SpringSource [Pivotal] Certified Spring Professional


In this post I’d like to share my experience regarding Core Spring course and exam.

Core Spring course

This was a 4-days course which was a mandatory stage to receive a voucher for an exam. The general structure of the course was:

  1. Lectures delivered by trainer
  2. Labs (supported by trainer)

Every participant got a Lecture Manual, Student Notebook and a pen. The first thing is the core source of knowledge and the latter is a great place to do notes using the included pen:)

The course takes into account the following general objectives [1]:

  1. Container-basics
  2. Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP)
  3. Data access and transactions
  4. Spring model-view-controller (MVC)

The course made a good impression on me. Even though the range of material is vast, the structure of course and a way of teaching created a clear picture as a whole.

Learning Core Spring

Learning can be understand in terms of preparation for the exam. I wanted to do something more than just pass an exam. My goal was to get deep understanding of the spring container and have a working knowledge of the all other exam objectives. It is great to memorize gained knowledge after taking exam as long as possible.

My learning process

  1. I attended the Core Spring 4-days course in late November 2013.
  2. In February 2014 I read twice a Lecture Manual and notes written during the course.
  3. Next I did all the labs. I also played around with code to exercise different cases, mainly regarding Container and AOP.
  4. After that I read the spring framework reference [3] (70% of all content) focusing especially on the content mentioned in the course.
  5. Read the Lecture Manual again.
  6. Went through some mock tests which were quite difficult and rather out of real exam scope.
  7. Read again some parts of the reference manual (AOP and Container).
  8.  Some code exercise.
  9. Read the Lecture Manual again.


I passed the SpringSource Certified Spring Professional (based on Spring 3.2) exam on 1st of April, 2014 with a score of 98%. There were single choice and multiply choice questions. The most difficult questions were some of those with multiply choice. Attention should be also paid on questions with a word NOT or other kind negation (incorrect, invalid and so on) in a content. Besides that, questions were rather straightforward and non scenario-based which are on the Java EE 5 Business Component Developer Exam. There were 50 questions and 90 minutes to complete the exam.

It is important to be aware of the content of a Lecture Manual. The exam expectation is to have a knowledge of objectives defined in the Certification Study Guide [2]. The guide says: “Most of the questions will be very general, however you will be asked a few advanced questions”. The Lecture Manual covers most content quite general and puts emphasis on selected parts by bold text, clouds with an additional information. There are also pictures with a very short description. Additional resources like reference manual [3] comes here with help to get better understanding what is behind those pictures.


Attending the course, preparing for the exam was a great opportunity to became more familiarized with Spring Framework. A certification and taking exam in general is usually a strong motivating factor to learn something on a profound level. I encourage to read other Core Spring Training/Exam reviews [4], [5], [6], [7] and share us with your experience.


[1] SpringSource Certified Spring Professional

[2] Core Spring 3.x Certification Study Guide

[3] Spring Framework Reference Documentation

[4] http://pw999.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/my-spring-certification-experience/

[5] http://jakubstas.com/springsource-certified-spring-professional/

[6] http://piotrnowicki.com/2012/07/after-the-spring-core-3-0-exam/

[7] http://www.selikoff.net/2010/08/20/jeannes-core-spring-3-certification-experiences/

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