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Upgrade to 8 from 7 vs 6 (Oracle rant content)

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I think that the path to OCP 8 is easier for SCJP/OCP 6 (and earlier upgrades) than it is for OCP 7 holders, hear me out....

If you have OCP 6 or lower... to obtain OCP 8, you have a £155 exam, with 60 questions, and a pass rate of 63%. It is 130 minutes in duration.

That's 60 questions with which to cover 8 big topics (7.5 questions on each topic by way of average)

If you have Java 7 and wish to upgrade... you have a £155 exam, with 81 questions, and pass rate of 65%. It is 150 minutes in duration.

That's 81 questions, 21 more than the 6 or lower upgrade.... to cover ALL the new features in from 7 to 8 to a very in depth level, and you need a higher pass rate of 65%! There seems to be four main topics: Lambdas, Streaming API, Method References, and the Date Time mods. That's 20 questions per section, really a lot of that is going to be lambdas, streaming, and everything functional programming. i.e. the really tricky new stuff.

How can Oracle justify this?

More elements were added to Java from 6 to 8, so by normal logic you'd think there would be more questions to ensure that topic should be tested equally... But no, 6 has less questions, and a lower pass rate, and a shorter exam, for the same price.

The changes to Java 8 are substantial and by no means trivial. As a OCP 6 and OCP 7 holder, surely I'd be mad to put myself through the 7 upgrade path, when 6 -> 8 seems so much easier! Especially as all the OCJP 7 stuff is fresh in my mind. Part of me thinks that I could pass 6 to 8 upgrade now as long as I only get the Java 8 questions wrong as you only need 63% (and I could get the earlier train home!)

Can't help but think that the 6 to 8 upgrade exam cheapens the worth of the OCP 8 certificate.

Surely I can't be the only one.

p.s. Just received my Boyarsky/Selikoff OCP 8 Study guide in the post today, nice work guys, congrats on the new book!

p.p.s. Seems Jeanne Boyarsky has already reported similar puzzlement regarding the inclusion/exclusion of certain topics on her blog: http://www.selikoff.net/2015/08/23/what-does-it-mean-to-be-ocp-java-programmer-ii-certified/
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As I was reading your blog post, I was thinking I should link to my blog post. And you already did it for me!

Assuming you plan to take the Java 6 to 8 upgrade, don't discount the "Java 7" topics. Oracle has "inserted" lambdas, method references, functional programming and new APIS into that section as well. In other words, study all the upgrade topics not just the Java 8 ones thinking you already know the Java 7 parts.

Enjoy the book.
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Yeah, Jeanne and I were shocked when the 1Z0-813 upgrade exam objectives were announced back in August. We discussed it for hours, and frankly, they just don't make sense to us. It's why we chose to include an additional 55-page Appendix just for those taking this exam, shortly before the book went to print.

Personally, I think the upgrade exam is harder. Besides reading most of the book, you have to read an extra Appendix.. which is mostly topics from the OCP7 that were removed from the OCP8 exam. Some with good reason. For example, DirectoryStream (which is not an IO nor functional stream!) is vastly inferior to using the new NIO.2 stream method walk() to traverse a directory. And don't even get me started on WatchService... something I would never use in practice!

You also need to learn material from the OCA8 exam. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great Oracle added this exam for those with older certifications, I just don't think it as easy as the full exam since it requires knowing a number of extra topics.
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Good that you noticed I started a topic exactly about this a while back - https://coderanch.com/t/655811/java-programmer-SCJP/certification/method-genius
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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