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The Acquia Drupal Certification Exam

I took the certification exam at 2 PM today, and I passed! I can now consider myself an Acquia-certified Drupal developer.

However, the test was much more difficult than I expected it to be. I’ve been developing with Drupal for a few years now, but I got an overwhelming number of questions about situations I’ve never been in before. I have pretty in-depth knowledge of the theme system and the majority of the APIs, but it still wasn’t enough for this exam. Personally, I wouldn’t have passed with only 6 months of Drupal experience, which is the minimum that they recommend. I would recommend having at least 1-2 years of experience before taking the exam.

In addition to this, I have test-taking anxiety. I decided to take the test at home, due to convenience and I thought I might be more comfortable. This was a bit of a mistake on my part. I have a lot of clocks in my apartment that tick, which wasn’t helping my focus. My fiance also happened to be home sick from work today, and he was coughing and sneezing throughout the test. My apartment building is also located on a major road in my town, which is noisy at all times of the day. (My apartment is somewhat small, so there’s no way I could have chosen a room to escape from these distractions.) If you have lots of distractions at home and you have the ability, take the exam in a quiet office at work or at an on-site proctored location rather than at home.

Also, the exam window went white after I answered the 30th question and I had to contact support, who had to restart my exam. It saved my progress, but I had to basically restart my thought process.

A couple of things I don’t like about the exam:

  • There is only one sample question, rather than a whole sample exam.

I watched the Preparing for Acquia Certification webinar, in which they explained that they don’t have more sample questions because this is the first iteration of the exam. Once the exam has had a few iterations, there will be sample exams which people can use to better prepare for it.

  • You won’t find out which answers you got wrong and which you got right.

I expected this, but after not being able to see a sample exam before I took it, I’d really like to see what I did wrong.

One thing I also have to mention which wasn’t immediately obvious to me: How does one begin the test when the time comes? You have to go to webassessor.com and wait for the “Launch” link to come up next to your scheduled exam. It shows up 10 minutes before your exam start time and goes away 20 minutes after the exam start time.

I’m not super proud of my overall score, and I’d rather not talk about it. However, here’s the order of how well I did on each section, with the first being my best effort:

  1. Fundamental Web Development Concepts
  2. Site Building
  3. Front end development
  4. Back end development

Regardless of the issues I faced, this was my first attempt at a certification exam and I’m glad that I passed. I’d like to take it again to see if I can get a better score, and next time I take it, it will be on-site. If anyone has any questions about the exam (not about specific exam questions or answers), I’d be happy to answer them. Just post them in the comments section.

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