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’s 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:

  • choose correct answer (single choice),
  • choose incorrect answer (single choice),
  • choose one or more correct answers (multiple choice).

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.

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30 thoughts on “After the Spring Core 3.0 Exam

  1. Thanks for sharing.

    Which Spring reference manual did you study from — Spring Framework 3.1 (current release 3.1.2.RELEASE) or Spring Framework 3.0 (current release 3.0.7.RELEASE) ?

    Reply
  2. Does the certificate actually mention the percentage of correct answers or is it just a binary yes exam passed certificate?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Marcus,

      The score is shown only on the sheet you get from the site where you took the exam. On the actual certificate (no hard-copy – just a PDF version sent on demand through e-mail) there is no information about the score – it’s just ‘passed’.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing the info.

    Were there any questions from REST and WS? The official study guide does not mention REST and WS, only MVC is mentioned.

    Well done mate!

    Reply
    • Hello Sameer,

      No, I don’t recall any questions regarding neither REST nor WS. They pretty much keep what is written in the study guide and exam description.

      Regards

      Reply
  4. I completed Spring certification with 88% score on Dec 8.
    This was the pattern:
    Container: 19
    AOP: 9
    Data Access/Transactions: 8
    MVC: 4
    Remoting: 3
    Security: 3
    JMS: 2
    JMX: 2

    Any idea when I will receive the certificate.
    Will it be softcopy or Hardcopy or both?

    Thanks,
    Sameer

    Reply
    • Congratulations Sameer!

      I don’t think you’ll receive hard copy. I’ve received a soft copy few weeks after the exam (actually I don’t know if it was in result of my question ‘what about the hard copy’ or just because few weeks passed by).

      Congratulations once again!

      Reply
  5. Thanks for your guidance. I scored 76 % just passing marks but your blog give me help for preparation. I studied only Student manual given by Spring and check the guidance from sites.

    Regards
    Siddhartha Mukherjee

    Reply
  6. Congratulations !
    Very useful blog. Good to know no questions came from REST and WS.
    I was trying to get the skill-guru tests but it looks like the website is not available anymore.
    Anyone know where to get those mock tests or if someone has a copy , I’ll be happy to share the cost.
    Appreciate any updates on this.
    Thanks

    Reply
  7. I passed the examine at the end of January with a score 96, but did not receive anything, neither soft nor hard copy of the certificate since then. It seems I have to make a specific request to get one. It is very bad since this is a paid service.

    Concerning the test itself, I think strictly stick with the official guide is sufficient. The most quoted materials, including Jeanne’s core spring 3 certification experiences and the two paid Skill Guru’s mock examines, are overdo. The third free mock test in Skill Guru is actually closer to the real test, although the English of the question is not perfect.

    Reply
      • Hello Sanika,

        I’m not sure about ‘negative marking’ you’re talking about. You can either answer the question correctly (and get a point) or not (and don’t get any). Finally you can pass the certificate or not.

        There were no questions regarding REST or SOAP at all.

        Cheers!

        Reply
    • Hello Saikrishna,

      Firstly, I am not able to provide it because.. it is a soft copy, so I would need to spend some time by scanning it. Secondly, what is more important, I’m pretty sure it is not allowed by VMWare to share training materials besides one published on their website.

      All the best,
      Piotr

      Reply
  8. Hey Piotr,

    Other than Spring Documentation and Lecture slides, did you refer any other books? I’m planning on taking the exam sometime in November.

    Thanks,
    Chander

    Reply
  9. Pingback: SpringSource Certified Spring Professional | Jakub Staš

  10. Hey today I passed my Spring professional certification with 78% (Not a good score) but still a pass I am happy about it.

    Reply
  11. Pingback: SpringSource Certified Spring Professional | Soft Exploration Blog | Software Development, Java, Technology

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