It took some time for preparation, so there were almost no blog posts…
For those who are going to take this exam I decided to write this post. Here will be no internals…
- OCM exam is positioned as advanced exam, but it’s not so complex as it may be expected
- it’s quite expensive exam – take into consideration additional requirement for 2 advanced courses and being 10g or 11g OCP DBA before exam…
- before even thinking of preparation for OCM exam, please decide WHY DO YOU NEED IT ?
- use Oracle Certified Master Candidate Guide as a main source of information
- prepare for all(most) exam topics:
- prepare for everyday topics first
- prepare for easiest topics next
- decide if tasks for specific topic may take more that 2 hours(maximum single practice time), then postpone preparation for it for the last time
- if You can afford it, visit Oracle Database 10g: OCM Exam Preparation Workshop – from the course description it covers most of exam topics, except Real Application Clusters
- be prepared to TYPE VERY FAST
- be prepared to TYPE WITHOUT MISTAKES – correcting mistakes will cost TIME
- every task may be done in command line, but there are some restrictions on using GUI tools – restrictions are specific to each practice…
- You will have access to the full set of documentation for Oracle Database 10g Release 2
- documentation will be local – as a result NOT SEARCHABLE, unlike at http://docs.oracle.com
- be prepared to navigate to each exam topic using books list and specific book contents
- it was easier for me to use HTML version
- use documentation ONLY for syntax reference and for looking for examples. You will not have time to dig into specific topic during exam.
- use copy & past – keep in mind that not all scripts will work as they are in documentation, some need syntax corrections and some need modification for specific environment…
- be comfortable with Linux– not like a system administrator, just like a user(may be advanced user):
- using command line interface for basic activities(cd, cp, mv, …)
- using editor(s) for text file modification
- using ssh
- using shell aliases
- prepare your environment:
- be able to fast change the oracle environment for specific instance
- be able to do most activities as fast as possible, like changing current directory to most used places or examining contents of alert.log
- Oracle Enterprise Manager and other GUI(oui, netca, netmgr, dbca, emca, …):
- be able to do most activities in GUI when it as allowed – it will save time!
- prepare to be able to restore your databases from any kind of failures
- be 10g or 11g OCP DBA before taking exam
- submit(register) 2 advanced oracle courses at Pearson VUE:
- check course list at Pearson VUE – there are more advanced courses then at Oracle site, so You may find some course that your have already visited and that is not listed at Oracle site – like I did…
- submit 2 courses at least a month before taking exam – it took a month to confirm my advanced courses by Oracle…
- without submitting mentioned advanced courses You will not receive exam results even if it was already scored – You will receive e-mail that you exam was scored, but You will receive results only after approving advanced courses
- check OCM worldwide schedule and decide where and when to take the exam. I chose to take exam in SK – Bratislava as a cheapest place in Europe. Keep in mind that there is 19% additional tax for list price.
- register for exam
- if You need visa, ask Oracle(SK) for a letter for embassy. Getting this letter took almost 3 weeks and getting visa took 1 more week.
- book tickets and hotel. Try to be at target city at least a day before the the exam.
- REST as much as possible before exam, if You’ll be able… :)
- I wasn’t able to sleep well both nights before exam days, so I was quite tired at the second day…
- don’t prepare at the day before exam – it’s too late…
- DON’T drink (too much) alcohol before exam
- be at site 30 minutes before exam
- You need to bring two personal identification documents – both with photos
- there will be 8 practices that will be scored – 4 per day. Actually there is one more practice at day 1, but it’s not scored – You have to do it, but You will not earn any score. If You will fail it, it’ll take negative effect on possibility to do rest of practices…
- after practice has been started, You will not be allowed to speak to other persons. If You get up, then this practice is finished for you.
- at the beginning of each practice You will get all tasks description and description of correct END STATE
- first read COMPLETELY all tasks and required CORRECT END STATE of practice
- decide what tasks and in which order You will do
- do easiest tasks first, then more hard tasks
- skip task that take to much time or if You feel that it’s too complex – return to it at the end of practice
- do as many tasks as possible
- PROTECT your databases in all possible ways! It will be easier to restore it when You’ll need to do so.
- if You have spare time(have already done all tasks):
- go back and check what You have done – fix typing mistakes and tasks misunderstanding
- do more than specified in practice – it may save time in next practices… Just imagine what will be good to do and do it if You wasn’t restricted to do it by practice requirements…
- DON’T DO DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES at the end(before 5 minutes) of practice, or You may leave servers in wrong end state and You will not receive any score for this practice. Devote the rest of time for checking what You have already done.
- after practice has been finished proctor will take control on your computers for running some scripts to collect information about what has been done by You. You have to leave room at this time.
- You will not be scored until successfully submitting 2 advanced courses at Pearson VUE, but You may take exam before taking advanced courses.
- You have to wait some time to receive confirmation letter(it took a week for me). Some people say that it is the HARDEST PART TO WAIT FOR RESULTS, but it wasn’t my case…
- after receiving confirmation that You have passed exam(there is no score, just passed or not), You have to submit one more form at Pearson VUE to request OCM Success Kit – You will need to specify the preferred size of OCM 10g vest.
- submission was approved in a 2 days
- it takes some time(up to a week in my case) for placing order for delivering OCM Success Kit
- it took 2 days for delivering OCM Success Kit by DHL
- it was a quite big box, which was 70% empty. Inside of that box I found:
- one more thing to consider after successfully passing exam – DEMOTIVATION PERIOD:
- all people, who took exam with me, spoke about it…
- it’s too hard to force yourself to do any activity related to Oracle…
- some people have asked themselves – is it THE END OF MY ORACLE RELATED CAREER ?
- the vacation immediately after exam should help A BIT
- STRONG MOTIVATION BEFORE EXAM will help MUCH MORE!
- it was really interesting and unusual(in terms of OCP) exam
- consider why do you need that expensive vest ? :)
- decide what will you do after completing this certification track ?
- plan, prepare and pass it!
PS: for those how understand russian I recommend reading the Series of posts by Ivan Kupriyanov starting from Part 1