How Can I Pass the Tridion Certification Exams?

I'll occasionally get questions about the SDL Tridion certification exams. As an SDL employee, I'm a qualified resource backed up by a team of other qualified resources, but taking the exam isn't a critical task on my to do list (it's covered by the company). However, occasionally I'll be tasked with updating the exam to keep it current and challenging even for myself or our Global Education lead.

You probably should Tweet this guy about the exam experience, he's passed the exams longer than I've been doing Tridion!
The SDL Tridion certification exams test your understanding of the training materials plus practical experience with the content management system. SDL recommends a year with the solution before considering the certification.
Experienced (non-Tridion) developers have failed the Developer certification, not because they weren't technical enough, but because the Tridion APIs reflect Tridion's object and publishing models. They're easy enough, but take time to really "get" Tridion (or "enterprise" CMS, for that matter).

Tips for passing:
  1. Take the education tracks which cover the majority of the certification questions.
  2. Spend ideally a year developing or using SDL Tridion. One month of experience 12 times is not the same as 12 months of experience. :-)
  3. Be very careful with Tridion-specific terms, especially in the BA exam. For example, "metadata schemas" sounds basic enough, but do you understand the difference between these and component metadata, which are defined in schemas? Are target types the same as publication targets? How about Custom Urls versus Custom Pages?
  4. Versions matter. Terms get updated (Experience Manager replaces SiteEdit) and new features change old "gotchas" into myths (e.g. Taxonomy changes what you can do with Content Delivery APIs).
  5. If you understand the CME, you have a better chance at passing the certifications, in my opinion.
  6. General test-taking tips:
    1. Read questions carefully.
    2. Take your time, but don't get stuck on one question.
    3. Improve your odds by eliminating wrong statements (don't start an argument with the wrong statements).
    4. Be careful with adjectives such as all, nothing, never, and only (the presence of these words don't mean certain answers are necessarily wrong).
    5. Don't over-think the exam.
Get trained. Get experience. Get certified. Easy enough?

I've provided feedback on the last two versions of at least the BA exam and the majority of the dozen or so test takers I've administered the exam passed. They also were trained and had at least a year of Tridion experience.

One last tip: join the community. Sign up for Tridion Stack Exchange, Google Tridion questions, and consider contributing what you do know. It's a free and easy way to see what's easy versus hard and find out what you don't know. Being able to explain Tridion is a good sign you're ready for any question or exam about it.

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