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How to pass Zend Certified PHP 5.5 Engineer exam (ZCPE)?

I've recently taken the Zend Certified PHP Engineer exam based on PHP 5.5, So here I want to share my experience and preparation for the exam, and list of resource I studied to pass the Zend PHP Certification exam. I have also provided quiz/mock test by all the exam topics based on PHP 5.5, It will help you to understand questions/answers pattern and examples which I have written to test the commands.

About The ZCPE Exam

Zend Certified PHP Engineer (ZCPE) is the certification you should get in order to prove your experience in the field of PHP development. It focuses on more than language specifics, spanning over PHP Basic, Arrays, SPL, OOPs and databases, configuration, best practices and security. My motivation in taking this exam was to prove myself that I have good knowledge in PHP and to get broader knowledge. Zend PHP Certification is an industry-wide standard that recognizes PHP expertise and is a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees.

You need to purchase Zend PHP Certification Voucher from Zend Store.

You need to schedule the test in a supervised Pearson-VUE examination center.

There are 70 questions to answer in 90 minutes, and at the end you get a pass or fail. If you will pass immediately you will get congratulation message on screen. If you don't pass the exam, you receive a listing where you failed and what you should focus on. Learn from your mistakes during the exam and get better prepared next time. On my personal experience to pass the exam it was very easy smile, I was very much confident about my preparation.

I tried not to spend more than 50 seconds on a each question, deciding on the spot or flagging that question for review. I completed 70 questions in 60 minutes, with about 30 minutes left for 22 flagged questions. These went by quickly, and I passed the exam on the first attempt.

Study Resources and Time For Preparation

I had 8 years of experience in PHP web development for various domains. I studied 15 days for 12 hours per day and wrote code for all the examples for 9 topics and final test examples (download code example).

The topic coverage is defined clearly on the Zend Exam information page. I used the following resources to study and securing my confidant to pass the exam:

    List of Exam Topics

    PHP Basics

    • Syntax
    • Operators
    • Variables
    • Control Structures
    • Language Constructs and Functions
    • Namespaces 
    • Extensions
    • Config
    • Performance/bytecode caching

    Functions

    • Arguments
    • Variables
    • References
    • Returns
    • Variable Scope
    • Anonymous Functions, closures

    Data Format & Types

    • XML Basics
    • SimpleXML
    • XML Extension
    • Webservices Basics
    • SOAP
    • JSON 
    • DateTime 
    • DOMDocument

    Web Features

    • Sessions
    • Forms
    • GET and POST data
    • Cookies
    • HTTP Headers
    • HTTP Authentication
    • HTTP Status Codes 

    Object Oriented Programming

    • Instantiation
    • Modifiers/Inheritance
    • Interfaces
    • Exceptions
    • Autoload
    • Reflection
    • Type Hinting
    • Class Constants
    • Late Static Binding
    • Magic (_*) Methods
    • Instance Methods & Properties
    • SPL
    • Traits 

    Security

    • Configuration
    • Session Security
    • Cross-Site Scripting
    • Cross-Site Request Forgeries
    • SQL Injection
    • Remote Code Injection
    • Email Injection
    • Filter Input
    • Escape Output
    • Encryption, Hashing algorithms
    • File uploads
    • PHP Configuration
    • Password hashing API 

    Strings & Patterns

    • Quoting
    • Matching
    • Extracting
    • Searching
    • Replacing
    • Formatting
    • PCRE
    • NOWDOC
    • Encodings

    Databases & SQL

    • SQL
    • Joins
    • Prepared Statements
    • Transactions
    • PDO

    Arrays

    • Associative Arrays
    • Array Iteration
    • Array Functions
    • SPL, Objects as arrays 
    • Casting

    I/O

    • Files
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • File System Functions
    • Streams
    • Contexts