PHP Zend Certification Today

    The reasons for passing PHP Zend certification can be different: someone wants to test their knowledge, someone wants to stand out from a huge number of php developers, and someone has this requirement at work. A month ago, I was able to successfully pass certification, and in this article I will tell you what this exam looks like today, where to look for materials for preparation, and also add some information about real questions from the exam.

    Organizational part

    In order to pass certification, you must first sign up, and then come to the training center. Find the nearest center here . A certification voucher can be purchased online or at the center. A voucher costs $ 195, plus you have to pay for the services of the center itself ($ 40 in my case).

    How does the exam go?

    The exam is a test of 70 questions. There are 90 minutes to answer, which is enough. After answering all the questions, I still have 15 minutes to review those questions that I doubted. During the exam, questions can be skipped and marked with asterisks to return to them later.

    There are three types of questions.
    • With one correct answer
    • With several correct options (number indicated)
    • Free text: the name of the function, constant or variable, or the result of the script.

    It is known that all issues have a certain weight. Unfortunately, we can only guess about its significance for each specific issue. There is no penalty for incorrect answers.

    At the end of the test you will see a notification of the result. According to various sources, for success it is necessary to answer 60-75% of the questions successfully. Unfortunately, Zend does not notify of incorrect answers, giving only recommendations in case of a fail.

    Within 48 hours after passing the exam, your name will be added to the Zend Yellow Pages, for example. In addition, Zend will send a paper diploma to your real mail, which you will receive within 4-10 weeks.

    Exam questions.

    To date, testing is conducted in PHP version 5.5.

    Questions cover 10 topics:

    1. PHP Basics
    2. Work with data in PHP
    3. Lines
    4. Arrays
    5. Data input and output
    6. Functions
    7. OOP
    8. Database
    9. Security
    10. Web features

    A more detailed list is here .
    Many of the questions are combined, that is, they cover several topics at once. In general, certification tests not so much knowledge of php as your abilities as a developer and engineer. You will need logical thinking, attentiveness, the ability to predetermine the result and the ability to compile considerable pieces of PHP code in your head.

    Below is a list of questions that I remembered on the exam.

    • Question about the value of the constant ENT_COMPAT in the htmlentities function
    • Question about the purpose of the substr_compare function
    • In the test, there were several questions about string escaping, such as: is it enough to use the htmlentities and htmlspecialchars functions to safely add to the database that the user entered.
    • Question about the correct naming of variables. I came across an example with a variable of the form $ _123.
    • There was something like this code:
      function foo ($a = 10, $b){
          if ($a) {
              return $b/10;
      echo foo(0);

      In the answer options (except for a few numerical values) there were warning and fatal error
    • There were try / catch blocks in several questions. (remember multi catch?)
    • Several similar questions on knowledge of DOM methods
    • Question about the appointment of magic methods in php with several correct options
    • In several questions, the dl () function was encountered
    • Who else uses streams in PHP? on certification I came across at least 5 questions related to flows
    • Question about php.ini configuration options for managing resources allocated for PHP
    • How to make a session end automatically at a specific time?
    • Remember that the Submit button in the form can be set as a picture? Do you remember where the coordinates of the point that the user clicked are stored in $ _POST? I came across such a question.
    • Question about inheriting interfaces with a specific code example (my code was not valid)
    • An interesting question with a code example, where there was a function called strlen, located in a specific namespace. I found the code invalid, although this is actually not the case
    • Question about the appointment of namespace
    • There was very difficult code to understand, with closures returned by static and non-static class methods
    • How to correctly override the final class? (there is a catch in the question)
    • Question about the correct protection of a text file with user data located on the server. I suggested several correct answers.
    • An interesting question, something like this: how to most correctly provide a user access to a media file (put it in a public directory and provide a link, send it to http response, save it to a third-party public server, or just do not use PHP for such tasks)

    Materials for preparation.

    The Internet is full of information to prepare for certification. You can’t master (and you don’t need it), but during preparation you will have to access it more than once.

    Test Prep for the PHP Certification Exam
    Cost $ 1000.
    The price includes an exam voucher ($ 195).
    In the document you will find detailed information on all topics of the exam and many test tasks. This document alone is enough to prepare for the exam, but because of the cost, I did not use this document in preparation for the exam. Easily find outdated versions of this document.

    Zend PHP Certification Study Guide
    Cost $ 19.95.
    The document contains brief information on all testing topics and test items with answers. I would recommend starting the preparation with this guide, because it gives a good idea of ​​the level of tasks in the testing itself, and the amount of knowledge needed to successfully pass the test. Several questions from the guide came to me in testing almost unchanged. In addition, in testing there are questions casually mentioned in the guide.
    You can purchase the guide at the link above. Most likely it can be found on torrents, but be careful with the version of PHP.

    Informal materials. blog covers all topics from the exam in detail. is a set of tests, sometimes very close to real.

    In addition, in preparation I used the PhpRiot ios application . The cost of a full set of questions is about $ 7. The application has questions very similar to those that were on the exam. There is a version of the application in the form of a plugin for Chrome .

    There are many other materials on the Internet, but almost everything is very outdated. There have been many innovations in PHP over the past 5 years, and the authors of the test emphasized this.

    I wish you good luck with certification!

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