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Pete Letkeman
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For those of you that are both Java 7 and Java 8 certified, but completed 7 before 8 I have a question for you.
Were you able to take an upgrade exam and go from OCA 7 to OCA 8 or was the exam the standard OCA 8 exam?
I ask because there is talk that by the the middle of 2018 not only is Java 9 expected to be out, but there is a chance that certification tests will be out as well. I know that no one can predict the future. However I suspect,  but I have no facts to back this claim up, that Oracle will handle the OCA 8 to OCA 9 certification the same way.
I'm not asking about any future timelines on anything like that, I just  would like to know what happens currently or what happened in the past.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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It was the standard OCA 8 exam. The upgrade exam was only for the OCP. So if you were OCP 7 you could go straight to OCP 8. But if you had an OCA 7, you had to start over with OCA 8 or get the OCP 7.

Some dates for Java 8:
  • March 18, 2014 - Java8 released
  • August 31, 2014 - OCA 8 beta opens
  • April 28, 2015 - OCP 8 beta opens


  • Granted the Java 8 exam had a lot more changes than the Java 9 exam will have. Especially on the OCP. So it shouldn't take AS LONG for Java 9. But I would be shocked if the OCP 9 was out the middle of next year. And even if it was, nobody would have a study guide out at that point. (largely because there isn't a commonly held belief that Oracle would be that fact.)

    So I think you should pursue your Java 8 cert.

    Also remember that Oracle doesn't take away "older" exams for a long time. And that there are way more changes between 7/8 than 8/9. So your Java 8 cert will still have value.
     
    Pete Letkeman
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    Thanks for clearing this matter up @Jeanne Boyarsky
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    There is no upgrade exam for OCAJP, so you'll get the standard OCAJP8 exam if you want to become OCAJP8 certified.

    It will take months (if not more than a year) after the Java 9 release before certification exams will exist for Java 9. You can't combine different version certifications, so OCA8 is not a valid prerequiste for the OCP9 certification. But if you are OCP8 certified, you can probably take the upgrade exam to become OCP9 certified (cf. the current upgrade exams to become OCP8 certified).

    Here are some concrete facts and figures related to OCAJP8. It was released on 18 March 2014, the beta version of the OCAJP8 certification exam was released on 31 August 2014 and the OCAJP8 certification exam was officially released on 10 January 2015.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    And almost forgot: OCPJP6 is still alive and kicking
     
    It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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