What is the exam like?
To begin with, certification exams are not all the same; there is a specific test for each certification level. All these tests are objective, completed in a computer connected to the Internet. In the GeneXus Senior Analyst test there are 26 questions in all, and for each question there is only one correct answer. The questions are multiple-choice, and in some of them you have to indicate if a statement is true or false.
The system provided to take the test has navigation buttons, so you can move forward and backwards while viewing the questions. When you reach the last question, a button is displayed to finish the exam. It doesn't mean that it's the end of the exam, because you can review all the questions and, if necessary, you can correct any answers. After that, you have a button to submit the exam. Upon clicking on this button, the system grades the exam and then the result and percentage of correct answers are displayed. By the way, the minimum passing percentage is 70% for any certification level.
The time provided to complete the GeneXus X Senior Analyst exam is 180 minutes. The test screen has a timer that shows the time remaining. In all the questions this timer is displayed to let you know how much time you have left to complete the test. If, by the end of that time, you have not finished the test, the system finishes it automatically in the section where you are positioned and it is impossible to continue.
The candidate cannot bring any type of paper, draft, pen, pen drive or any other object that could be considered by the evaluator as a potential risk of fraud at the exam. To answer some of the questions, especially the modeling ones, the evaluator handed me some paper sheets and a pen, because the modeling is very difficult to achieve without taking notes. Once I finished the exam, I had to return everything to her and the sheets where immediately shredded and thrown to the paper bin.
What is the content of the exam?
The content was prepared based on version X of GeneXus. To answer the questions, the candidate must apply his/her knowledge to solve the cases put forth. These questions are small case studies and pieces of applications where you have to analyze everything that is asked to reach an answer. There are no questions such as "What is a For Each command?", "What is a Web Panel used for?" or "How do you create a Procedure?", at least in the GeneXus X Senior Analyst certification exam that I took.
The first questions were about modeling transactions, which is something very important for the GeneXus philosophy and that all analysts must clearly understand. The questions include types of relations (1-N, 1-1 and N-N) and how to solve them in GeneXus. Other subjects included are: Types of For Each commands (Join, Break, Cartesian Product), Business Component, SDT, Data Provider, Web Panel (with/without Base Table), Subtypes, Patterns, Extended Table, Data Selector, Rule Triggering Order in Transactions, Order of Events in Web Panels, Global and Local Formulas), at least that's all I can remember.
What happens after the test?
Candidates who want to become GeneXus Instructors must take another exam, the oral test, which lasts approximately an hour and a half with Simone (Artech's official certifier in Brazil). As a side note, Simone is very strict, and in the previous two certification exams she gave me a Fail score.
Those who will not take the instructor certification exam only have to take the written test and the result is given immediately after completing it.
What is the oral exam for instructors like?
To take the oral exam there is one previous requirement: candidates must be certified as GeneXus X Senior Analysts.
Simone administers the exam. She will behave as someone who doesn't know anything about GeneXus, and the candidate has to explain why something is true or false. An instructor must always go one step further with explanations; that's what Artech expects from candidates.
Questions are asked about the written test. Also, candidates are required to speak about a subject that the certifier chooses at that moment. I had to answer questions about subtypes (multiple references to the extended table), direct updates or through BCs, Web Panels with and without base table, triggering of events in Web Panels, controls automatically performed by the transaction (referential integrity), Data Providers; lastly, I had to talk about the Version Control feature implemented in GeneXus X, including Object History, Branch, Development Versions, Frozen Versions (for those who have already worked with a version control tool, it is related to SCM).
How can you get ready for the exam?
By studying the materials that Artech makes available at the Download Center on gxtechnical.com. The material I used included the GeneXus X Distance Course (videos), GeneXus X Basic Course (videos), GeneXus X Course, GeneXus X Upgrade Course, GeneXus X Course Complement (Transaction Design, Subtype Reminder, Parallel Transactions and Transaction Modeling Exercises).
Transaction modeling and referential integrity are topics that must be given special attention.
Make sure you're well prepared for the exam, because Artech is very strict with certifications.
Try to complete all the exercises given in Artech's study material. Read about all the topics included. Pay attention to the new features included in version X, because they make it possible to use the tool more efficiently. Finally, read extensively about transaction modeling, referential integrity, extended table, subtypes, and everything related to For Each and New commands.
During the exam, read all the questions very carefully, pay close attention to all the options provided. Do not attempt to do the test quickly. Some of the questions look the same, but they are not. Make use of all the time given, and if you have some time left, review the entire test. In my case, I had time at the end to make a final revision. And be careful before changing any question during this review, because I almost changed an answer that was correct. No points are deducted for wrong answers.
Good luck and warm regards to everyone!
*Published on imasters by Bruno Macedo