Today I took my scheduled exam for the Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate certificate and here is my review.
My background is 17+ yrs as an Oracle Developer (front-end/back-end using Oracle Developer/2000, Forms/Reports, Fusion Middleware, SQL, PL/SQL, SQL+, SQL* Loader) on both Windows, Unix/Linux environment. I've always put off on getting certifications because my work experience and interviewing well always have gotten me jobs, but last year I decided to start and my first one was Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert. My studying and preparing and taking that exam helped me on this one. My thoughts on this exam are this. If you read the article by Matthew Morris: Studying for 1Z0-144: Oracle Database 11g: Program With PL/SQL I agree with it 100%. It is definitely more difficult than an "Associate" label indicates. Now in his article (written back in 2012) there were 80 questions in 90 minutes! Sheesh....that's 1 min 8 sec/question. Well luckily it's down to 63 questions still for an hour and a half (90 minutes). That's 1 minute and 15 seconds per question. So you get 7 more seconds per question. EVERY SECOND COUNTS.
Now most tips are read the question and answers first and you may be able to answer the question without looking at the exhibit or briefly. That worked for me on exam 1Z0-047 (Database SQL Expert) but not on THIS exam. To me it just felt better to go straight to the exhibit and then go back to the question and answers. As you know there are multiple choice (single answer), multiple choice (choose two) and multiple choice (choose all that apply). Now there was one question where I thought it could be all 4 and sure enough the testing software would indicate you've exceeded your limit of possible answer choices. So that's about the only handicap you get. But you still don't know WHICH 3 choices are correct but at least it told me that the answer was NOT all 4.
As for how I studied, well the books that I read are as follows:
- O'Reilly's Steven Feuerstein-Oracle bible on PL/SQL - Oracle PL/SQL Programming 5th ed (11g)
- O'Reilly's Steven Feuerstein-Oracle - Oracle PL/SQL Programming: A Developer's Workbook 1st ed
- O'Reilly's Steven Feuerstein-Oracle - Oracle PL/SQL Built-in Packages
- Oracle Certification Prep's Matthew Morris - Study Guide for 1Z0-144: Oracle Database 11g: Program with PL/SQL
- Oracle Certification Prep's Matthew Morris - Practice Exam 1Z0-144: Oracle Database 11g: Program with PL/SQL
- Oracle Press' Michael McLaughlin's - Oracle Database 11g PL/SQL Programming Workbook
- Oracle Press' Michael McLaughlin's - OCP Developer PL/SQL Program Units Exam Guide
- Self Test/Kaplan practice exams
- Transcender practice exams
- uCertify practice exams (the least of them which after using would not recommend)
But the MOST powerful book that helped me IMMENSELY and without a doubt made me confident that when I saw a question I would not be shocked (except for 1 or 2) was this....the online documentation of
Database PL/SQL Language Reference http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/appdev.112/e25519/toc.htm
Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/appdev.112/e40758/toc.htm
I must have read all the chapters 1 through 12, from top to bottom til I was blue in the face. And reading it and understanding why things worked the way they do, made sense from a common sense perspective. Like the RESULT_CACHE option on functions. If you read why the cache is bypassed and what the reasons that cause it to be bypassed are it makes perfect sense. It really gave me more of an insight into how PL/SQL and the database works.
So when I walked into the Pearson Vue testing cernter, I was nervous and confident and when I walked out I was confident I answered enough questions but still nervous that I may not have (because it definitely was a tough test). And from reading Matthew Morris' recent blog about tests getting more harder maybe mine happened to be the "new" harder version. With that said I feel proud that my 4 and half months of studying paid off. I passed! 73% was my final percentage score. Minimum is 65%. Not as high as I would've liked but a PASS is a PASS. The cost to me was my time and $245 for the exam, the cost of the books that I already owned and purchased, the Kaplan and uCertify and Transcender self test software exams ($325 total) but way less than taking the Oracle University week long exams that cost around $3k! The only one that was free is the manual.
So when people say to you sarcastically "RTM" [Read The Manual] (or even harsher "RTFM" [Read The ******* Manual]) truer words were never spoken at least when it comes to studying for the exam. The documentation has the info to help you pass. Please read the manual and you'll be more confident in passing this exam.
Now I can relax and I'll study for the OCP Advanced PL/SQL Developer next year.
Good luck to all who are preparing for this exam. Hope my comments helped.
Message was edited by: jaramill (grammatical, typo fixes)