ZCE prep – practice test #1

Well, I’ve just completed the PHP Arch ‘Vulcan’ practice test – the first of up to five such practice tests I’ve purchased. I have quite deliberately not gone through what study materials I have on hand before I took this test (I wanted to get a baseline), but none the less got an ‘EXCELLENT’ final score, and the same ‘Excellent’ on seven of the twelve sections the pre-test is broken down into. ‘Pass’ on four others, and just one ‘Fail’ on the design (patterns) section. If the real test worked much the same – and with a composite score, rather than having to pass all sections – I doubt I would have a problem to have gotten a passing grade.

Although the test (practice and real) is scheduled to take up to 90 minutes, after 45, I have finished the 70 questions. I’d set about half-dozen to review, but I don’t think I changed any of those answers, and so after a little more than 50 minutes – I called for the results.

It was much as I expected, with just some occasional requirements to know some parameter orders and specific use (the kinda thing where you test it, and if you didn’t get it right first time, I would trivially look it up to check, for functions like sub-string searching). Also several questions on XML handling, which I muddled along with.

Streams, strings and web-features are something I will have to look at more carefully for next time, but for me the big one is design patterns – it was my only failing section.

All in all, I’ve very happy with this evening’s events and the (practice) results.

Category Grade
XML & Web Services EXCELLENT
Web Features PASS
Basic Language EXCELLENT
Streams and Network Programming PASS
Database Access EXCELLENT
String Manipulation and Regular Expressions PASS
PHP 4/5 differences EXCELLENT
Functions PASS
Design FAIL

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