Flex 4.5: the certification
Written on 18 October 2011, 03:45pm
A few days ago I passed the exam for becoming Adobe Certified Expert in Flex 4.5. Now I want to share my experience about the exam.
1. A little background
Because most of my working experience is in ColdFusion and PHP, I approached Flex more like a hobby. I wanted to have a better grip of the RIA concept and event-driven architecture. I started to use it also in real life, but it’s only 3 months ago when I started the preparation for the exam.
I read two Flex 4 books (both published in November 2010):
- “Learning Flex 4: Getting Up to Speed with Rich Internet Application Design and Development” by Alaric Cole, Elijah Robison [#]
- “Flex 4 in Action” Tariq Ahmed, Dan Orlando, John C. Bland II, and Joel Hooks[#]
While the first one provided a quick-and-easy approach to Flex, the second one came to consolidate my overall Flex knowledge. I recommend them both, preferably in the same order.
Aside from the books above, the Livedocs where always the reference. The problem was that I had to switch from ActionScript documentation, to Flex 4.5, to AIR, and even data services livedocs. Making sure that I am always reading the latest version was a concern, as Google sometimes shows first the old resources (AS 2, Flex 3, etc).
2. Preparing for the exam
After reading and reviewing the two books above (I keep Google Docs notes :)), I bought the Attest 3 exam engine. I learned a surprisingly lot more from there, especially in the AIR and design patterns sections, barely covered in the books. The links to the Livedocs were quite helpful, even though they were pointing to the Flex 3 version and I had to manually switch to the latest Flex version. My test results started from about 70%, and got up as the questions started to repeat (they say the total number of questions is 200+).
When I felt like there was not much to learn, I tried to schedule the exam.
I tried to schedule my Flex 4 exam 9A0-129 on Oct 13th, only to find that it’s no longer available on the Pearson VUE exams list. Instead, it was replaced by the Flex 4.5 exam 9A0-182, on which Adobe did not mention anything (there is still no official info at this time). I described the problem in detail in this post.
Because I already put a lot of effort into this, and I did not want to lose the momentum, later that day I scheduled the Flex 4.5 exam anyway. For the next day 🙂
I took an extra 1-2 hours to document about the new features in Flex 4.5, and I was ready to go.
3. Taking the 9A0-182 exam
The exam followed very good the structure presented in the Adobe Flex 4 preparation guide. So I guess the preparation guide for Flex 4.5 will not change. The exam sections were the same, and there were only 3 or 4 questions related to Flex 4.5. If you know Flex 4 and you read the ‘Introducing Flex 4.5…’ article above and pay attention to the examples linked from that page, you’ll be fine. At least in my case it worked 🙂
There were many questions requiring only a programming background, some questions requiring you to have memorized some methods/properties/components names, and some questions which had no relevance to the exam in my opinion (logically, I will not make them public, but I can say that most of them were related to the design patterns used in Flex).
In most of the cases, you will know the answer(s) right after you read the question. There are no true/false questions, most of the questions have a single correct answer, while the rest of them have two correct answers (out of 5). In all the cases, the system informed you about the number of answers to select (‘Choose one’, or ‘Choose two’).
About the time – I only had 95 minutes, even though it should have been 125 (extra 30 minutes for non native English speaker). However, 95 minutes were more than enough for the 59 questions; I finished in about 60-70 minutes, leaving me a half an hour to review all the questions (and to change a few :P).
That was it. Best of luck to anyone taking the exam! I will happily answer any questions related to the exam – just fill the comment form below.
Written by Dorin Moise (Published articles: 228)