Certification FAQ

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Oracle Certification (OCA, OCP and OCM) FAQ:

Contents

[edit] What companies provide Oracle Certification?

The following companies provide Oracle Certification:

Oracle Corporations Certification is the most widely sought after and recognized of all available certifications. This FAQ will mainly concentrate on Oracle's Certification tracks.
A new kid on the block offering Oracle E-certifications. Their certifications are not officially recognized by Oracle Corporation.
On-line Testing Center with some Oracle tests. However, their certifications are not officially recognized by Oracle Corporation.
  • Chauncey Group International
Chauncey's DBA certification was superseded by Oracle's certification program. Chauncey does not offer any Oracle certifications anymore.

[edit] What official Oracle certification tracks are available?

Oracle Corporation Offers the following Oracle Certification Tracks:

  • Oracle Certified Associate (OCA)
Enables one to act as a junior team member working with database administrators or application developers.
  • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
OCP candidates have proven skills for managing a large scale database or developing robust applications that are deployed enterprise-wide.
  • Oracle Certified Master (OCM)
The highest level credential you can earn in the Oracle Certification Program. These people are senior level members of IT departments and are responsible for handling mission critical database systems and applications.
  • Internet Application Developer (Release 6 or 6i)
Oracle developers using Oracle iDS (Internet Developer Suite) Forms and Reports.
  • Oracle Java Developer (JDEV)
Developers using the Java platform. Oracle participates in the multi-vendor jCert Initiative.

PS: The Oracle Database Operator (DBO) track was discontinued on 31 March, 2002.

[edit] How hard are the exams?

That depends. If you know your stuff, they are quite easy. If you don't, well, they are quite hard. The exams test stuff you really need to know. However, they do add some trick questions as well. Nevertheless, these should not scare you off as they don't count that much anyway.

[edit] What training is required before one can take an exam?

Starting from Oracle 9i Oracle changed the requirements for some certification tracks to include training classes:

OCP - You need to attend one hands-on training class at Oracle University. See Oracle's web site for a list of courses.

OCM - You need to attend two advanced training classes at Oracle University. See Oracle's website for a list of courses.

All other tracks - Generally no courses required. It might be a good idea to attend some relevant courses before taking an exam, but most of the people often do without it.

See section: info about training events/opportunities.

[edit] How do I prepare for the exams?

First step is to go to http://www.oracle.com/education/certification and read the list of objectives per exam. There aren't any questions that don't fit one of those objectives. Make sure you know what's on those objectives.

Note that all the questions are compiled from the official Oracle training guides one gets when attending an Oracle class (Instructor Led Course). It is advisable to get these guides by attending the Oracle training classes before taking any of the exams.

Lastly, use the software and practice. Don't just read about a topic - implement it; break it; then fix it. There's no better way to learn stuff than to fix something you broke yourself.

[edit] Where can one take these exams?

Testing for the Oracle exams is conducted at authorized Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide. Use their on-line Test Center Locator to find the test center closest to you.

NOTE: Oracle switched from Prometric to Pearson VUE in September 2009.

[edit] What is the format of the certification exams?

All exams are closed book exams. No written materials or notebook computers will be allowed in the testing area. All questions are either multiple choice, fill in the missing word or match these against those.

Testing is conducted by Pearson VUE.

When an English test is delivered in a non-English speaking country, the test time might vary from what you see on this site.

[edit] How are exams scored?

It's not like school where you have to get 60% or whatever. Previously all exam were scored on a 200-800 scale, with 620 as the passing score for all exams. With this scaling system, the number of points each question was worth varied between exams, and candidates could not compare their scores across exams.

Oracle has decided to abandon the scaled scores and instead report only the candidates' raw scores.

[edit] Can one (during an exam) skip questions and answer them later in the exam?

Yes, you may mark certain question that you feel are difficult and review them at the end of the exam. After you clicked the submit button, the tool will tell you that you have marked questions and allow you to jump to them. Both marked and unmarked questions will be scored when finally submitting the exam.

[edit] Is it OK to guess answers or are these tests marked negatively?

The Oracle OCP exams are not scored negatively. This means that you can safely guess answers as no points will be deducted for incorrect answers.

It is best to check if you have actually answered ALL questions before completing the exam. If you are running short on time, just click any answer and move on. This way you will at least have a chance to get some of them right.

[edit] Do I have to pass one exam before I can write the next one?

No. You can write any exam in any order. You could even write Admin II, Admin I, SQL in that order if you wanted. They don't follow on one after another, and you get your certificate when you pass all required exams.

[edit] What happens when one fails an exam?

If you fail a test you can re-write it after a minimum of 14 days, provided you do not write a particular test more than three times in a twelve-month period.

After each exam you will receive some diagnostic feedback with the test score report indicating the areas that need further study.

Failing one exam doesn't affect any other exams though. If you fail SQL you can still write Admin I any time you want for example.

There is no discount price for re-taking an exam. The fee is the same as for the initial exam.

[edit] Where can one get sample questions for the Oracle exams?

One can buy test questions from companies like Self Test Software, Transcender and TestKing. However, even if you're not going to buy any, it is still handy to download them as they normally include some free "sample" questions:

Note: You can check if a test provider is legal on the following web address: http://www.certguard.com/search.asp

Books: