PCA Certification

In partnership with Knowledge Pillars, Codesters is able to offer the exam and curriculum to prepare students for the industry recognized Python Coding Apprentice (PCA) credential.


The PCA certification pathway is a semester-long course and the recommended first Python certification for students in either middle or high school. Students will master foundational Python coding skills and will be prepared to sit for the PCA certification exam.

PCA Skills
  • Data Types
  • Operations
  • Variables
  • Input/Output
  • Conditionals
  • Loops
  • Lists
  • Functions
Question Typess
  • Parsons Problems
  • Live In-App Coding
  • Multiple Choice
  • Multi-select

Curriculum Examples

Python - Part 1

Students will complete our fun and engaging Python 1 curriculum to learn the basics of Python. In this lesson, students use loops and random numbers to create colorful digital art.

Python - Part 2

Students will complete 6 lessons in Python 2 as part of the PCA pathway. In this lesson, students learn about functional programming by writing functions to share facts about each continent.

Test Question Types

The PCA Pathway includes a 3 lesson prep module. Students will practice question types that are specific to the PCA exam. These include Parsons problems, console input and output, and using Python documentation to code directly in the code editor

Unlimited Practice Tests

Practice makes perfect! With the purchase of each PCA exam students will have access to unlimited practice tests. With Codesters curriculum and prep module and unlimited practice tests, students are positioned for success!

Codesters Pedagogy

Each project-based lesson has around 20 activities and its divided into 3 phases: Build, Modify, and Create. The activities in the Build and Modify phases are automatically graded, including debugging and assessment activities. The capstone Create project for each lesson is graded by the teacher using a rubric provided by Codesters.


Students start by building an example project, through which they develop key coding skills. Debugging activities help students learn specific rules about syntax and the structure of code. Assessments include multiple choice questions and journal responses.


Once students have built their example project they are asked to customize the program to solidify their understanding and demonstrate proficiency with the skills they learned.


Students create a new project from scratch that uses the same core skills skills they developed in the example project. This capstone project for each lesson creates opportunities for students to deepen their understanding and to demonstrate mastery of coding topics.

Standards Alignment

Project-based Learning

With Codesters, students learn to code by creating fun and engaging projects. Each lesson is structured as a project for students to build. And each project introduces students to new coding topics and concepts while reinforcing ones they have already learned. For example, in Rock Paper Scissors students learn to use if-statements to compare their choice to the computer's random choice and decide who wins. Students are motivated to persevere through learning to code in order to create the project they want to build. And they have fun while in the process.

Monitor Student Progress

Teachers play a critical role in helping students learn to code with Codesters. Teachers monitor each student's progress on their dashboard in order to see which students are struggling and where. They can even drill down to see the actual code a student submitted that did not receive full points. This helps the teacher stay on top of students' learning and guide them to becoming expert coders.

Immediate Feedback

As students follow the instructions in the Build and Modify phases of the project-based lesson, they receive immediate feedback about mistakes they might be making. This feedback is both in the student-friendly error messages and the hints and suggestions built into the automatic scoring system. Immediate feedback helps students to understand and correct their mistakes and smoothes the path to learning to code.

Technical Information

  • Single sign-on with Google Apps for Education
  • Preload student rosters for classes
  • Upload CSVs of student rosters
  • Students can sign in with class key and password (email not required)
  • Teacher accounts are FREE and include a demo of the curriculum