Guidelines for writing objectives for the BSD Professional exam

Each topic should contain basic and advanced information to help candidates for the BSD Professional Certification prepare for the exam. Recall that the candidates for this exam are assumed to be senior administrators with several years experience. The objective should answer: "What would I expect a senior BSD system admin to know and be able to demonstrate about this topic?"

Use the guidelines below. See the example objective at the end of this section.

  • The Importance and Frequency metrics are taken from the Job Task Analysis and should not be changed. Bloom types are described here and the possible types for the BSDP exam are K (knowledge), C (comprehension), and A (application).

  • Each Concept section should clearly describe the topic and may provide some reference information, examples or additional information. Comments should be preceded by your name and be on the same line as the Concept so they are available for discussion.

  • Each Practical section should identify relevant commands, files, or procedures used to accomplish the required tasks. If possible, use this section to describe a hands-on activity or practice exercise.

  • The Estimated Time should be enough to cover the entire hands-on activity from start to finish with a little extra thrown in. The idea here is to provide an estimate for BSDP candidates to use when practicing for the hands-on lab portion of the exam.

  • If possible, content should be generic for all four main BSDs referred to in the Introduction. If appropriate it should cover a specific OS for some specific features. (The technical reviewers can help the authors with details for other BSDs.)

Keep the following points in mind when reviewing the objectives:

  • The BSDP is BSD-agnostic. This means that an objective must either apply to all of the BSDs or, for those objectives that are specific to a BSD, an alternate question or lab scenario with equal weighting is available on the exam. Please comment in the Concept section if the objective does not apply to all BSDs.

  • The BSDP is application-agnostic, meaning the BSDP candidate is free to choose from the tools available to complete a given task. Available tools will include the commands built-in to the operating system as well as a pool of common applications from the packages and pkgsrc collections. If a tool you would use to complete an objective is missing from the Practical section, add it. This will help us to provide as many tools as possible during the exam.

  • Please comment in the Estimated Time section if you feel the time is unrealistic or that the objective is not well suited to a lab scenario. This will help us in determining the length of the lab portion of the exam and the number of scenarios that are possible in that given time frame.

Use these additional style guidelines:

  • This wiki is written using a variant of the Markdown wiki language. See the style guide for additional information about formatting.

  • Keep the concept section brief- 2 or at max 3 paragraphs to describe the required activity.

  • Use the plural form for candidates whenever possible. For example "BSDP candidates must/should ..."

  • Try not to provide "exact answers". The goal is to describe one or more ways to accomplish a task, not give a specific answer.

  • BSDP candidates will already be familiar with general and introductory materials and concepts. Don't spend a lot of time explaining the topic.

  • Anyone can re-use the content for any purpose as allowed with the BSD license.

Example Objective: This is an example of a concise, well written objective.

Search for patterns in logfiles using regular expressions.

Importance: 4.1, Frequency: 3.3


BSDP candidates must be able to use regular expressions (Unix or perl compatible) to search for specific patterns in logfiles. BSDP candidates should also be able to automate this task to search for a list of patterns. Note that patterns may be in text or binary form, and output may be in text or binary form.


re_format(7), grep(1) and grep variants, sed(1)

Estimated Time:

10 minutes