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Fresh from passing the ACP-200 (Confluence Admin)
So today I pased ACP-200 (thankfully for the first time)!
Hopefully this helps others in the same boat who are trying to work out whether they should take it or not. So while it's fresh...
My Confluence Experience
Used Confluence for basic documentation (and not much macro usage) for eight years
Been a Confluence Admin for one year, and in this time I've made the instance global as our firm's intranet, so I worked a lot on user directories; site, space and page permission; look and feel (albeit with a plugin)
So I felt I had enough background on the application to give the exam a whirl
The Atlassian Prep Course
Sorry Atlassian, as much as I love you, the prep course is really overpriced -- it's good, but it should simply be given for free when you sign up to the exam (it's a 4-hour video). If you provided some sample questions (well, quite a few), it would be more valuable. But as it is, I felt the prep course was weak.
Reading the exam syllabus & sample questions
Essential! I used the syllabus and example case studies to cross-check what I knew (i.e. could I answer all the questions)
The sample questions, while only a handful, give you a really good idea for the tone of the exam
I saved down the PDF export of the Confluence guide (1,008 pages) and read it. About 25%-35% of it I skipped through, as it goes into a level beyond the exam (i.e. where you change config files and go outside of the 'clickable' Confluence UI). For me it was helpful to read through, if a little dry (and you do learn valuable information, so it's not a waste of time)
In my preparation I made sure to use every Atlassian-made Macro that comes as part of Confluence. The best bit about that is it has really helped me improve my firm's Confluence site! I hadn't come across the Page Properties and Page Properties Report Macro until I started studying -- now I'm using these everywhere (they're brilliant!). Likewise, I realised that I'd misunderstood the Excerpt macro and several other ones, so the revision has really helped me. You'll probably fail the exam if you don't get a handle on all the macros -- especially the ones that contain labels.
Similarly, I made sure to click everywhere in the Confluence instance and go through all the admin menus, asking myself: why does this exist and how do I understand / change it? Again, it's surprising how much you learn and find out (for instance, our caches were in a bit of a state, which I only found out about through studying).
I also paid attention to Space and Page restrictions, as well as exporting / importing topics (the exam likes bringing these up).
I live for the daily updates: I've got a wide net of topics I am interested in, and I do my best to read a few each day (as well as test my own knowledge by trying to provide solutions -- you really test your understanding of something when you try to explain it to others).
The Exam Itself
There is no BS
Atlassian really follows its values. It's so refreshing to take an exam that tests you on your knowledge and not your ability to remember the specific wording. In fact, there was one question where I thought they were being persnickety with wording but when I got back, I realised they weren't.
Three hours is a good amount of time
I had 73 questions and completed a run-through of them in 2 hours -- all the way through I'd written down which ones I thought I knew 100%, which ones were 50/50 and which ones I was clueless on. I then prioritised the next 40 mins first reviewing the 50/50 questions, and then the ones I was clueless on. Wrapped up the exam with 2 hours 40 on the clock.
Labels is where I probably lost my most points
I completely blanked on whether labels were case-sensitive or not, and quite a few questions circled back on what is wrong with macros that use labels. Become an expert in labels and all macros that use labels -- learn by doing.