Technology Work

Passing the PHP 7 Zend Certified Engineer Exam

Zend Certified Engineer

Last May 26, I have successfully passed the 2017-PHP Zend Certified Engineer Exam. I crammed my review in a month, but was still able to keep up my pace. You can view my profile at the Zend Yellow Pages as I am now a Zend Certified Engineer.

When I graduated in college way back in 2007, it was already one of my goals “to take” the certification. Not necessarily pass, but just to take and see for myself. Fast forward 10 years, I was not only able “to take”, but I also passed it.

The journey began when our training budget for fiscal year 2016 was allocated for the Zend Certification. I felt a bit sad because that would mean no more training/conference outside the country. My company has been very generous and proactive in keeping their engineers trained and up-to-date.

Our exam vouchers were approved last January, but I scheduled my exam on May 26 because I know I love to cram my exams. I only started studying last week of April, researching about the certification online and reading the Study Guide. My comment about the Zend Study Guide is that the answer key doesn’t have any explanation. I also started writing down notes on the functions and terms that I think will come out in the exam.

Zend Certified Engineer Exam Study Guide


My personal study notes

The night before my exam, I stayed late at the office only to be hit by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake which rocked Metro Manila. I immediately left the building and continued studying at home. I finished about 3am and began lying down in bed, only to find myself asleep by 5am. My exam was scheduled at 1:30pm, just a walking distance to the office. I arrived 45 minutes early at the testing center albeit no lunch. I was allowed to take the exam earlier so I took it at around 1pm.

My fear at that time was about running out of time, but to my surprise, I was able to finish the exam with still 40 minutes left. I was having doubts if I was careless so I reviewed it one more time. Maybe I changed a couple of answers. But even with going over the 75 questions the second time around, I still had 13 minutes left. So I told myself I’d just take a nap and let the time finish. After 4 minutes, I gave up and told myself to just hit the end exam button.

CONGRATULATIONS! You passed the Zend Certification Exam!

Zend Certified EngineerZend Certified Engineer Examination Score REport
Zend Certified Engineer Examination Score Report

I couldn’t contain my joy at that time. I hurriedly went out and checked with my officemate if he also passed. Both of us passed!

So what’s next for me? Nothing really. Life goes on as a Software Engineer. But I didn’t waste my company’s training budget, and I was able to add validation of my skills in PHP.

If you are looking for resources, then just like me when I was still about to take it, the best reference that you’ll ever have for FREE is the PHP Manual. I suggest you also buy the PHP Certification Study Guide as it summarizes the topics needed. Take note too on the latest features of PHP 7, as it will also come out in the exam!

Check out also this blog by Edward Chung, it was still written for PHP 5.3 but the basics and foundations of the language has been clearly written and summarized. Overall, I could say that if you do not have enough experience working with PHP or if you did not study/review for the exam, it will really be hard to pass. As for me, I think experience trumped questions amplified by reviewing so I didn’t have a hard time answering.

So if you are planning or about to take the exam, don’t be afraid. Study, review, and code. I am confident that you will also pass the exam!

ZCE Certificate and Sticker
ZCE Certificate and Sticker

39 thoughts on “Passing the PHP 7 Zend Certified Engineer Exam”

  1. Hello Ridvan Baluyos

    I am candidate of zend exam i need your help.

    would you reply my email.


      1. Question: What is the output of the following code?

        echo “1” + 2 * “0x02”;

        output = 5

        My question is how output is 5?

        would you explain me Ridvan?

          1. Hi Andrey,

            The code given above is assumed to be running on PHP5 as the output given is 5, and not 1.

            Yes, you are correct that (int) “0x02” will output to 0 in PHP7. Thanks for clarifying and pointing that out!

            Best Regards,

    1. Hi Allan,

      1. Is taking the exam worth it?
      – Most probably. I haven’t actually used my “ZCE” yet because I’m currently employed, and it was my company who sponsored my certification. All Backend Engineers are actually ZCEs. I do get a lot of touchbase messages/calls from recruiters in linkedin and jobstreet

      2. What are the benefits you got so far?
      – Bragging rights, career aesthetics, and a perpetual license of Zend Studio
      (which I don’t use because our company pays for our PHP Storm license). Kidding aside, I may not be able to feel the benefits right now but maybe in the future when I’m looking for work. I’ve heard in my circle that it’s more beneficial for people who are freelancers.

      For more info:

  2. Hello Ridvan Baluyos,

    I am candidate of zend exam, I need your help.My exam date is 23Sept/2017. I have one year experience in PHP.
    Can you tell me, Which type of questions are coming mostly ?
    would you reply my email.

    1. Hi Nitin,

      You might want to check It’s still written for PHP 5.3 but the type of questions are somewhat similar. It should give you a glimpse on how the questions are usually structured. But don’t rely on it and still purchase the Study Guide and read the manual. Study also the new features in PHP 7 ( since I’m assuming you’d be taking up 2017-PHP.

      Good luck on your exam.


    1. Hi Maha,

      If it will help you, then you should buy it. The study guide is not enough to pass the exam, but it contains the summarized topics that you need to study.


  3. Hello Ridvan Baluyos,

    Good Morning.
    I rescheduled my exam .What is the minimum passing marks for this exam?
    What is the main criteria for qualify exam,Suppose if,I will not pass some topics,then I will fail or not?
    Because I am not confidented for some topics such like as:- Error Handling,Xml etc.
    Suppose if my answer was wrong for these topics,then I will pass or fail in this exam.

    1. Hi Nitin,

      RogueWave doesn’t disclose the passing mark. If you pass, they won’t give you your score. If you fail, they will provide you with the percentage score of each topics so that you can better prepare next time.


  4. Hello Ridvan Baluyos,

    For passing this exam, every topic should be covered or not.
    If I want to qualify this exam, which topic are required.

  5. Hey guys,

    not sure if it’s appropriate to share in this blog as comment, but other than what Ridvan mentioned above, this resource may also be helpful for those taking the ZCE exam.

    Kind of much like the, but the link above is an android app that works offline, and also includes questions up to php7.1.

    I’m also currently preparing for the PHP 7.2 exam, which I think will be available some time in year 2018? Best luck to all of us exam takers 🙂

    1. Hey John how did the exam go and how effective was the android simulator in relation to the questions that came in the exam?

  6. Hello,

    Thanks for your post. I am planing to take exam by next week. Can you please give me the following details ?

    Is the exam based on PHP 7 ?
    How many total questions and how many hours ?

    1. Hi Samantha,

      > Is the exam based on PHP 7 ?
      Yes. Any changes related to PHP 7.x will already be applied in the exam. See for further information. In the exam that I took, there were only about 3 to 5 questions related to PHP 7 features. So I suggest to familiarize yourself.

      > How many total questions and how many hours ?
      The exam is 90 minutes long, 70 questions. (see:

      Good luck on your exam next week! 🙂


  7. It was great writing.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.

    I’m planning to sit for the exam soon.
    I had a doubt want to clear up with you.

    I heard you have to pass on all the topics.
    Is that right?
    Have to score 70% marks on every chapter?

    1. Hi Muntasir,

      Currently, there’s no “sectioning” in the exam as they randomly pick the questions across the topics. So I believe (don’t quote me on this), that regardless if you fail the questions of an entire topic (eg. security), as long as you get a passing score then you will become ZCE. RogueWave does not disclose the passing score so better prepare yourself on all topics.

      God bless on your exam and I’m confident you will pass.


  8. Thanks a lot Ridvan.
    It helps.
    You’re such a kind soul.

    I won’t quote you 🙂
    I’ll take your opinion as an assumption and experience.

    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

    Take Care.

  9. Hello ridvan,

    Thank you very much for your post and congratulations to be certified in Zend.

    Could you please send me your notes for preparing to this exam if you want of course.

    Many Thanks

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