Hackernoon logoHere's How I Passed The Oracle Certified Professional Examination by@kliukovkin

Here's How I Passed The Oracle Certified Professional Examination

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Georgii Kliukovkin Hacker Noon profile picture

@kliukovkinGeorgii Kliukovkin

Developer.

In November 2020, I passed the Oracle Certified Professional Java 11 1Z0-819 exam. For me, it was a long journey of 4 months. I have had pretty small experience in Java. I read the book a couple of books about Java, but I didn't have real experience or a lot of practice with Java, so even while I was solving leetcode tasks, I constantly came across a situation when I didn’t understand how to process the string in the best way or how to convert an array from Integer to int and back. All these seem to be quite simple tasks, but without real experience with the language, it is impossible to read and remember all the methods of a particular class.

Preparing For The Exam 

I started to prepare for exams 1Z0-808 and 1Z0-809. I prepared with the books by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff. The books are written informatively and not boring, so it was not difficult to read the first book. 

After carefully researching the Oracle website, I realized that I could pass the Java 11 exam or exam number 1Z0-815. The difference between 1Z0-808 and 1Z0-815 turned out to be insignificant, all you needed to know were the modules that appeared in Java 9.

After I lazily studied the topic of modules for several days, I decided it was time to take the exam. However, I came across the news that from October (and this was in 2 months) two exams 1Z0-815 and 1Z0-816 will no longer exist and will be replaced by one exam 1Z0-819.

On the one hand, it's cool, you can save $150 per certificate (cost depends on the country where are you going to pass the exam; you must pass both exams to get certified).

On the other hand, the conditions of the exam have become more difficult than they were before. In each of the previous four exams (1Z0-808, 1Z0-809, 1Z0-815, 1Z0-816), you had 150 minutes and 70 questions. The new version of the exam has 90 minutes and 50 questions. The number of topics in the exam is twice as large as in the previous version. Real heroes don’t take easy ways, so I decided to pass the single 1Z0-819.

I started to draw a mindMap for myself with the exam topics and all the questions that might be related to the topic. After reading both books (1Z0-808 and 1Z0-816), I put together a complete exam card. The main nodes of the map were almost identical to those in the book.

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The image shows the map itself and the questions to it. I got my wife to ask me questions twice a day. Everywhere. While we went for groceries, for breakfast, for a walk. Constantly. After reading the books, I started taking mock exams; enthuware offers good mocks for this exam.

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By the percentage of correct answers, you can see how my faith in myself grew and then fell, like on a roller coaster. In addition, my company paid for obtaining a certificate only in the case of passing 80% or more. That was my motivation to pass 80 points. Shortly before passing the exam, I read that one of the authors of the books passed the exam with 72 points, and another author with 87 points, from this I was a little sad, so if the author of these books can pass at 72 points, then at 80 I will hardly succeed.

I want to draw your attention to concentration while passing the exam - I don't know if it is possible to catch the flow state, as in coding, but I never succeeded. Sitting with full concentration for an hour and a half was a real challenge for me. Relax a little and miss the error in the code that affects the correct answer. Therefore, you should try to pass the practice exams without pauses, with timing and maximum concentration; the “full effect of presence”.

I took the exam from home, through Pearson Vue. To pass the exam, you need to purchase a voucher, then select the exam, download the test program. When you start the program, it checks that there is no other app opened except this program. Also, when you passing the exam, you will need to show a document confirming your identity. Be sure to check that your first/last name was the same in your oracle and Pearson Vue profile as in the document. I used a foreign passport as it contains the first/last name in Latin.

You cannot look to the side at the exam, no extraneous noise, no sheets of paper, notebooks, etc. If you need to write something somewhere, the application has a built-in notepad. It's awfully awkward, but there is no other choice.

Exam Day

After listening to Eminem for an hour, I was mentally prepared to take the exam. My wife went to the gym so that nobody and nothing could distract me. It is funny that I have a cat who decided at the very moment when I started taking the exam to check whether she can run around the apartment at the speed of sound and what level of noise she can raise before I react to her. For 12 years she had never behaved like that, so in this case, it was a pure “trap” from her side.

Let's go back to the exam. After checking my documents and asking how I was doing, they told me that I could proceed with the exam. The hardest thing was just to sit for an hour and a half with maximum concentration, at some point the brain simply turned off and did not try to find the answer in the code. I struggled with such moments and moved on.

As a result, I passed the exam with exactly 80 points, I’ve almost burst into tears of happiness. I did not pass any mock tests as well. 

Tips For The Exam

  • when you studying theory - try to understand why the authors of the language did this. For example, overriding rules for class methods:
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    • take your time, if it seems that the answer to the question is obvious. Double-check everything.
    • when you looking at the code, try to remember all possible topics, for each of them go through the checklist (for example, the same overriding rules for methods, see the images above).
    • concentration is good, self-confidence is evil. As soon as I started to pass the mock exams and felt confident in myself, I began to fail them. It is important to always be as focused as possible and not succumb to this feeling.

    Thanks to everyone who read to the end. I hope this information will help you in preparation. Good luck with your exam!

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