This post is for those of you trying to pass the Google Android Associate Developer Certification.
What is it?
According to the description on the developers.google.com website:
“The Google Developers Certification lets you demonstrate your proficiency and skill. After you pass a certification exam, you can use your certification to promote yourself to the communities, projects, and employers that are important to you.
The Associate Android Developer Exam demonstrates the type of skill that an entry-level Android Developer should have as they begin their career. By passing this performance-based exam and earning the Associate Android Developer Certification, you prove that you’re competent and skilled in tasks that a developer typically performs.
When you pass a certification exam, Google stores your certificate, badge, or other digital mark in a central, verifiable location. You can include your digital mark in your email signature and embed it on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.”
What the exam content?
The exam tests basic Android development skills, such as populating a RecyclerView, implementing a ContentProvider or debugging and resolving an Android exception.
A detailed list of exam content is listed on this page.
The exam consists of two parts:
1. A practical coding exam for which you have 24 hours to complete
2. A short 15 minute exit exam after you successfully passed the first part.
How to pass the practical test
For the practical test, I would advise you to definitely give yourself 4 to 8 hours to complete the test. So take a day off work or do the test on the weekends. Although you can probably finish in less time as an advanced developer, you don’t want to be in a position where it’s crunch time and you make a bunch of mistakes. Perhaps you can asked your manager if you can take the test during work time and label it as ‘training’. That worked for me.
In order to prepare for the test, Google offers free training courses on their web site. I would definitely recommend that you follow the courses along in Android Studio. I do not think that you can pass the test without any experience coding in Android Studio.
In addition, I can highly recommend going through the list of Android fundamentals on the site here, and implementing each one to build a kitchen sink-type application. That will also help you as a reference in case you need to implement that functionality during your practical test
The actual practical exam was not that hard. You receive an Android project and have to complete several coding tasks according to requirements, all of them are listed in the exam content. To high-light a few items on the exam content list: implementing a ContentProvider for data storage in a SQLite database, populating a RecyclerView, adding additional pages to the app and saving the UI state when the app goes into the background.
How to pass the exit exam
The exit exam was mostly intended to verify your identity and make sure you are the person that actually completed the practical test. So the interview was performed over Skype and the interviewer asked details about the exam project and a few general high-level questions about Android development that were easy, even for a beginner level Android developer.
Make sure you have a Skype account and test your microphone and web cam before the exam.
I thought this was a very fair, well designed exam. The exam project was well structured, the requirements were clear, and the tasks were pretty easy to accomplish. My advice to you is to really go through the Android fundamentals and practice implementing them. Trying to pass the test without doing your homework is probably possible, but doesn’t help you in the long run.
I wish you good luck passing the test. If you have any questions, contact me using the ‘Contact Me’ page. Below the study guide:
You can find my study guide for the Android ATC 401 exam below. Or contact me and I’ll email you the PDF file.