spring 3 certification – recommended study plan

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spring 3 certification – recommended study plan

August 20th, 2010 by Jeanne Boyarsky

Table of contents for the Spring 3 certification series of posts:

  1. Jeanne’s core spring 3 certification experiences (Background information)
  2. About the test (includes Scope of the test and Spring 2.5 vs 3.0 exam)
  3. What did I read and how were the resources I tried
  4. My study plan
  5. Skills guru mock exam
  6. What I would recommend as a study plan
  1. Make sure you understand everything in the course student guide
  2. Look at my study notes (or equivalent if someone else puts up Spring 3 study notes) and make sure everything looks familiar. You don’t have to be able to recite the syntax from memory.
  3. Take the second skill guru exam. (I found the first exam to be a better indicator of readiness with less out of scope content and would have preferred to take it later.) If you pass, skip to step #7. If not you may still pass the real exam, but it is probably better to study more.
  4. Look at the Spring 2.5 exam sample questions to get a feel for the level of difficulty to expect. (Yes, it really was this easy.) Questions harder than this in the skills guru exam shouldn’t cause you to worry.
  5. Do any labs you didn’t cover in class for areas you feel week.
  6. Skim the official reference – only focusing on the sections covered in the class student guide.
  7. Take the BlackBeltFactory exam if you feel you need more practice. If you fail some of the sections, don’t worry – this is harder than the real exam. You want to make sure you know the container/AOP sections cold. The level of difficulty is closer here and it is the lions share of the exam.
  8. Take the first skill guru exam. If you pass, you will definitely pass the real exam. If you don’t pass, pay attention to why. Even on this exam, some questions are out of scope and many are harder than on the real exam.
  9. Good luck!

Previous page: Skills guru mock exam


Comment from Sudheer
Posted: August 24, 2010 at 2:05 am

Hi i think this is too much.

I cleared my certification last month. if you have attended the spring course i think the study guide should be be good enough to clear the test.

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: August 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Probably, but if one wants more confidence…

Comment from Bali
Posted: January 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Your blog was very helpful in preparation to Spring egzam. I cleared my certification with 94% result. Thanks for your work!

Comment from Lars Jonasson
Posted: September 22, 2011 at 4:08 am

Great blog post but I have to agree with Sudheer. All this is way to much preparation.

I attended the Core Spring course and then reread the material once and did all labs once more (about 16h in total).

It’s not that the exam is easy it just that as long as you understand the main principals and design of Spring most questions are easy to answer.

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: September 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

@Lars I agree this is too much preparation. I didn’t know that before the exam though.

Comment from Kalyan Dasika
Posted: January 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

Given the width of the framework and the general guidelines of the topics to be expected in the certification exam, unless you have a good preparation strategy, its is hard to pass this test. The most time I spent was in doing lots of example code. In fact I spent an equal amount of time on all the topics which I think we an overkill from an exam point of view, but helped me understand the framework in general. If I knew what to expect from the exam, I would have spent bulk of my time doing example code on all possible scenarios about the container and aop which formed about 60% of the questions. If one’s preparation is a majority of reading one would probably answer only about 20% of the questions. So the gist is, work out a lot of example code. I would highly recommend people to follow the plan outlined on this blog for a deep understanding of the framework. Thanks Jeanne for all the information. Gavin’s study notes were also helpful in organizing my own study notes.
Btw, I did pass the test and it wasn’t as easy as I had expected.

Comment from Ciprian
Posted: March 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

It seems there is a small mistake in “study notes” related to transaction propagation:
“Required uses the existing transaction and throws an exception if there isn’t one.”. This is true for MANDATORY. For REQUIRED should be:
“uses the existing transaction and starts a new transaction if there isn’t one.”

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: March 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Thank you for noticing the error. I didn’t focus so much on that section because it isn’t Spring specific. Should have proofread before putting it online though!

Comment from Yogesh Chandr
Posted: June 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

Hi Guys,

http://knowledgeblackbelt.com provide various courses and exams for Spring. These are divided into various section like Spring core, Spring Jdbc, Spring MVC.

You can earn point there by doing some contribution as defined in website and then can participate in these exams which are very helpful for Spring Certification.

Comment from Alex
Posted: June 3, 2013 at 4:53 am

Hi, just wanted to say a big thank you, I passed my certification last week and all the info and resources here were fantastic. Again, many thanks.


Comment from Allada Venugopal
Posted: April 9, 2015 at 3:02 am

Can somebody explain how the Spring certification will be helpful for a better career.

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: April 9, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Allada: Taking the class helps you learn Spring. That’s a helpful skill in a job. Taking the cert per se doesn’t necessarily make you have a better career.

Comment from Vicky
Posted: May 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

I need to take spring certification exam in a month’s time and I’ve completed all the labs and study material.. plan to revise it once more in this 4 weeks.. will that be enough??

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: May 10, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Vicky: A week is perfectly fine to prepare. Good luck!

Comment from Vicky
Posted: September 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

I cleared the Spring 4.0 exam with 96%. Thanks for the guidance

Comment from Jeanne Boyarsky
Posted: September 29, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Congrats. Glad to see you found it helpful.

Comment from Vojtech Ruzicka
Posted: January 21, 2018 at 9:31 am

thank you for the article and the study notes, it is really helpful. In case others may find it helpful – I have assembled my own notes for updated version of the exam, both for Spring Core and Spring Web:

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