Yesterday, December 8th, 2014 I took the Zend Certification exam and passed. The latest version of the Zend exam is based on PHP version 5.5. They have updated their syllabus to reflect this change. And also, Zend made their official study materiel available to buy from their website for $19.95. It was available free of cost before.
I took the decision to write the Zend certification about 2 years back. But things have changed so quick in my life that I couldn’t even prepare for the exam. I’ve seen a lot of posts on the internet about the tricks and tips to pass this exam, and a bunch of sample questions. So I am not going to write similar post. If you would like to pass the exam, here is my suggestion
Study Strings and Arrays thoroughly. Don’t just read those pages, write the code and try to execute. Use a pen and paper if you need. If you study almost all functions mentioned on those pages, you will certainly get 50% of the pass mark.
In addition to those, here is what I found, will give you additional points.
- General OOP concept
- Late Static Binding
- The keyword “static” in the class
- File uploading
- How “Pass by reference” works
- Magic methods, especially __get() and __set()
- password_hash() in PHP 5.5 and what to expect when php is upgraded in future
- Major settings in PHP.ini. Also dl, disable_functions etc
- How to sanitize user input and differences between each methods
I have purchased the following ebooks to study for the exam
- Zend Official Guide $19.95
- Question Pack from lornajane $25, This has helped me a lot as the author has given a detailed explanation for the answers and few links.
- And ofcourse, my favorite PHP.NET manual
Time To Study
I took about a week to prepare for the exam. Each weekdays I spent about 1-2 hours and full time on the weekend to study the syllabus and go through few questions. Many people may or may not take this much time depending on their individual experience and exposure to the latest php stuffs. If you are not confident while trying out sample questions, my suggestion is to take few more days to prepare. If you fail in the exam, Zend will give certain discount to write another exam ( I guess $125 instead of $195 for reappearing, contact email@example.com for exact amount)
The exam is tricky and you will be confused between the answers. There are total of 70 questions and 90 minutes to answer, which is plenty of time if you are not spending more than 2 minutes for the toughest questions.
The result will be announced immediately after you complete the exam. You will get a mail from Pearson Vue with your result and your name will be listed on the Zend Yellow Pages after 48hrs. In addition to the certificate from Zend, You will also get a perpetual license of Zend Studio and 1 year valid Zend Server Developer Edition license when you pass the exam.
Find me on the Zend Yellow Pages