Core Java

5 steps to earn your Oracle Java 8 Certification!

OCA Preparation Series

Most programmers at some point of their career, plan to go for the certifications in their respective fields. If you are a Java developer, you might have heard a lot of buzz around Oracle Java Certifications. The very common questions that come across our mind when planning our certifications generally includes :

  1. I have X years of experience and have sound knowledge in Java – Will these certifications really add any value to me?
  2. I have a good work experience in Java already, do I need to prepare for these exams specifically?

How much time and effort do I need to put in for the preparation ?

and the list goes on…Let’s try to address these queries one after the other.

Yes, certifications do add a value to your CV. To understand this, consider you’re hiring for a developer position .Given a choice among two candidates, who would you prefer to hire- one with a recognized certification in that specific area or one without? Give it a thought…Moreover, some job search engines look for those keywords on your resume to filter them.

Hopefully, if you are convinced to plan for your Java certifications – The answer to the question whether you need to prepare specifically for these certifications is –‘Yes’, you need to.The reason behind it is the simple fact that these exams test your understanding at a very different level than what you would encounter in your everyday job.

You can earn your Java 8 certification using the below mentioned steps :

1.)Plan your own certification path : Spend some time exploring Oracle Certification website to learn about what different certifications paths you can take in years to come and plan it out for yourself in advance . By planning it out, I literally mean taking some time out to decide when( in which quarter of which year,to be specific ) you are expecting to appear for that exam. Investing some time planning your career ahead is always fruitful.You might feel a little weird to plan it out in the beginning but believe me if you don’t ,this item on your list will keep on lingering forever.

To start with, plan your OCA 8(Exam Number: 1Z0-808) [Check the link for all exam related details] certification . Try to appear for the most recent version of Java certification- Java 8 as of now.This exam is designed to test your understanding on Java basics.

Java Certification Path
Java Certification Path. Source : Wikipedia

2.) Stick to the right books and resources : When it comes to preparing for certifications, it is advisable to stick to the reliable resources .Also, do not trick yourself by depending on too many books and resources. Just decide on what’s right for you and stick to it.Once you develop a deep understanding of the concepts, you will be easily able to answer all the questions.

My recommendation for OCA 8 preparation includes:

  • OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Certification Guide by Mala Gupta .
  • A Programmer’s Guide to Java SE 8 Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) by Khalid Mughal
  • OCA: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-808 by Jeanee Boyarsky,Scott Selikoff

3.) Practice mock tests : It is recommended to practice mock tests in exam-like conditions before you appear for the final exam.You can also first try to go through :

Scott Selikoff, Jeanne Boyarsky-OCA _ OCP Java SE 8 Programmer Practice Tests-Sybex (2017).pdf

which is a good chapter wise practice book.

But stress more on appearing for full-length mock tests. Enthuware  & Wizlabs are the two test centers for Java certification recommended by many developers.

Among the two,  Ethuware is both cheap and worth its price .In case you want to know more about it , you can visit Enthuware website

4.) Exam Registration & Booking a Slot :You can register for your exam at Oracle website here .The exam price for OCA 8 certification is Rs.9701 on the date of writing this post, which is subject to change with time. You can choose to purchase an exam voucher and can take the exam within 6 months from the date of purchasing your voucher.

After registration and buying a voucher, when you’re ready to take the exam, you can book a slot using the Pearsonvue organization link.

when you feel ready to take the exam.(PS : Remember within 6 months of buying the voucher) .Make sure you block your calendar with scheduled examination date. You can also reschedule the date later,if you need.

In case you are a programmer working with some software firm, I would suggest you to please check with your company if they can sponsor your certifications as most employers do.

5.)The ‘Final’ Day : By now, you are all set to appear for the exam. Make sure you plan to reach the examination center half an hour in advance to avoid last minute hassle.Locate your exam center a day before in case you are not aware of the place .

Once your exam starts, just have faith in yourself and your preparation. Try to answer all the questions to the best of your capabilities . Maintain your calm and composure throughout. Take it easy -it’s neither an end to the world nor a rocket science. Try to mark questions which seems confusing and revisit them once you are done solving the entire paper.

You’ll get your exam score via email within 30mins of taking the exam . Ecertifications are sent usually within next 3-4 days .You can check your eCertificate here.

You always have a choice to retake the test after 14 days, in case you can’t make it.However,I am pretty sure you’ll be doing really well in your examination.All the Best!

Please find the quick OCA preparation refresher here.


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