This week's book giveaway is in the NodeJS forum. We're giving away four copies of Serverless Applications with Node.js and have Slobodan Stojanovic & Aleksandar Simovic on-line! See this thread for details.
What are the OCP objectives? Objectives are the goals for the exam to prepare you on certain topics. You can think of objectives as Syllabus of the exam. Click "review Exam Topics" on each of these pages to see the objectives
The upgrade exams are for candidates who already hold an OCP 6, 7 or 8 certification and want to be certified under a more recent version. For example, if you have already passed the OCP 7 exam and want to upgrade your certification to version 11, then you can take the Upgrade exam. Note that your exam might have been named the SCJP, OCJP or OCP depending on how long ago you took it. Just confirm the version number is 6, 7 or 8,
Also check it was the Professional level exam and not the Associate level exam.
If my last exam was SCJP 5, can I take the upgrade or do I have to take the full exam? No. This exam is too old to be eligible for the upgrade exam. You will need to take the full part 1 and part 2 exams for OCP 11.
If my last exam was OCA 8, can I take the upgrade or do I have to take the full exam? No. This is an associate exam and not a professional exam. Therefore, it is not eligible for the upgrade exam.
Is the upgrade exam easier than the full exam?
No. There are less questions, but they don't cover the easier exam topics since the upgrade exam focuses on the new content.
What is the best way to prepare for the OCP exam?
If you are new to Java programming, start with a good introductory book such as Head First Java or Thinking in Java] or Murach's intro to Java books. Check the Books forum for additional recommendations and reviews. If you are planning to use a Java 11 study guide, it is ok to use a book that covers an older version of Java. That will teach you the basics and the study guide will focus on the "new" materials.
Once you have a foundation, study at least one good (and current) certification preparation book. (See recommendations in this FAQ.)
Use the OCP forum to post questions, and reinforce your own understanding by answering other people's questions.
Take as many mock exams as possible. (See links in this FAQ.) Use these to determine where additional study is needed, and as a guide to when you are ready.
Contributed by Mike Van...
In my dark and horrid past, I ran an organization that prepared newcomers for the Java Cert exam. As such, I have some insight you may find useful.
Go through one book at a time, don't skip around between books because it will confuse you. Specifically with regard to the certification objectives, areas like Threads may be taught differently in different books. As such, its best to have one teacher at-a-time instead of numerous. Learning it multiple ways AT THE SAME TIME, will lead to confusion.
If you're brand-spanking new to Java, don't go directly to a Java Cert book. These books were not created for beginners, they were created for people who understand the basics of Java programming. Instead, spend a month or so getting to know the language with a "Learning Java" type book. If you are new to programming altogether, you may want to precede the learning java type book with a basic computer programming book.
Code Code Code. There is a lesson to be learned in every code example of every book you read. Learn the lessons and learn to code at the same time. The difference between someone who has spent the time to code and someone who is merely memorizing answers is immediately apparent in thier test progress. Someone who codes regularly will quickly pick-up on the intricate questions being asked on the exam. Someone who is memorizing answers will get lost easily once the questions deviate from what they've memorized. On the job, the memorized-no-coding person will be quickly fired, while also proving the test to be inneffective in the minds of the employer who f/hired them.
Study with friends. There's an old axiom that goes: "if you put 100 programmers in a room and give them 1 problem, you'll get 100 different answers, and most will work." By studying with others you'll be able to see how others approach the questions and exercises you'll be studying. When I study for a certification, my initial approach to a problem is rarely the best one. But if I'm studying with others, I can see many approaches and find out which one is best for me.
Use Mnemonic Devices. The thing about memorable mnemonics is that they help put information into your long-term memory instead of your near-short term memory. This means you won't be "brain-dumping" your newly learned lessons after the test. My favorite mnemonics are acronyms. Its amazing how memorable a lasciviously written acronym is. :-) Make 'em dirty to make 'em last.
Don't try to learn the entire language in a week/month, take your time. There's the French cognitive psychologist name Piaget who postulated that adults learn sequentially and cumulatively. Basically what this means is that before you can learn how to write an inner class, you first need to learn how to write a regular class. You can try and skip right to the inner class if you want, but you won't learn the "whys" of it. Its just as important for us human beings to learn the background of something as it is to learn the thing itself. Now, if you're a martian, venusian, or uranusian, that may not apply. if you are a venusian learning Java, I say welcome to our new Venusian Overlords!
Learn "why" something works a given way, not just that it works one way. Other psychologists have postulated that there are three stages to learning. There's recognizing something, rote memorization, and being able to create something new from your memorized material. This is usually applied to the learning of human languages, but it applied to Java Certification prep as well. Here's how they differ. Being able to recognize that something is written in Java is nice, but you have to know how to use the language also. Recognizing but not really being able to use is the first level. Not really useful. Being able to recite all parts of the Java Language is certainly better than just recognizing it. Unfortunately, being able to recite the number of bits in an Integer doesn't mean you'll be able to use it in code. Finally, being able to create algorithms in the language, that's where you want to be before you take your certification exam. That's what employers are looking for. That's why K&M ask you questions that make you think. And that's why the people that can use the language most effectively are the ones who don't get laid off.
What books should I refer to when studying for the OCP? The OCP 11 objectives were announced in mid March 2019. No study guides are yet available.
Are there supporting courses for preparing the exam? The OCP 11 objectives were announced in mid March 2019. Other than Oracle's official course, no courses yet target the material.
Jeanne gave a one day class on topics she thought might be on the exam. This was written before the objectives were released. While it does not prepare you for the exam, you might find the material useful for practicing specific concepts.
Can I bring something to write on?
You cannot bring anything with you into the testing room. You will be provided with something to write on and something to write with. This varies by testing center, but often it is a small erasable white board and a marker. You cannot take anything with you from the testing room when you leave.
If you have any doubts or concerns about this policy, please verify with your testing center before appearing for the exam.
How important are the scores?
Scores are not displayed on certificates (passing is passing), but scores can look impressive on resumes.
How long will my certification last before expiring? Certifications do not expire. However, they target a specific version of Java. Your Java 1.4 certification probably doesn't look so impressive these days.
Where can I find information about OCP testing outside of the U.S.? Go through the process of signing up for an exam. You can see the available exam locations and availability before being prompted to pay. This will allow you to see where exam centers are in your country.
What is the pattern of the expiration date on the exam voucher? The pattern of the date on the voucher is MM/DD/YYYY. So if it says 5/10/2009, it means the voucher expires on May 10th, 2009.
Will I be told how many options to choose in a multiple choice question? Yes in the real exam you'll be told how many options to select. The real exam won't have questions like in most mock exams which say "Choose All That Apply". That is done in mock exams to make them difficult.
Are there any marks for partially right answers? There are no points for partially correct answers. If there is a question where you have to select 3 options and you select 2 right and 1 wrong, you'll get no marks for that question.
Am I ready to take the exam? The best way to convince yourself that you are ready is to consistently score well on mock exams. In general, most mock exams provide a good indication of how you will score on the real exam. (If anything, the real exams are said to be slightly less difficult than the mock exams. But since the real exam is usually the last one taken after a series of several mock exams, candidates are most prepared for that one.) As a general guideline for confidence, you should consistently score about 10 points higher on the mock exams as you hope to score on the real exam.