While I have been working with F5 products for many years and have helped with certification material, I myself have never held an F5 certification. The change in job necessitated acquiring the F5-CTS LTM within the next few months so the dash to certification has begun and I will catalog my experiences here. This article will be the F5 certification program overview.
Please do note this is not a detailed study guide nor will I be discussing any protected material for the test itself.
Registering for F5 Certification
I would start by reviewing the overview of each F5 certification on F5’s website. If you already have technical certifications then this process will not be much different than other programs such as CompTIA or Cisco.
You will start by registering as an F5 candidate in the candidate portal. There is also a certification landing page that provides the certification road map, prerequisites, and required tests.
Once you have registered in the candidate portal you will become eligible to attempt the F5 101 exam. This is the starting point for all F5 certification paths.
Official Exam Preparation Resources
Like many other certification programs F5 does have Blueprints and Study Guides available that serve a baseline for preparation. There are also free online courses available to help you learn the platform as well as paid training courses that are more in-depth. Finally there are official practice exams that can be taken for a fee.
3rd Party Exam Preparation Resources
As with any other certification program there are non F5 preparation materials that you can leverage to prepare yourself for the exams. These include courses from providers such as Udemy or video courses such as CBT Nuggets.
However, be aware that these resources are not official material they may not cover all facets of the test. That being said most of the instructors from the well known providers are generally very proficient in their fields of study and provide good instruction.
If you do prefer video instruction then you may want to look at Udemy over CBT because you don’t have to pay for a subscription. You only pay for the specific course.
Lastly there are also many good resources available to cover a particular topic on F5’s DevCentral, as a support article, or as part of the product manuals. All of these resources are free, but some of them may require the creation of a free F5 account. It is also wise to consult any RFC’s that may be of importance or supplemental training material over a topic such as TCP or HTTP.
Scheduling the Exam
Once you are ready to take an F5 Networks Certification Exam you will need to schedule this via Pearson Vue. The details for creation of your Pearson Vue account will be provided once you have completed the candidate registration. Do note that F5 requires enhanced testing security so your testing center options may be limited.
Taking the Exam
I generally recommend that you arrive at the testing location at-least 15 minutes before your exam starts as you will have to review examination rules, provide ID, and follow other procedures as instructed by the testing proctors.
Once all of the red tape is satisfied you will be seated at a testing computer and can begin your exam. The test themselves are fairly straight forward involving a variety of questions over your knowledge (If you’ve taken a practice test or other certification then this will be very familiar).
Once you’ve completed your test you will be lead out and given a preliminary print out with your pass/fail status. Assuming no issues within 72 hours you should have a final verdict along with a report available in the F5 certification portal.