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Acquia certification "To be or not to be". My experience

Dec 9, 2021
Acquia Certification Program

I want to start from the end. In general, it was not easy for me, but I did it and therefore this certificate is a desired achievement. 

I have about 6 years of experience with Drupal and already had some experience with the Acquia service. I heard about the certificate but never thought about taking the exam until recently. Why did I decide to take it? Really good question.

Thinking about this, I can think of two main reasons.


  1. Confirm your skills and knowledge of a Drupal developer in the field of Front end development (Theming).
  2. Increase my value as a Drupal developer.


Let's talk about each of them.

Confirm your skills and knowledge of a Drupal developer in the field of Front end development (Theming).


I think that every developer thought about how well he knows Drupal and how he can test his knowledge. Taking this exam is a good chance to check it out. On the other hand, we can say that this is similar to an IQ test. If you want to prove your Drupal skills, just take the exam and get certified.

Increase my value as a Drupal developer


Speaking about this reason for passing the exam, I can say that some clients are pleased and even important to know that they are working with a developer who has confirmation of his professional skills and knowledge. Your value as a Drupal developer will increase when you receive your Acquia certification.

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The technical side of the exam

According to site

Exam Name: Acquia Certified Front End Specialist - Drupal 9

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Price: $300

Exam length: 60 questions

Pass/Fail mark: 68%



This exam validates a candidate’s ability to:

  • Design, develop and deploy Drupal 9 based solutions focusing on the front end
  • Understand the core Drupal 9 basic architecture and best practices for site building and theme development
  • Develop and implement new Drupal 9 themes
  • Customize and extend existing Drupal 9 themes

The basic knowledge and skills required include the following areas and objective components.

  • Professional experience using Drupal 9 technology
  • Setup and configuration of Drupal 9 sites
  • Develop new or customize existing themes: knowledge of existing themes, HTML, CSS, JavaScript/jQuery

So, as you can see, to pass the exam you have to have quite a good knowledge of each of these topics. 


The table below lists the domains measured by this examination and the extent to which they are represented.


Domain Percentage of Questions
1.0 Fundamental Web Development Concepts 25%
2.0 Theming Concepts 25%
3.0 Templates and Pre-process functions 25%
4.0 Layout Configuration 15%
5.0 Performance 5%
6.0 Security 5%
TOTAL 100%

Test Format

Test item formats used in this examination are:

  • Multiple-choice: Examinee selects one option that best answers the question or completes a statement.  

  • Multiple-response: Examinee selects more than one option that best answers the question or completes a statement. 

The full info about each exam you can find on the exam info page on


Before preparing for the exam, I searched the Internet for any information on how to better prepare. 

For me, I can highlight these resources:

  1. - this resource has study guides for each type of certificate.
    For me, it was the most resourceful service in preparation. I think 50% of my success belongs to - Acquia Certified Front End Specialist - Drupal 9
  1. - I believe that without mentioning the main site, every Drupal developer cannot pass this exam. All drupal functions are described in detail, and here you will find answers to most of your questions.
  2. Drupal 8 Certification Study Guide - found on GitHub very useful study guide.
  3. Study Guide: Acquia Certified Drupal 8 Front End Specialist Exam - another useful resource by Acquia Academy.
  4. Five Steps to Get Ready for the Acquia Certified Developer Exam - this very useful article about getting ready for the exam.
  5. - this youtube channel will be helpful for Russian-speaking front end developers. This guy has powerful skills and he has great teaching videos in front end development (HTML, CSS, JS, etc.)
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My Experience

I had two attempts. My first attempt failed. I got 56.66% of the overall score and it wasn't enough. I needed to score at least 68%. To be honest, I was disappointed. It seemed to me that I did not know anything about Drupal, although I have about 6 years of experience. Quite a few questions on the exam are based on your work experience, and if you do not come across them in your projects, then most likely you will not answer correctly. Luckily I had a second try. It is worth noting that there is a 14-day waiting period for retaking the exam.

I analyzed what I needed to strengthen my knowledge and prepared diligently for the retake of the exam. A month and a half later, I registered for the exam again. This time I felt much more confident than the first time. My preparation effort paid off and I passed the exam on the second try, getting the percentage of correct answers to achieve the desired certification. I was so excited and happy at that moment, and even now I am proud to have done it.

My recommendations
  1. Relax and don't rush on exam. This increases your chance to pass the exam if you will not feel stressed.
  2. During the exam, you will have the opportunity to postpone answering a question if you do not know the exact answer. First of all, answer those questions in which you are confident that you know the correct answer 100%.
  3. Read questions carefully. If you don't understand the question then read it again.
  4. The day before the exam, try to relax and do not think much about it. Believe me, unnecessary excitement only hurts you.

I started this post with the end in mind and can only confirm that it wasn't easy for me, but it was worth it. The price of the exam is quite expensive ($300), and not everyone is willing and able to pay that much for this certificate. In my case, I paid twice, which increased the price even more. One thing that I forgot to say, there are "No FREE retakes. Each exam retake needs to be fully paid". And so, when you decide to get a certificate, be sure of your intentions and prepare as best you can. I have now validated my knowledge and skills in Acquia and know that it is valued in the Drupal world.

Acquia Certified Front End Specialist - Drupal 9

Prof of Accreditation