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Oracle 1Z0-062: Becoming an Oracle 12c Associate DBA

Oracle’s 12c update to their DBA Associate exam packs a punch.

1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration

Reviewer's Summary
This test is harder than would generally be expected for an OCA certification. A large number of topics and high question count make it a challenging proposition.

Time Limit
150 minutes

Number of questions
95

Counts toward
Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate

Exam Objectives
1Z0-062 Exam Objectives

1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration is one of two exams required to become an “Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate”. This exam is often the first or second exam taken by IT professionals just starting their career with the Oracle database. As career choices go, Oracle Database Administration has a great deal to recommend it. Even during the worst of the recession, I never saw a time when hiring truly stopped in my region (although it certainly slowed for some time). For the past few years, every time I check the job sites, there are new listings for Oracle DBAs. I’m not in the market for a new position, but it is always comforting to know that if I were, there are options available.

Since release 10g, the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional track has consisted of three exams. This includes 1Z0-062, a SQL exam (there are several that qualify), plus an ‘Admin II’ exam. Oracle University has not yet released 1Z0-063: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration even to beta status, but they have announced its existence. The complete 12c track will follow the model of 10g and 11g with a total of three exams. That said, the 1Z0-062 exam is a far cry from its 11g predecessor. Oracle University moved a significant number of topics into it that had been present in the Admin II exam for the 11g certification. Some of the shifted topics include those for database performance as well as management of storage, system resources, and memory. Overall, the number of topics increased from 50 in 11g to 85 in 12c. That makes a 70 percent increase. The exam also has the highest question count of any of the Oracle certifications that I track.

I took this exam during its beta period, so my experience will not be quite the same as users taking the production exam. The one I took had 150 questions. Unfortunately, I do not recall whether I had 150 or 180 minutes to complete it. I remember being under significant time pressure to complete the last of the questions. Regardless which of the two durations it was, the production exam offers candidates more time to complete each question, so you should experience less pressure. With a bit over 90 seconds per question, the sticking point is not going to be whether you have enough time to thoroughly read the question and answers but whether you studied enough to be able to recognize the correct answer when you see it.

The exam covers a huge range of topics. I have distilled the list to the following set (visit the Exam Objectives link for the complete list):

  • The Oracle Database Architecture
  • Using Database Management Tools
  • Managing Database Storage and Undo
  • Administering Security and Auditing
  • Performing Backup and Recovery
  • Performing Database Maintenance
  • Managing Performance
  • Managing Resources
  • Automating Tasks
  • Installing and Configuring the Oracle Environment
  • Upgrading the Database and Migrating Data

Every topic included on this exam is one that Oracle database administrators really should know in order to be able to do their job effectively. However, before you get done preparing for this exam, you might find yourself wishing that Oracle University had decided to go back to the four-test OCP model that was used until release 9i of Oracle. That would have allowed them to spread the administration topics among three exams rather than two.

I was not as well prepared on the day of the beta exam as I normally am for certification tests. It was a last minute decision involving a free voucher and the last week of the beta period. The experience was not a pleasant one as I noted on my blog the day after the exam. I would love to be able to state with conviction that my troubles could be laid at the feet of having taken the test on Friday the 13th, but I know better. Despite everything, I passed the exam (barely). I have to wonder if one of the graders took pity on me, though.

Even fully prepared, this exam would have been harder than I expected. There is no doubt in my mind that it is more difficult than the 11g Admin I test was. When 1Z0-062 is compared to 1Z0-052, it has more topics, a larger number of advanced topics, and I believe that there was a smaller percentage of what Oracle University considers its ‘Learner Level’ questions besides.

I often classify the difficulty of exams as OCA-level, OCP-level, or OCE-level to indicate increasing degrees of difficulty. In my experience, the test developers at Oracle University seem to have a target level of difficulty based on those three certification classes. The 1Z0-062 exam, however, is an OCA certification that is bordering on OCP-level difficulty. Be sure to budget sufficient time to prepare thoroughly. When making a choice between being over-prepared or under-prepared, I highly recommend selecting option one. Good luck on the exam.

About the Author

Matthew Morris is an experienced DBA and developer. He holds Oracle DBA Certifications for releases 7, 8i, 9i, 10G and 11G; is an Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Certified Professional; and holds Oracle Expert Certifications for SQL, SQL Tuning, and Application Express. He is the author of several Oracle certification guides. His Web site, www.oraclecertificationprep.com, is dedicated to providing links to resources for Oracle certification preparation.

 



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