass
    C. inlay mat with spacers between the matt and glass
    D. inlay mat with no spacer between the mat and glass

    My choice would be B if the customer was set on non glare glass and I couldn't convince them to do museum or regular.

    I get the reasoning behind the question. But what I'm trying to say is, I would automatically skip answer D because never ever in my 15 years of framing.. so far... would I offer that as a solution.
  17. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Personal likes and dislikes are not a basis for answering a test question. You must ask yourself, "what are they really asking here. The clues are in the description.

    You have NONGLARE glass and a triple mat.

    What do we know about nonglare glass - that the further away from an image it gets, the "fuzzier" the image becomes. THAT is the knowledge they are testing.........

    What do we know about a triple mat? That it is three time as think as a regular mat - and the distance it lifts the glass off the piece will be greater than a single mat.

    What do we know about spacers? That they add distance between the glass and the art. So any answer with spacers can de eliminated.

    You can't say, "well I would use Museum Glass" because in this question, it is not an option. Getting hung up on the fact that "I never use nonglare" won't answer the question and will only waste time. Same for the fact that you NEVER sell inlay mats or triple mats or don't like the way they look - or wouldn't/shouldn't use them with non glare glass.

    The question has the word, BEST in capital letters. What does "BEST" mean? That is what you have to solve.

    Given that there is nonglare glass involved and the desire for a "triple" mat - the BEST answer might be the one that keeps the glass on a lower plane - like what happens when mats are inlaid. - but the customers wants a triple mat.

    My issue is semantics- is an inlaid mat using three colors a "triple" mat? One could reasonably argue that it is a SINGLE mat using three colors because it is a single plane and a double mat is on two planes and a triple mat is on three planes. So answer D would not meet the customer's criteria for a "triple" mat.

    If the question initially contained the wording, "the customer wants matting using three colors," - that description would cover a standard triple mat using three layers and also an inlaid mat as possible solutions to the customer's desire- and the answer would not be ambiguous because the BEST solution (that also met the customer's criteria) would be an inlaid mat since it is on a single plane - and all four possible answers would still function as intended.

    I DO take issue with the possibility that an inlaid mat could be considered the "same" as a "triple" mat.

    Also, why the difference in description between answers, #1 and #2 - i.e. a standard triple cut mat vs a standard cut triple mat? If the difference is that #1 has spacers and #2 doesn't, why obfuscate the issue by varying the description?

    Jim Miller - would really appreciate your comment.
  18. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Rob beat me to it
  19. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The question should be: "What is the maximum number of mats to use with non-glare glass?" It is far too cute to phrase it in a way that also requires you to select a re-design, colors without white bevels, Doh! I have always been offended by this approach to testing. Nicole is correct that a framer wouldn't [shouldn't] offer a "triple mat" with non-glare glass.
  20. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hey, I've been doing this framing thing for a long time.

    I get what the question is about and why it was asked. HOWEVER I don't agree with the answer.

    I would assume the test is based on everyday framing knowledge. Things that I would/should do in my own frame shop. So again..... I will answer the questions based on what the PPFA wants me to say and not the 15 years experience that I have.
  21. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You're offended? According to the question, the framer didn't offer it. That is what the customer wanted.

    The facts of the question are clear and, as Rob expliained, if you know the limitations of non-glare glas, a single-layer inlaid mat would provide the best looking alternative to a triple mat.

    If you could change the premise of a question to match your personal-favorite answer, it wouldn't be much of a test.
  22. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    So Jim, you are saying the answer should be "D"? Doesn't that fly in the face of your response that the customers wants a triple mat? The question does not ask what would the best alternative be that would give the best aesthetic-

    Given that the CUSTOMER wants:

    a. nonglare glass

    b. a triple mat

    The "correct" answer is determined by a subjective definition of an inlaid mat.

    So I am asking you, Jim - for the purposes of taking the CPF test, is a "single layer inlaid mat using three colors" the SAME as a "triple mat"?

    Are you telling us that the answer to this question that would be scored as "correct" is D?
  23. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The inlaid mat is the best alternative to achieve the desired design, but nowhere does it say that is the "same" as a triple mat.

    Why not? This example demonstrates that careful reading is important.
  24. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So that is intentional?
  25. susang

    susang SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, please don't take away my MCPF, but I thought for best practice, a double mat is better for preservation, so picking a single 4 ply inlay mat wouldn't be preservation framing.

    The MCPF test was good because if you were savvy, you would back up every technique that you used, citing where you learned that technique. It wasn't necessary but it gave credence to why you used that particular technique. You had the chance to explain and it created an informative dialogue for candidates and examiners.

    Don't make me take the CPF again, I don't know if I would pass!:cry:

    Susan MCPF
  26. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    The question does not ask the best alternative, is asks for the BEST solution the the desired design.

    The desired design is a triple mat with non glare glass. So if an inlaid mat is not the same as a triple mat, then the answer has to be B.

    Yet you continue to state that an inlaid mat is the best alternative. And I completely agree that the image would be less fuzzy using a mat on a single plane.

    So what would the "correct" answer be on the CPF test?
  27. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I also assumed that the 'right' answer should be 'D' and question that.

    The customer wants a triple mat. Inlaid mat in my book is not a triple mat. So to me...there are no right answers to this question and I would see 'B' as the only answer as that IS the triple mat the customer wanted.
  28. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes, and the customer also wants non-glare glass. If one of the answers were to use anti-reflection glass instead of non-glare, then I'd say that would be the best answer. But as the question stands, there is no doubt about which answer is most correct, according to the Study Guide references.

    When I volunteered to serve on the PPFA Certification Board several years ago, I had to read and re-read, and help write and re-write the CPF exam questions and answers several times, but I never did see any question or possible answers that were perfectly written. Every framer who has ever considered taking the CPF exam could pick apart any question and its possible answers, and surely could reformulate them to be better than they are.

    Memo to all of you who are inclined to rewrite the exam and haven't yet served on the Certification Board: PPFA would welcome your participation as a volunteer.
  29. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    The question does not ask, what would be the best preservation practice be - and it doesn't say that the mats are conservation grade or that the piece being framed needs preservation framing -
  30. i-m-chickie

    i-m-chickie SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Susan, first I do SO adore you and Now EVEN more. I know this thread is hot already but here's my gas....I SO agree! this question sucks.
  31. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    SIgn me up.
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sorry, Rob. Let me rephrase...
  33. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Call Elaine Truman, 1-517-788-8100, and she can get you in contact with the current Chair of the PPFA Certification Board.
  34. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    And, it was a picture of MIL, so fuzziness was desired. :p In a real world frame shop, one of two things would happen. Give the customer what they asked for after demonstrating the consequences, or offer a re-design, prehaps inlaid mats (if all mats are from the same line) or anti-reflective glass - both of which increase cost.

    What is wrong with the simple question that just tests the framers knowledge of the materials?
  35. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Agree completely. My Bravo Sierra meter is peggin' on full on this one.

    PLEASE show me where anywhere in any study guide that the definition of a triple mat includes an inlaid mat with three colors. Nonsense. Study guides may say that it is inappropriate to use nonglare with a triple mat - but THAT IS WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTED.

    The customer wants a triple mat with non glare. Saying the answer is an inlaid mat because it is a better solution and calling it the same thing is utter nonsense.

    YOU HAVE CHANGED THE DESIGN and not honored the customer's design request.
  36. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Perhaps it is. Or, since the possible answers are selected from the suggestions of several different people, perhaps those two possible answers were worded that way by two different people. I don't know, nor do I think it matters.
  37. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    Let's see if she passes first ;)
  38. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Absolutely, Pat. What is being tested here? I knew the "correct" answer was "D" but do not agree with it. Yet I would answer as such to pass the test.

    That non-glare glass gets more fuzzy as it gets further away from the art- and that there are possibly better alternatives to the design - such as using anti-reflective glass (which the customer may not know about) - so their desired look could be achieved by using a TRIPLE MAT with anti-reflective glass (to reduce reflection).

    Or that if cost is an issue, and the client wants nonglare (perhaps to match others hanging on the same wall) an inlaid mat would give better clarity.

    That spacers add depth which is undesirable.

    So perhaps a multiple choice answer looking for the best solution and the answer being a and d or b and c, with those answers offering better solutions.

    This question as written stinks.
  39. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Somewhere in one of the Study Guide reference books, the triple inlaid mat is given as the correct [strike]alternative[/strike] solution when a customer wants a triple mat and non-glare glass. Opinions vary, but opinion is not what the test requires. That is why 40% of framers who take the exam without first reading and learning everything in the Study Guide references fail on the first try.
  40. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I get that tests verify study, but from a real world perspective this particular questiion sounds both dated and overly theoretical. Just an opinion.

    How much NG does anyone sell anymore? How many inlaid mats does the average frame shop sell in a lifetime? If you have a cheap client (one who will only pay for NG not AR) are they going to spring for an inlaid?
  41. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There is something to be said for consistency (and accuracy) in testing. Odd that there wouldn't be one perspective from which the entire thing was written. If one were to take the varied thoughts of all on the G and combine it you would end up with a hodge podge of components. Shame if this exam has that same issue. It should be a true test of knowledge, not a game of survivor. Jim, are you content with the status quo on things like this? As someone who does have the ability to impact change, can you not at least aknowledge that they have a point here? Or are we so set in our way that we can't see the forest here?
  42. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This particular question is an example, and of course it is not on the exam.
  43. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Blackiris is more than welcome to my seat on the Certification Board.
  44. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Actually, the CPF exam and the MCPF exam are both products of many contributors. Would you want such an exam to come from only one person's perspective? I wouldn't. The challenge of the Certification Board is to gather information from many sources and incorporate it into a meaningful exam, and they have succeeded repeatedly, in my opinion. Perfect? Certainly not, but the CPF is the most meaningful qualification in the industry, second only to the MCPF.

    It certainly is a true test of knowledge taken from multiple sources, all widely recognized as the best, but I doubt that making it easy was ever on the agenda.

    I have never been content with any status quo, and of course all of these framers have a point. My defense of the CPF exam comes from a clear understanding of what it takes to create and maintain such an exam. I would never say it could not be improved, but I would not dismiss it, as others do, for the reasons given in this thread.

    My volunteer work on the PPFA Certification Board ended several years ago. My voice has been heard. Today I have no more "ability to impact change" on the CPF exam than you do. It is time for your voice to be heard, so get involved. PPFA has effective mechanisms for change, but conversations like this on The Grumble do not serve the purpose. Similar conversations can take place on the PPFA Framers' Corner forum, as well.
  45. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Do we get to know what questions we get wrong and what the answers are?
  46. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

  47. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well that's helpful. Especially if you fail it. :nuts:
  48. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    Yea but then you wouldn't be telling everyone on here.
  49. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    When you receive your exam results you get a score breakdown. It includes an overall percentage score, and it is then broken down by section. So you will find out that you scored, for example, 89% on the exam overall, 75% on the math content, 92% on preservation knowledge, 85% on general knowledge, etc.
    So, due to exam security you do not get the specific questions and their answers, but you do find out your areas of weakness, which can be helpful whether you pass or fail.
  50. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Best design:

    E:Triple mat.
    Non-glare glass
    Float mount the art to just below glass level.
    Everybody wins.
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