After the Spring Core 3.0 Exam

Yesterday I took the SpringSource Certified Spring 3.0 Professional exam and passed it sucessfully with 94%. Below you can find some information about my preparation process, the exam form and the type of questions. So, here we go.

Preparation

I attended the Spring 3 Core training and described it here. This was the entry point for my learning process. I’ve done a lot of notes during the training, so even after three months, the slides + notes were pretty decent source of knowledge.

Just like with Oracle exams, I’ve created my own set of notes based on the slides, labs and documentation. I found out it’s one of the best way to learn and understand the topics, as it requires you to organize your knowledge, read some additional materials and finally create a compact note about it.

So, the first step was reminding of the training, rereading all the slides, creating my own notes. When I was not happy with my understanding of some topic, I used the official Spring Reference Documentation (it’s really great!). I used the single HTML page version as it was easier to search for some particular keyword in the whole documentation at once.

I also used a lot of Spring JavaDocs.

Then I bought and solved two Skill Guru’s Spring mock exams Jeanne Boyarsky’s was mentioning on her blog (it was something like $6 USD). By the way, her post is very valuable source of overall information about the exam, so don’t hesitate and check it out: Jeanne‚Äôs core spring 3 certification experiences

After taking the mock exams, I added no more than one A4-sized page of additional notes to the ones I already had. Then I just read all of my notes and took the real exam.

Exam

The exam platform is Pearson VUE, so if you took any Oracle exams, it looks just the same. I’ve got slightly different question distribution than the one Jeanne talks about (e.g. I had 25 questions about the container and tests, not 20; 3 questions about MVC, not 2, etc.) Nevertheless, the topics were the same and were very aligned to the training.

I had 3 types of questions:

If it comes to the difficulty level of this exam I’d say it wasn’t particularly hard. I would say it was rather medium level. It’s hard to compare it to any of the other exams I took before, as Spring Core 3.0 exam is really broad: DI, JMS, JMX, RMI, ORM, JDBC, etc.

However, if I’d have to compare it – I’d say it was tougher than the EJB 3.x one and easier than the Web Component or the JPA 2.

After the Exam

After the exam I received a result sheet (without the picture or my signature as it was in Oracle exams). It take 8 – 12 weeks to receive a hard copy of the certificate and 3 – 7 days to receive a soft copy of it. The soft copy will be available on VMware’s MyLearn platform (which resembles Oracle’s CertView).

Well, as with any other exams – I’m most happy because of the ordered knowledge I gained during the preparation. For a software developer, it’s always good to know alternatives. It adds another tool to your toolkit, so you can choose the best one to do the job.