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9 steps to prepare for the Zend Certificate Exam

I’m getting very close to taking the Zend Certificate Exam just need a few more things to take care of. I’ve made a list of things one should do to be in my opinion really prepared to take the exam. So here goes:

  • Read the Zend PHP5 Certification Study Guide. It will get you going through all the basics ant not so basic tipsies and tricksies. It’s quite an easy read and if you are confident you can skip or eye-scan a lot of stuff.
  • Read the Essential PHP Security to get a grasp of most of the web security problems.
  • Read the PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice by Matt Zandstra. It teaches most of the Gang Of Four patterns and a few of the so called enterprise ones. It’s one of the best books on design patterns.
  • Book reading is over. The HOLY manual is your best friend now. Start with PHP array functions. Study each one of them carefuly, memorize parameters and return values.
  • Next go to the PHP string functions.
  • You also need to know the basics of XML, Streams, PDO, SQLite if you are going to take the exam. You don’t have to study each extension closely. I would recommend to give more attention to DOM XML, SimpleXML, XML Parser, Streams functions and PDO.
  • Go and learn some regular expressions. Should take you one evening or so.
  • There are also some misc extensions like SPL or functions like __halt_compiler(), error_reporting() you should know of. Though they cover a little part of the exam.
  • Next you buy 5 - 10 Zend Certification Online Practicing Tests and it costs you arround $20 - $25 greengos.

And that’s basically it. Do that and not only you can take the exam but you will have deeper knowledge of the language you are using and how to use it more properly.

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9 Comments for 9 steps to prepare for the Zend Certificate Exam

Michael Pekarek | April 4, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Thanks a lot for this list. I was looking for directions on how to start and what to study if I want to become a real PHP profesional and these books look like just what I needed. + Just found your blog today and I’m loving it. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experience. Keep up the good work ;-).

Parul | June 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Thanx Žilvinas Šaltys for posting this valuable information with us . Can you suggest me php book , if you have a link of it.I will appreciate it if you send me. I want to know frm you how’s the world after doing certification. How frequent you get interview calls.?

N Singh | August 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

This is very useful for me. Do you have any sample paper for Zend Engineers certification.

iktiar | September 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

thanks a lot

Author comment by Žilvinas Šaltys | September 20, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Hi Parul,

There’s no book I can recommend. Just take the Mock exams and study the PHP manual for basic functions, streams and OOP. I do get contacted from time to time via yellow pages. Maybe three, four times a year. I get contacted much more frequently via LinkedIN. This certification is just a little extra to put on your CV.

Saša Milašinović | December 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Thank you on this post, it’s very helpful. I already started learning for certification exam and this is excellent guide.

Thanks again :)

tolomei | December 14, 2012 at 9:24 PM

I would like to update link to Zend Study Guide which is available to download after logging in to Zend’s website here:

Good luck!

ZuZu | December 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Hi there,

Thank you for advices, but I have on question: what is essential php security? Because when I visit the page I get a blank page? It’a a book? Because I saw this one on amazon

Thank you :)

Author comment by Žilvinas Šaltys | December 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Hi. Yes it’s a book. Exactly that one :)

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