Have you taken the Neo4j certification exam and failed? Have you studied but been too nervous to take the plunge and start the exam? Or have you simply thought you’ll get around to it at some point and haven’t found time?
In this post, I want to highlight key study points and resources to focus on in order to help you study and pass the Neo4j Certification exam. This stems from my own experiences studying for the exam and things that I wish I’d known before I took the test.
First, the exam is completely free of charge and allows anyone to take (and retake) the exam as many times as needed in order to pass. Didn’t pass the first time? No worries. Simply study up on a few more things and try again. No one except for those internal Neo4j employees monitoring exam results will ever know how many times you failed before passing. ;)
If you’re a nervous test-taker and feel panic each time before a test, I would even recommend studying well and going through the exam once, simply to get a feel for the test and the time. If you pass, great. If not, you got the nerves out of the way and have a good starting point for further study and test content.
Oh, yes, there is a time limit. But, have no fear. The test gives you an hour to complete 80 questions (approximately 45 seconds per question). If you have extra time at the end, you can also go back and review your answers to any of the 80 questions you are unsure of.
The scoring is simply Pass or Fail, and you simply need to get 80% of the questions correct to pass. That means each question is roughly worth 1.25 points. However, some questions ask you to check “all that apply”, so those questions would be further divided by the number of correct answers (which varies).
Again, you don’t need to stress about this too much. The way I like to think of it is that the more pieces to an answer means that your probability of choosing a correct piece increases. Any portion of a point still counts, after all! :)
Now, the section you’ve probably been waiting for — what to study. For good, starter on-boarding material, you can visit the Neo4j developer pages that give an introduction to the Neo4j graph database, Cypher query language, data modeling, data import/visualization, drivers and language guides, and other integrations and resources.
The bulk of the test questions are pulled from both of those manuals. Within those two places, I would spend extra time and focus on the Cypher section in the Developer Manual and the Clustering section in the Operations Manual.
Cypher functions and examples are common questions on the exam. Knowing how to read different syntax and phrases will help you answer questions, even if you are not a wizard at the language. There are several questions that give a Cypher statement and ask you to pick which answer has the correct return results.
On the operations side, questions on clustering and backups are interspersed with an occasional one on permissions or configuration. You can expect a few on read/write transactions and routing in a cluster, as well as a couple on roles and logging.
General questions about the graph database model and components are also important to understand for some questions and as a foundation for much of the other material. Overall, there is a good mix across topics. While you don’t need to know the manuals cover-to-cover, I would understand key points and concepts, as well as make notes of a few smaller points.
Other Ways to Study
If you’re not much of a reader, I still recommend reviewing the manuals, but you can break that up with some visual resources. The Getting Started Course gives an introduction to Neo4j graph database and Cypher.
There are also some introduction videos on the Neo4j YouTube channel that review the basics of graphs and the property graph model, as well as some Cypher.
The Neo4j Certification page also has some great links and FAQ. This is also where you go when you’re ready to take the exam. Simply click on the “Sign In” button on the right side and fill out a couple of info fields. This will take you to an entry screen. From there, you can start the exam.
Once you study and pass the exam (no matter the retakes), be sure to post somewhere on social media so that Neo4j can celebrate with you and add the title/certification to your resume! You will also get shipped an awesome “Neo4j Certified Developer” t-shirt.
Plus, you will get added to our Knowledge Graph as a certified developer and become part of our graph! Any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Neo4j team and best of luck studying and becoming a Neo4j Certified Developer!