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Re[2]: OCP question from Boson practice tests

From: Jonathan Gennick <>
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 07:24:25 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:39:25 AM, Prem Khanna J ( wrote: PKJ> Many a thanx for both of your replies . PKJ> All my worry is : do such questions appear in the real exams also ?

I think you've hit on something key here, and that is that practice exams may not be reflective of the real thing.

One of my secrets for taking the OCP exams is that you can sometimes play off one question against another. Sometimes the answer to one question is part of another question. Consider, just by way of example:

  1. Which view gives you the number of blocks in a segment?
Ok, say that you don't know. Just wait for awhile, and plan to come back that question later, because later you might run into the following:

47. How any rows will one table have in DBA_SEGMENTS? ..

The answers to question 47 don't matter here. What's important here is that the answer to question 47 gives away the answer to question 1. Now these are just example questions that I made up off the top of my head, but you get the idea. In my own actual exam taking, I've several times gotten clues to, or even answers to, questions that I couldn't immediately answer by reading other questions in the exam.

Ok. I've given away my secret. Now the whole world knows: I'm only good at taking tests<grin>.

Something else I've found valuable is a good knowledge of Oracle's architecture. If you know how Oracle is put together, and how the different processes work, you can often make intelligent guesses. For example (maybe not a perfect example):

37. You created a table and specified INITIAL 65000, yet your initial extent is actually 65536 bytes long. Why is that?

  1. Oracle rounds up to the next power of 2.
  2. The tablespace actually had 65536 bytes available, so Oracle allocated all available space.
  3. Oracle's lowest unit of space allocation is the block, and it took 8 8KB blocks to cover the space you asked for.
  4. Oracle always allocates at least enough 64KB chunks to cover the space that you ask for.

To my neighbor, who knows nothing about Oracle, all these answers might seem plausible. But if you understand Oracle's architecture, including the concepts of blocks, segments, extents, tablespaces, and so forth, that knowledge might be just enough to help you zero in on the correct answer.

I'm not sure this last was the best example I could have come up with, but all that aside, understanding the architecture has helped me a great deal in eliminating spurious answers to questions. Maybe, out of four answers to a question I didn't know, I could only eliminate two answers for architectural reasons, but even doing that increases my odds from guessing from 25% to 50%.

Best regards,

Jonathan Gennick --- Brighten the corner where you are * 906.387.1698 *

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Author: Jonathan Gennick

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