Few people know, but you can get one free interesting IT Professional Certification without paying a dime. All you need to become a Neo4j Certified Professional is to pass a free online exam with 80 multi-choice questions in one hour max. The passing scoring mark is 80%, so you can get wrong up to 16 questions and still succeed.

Is There Enough Interest in Neo4j?

Neo4j is still by far the most popular graph database, as popular as all other graph DBMSs combined:

Of course, it’s still one of those relatively new NoSQL databases not everybody knows about or uses commercially. But we can say Neo4j is by now a well-established reliable DBMS.

The simple fact you learn about new ways of dealing with data is worth getting a recognition for your skills. Google Trends shows we always had a growing trend for this product, even if for the past 12 months it was rather leveled:

Some interesting things you may learn looking at that Google Trends page:

  • Latest large interest on Neo4j comes from …China.
  • Most notable Neo4j products people were looking in the past few months were the cloud releases on Neo4j Aura and Neo4j Sandbox.
  • One interesting search keyword associated with Neo4j was for ORDER BY. It was interesting indeed because one tricky exam question is whether or not this is a valid Cypher clause.

Neo4j Certification History

The Neo4j Certified Professional program started in Jan 2016, with this public announcement.

Two years later, in Mar 2018, they passed the mark of 1000 Neo4j Certified Professionals.

In May 2020, over five people acquire the Neo4j Certified Professional designation almost every day, on track for over 1000 new certifications this year alone:

I passed my own certification exam not long ago.

You get a confirmation right away, and an automatic subscription to their Community forum, with this new title. You can download a PDF with your certificate, digitally signed by Emil Eifrem, founder of Neo4j:

About the Neo4j Certification Exam

Around 30% of all questions used to be about the Neo4j administration: configuration, monitoring, backup, clustering etc. A lot of the information you’ll find at this time on this exam is obsolete and still refers to those times…

They recently almost completely removed all questions on administration, and tried to make the exam even more attractive, probably with the developers in mind. Main focus now is by far on their Cypher query language, and specific graph data modeling. But you will also get plenty of general questions on their tools, applications, libraries and environment. They simply want to see you worked indeed on their Neo4j platforms.

They will still test you on version 3.x of the platform! Even if Neo4j version 4 has been around for a while (since Jan 2020), and all their online manuals have been updated to this latest version.

Make no mistake, their online certification exam may be free, and you may try and re-try until you pass, indeed. But the exam itself is not a piece of cake, as you must really prepare.

Here are the few reasons why this exam may not be as easy to pass (or pass with a high score):

  • Some exam questions are tricky, with definitions you must learn as such from huge manuals or their courses.
  • About 25% of all questions are multiple selections, and you’ll have no idea if you got all possible choices.
  • Whether you pass or fail, there will be no feedback on what you got right or wrong, besides the overall score and a score per domain (Intro, Developer, Modeling and Cypher).
  • To keep the certification credible and respectable, there is no place on the Internet where you can discuss the questions from this specific exam.
  • You may repeat the exam any times you want, but at some point it’s possible you’ll make the same mistakes again and again, and get a similar result.
  • Your score actually matters, as it appears as such on the issued certificate, that you can later present to employers or customers. And, for people with limited knowledge about this exam, a score in the eighties may not seem good enough.

Resources for Your Neo4j Exam

Neo4j already has some free and great resources to help you prepare for this exam. The best resource by far is their online documentation, split into different chapters or domains.

Their Graph Academy also provides free and interesting courses:

They also recommend and give away for free a few books! That’s great, the book are also not bad at all, but I rather found them useless for this particular exam:

  • Learning Neo4j is six years old, with lots of obsolete material.
  • Graph Databases is another free book, not bad at all and published by O’Reilly, but it’s a 2015 edition.
  • Graph Algorithms is a great new book, also offered for free, but in a different context (it is not required for this exam).

Fast Track Your Neo4j Certification

I recently passed, in just two months, four AWS Certifications exams, with little previous knowledge on cloud computing. I mostly prepared with cheap courses and practice tests from Udemy, or as Kindle books. It was fully worth it!

I was a bit disappointed I found no such practice tests on Udemy or as Kindle books, and I wanted to change this.

If you don’t have enough time, to spend hours and hours on a huge documentation, Neo4j courses or free books… Or if you want to improve your passing score, by looking closer at gotcha exam questions and understanding specific question types… I may have something different for you: for just around $10 US each, I can offer you now:

A brand new Neo4j Certified Professional – Practice Exams course on Udemy, with 160 total questions – with detailed answers and explanations – closely emulating the ones from the real exam.

A brand new Neo4j Certified Professional – Exam Practice Tests ebook on Amazon, with the same 160 total questions in Kindle format.

I hope any of them may help you either pass the exam. Or get a higher score, to look better on your certificate. Good luck!

Categories: Databases

Cristian Scutaru

I designed and implemented the Data Xtractor suite, with Model Xtractor, Query Xtractor, and Visual Xtractor as separate modules. I am a software architect and developer with over 30 years professional experience. I’ve been working with relational databases for almost three decades and I was constantly unhappy with the relative limitation of those tools used to connect directly to a platform, and instantly extract and display data in flexible ways.