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Studying for Your OCA Certification

In this blog post we will discuss what is the OCA Certification and tips on how to study and successfully pass the exam. This blog post will cover the OCA exam for aspiring database administrators.

 

Studying for any IT Vendor certification can be both time consuming and costly. It is a huge investment. Normally when I’m making a huge investment in anything, the first thing I do is a whole bunch or research on whatever I’m investing in.

 

You are really lucky because when I begin studying for this exam, unfortunately, I couldn’t find help online when it came to preparing for this exam. I want to give you everything you should know about this exam and how to prepare for this exam. If you prefer video, I have a YouTube link below, explaining everything in this blog post.

 

What Is the Oracle OCA Certification?

OCA stands for Oracle Certified Associate. This exam is for aspiring and entry-level Oracle Database Administrators. Typically this exam covers all of the fundamental concepts a DBA needs to know. This exam is broken up into 2 parts that an individual must take and past:

 

  1.  Oracle SQL Fundamentals
  2. Oracle Database Administrator

 

Every so many years a new version of the database is release, and the exams will be updated to reflect the new changes and functions in the database. The exams have id’s associated with them. At the time of this blog post version 12C was the latest database version and the exams and exam id’s were:

 

  1. Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals 1Z0-061
  2. Oracle Database 12c Administration 1Z0-062

 

Let’s take a detailed look at both exams.

  1. Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals 1Z0-061

 

SQL stands for Structure Query Language and in a nutshell this is the language used to talk to databases. Oracle created its own version of the language, for the most part, it’s the same language used for any database, but with a few slight differences.

 

This is usually the first exam that an individual will study for regarding their OCA Exam. One of the cool things about this test is you can take it from home. Although you can take this test from home, this is not an easy test to past.

 

Just to give you a bit of information about this test:  An individual will have 2 hours to take the test. There are 75 questions, the questions are multiple choice and a student must make at least a 65% to pass the exam. The cost for this test is $125. You must register with Pearson Vue to take this test. For more information on this test, you can click here.

 

  1. Oracle Database 12c Administration 1Z0-062

 

This exam focus is on teaching you the fundamentals of the database. There is an extensive list of topics that are cover on the Administration exam. A student will learn things such as the foundation or architecture of a database, how to install a database, how to maintain a database, and how to troubleshoot issues regarding a database.

 

This is a 2 hour long test. There are 67 questions on the test. Students must make at least a 64% to pass. This is a multiple choice exam and the price of this exam is $245. You must register with Pearson Vue to take this test. For more information on this test, you can click here.

 

Tips to Study for Your OCA Certification

 

  1. What Is Your Why?

When trying to achieve any goal in life, the first thing I normally tell anyone is to have a why. In this case why do I want to complete this exam? Whatever your why is, should be your motivation to help you study throughout this exam. I would often reflect back on my why when I did not feel like studying, when I wanted to give up, or to get past any other excuse that I created. If you are not passionate about your why you will not complete studying for this exam. My why was 2 things:

 

  • I wanted to create a better life for myself.
  • The money a person could make in this field motivated me.

 

I’m a dreamer so I always so what my life could be like if I was making more money as a DBA. That drove me to study. I was tired of barely getting by. There were too many people around me making more money than me. I wanted to live a good life too and minimum wage was not cutting it for me anymore. My why drove me to study daily which bring me to my 2nd tip.

 

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it

I purposed to study every day. For the most part I was able to accomplish that goal. I had unfortunate events happen around January 2012 and as a results lost my minimum wage job and studied about 10hrs Monday – Friday and however much I could Saturday and Sunday. Of course things came up and I couldn’t always study that way, but this was the schedule I’ve set for myself.

 

If you can study that way, go for it, but I do understand if you can’t. I’m an extreme individual in almost everything I do, so I know I can be a bit much. The moral of the story is come up with a schedule and do not deviate from that schedule. Or course life happens and when things come up, you may not be able to study. That is totally understandable, but for the most part, no matter what you do stick to your schedule.

 

  1. Review every few days/Repetition

Normally I could do two chapters in a week.  So when done with a new chapter, I would take a day to just go back through notes and videos to make sure I was retaining everything that I was learning. I saw that repetition helped a great deal. It reinforced what I had already learned. The great thing about Oracle is everything sorts of build on the last thing you learned. As you go deeper into your studies and really began to practice, you will see yourself using more of what you already learned in other areas.

 

  1. Find a Mentor and other things to keep motivate you.

 

A mentor is one of the best tools that you can have. There would be times where I needed a quick answer and could not find it online. Thank God I had a mentor. I would call and in no time I would have the answer that I needed. Having a mentor cut my studying time down in half. I couldn’t always rely on my mentor though. When I was studying late at night or early in the morning, I could not call my mentor. I had to rely on google, some forums, and other sources to find the information I was seeking. Oracle is a very independent career path, you will have to know how to find answers on your own if you are serious about becoming a dba.

 

Also, just being real, there are going to be more times that you don’t want to study, then when you do want to study. It was these times when I had to rely on my Why plus other things to motivate me to study. I would use people from the Bibles and their stories, I would listen to my pastor and motivational speakers, YouTube was a great source of motivation, I talked with other people who were studying for their OCA Certification as well, and I would talk to my best friend all the time about our futures. There are several ways to stay motivated, make sure you have plenty in place to help you when you just don’t feel like it.

 

  1. Practice, Practice, and Practice

 

You can study all you want, but if you are not putting the things you are learning to use, it will be a waste of time. Set a day aside to just practice some of things that you learned. Find study groups who are studying for their OCA Exam as well. Learn from them. Discuss your problems and how you resolved your problems. Reinforce everything. The only way to know Oracle is to do it. You can study all day long but studying does not prepare you for real world experience. You can study to pass an exam, but you can’t study to troubleshoot. Whatever you do make sure you are practicing everything you learn in the books.

 

Last thing I want to mention is, Online DBA Academy is here to help you study for your Oracle Certified Associate Certification. If you need additional assistance, mentorship, and people to study with. We have all of that available here. Check out our training packages:

1. Oracle Database Administration I – Full Purchase
2. Oracle Database Administration I – Monthly Subscription

If you have any questions about our packages contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Studies and God Bless

 

October 20, 2017

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