I wonder if beta tests are generally more complex and hence more difficult to pass then regular OCP new feature certifications.
Since the beta exam can only be taken once, I also wonder what happens if I fail on the first attempt.
It seems to me the beta program is only available at Oracle University and cannot be obtained at any other training centers, e.g. in India. Is this correct?
Since I will have to pay for this from my own wallet I was wondering if I could purchase the Oracle University training material without attending the course. Is this possible?
Answering the above four questions:
1. Beta exams aren't more complex exactly, but they contain many more questions and therefore take longer to complete. They can also have errors (it is a beta after all) that can cause confusion. I talk about Oracle bets tests in a blog post here:
2. You don't get your score at the end of the exam like production tests. You won't get it for about eleven weeks *after* the beta has ended. This is why you can only take it once. If you fail the bets, you can take the production exam just as you would if you failed the production exam on the first attempt.
3. The training is unlikely to be available anywhere except at Oracle. My (limited) understanding is that non-Oracle training centers either purchase the material or pay royalties to Oracle in order to be able to teach Oracle curriculum. They tend to lag behind OU by a release or two. A lot of the centers in India were still teaching Oracle 9i courses. I don't know if that is because the material required cheaper royalties or if there was a one-time fee and they had not paid for newer releases. Regardless, seeing bleeding-edge classes at WDP providers is unlikely.
4. Oracle does not sell their material without the course. The closest thing to that is their self-paced CDs. I don't know if they have one for the 12c new features yet, but the cost of the CDs is very nearly that of their training-on-demand.
I think that the beta exam itself is not going to be any real advantage in terms of passing the exam...
I'm not sure what you mean. The beta *is* the exam (at least until the production version arrives). Passing the beta means passing the exam. The primary advantages to taking the beta are:
- Much lower fee than the production exam.
- You get to see all the questions (useful if you have to retake the exam)
Sorry I guess I could have explained it better. What I was thinking is that the price advantage of taking the beta exam is relatively ineffective or unimportant considering the overall cost of the course and chance to fail the exam. I'm not sure how seeing all questions is really going to be helpful when preparing to retake the exam. Maybe if someone just wants to take the exam... But I do not have that kind of photographic memory and when the exam is over, I'm usually exhausted and may only remember a few questions and those are not necessarily the ones I have been struggling with.
I'm not sure how seeing all questions is really going to be helpful when preparing to retake the exam. ...
But I do not have that kind of photographic memory and when the exam is over, I'm usually exhausted and may only remember a few questions
I wrote two more articles that discuss how to help you remember the questions that you need to work on. That said, the suggestions don't work quite as well on beta exams because you don't get feedback on the topics you missed until many weeks after the exam.
...when the exam is over, I'm usually exhausted ...
In that case, you would probably dislike betas a great deal. They have 2-3 times as many questions as the production exam. I don't know if you read my article from the first post about beta exams, but this was why my first experience with them has (up to now) been my last.
First of all, you don't have to attend the course if you don't want to. You can prepare for the beta exam from Oracle documentation (it's public and free). As far as attending course(s) goes, I don't know situation in India, but in Serbia you can schedule / attend classes for DB 12c (including New Features course) in at least 2 Oracle Approved Education Providers.
You take beta exams at Pearson Vue test center, same as production exams. The difference is that beta has more questions and usually less time per question. Also, majority of the questions will not be scored, because they will not be selected for the production exam.
...Also, majority of the questions will not be scored, because they will not be selected for the production exam.
It is incorrect to say that the majority of questions will not be scored or selected for the production exam. A number of the questions will not be scored because there is some problem with them. That problem might be corrected post-beta and the question still included on the production exam. Some questions on the beta (a small minority) will be thrown out entirely. However, the production exams do not all have the same set of questions. The beta might start with 200 questions, end up tossing 20 and end up with 180 production-grade questions. The production exams might have 75 questions that are pulled from the possible 180 that remain.