How to Pass Zend PHP 5.3 exam in first attempt?

How to Pass Zend PHP 5.3 exam in first attempt?

Guide to Zend PHP 5 Certification


Prove your expertise in PHP 5.x and become a Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE).  Zend PHP 5 exam is an Internationally valid certification exam for PHP just like OCJP is there for Java certification from Oracle. It’s a 90 min test, so you will have just over 1 minute to answer to 1 question. We recommend that you answer all questions(around 70) you are sure about, then mark the ones which are doubtful to review later.

What to prepare?


  • Have a clear working idea about syntax, operators, variables, constants & functions.
  • PHP 5.3 supports OOPs concept. Practice by implementing classes & coding for inheritance. A good example can be found here
  • Get yourself acquainted about Information Security concepts like XSS, DDoS & cross-site request
  • Learn XML basics, simpleXML, XML extension, XML Parsing and Xpath. Though not compulsory – learning JSON is also a good idea.
  • Practice implementing web services using SOAP and REST.
  • Practice all SQL queries, Triggers, JOINS and prepared statements
  • This may seem easy – Understand GET and POST inside out.
  • Understand string manipulation functions
  • Practice configuring session security and ways to stop session hijacking
  • Working with Apache server – various configurations (.htaccess,  php.ini, virtual host) etc


Where to give the exam?


  • Exam is conducted at your nearest Pearson VUE training center (
  • Register for the exam via telephone or email(differs by country; please check online)
  • Bring 2 IDs, as photo proof and signature proof.
  • You will receive “scratch“ paper or an erasable board for calculations at the time you take the test
  • You are not permitted to bring any form of materials into the exam room.


How does a typical PHP 5.3 Question paper look like?


Based on our survey conducted in 2012 – a typical PHP 5.3 question paper would have questions from the following topics.


  1. HTML and Forms (POST data, security, escaping, etc) – 15 questions
  2. Strings and regex – 15 questions
  3. Headers, sessions, cookies, etc – 8 questions
  4. Arrays – 30 questions
  5. New PHP 5.3 features – 7 questions
  6. XML (SimpleXML, DOM, XPath, etc) – 11 questions
  7. OOP and design patterns – 7 questions
  8. AJAX (incl. JSON) – 4 questions
  9. DB (PDO, storing/displaying data) – 6 questions
  10. Email related– 3 questions

So you have to answer a Total of 70 randomly generated questions, which must be answered in 90 minutes. You’ll immediately get your test result from the testing center; usually printed out– Passed or Failed.


Exam Tips


  • Be careful when entering the answer! – No whitespace, explanations, comments
  • Use lowercase letters with functions
  • You can mark questions for review later – use it to save time
  • You can go back to questions you have marked, but not the others, so keep this in mind.


Common Myths about the PHP 5.3 exam


  • You have to write lengthy programs during the exam
  • You have to memorize the PHP manual


What happens after you clear the exam?


Your profile with a Photo appears on PHP Yellow Pages – a global directory of PHP experts who have achieved the highest PHP accreditation.



Sample listing on Zend Yellow pages Directory


How to self-study?


  1. Book Recommendation from Learnpact: Zend PHP5 Certification Study Guide
  2. Essential PHP Security
  3. PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice
  4. Buy Zend online test and practice

Are you Looking for PHP Certification Training?

If you are looking for classroom training for your company employees or for yourself – enroll for our Advanced PHP Training course and get certified by Zend. Fill this form to get more info on PHP Certification from Learnpact …arrow-down