Introduction


This is a study guide for the Sitecore® Certified Platform Associate Developer exam. In this guide, you will find helpful steps to prepare for the exam as well as links for more resources to study.


The Sitecore® Certification Program


The Sitecore® Certification Program validates skills and knowledge of professionals building solutions with Sitecore XP and related products. The Sitecore Certification Program includes two levels, the Sitecore Certified Associate and the Sitecore Certified Professional. The key benefits of the Sitecore Certification Program for developers are:

  • Provides you with formal certification
  • Validates your Sitecore skills and knowledge
  • Establishes your credibility and expertise with your peers
  • Gives you more visibility within the marketplace


The key benefits of the Sitecore Certification Program for organizations building Sitecore solutions are:

  • Helps you hire Sitecore expertise
  • Differentiates you in a marketplace of Sitecore solution providers


The Exam


Exam Name: Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer Exam

Exam Duration: 90 Minutes

Exam Length: 50 Questions

Pass/Fail mark: 80%


Two ways to take the exam


Sitecore offers two ways to take the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam: 1) take the exam with the online proctored service or 2) take the exam in a testing center. Purchase the exam using a credit card from Sitecore's Exam Center at: https://www.webassessor.com/sitecore/index.html.  Purchasers can also submit a request to be invoiced for more than five exams from this site.


Online Proctored Exams


Sitecore has partnered with Kryterion Global Testing Solutions to offer the Sitecore Professional Developer Certification Exam through an online proctored service. If you choose to take the exam with the online proctored service, you can take the exam anywhere in the world from your home or office, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. Certified proctors will verify your identify and monitor your exam session in real time to ensure a fair test.



Review all requirements and rules for the online proctored service prior to purchasing your exam by reviewing our Computer Setup guide: https://sitecore.freshdesk.com/solution/articles/16000014810-setting-up-your-computer-for-the-online-proctored-exam. Note: if you take the online proctored exam, an external or internal web camera is required during your exam session. Watch the Camera Placement video demo here: http://www.kryteriononline.com/test-taker/online-proctoring-support.


Testing Center Exams


Kryterion Global Testing Solutions offers the Sitecore Professional Developer Certification exam in more than 900 physical Testing Centers worldwide.  Check for a testing center near you at: https://www.kryteriononline.com/Locate-Test-Center.  Certified proctors will verify your identify and monitor your exam session to ensure a fair test. Review all requirements and rules for the testing center prior to purchasing your exam: https://www.kryteriononline.com/test-taker/testing-center-support.


Closed or Open Book


The Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam is closed book. You will not be allowed to refer to notes, books, training materials, web searches, Sitecore installations or other software, etc. during the exam.


Retakes

You may retake the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam as many times as you would like until you pass the exam; however, you will need to purchase an exam attempt at full price for each retake.


Exam Competencies


These are the competencies tested on the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam:


Competencies


% of Questions


API
5 %


Architecture


4 %


Creating and Editing Items


8 %


Development Environment


9 %


Fields and Field Types


13 %


Installation


1 %


Media


1 %


Module Packages


1 %


Presentation


18 %


Publishing


2 %


Search


11 %


Sitecore Documentation and Support


1 %


Templates


19 %


Versioning


2 %


xManagement


5 %


TOTAL 

 100%



Test Format


The test questions on the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam are all multiple choice.  The test taker selects one option that best answers the question or completes a statement. Notice that the sample questions below rely on the application of Sitecore concepts and knowledge rather than purely memorizing the facts, code, or syntax.  Reading through long lists of documentation or books is not sufficient for answering most questions. You will need experience with use cases, applications, and common scenarios in a Sitecore project.


Sample question 1 (API):  When you are working with a Sitecore.Data.Items.Item object, which method should you use to get a list of all its children?


Answer Choices:

  1. .GetChildren()
  2. Axes.GetChild()
  3. Axes.GetDescendants()
  4. Database.GetChildren()

 

Feedback:  The GetChildren() method returns a list of an item's children in the form of a ChildList collection.


Sample question 2 (Create and Edit Items): What is a Sitecore item?


Answer Choices:

  1. The construct Sitecore uses to store data
  2. A page the visitor views on the website
  3. An entity storing the information used to find the content in the file system
  4. A definition for the type of date that you want to store


Feedback:  A Sitecore item is what Sitecore uses to store data.


Sample question 3 (Development Environment):  When you patch in changes to the Sitecore.config file, how can you control the order in which your changes are applied?


Answer Choices:

  1. In App_Config/Include, use a naming convention and sub-folders for config files
  2. In App_Config/, create <order> entries in the Sitecore.Patch.config file
  3. In App_Config/Include/Project, add your config files
  4. In Web.Config, manually insert the changes in order


Feedback: Recommended practice is to use the App_Config/Include folder, where folders and files are loaded alphabetically.


Sample question 4 (Development Environment):Select the name of the Sitecore component-based architecture guidelines from the list.


Answer Choices:

  1. Helix
  2. Habitat
  3. Bootstrap
  4. Adaptive


Feedback:  Helix is a set of overall design principles and conventions for Sitecore development.Throughout the Helix documentation you will find various examples from Habitat.The Habitat examples provide you with a pre-built and tested set of common modules that you can use as an inspiration to your project. Both improve the efficiency of your projects, reduce costs and time to market. However, it is Helix that provides a set of guidelines for your Sitecore projects.


Self-Assess


You may have judged your own skill levels while reading about the competency domains covered on the exam. It is quite common and perfectly natural to have more experience and proficiency with some topics over others.  By performing a self-assessment of your skills, you will have a better understanding of how you should improve your skills. 


Use the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer Self-Assessment spreadsheet attached at the bottom of this webpage to perform your own skills assessment.  Rank your skills on a scale of 0 to 10 against each competency -  0 equates to absolute no knowledge or exposure, and 10 represents complete mastery.

  • Topics with 8+ score are your strengths.
  • Topics with a score of 5 to 7 will need some preparation.
  • Those topics below 5 may require a lot of preparation, or guided instruction.


Study and practice


Once you have a list of competencies that you need to improve, Sitecore recommends that you spend time working hands-on with Sitecore XP as well as studying for the exam using these official resources:  

  • dev.sitecore.net – Sitecore Developer Network (Sitecore® Experience PlatformTM 8.0 or later)
  • doc.sitecore.net/developers – Sitecore Documentation Site  (Sitecore® Experience Platform 9.0)
  • sdn.sitecore.net - Sitecore Developer Network (Prior to Sitecore® Experience PlatformTM 8.0)
  • kb.sitecore.net – Sitecore Knowledge Base
  • youtube.com/mastersitecore – Master Sitecore YouTube channel
  • helix.sitecore.net – Helix Documentation Site (Habitat)


Signing up for the official Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning is an excellent, focused way to prepare for the exam. The Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning. View the schedule of course offerings and enroll at: http://www.sitecore.net/training.


These Sitecore Community sites may also provide valuable help and insight into your studies:

  1. community.sitecore.net - Connect with thousands of Sitecore professionals around the globe on Sitecore Community. Here, you can discuss tips, tricks, techniques, and solutions for everyday scenarios when you are working with the Sitecore Experience Platform. Have a question? Get help from hundreds of members, including Sitecore employees and Sitecore Certified developers and MVPs.
  2.  feeds.sitecore.net - Every day the community is producing new blog posts. To make all this content available to you, Sitecore Feeds aggregates Sitecore related blogs and indexes to keep you informed. Blogs from Sitecore employees and MVP's are directly availability on: http://www.sitecore.net/learn/blogs/technical-blogs.aspx.
  3. marketplace.sitecore.net - If you have created a cool module that you want to share this with the community, the Sitecore Marketplace is where you can share your module or find modules created by other contributors. If you do not want to support your module yourself, you can ask Sitecore to review your module. Once accepted, the support desk can handle any questions for you. If a module gets widely used, it can even be embedded in the core product. Some great examples are: The Language Fallback module and the Experience Explorer.
  4. sitecore-community.github.io/docs - A community-driven collection of developer resources - including blogs, videos, references, and articles. Please note that although Sitecore employees contribute, this is not official Sitecore documentation.


Professional competencies to study


This section of the study guide provides a detailed breakdown of the professional competencies tested on the Sitecore Certified Platform Associate Developer exam as well as the sections of the Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers Course eLearning that cover content on these competencies.  Links to free study aids are also provided.



API


Competencies:

  • Explain how Sitecore renders links and how they can be controlled
  • Retrieve an item’s child items and apply custom sorting
  • Use the Sitecore API to navigate the tree


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Applying Navigation Practices within the Site
  • Working with Complex Field Types


Study Aids:



Architecture


Competencies:

  • Explain how Sitecore can scale with use of server roles
  • Describe the Basic Development Architecture of Sitecore
  • Identify Key Sitecore Terminology
  • Identify the benefits of xConnect


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:

  • The Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Creating the Site's Structure
  • Configuring and Extending Sitecore


Study Aids:



Creating and Editing Items


Competencies:

  • Define a Sitecore template with different sections and field types
  • Give examples of how you use source fields
  • State the importance of setting up icons on templates
  • Identify when you need to use template inheritance
  • Describe the purpose of the Standard Template
  • Use Sitecore Rocks to create content
  • Create content items by using Insert Options
  • Create Sitecore Standard Values

Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Creating the Site’s Structure
  • Creating the Site's Presentation


Study Aids:



Development Environment


Competencies:

  • Build multisite implementations according to recommended practices
  • Identify the core binary files of the Sitecore framework
  • Prepare the Sitecore Rocks Visual Studio plug-in and set up a connection to a Sitecore instance
  • Set up a Visual Studio solution and project for Sitecore development
  • Use the include folder to apply configuration patches


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • The Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Configuring Your Sitecore Environment
  • Setting up a Multisite Project


Study Aids:



Fields and Field Types


Competencies:

  • Give examples of how you use source fields
  • Make all fields editable in the Experience Editor
  • Name the field types and their purpose
  • Render field values by using the Sitecore API
  • Retrieve field values from Sitecore and make them editable in the Experience Editor
  • Use different field types and define which fields can be edited in Experience Editor via Sitecore controls
  • Use the Field Editor buttons


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Creating the Site’s Structure
  • Working with Complex Field Types


Study Aids:



Installation


Competencies:

  • Configure Sitecore to host multiple websites
  • Define the structure and files of a clean Sitecore instance
  • Use the default admin user name and password to log in to a Sitecore instance


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • The Sitecore Experience Platform
  • Configuring and Extending Sitecore


Study Aids:



Media


Competencies:

  • Describe how media is stored in Sitecore


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Creating the Site’s Content Structure


Study Aids:



Module Package


Competencies:

  • Install a Sitecore package into Sitecore


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Configuring and Extending Sitecore


Study Aids:



Presentation


Competencies:

  • Configure compatible renderings on a component definition item
  • Create a rendering parameters template for a component
  • Create Sitecore Layouts and connect them to matching views on the file system
  • Create Sitecore Standard Values and set up presentation for different devices
  • Define the difference between static and dynamic binding
  • Describe how component properties can be maintained by content authors
  • Describe how to limit content choices in the data source selection window
  • Describe placeholders and placeholder definition items
  • Implement an edit frame
  • Name the different types of MVC renderings
  • Read component properties and use the specified value in the component’s output
  • Set up allowed controls on a placeholder definition item
  • Use presentation details to add components in the Experience Editor

Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Creating the Site’s Structure
  • Creating the Site's Presentation
  • Working with Complex Field Types
  • Increasing Component Resusability


Study Aids:



Publishing


Competencies:

  • Describe the purpose of the Web, Master and Core databases

Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • The Sitecore Experience Platform


Study Aids:



Search


Competencies:

  • Compile dynamic LINQ queries
  • Configure a custom index
  • Create a search-driven component
  • Define item buckets in Sitecore
  • Describe the differences between these search providers
  • List the available search providers that Sitecore offers
  • Optimize indexing performance by changing indexed fields and templates


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Implementing Search-Driven Components


Study Aids:



Sitecore Documentation and Support


Competencies:

  • Locate Sitecore websites and documentation


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • The Sitecore Experience Platform


Study Aids:




Templates


Competencies:

  • Apply data template inheritance to new and existing data templates
  • Define a Sitecore Template with different sections and field types
  • Describe the data template building blocks
  • Describe the purpose of standard templates
  • Identify components in a HTML template
  • Identify when you need to use data template inheritance
  • List what you should consider when you apply inheritance to data templates
  • Name field types and their purpose
  • State the importance of setting up icons on data templates
  • Use the Template Manager to build and configure a site infrastructure


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Building the Site’s Data Infrastructure
  • Creating and Applying Presentation


Study Aids:



Versioning


Competencies:

  • Describe different content versioning options in Sitecore


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • Creating the Site’s Structure


Study Aids:

xManagement


Competencies:

  • Define Experience Content Management (xManagement)
  • Define roles that interact with Sitecore
  • Describe Sitecore’s architecture
  • Describe the features of a WCMS


Sitecore Platform Essentials for Developers eLearning:


  • The Sitecore Experience Platform


Study Aids:



Sitecore Education Services


Build your expertise and accelerate your success with Sitecore Education Services—the only source for official Sitecore training and certification. We offer a wide variety of training courses delivered either in-person at one of our regional training centers, onsite, virtually, or as self-paced eLearning modules.  For more information about Sitecore Education Service, visit us at: sitecore.net/training.