PHP Coding Specialist Certification

The PHP Coding Specialist Certification Exam is designed to assess the proficiency of candidates in PHP programming. The exam covers a broad range of topics, including basic grammar, variable declarations, data types, and literals, as well as PHP operators and expressions. Candidates will be evaluated on their knowledge of control flow, loops, iterations, error handling, and debugging, as well as functions, classes, and objects in PHP. They will also be tested on their knowledge of sessions, strings, REGEX, runtime error handling, file resources, and database access. In addition, the exam covers design patterns, PEAR, cURL, and web services.

What are the benefits of getting a PHP Certification?

The PHP Coding Specialist is a globally-recognized industry certification on PHP programming, which grants coding specialists, software developers or engineers, game developers and IT professionals the ability to assess their knowledge and get credentials for their programming skills.

The unique peculiarity of the PHP Coding Specialist Certification is the assessment modality, which consists of a real live coding environment, offers candidates the ability to write proper code to perform tasks-based questions. This technology is called LITA (Live in the Application) and Knowledge Pillars is one of the very few organizations able to provide this very advanced assessment solution.

PHP is a server scripting language, and a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages.

Exam Details

Number of questions: 35

Time limit: 50 minutes

Passing score: 75%

Format: Linear and Live-in-the-App

The examination procedure
The students will have to answer all the question within the given timeframe.

They are free to ignore as many questions as they want. They will have the option to flag the questions and then review them at the end of the test (within the 50 minutes timeframe). All unanswered questions will be marked as incorrect. When the test finishes the result of the examination is sent to KP’s server for storing. Exam results are sent to candidates within 72 hours.

Exam Objective Domains

It is recommended that candidates have at least 150 hours of instruction or hands-on experience with PHP programming language before taking this exam.

This exam validates the candidate’s ability to recognize and write syntactically correct PHP code, use data types supported by PHP, and be able to recognize and write PHP code that will logically solve a given problem.

Candidates should also be familiar with PHP features and capabilities, and understand how to write, debug, and maintain well-formed, well-documented PHP code.

Skills Measured:

  1. Basic grammar, variable declarations, data types and literals
  2. PHP operators and expressions
  3. Control flow, loops, iterations, error handling and debugging
  4. Functions in PHP
  5. Classes and objects in PHP
  6. Sessions
  7. Strings, REGEX, Runtime Error Handling and File Resources
  8. Database Access, Design Patterns, PEAR and cURL
  9. Web Services

  1. Basic grammar, variable declarations, data types and literals 
  • PHP basics

Introduction to PHP;  PHP syntax; PHP file;

  • PHP variables and variable declaration

Variables; Creating and declaring variables; Variable scope; Global variables; Constants;

  • PHP data structures and types

PHP Data Types: String, Integer, Float/Double, Boolean, Array, Object, NULL, Resource

  • PHP literals

Array literals; Boolean literals; Floating-point literals; Numeric literals; Object literals; RegExp literals; String literals

  1. PHP operators and expressions
  • Operator groups

Arithmetic, Assignment, Comparison, Increment/Decrement, Logical, String, Array, Conditional assignment

  • Expressions

Simple and complex expressions

  1. Control flow, loops, iterations, error handling and debugging


  • Control flow statement

Conditional statement: if…else, switch

  • Loops and iterations statements

for statement; foreach statement; while statement; do…while statement;  continue and break statements

  • Errors and Exception handling statement

Throwing an Exception; try…catch statement; try…catch…finally statement; The Exception Object;

  • Debugging

Dumping variables to stdout; Switching error reporting level;

  1. Functions in PHP
  • Built-in Functions

Calling built-in functions

  • User Defined Functions

Create and call user defined functions; Standard function type; Declaring function type with colon (:)

  • Function Arguments

Default value arguments; Loosely typed arguments; Strict type arguments;

5. Classes and objects in PHP

  • Classes

How to create and use class; Class properties and methods; Class types; Interfaces; Namespaces; Traits;

  • Objects

Object types; Object usage;

6. Sessions

  • PHP Session Mechanism

7. Strings, REGEX, Runtime Error Handling and File Resources

  • String Manipulation and Regular Expressions

Syntax; Character Classes; Repetition Quantifiers; Pattern Modifiers;

  • Manipulating Files with PHP

File system handler; Concept of streams; Retrieving file contents and writing to file;

8. Database Access, Design Patterns, PEAR and cURL

  • Database Access and Storage
  • Design Patterns

Factory Pattern; Adapter Pattern; Singleton Pattern; Observer Pattern; Decorator Pattern; Dependency Injections;

  • PHP Extension and Application Repository
  • Client URL

cURL initialization; cURL options for the transfer;  cURL session executing; cURL session finish;

9. Web Services

  • Simple Object Access Protocol

SOAP building blocks and message structure; The SoapClient class

  • Representational state transfer

RESTful web services; RESTful applications; REST API

Participating in BETA Exams

A critical part of the exam development process is the beta exam. By taking the exam in its beta format, candidates provide us with useful information to evaluate the technical accuracy, relevance, and psychometric characteristics of the questions before we score examinees.

Get 80% off the CSCS beta exam. If you take the beta exam, Knowledge Pillars will send a 25% discount voucher to the same email that you use to register for exams AFTER the beta exam has been scored. You can apply that voucher to your next Knowledge Pillars exam registration. 

Note Participation in the beta is on a first come, first served basis. Due to popular demand, we recommend that you register as soon as the beta registration period begins. 

Candidates located in China, India, Pakistan, or Turkey are not eligible to participate in beta exams for security reasons.

Preparing for a beta exam

You will have access to the Exam Details page that lists the skills that will be assessed on the exam. Knowledge Pillars does not currently offer training materials for its exams.

People interested in beta exams usually have access to other resources, are experienced with the technology, or work with the beta product. We recommend that you consult peers, community resources, and early-adopter articles for support if you need additional preparation materials.

Beta exam scoring and results

When you complete a beta exam, you do not receive a score immediately because the scoring model for the exam is not yet finalized.

You usually receive your exam score within 2-3 weeks after the exam becomes available worldwide—this can be up to 16 weeks after you take the exam, depending on when in the beta period you took the exam. This time frame reflects the comprehensive process used to evaluate the beta exam results, including statistically analyzing the data to evaluate the performance of each question and reading and evaluating all comments provided during the beta exam. The rescore process starts on the day that exams go live, and final scores are released approximately 10 days later.

Note Participation in beta exams is voluntary, and Knowledge Pillars makes no promises or guarantees regarding the beta exam process, availability of your scores, or the timing of your results. Generally online proctored exam results are presented within 72 hours.

Passing the beta exam

Passing a beta exam in your certification exam counts toward your transcript. You do not need to retake the exam in its final version and you will receive a digital badge as confirmation of your passing score. Make sure that you take another exam within a year so you can take advantage of the 25% discount you earned for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program.

If you do not pass the beta exam, you cannot retake the beta exam. If you are interested in earning a certification that requires successful completion of that exam, you must wait to retake the exam at regular cost when it’s live, or you can apply the 25% discount that you received for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program.

Technical Requirements

The minimum system requirements are:

  • Operating system: Windows 7/8/10 OS, MacOS X 10.0x or newer, Linux OS
  • Minimum RAM: 1GB or more depending on the Operating System
  • Minimum processor: 1.0 Ghz or more depending on the operating system and the architecture
  • A color monitor with minimum display resolution: 1366px by 768px
  • Internet access
  • The latest version of the Chrome browser
  • Automatic updates, notifications, other popup windows, and anything that can disrupt the examination process should be disabled

PHP Coding Specialist

Number of questions: 35
Time limit 50 minutes
Passing score 75%
Format Linear and In-App
Practice Test Yes 


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