Exam Study Guide?

MatthewPierceMatthewPierce USMember, University ✭✭

I just took my last required class, so now I'm organizing my notes and trying to build a study guide for the exam. Other than reading through all the course material PDF's and sample code, does anyone have any suggestions for things to brush up on?

The lack of a practice test or samples of what to expect is a little unnerving. I'd like to have an idea of what the question format is like that is a little more informative than "multiple choice test on everything covered in the required classes."

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Answers

  • RichardHopkinsRichardHopkins JPMember, University ✭✭✭

    I'd be very interested in this as well. I emailed Xamarin Training about the same subject and got back more-or-less a "we'll add it to the list" kind of response.

    Having not done a certification before (I've never tried MCSE or similar) I really have no idea what to expect. The last test I took was at university 20+ years ago.

  • NateCookPersonalNateCookPersonal USUniversity ✭✭

    The facebook group might be useful here if you haven't already taken a look.

  • MatthewPierceMatthewPierce USMember, University ✭✭

    That gets my vote.

  • RichardHopkinsRichardHopkins JPMember, University ✭✭✭

    Would any kind soul be willing to copy-paste the "what you need to know" stuff into here, for people who don't use Facebook?

  • JonDouglasJonDouglas USXamarin Team, University, Developer Group Leader Xamurai
    edited May 2014

    @RichardHopkins‌ It'll mainly be everything you learned in Xamarin University plus concepts from Android/iOS

    Here's some additional items I think you should know as well:

    -Design Patterns - Singleton, Facade, etc

    -Architecture Patterns - MVC, MVVM

    -Data in Mobile(SQLite/SQLite.NET/ADO.NET/etc)

    -Adapters/Listview and UITableViewSource/UITableViewController

    -iOS Core Libraries / iOS UI

    -Android Core Libraries (Also Support Libraries) / Android UI

    -How Garbage Collection works on iOS and Android with Mono

    -Process of publishing both iOS and Android applications

    -The process to bind Java/Obj C libraries

    -Portable Class Libraries

    -Proper use of the UI Thread

    -Code Sharing Techniques

    -WCF Bindings (Supported Ones)

    -Async/Await and TPL

    -REST/SOAP/WCF

    -IoC / Dependency Injection

    That's the best I can do off my head and past posts. I would like to make a study guide someday for everyone else doing Xamarin University though.

    Best of luck! May the odds be ever in your favor.

  • RichardHopkinsRichardHopkins JPMember, University ✭✭✭
    edited May 2014

    @JonDouglas‌

    Thanks, that's interesting. As far as I can recall, several of those points were never really covered in University in any depth, if at all (or at least haven't been so far, with 2 classes to go). I don't recall anything related to "The process to bind Java/Obj C libraries", although I think there have been a few requests in this forum for a class covering the topic.

    This is exactly why we need a proper exam preparation guide, or at least a concrete list of stuff Xamarin expects us to have a familiarity with.

    I'm also curious to know how the test is taken. Do you just sit at your PC/Mac and do it online? Is it 100% point and click multiple choice? What's the time limit? How many questions are there? Can you go back and change an answer if you've had second thoughts etc. Any insight would be most appreciated.

  • StephenGrayStephenGray USUniversity ✭✭

    Sounds great Jon, thanks for your support. Can anyone from Xamarin HQ give Jon the nod?

  • RichardHopkinsRichardHopkins JPMember, University ✭✭✭

    Seconding Stephen's request. If there's one are where I've always felt Xamarin could do with a bit of a push it's writing stuff up and providing more documentation. If Jon's willing to put in the time, more power to him. Hopefully someone from Xamarin HQ can sanction this.

  • MatthewPierceMatthewPierce USMember, University ✭✭

    I think that this is essential, especially given the fact that things NOT covered in the Xamarin University courses are on the test.

  • rene_ruppertrene_ruppert DEXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai

    I do not know the contents of the test - what exactly do you think is not covered by the classes?

    The only one from the list above where I would not know a matching class is:

    "The process to bind Java/Obj C libraries"

    But for all the others:

    • Design Patterns - Singleton, Facade, etc: Covered in "Backgrounding"

    -Architecture Patterns - MVC, MVVM: Part of "Intro to iOS"

    -Data in Mobile(SQLite/SQLite.NET/ADO.NET/etc): "Advanced cross platform"

    -Adapters/Listview and UITableViewSource/UITableViewController: "Listviews and Adapters, Table views and collections"

    -iOS Core Libraries / iOS UI: UI is covered in almost all classes

    -Android Core Libraries (Also Support Libraries) / Android UI: see above.

    -How Garbage Collection works on iOS and Android with Mono: "Peformance and memory management"

    -Process of publishing both iOS and Android applications: "XAM220"

    -Portable Class Libraries: "XAM300"

    -Proper use of the UI Thread: "Performance and memory management"

    -Code Sharing Techniques: XAM300

    -WCF Bindings (Supported Ones): "WCF Enterprise"

    -Async/Await and TPL: almost all sessions

    -REST/SOAP/WCF: XAM150

    -IoC / Dependency Injection: XAM300

  • MatthewPierceMatthewPierce USMember, University ✭✭
    edited May 2014

    "I do not know the contents of the test - what exactly do you think is not covered by the classes?"

    I don't know the contents of the test either, but when people who have taken the test and the classes say "Some items however are definitely not in the courses" I take them at their word.

    The MS Exam 70-483, for example, has the following breakdown:

    Manage program flow (25%)

    Create and use types (24%)

    Debug applications and implement security (25%)

    Implement data access (26%)

    Details here

    Were there something similar for the Xamarin Cert exam that would be a lot more helpful than the standard answer I gotten from several instructors of "go through the course materials a couple of times and you should be fine." A suggestion, in light of the comments that the test covers more than the classes, that won't have me 100% prepared.

    I've got a lot of time invested as a result of these classes and I'd like to be as prepared as best as I can for the exam. If that means I need to go to resources outside of the course material I'm fine with that, but I if I don't know what I need to focus on then I may waste time on non-essentials when I could be spending time on more important topics.

    For example, Enterprise WCF Integration [XAM427] is not a required (or even listed as optional for that matter) course for any of the certifications, but apparently topics relating to WCF are on the exam. I would have been completely unprepared for those and most likely missed them had this thread not addressed such. The statement "If you've taken the classes listed below and understood the content, then you should be prepared for the exam." on the certification information page is misleading.

  • JonDouglasJonDouglas USXamarin Team, University, Developer Group Leader Xamurai

    @MatthewPierce‌ I know you're probably a bit frustrated at this point, but if you need any help with studying for the Xamarin Certification Test, I'd be glad to help you with any concepts. You can simply message me through the forums and we can exchange contact information.

    Secondly this is also Xamarin's first year doing the training, and just like using the tools 3 years ago, it was also quite frustrating. Give it a bit of time and it'll definitely shape out. Support will be more than willing to help you pass this certification test as they are very understanding of helping people reach their goals with mobile development.

  • rene_ruppertrene_ruppert DEXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai

    @MatthewPierce‌ I see what you mean. You're saying that the required classes do not cover everything. I did indeed not take that into account when I added the class references in my answer; sorry for that. Have you tried to contact [email protected] and include your concerns and reply from above? It's exactly this feedback that will help to improve XamU as @JonDouglas already stated. Don't forget: Xamarin wants you to get certified! It's a win-win situation so all have a big interest in getting you the well earned badge. If you have questions about topics, also feel free to discuss them here in the forums and I'll do my best to answer them.

  • KajBonfilsKajBonfils DKMember, University ✭✭

    I have created a single page with links to relevant xamarin documentation for each module. This should serve as basis for the exam preparation
    http://xamarino.com/2014/05/studyguide-xamarin-mobile-developer-exam/

  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai
    edited June 2014

    Just an update on this. Our new material format includes study information pertaining to the certification exam for each module and we will be taking that and aggregating the content to a single, unified study guide which you can use to prepare for the certification exam. We are busy transitioning the existing materials to the new format, and also building new modules to further your training goals.

    I want to encourage all of you to consider taking the exam once you are eligible - I think there's a lot of value in both the process and the end result; and I want to make sure you are as prepared as can be and have all the resources you need to do so. Hopefully these steps we are taking will help you all, and provide an official outline both for the exam itself and also for your own reference as you build applications.

    Thanks for being a Xamarin University subscriber; if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me - [email protected]

    Mark Smith

    Xamarin Curriculum

  • JesseLibertyJesseLiberty USInsider, University ✭✭✭

    A couple fast questions about the exam:

    1) Can you take it again if you don't pass? (how's that for optimistic?)
    2) What % of the 150 questions is passing?
    3) How much time do you have?
    4) How long do you generally recommend or expect between starting to learn Xamarin, and ready to take the exam?

    Thanks!

  • JonDouglasJonDouglas USXamarin Team, University, Developer Group Leader Xamurai
    1. I believe you can take it until the deadline. (At least from what others have said)

    2. 80%

    3. 3 hours I believe. Or roughly around there.

    4. I'd say after taking the core classes of the university and through self learning, you should be ready by the time you finish the last course.

  • KymPhillpottsKymPhillpotts AUMember, University ✭✭

    Not sure if anyone will find this useful but I posted a study guide / list of topics here: http://www.kymphillpotts.com/xamarin-certification-exam-study-guide/

  • MarkSmith.8123MarkSmith.8123 USXamarin Team, University, XamUProfessors Xamurai

    There is also an official guide and study tips available from the More> menu on the main university site. Here's the page if you have not seen it:

    https://university.xamarin.com/resources/certification

    Also, just a notice that we are about to roll out the next iteration of the certification exam in the next month or so with the new site. This will focus more heavily on Xamarin.Forms (as will re-certification) and require some of the newer classes introduced in the past few months. There will be a new study guide with the new exam, as well as a study lab exercise which will demonstrate the concepts and APIs the test will cover. Stay tuned for that!

    Once the new exam is rolled out, existing students who have completed the existing requirements (for the exam today) will have a month to finish the exam before being pushed into the new requirements. We'll work with people to make sure you finish your class requirements and get access to the exam if you are grandfathered in.

    Good luck to all of you going for certification this month!

  • DaveParkerDaveParker GBUniversity
    edited April 2015

    Having just sat the exam, I can say that you definately need to read/review the things listed in the study guide.

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