The Blog from the DBA Classroom

By: Joel Goodman

Oracle DBA Certification Upgrades its Upgrade!

Posted by Joel Goodman on 16/09/2014

In a recent post on Oracle Certifications, Matthew Morris  discussed the new DBA OCA to OCP Upgrade exams in his post on Release Jumping. 

His post is thorough in explaining the benefits of jumping from Oracle 9i, or 10g or 11g OCA to 12c OCP, or from 9i OCA or 10g OCA to 11g OCP in a single exam, whilst at the same time explaining that the jump exams are longer, somewhat more difficult and result in only a single certification. 

I mainly agree with this excellent post but would like to discuss the points that are described as being on the “Negative Side” in the post:

  1. Size – It should be expected that an exam spanning technology from multiple releases would contain more items than a conventional upgrade exam that spans a single release.  It was not the intention that a candidate would prep less than for a single exam, only that The Oracle Certification Team provide a single exam rather than requiring two exams. A candidate must still demonstrate that they have the knowledge or skill and it is therefore not a “negative” in my view, but an expected consequence of having a single exam covering multiple releases. Never the less, Matthew is 100% correct in pointing out that the candidate must dedicate more prep time for either of the jump exams than they might for a single exam.
  2. Return – If a candidate simply wants 12c OCP, then this is not a problem at all, I don’t know how many upgrade candidates might wish to have both 11g OCP and 12c OCP, or perhaps even 10g OCP through 12c OCP, but 10g certifications are old now and when someone has OCP at a later release (12c for example) it usually implies that they are capable of administering Oracle databases at an earlier version, Since the exam contains items on the earlier releases, it can be argued that the OCP at the later release implies that the candidate is also capable at the earlier release. Since I was involved in the exam blueprints, where we define the requirements, I know that people passing this exam will be skillful in administering all the releases to which the exam relates.
  3. Difficulty – The difficulty of the exam stems from the same thing as the increased size. The exams are not more difficult per se, than any of the traditional cross release upgrade exams. The items are written the same way and to the same standards. The exam is only more difficult in the sense that it covers more skills, and is longer, and therefore requires more preparation. It is however not more difficult than sitting two separate exams which would be the alternative upgrade path. But as in the case of size discussed earlier Matthew is correct to point out the challenge facing the candidate in preparing for either exam iz0-034 or izo-067.

Matthew’s discussion of the positive side is mainly accurate in my view, but does contain one curious statement. Under the heading of Time, it states that “…the fact that you can focus on a single exam has the potential to reduce the time spent preparing. But in the “Negative Side” section in the Size section it states that ” Candidates that try to get by with their standard prep time are likely to find themselves in deep trouble on test day.” And under the Difficulty section it states ” This means that certification candidates need to be extra vigilant in preparing for them.” These statements seem to be contradictory – on the one had stating that one might be able to spend less time preparing but on the other, saying that they might be in trouble if they do. 

In my view, the candidate must prepare properly and should not expect that they can reduce the amount of time spent in doing so.

I hope that Matthew’s post is useful and that this review helps to clarify the situation regarding these exams.


London 09/2014




5 Responses to “Oracle DBA Certification Upgrades its Upgrade!”

  1. Derek:

    I didn’t mention the training requirement in my article because the intent was to point out differences between the legacy cross-release OCA-OCP upgrade paths and those provided by the 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067 exams. The training requirement between the options is identical for a given release regardless of the path chosen. People who want to become an 11g or 12c OCP must take training that is acceptable to OU for that release regardless of the two-test option or the new exams.

    The article was also not really about whether it was better to upgrade to 11g vs 12c, but rather the pros and cons of the legacy and new paths for a cross-release OCA-to-OCP transition regardless of the end release. The specific scenario that you suggest *would* make the 11g OCP upgrade more attractive. However, I submit that people who have taken 11g training acceptable for the OCP hands-on requirement, and who *want* to get their Oracle OCP DBA, but who have not yet done so are probably few and far between. In addition, the benefit comes not because of any aspect of the exams in question, but rather because of something specific to the certification candidate.

  2. Joel:

    No. I don’t plan to create a blog post just about possibility that someone might misread those points. I have re-read the full post. While I see how is is possible to take the two sentences you have out of context and make them appear contradictory, I don’t think that it will be a common occurance. In particular, the sentences preceding the one you pulled out of the ‘Negative’ points make it clear that I am referring to one-for-one test prep times: “Exam candidates must be prepared to invest more time than they normally would for a single exam. If you typically allocate six weeks to prepare for a single exam, then you should plan to invest at least nine to ten weeks for these. Candidates that try to get by with their standard prep time are likely to find themselves in deep trouble on test day.”

    The lead-in for the ‘Positive’ section explicitly references the fact that benefits mainly come from the fact that only as single exam is required rather than two: “As the grid shows, the traditional cross-release upgrade paths all require two exams. Most of the advantages of taking either 1Z0-034 or 1Z0-067 stem from consolidation to a single exam.” That plus an earlier portion of the sentence that you excerpted indicates that I am comparing the prep time for two exams to the prep time for a single exam (preceding text in brackets): “…[more topics than either of the individual exams in the legacy upgrade paths,] the fact that you can focus on a single exam has the potential to reduce the time spent preparing.”

    Given what you pointed out, if I could go back in time, I’d change the ‘Positive’ sentence to read (new text in brackets): “While both 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067 contain more topics than either of the individual exams in the legacy upgrade paths, the fact that you can focus on a single exam [rather than two] has the potential to reduce the [total] time spent preparing.” Absent a flux capacitor, I’ll hope that most people parsed the meaning I intended from the text.

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