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Passing the 11g Oracle Certified Master (OCM) Exam – some thoughts

  • Posted by Gavin Soorma
  • On February 22, 2011

I recently passed the 11g Oracle Certified Masters Upgrade Exam and am now an 11g OCM in addition to the 10g OCM. I had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) while taking the exam, so unfortunately I will not be able to divulge too many details about the exam, but would like to share a few pointers which should hopefully help others who are planning to give this exam in the near future.

  • The 11g OCM upgrade exam is a one day exam while the 11g OCM is a two day exam like the 10g exam. It can be a long day between 8-10 hours, so be prepared for it.
  • I have listed the exam topics here which can be also obtained from the OTN site related to Oracle Certification. While preparing, try and cover each and every topic as the exam will basically cover pretty much every exam objective listed.
  • It’s not about what you know – it’s about how fast you can do stuff as time is the essence in this exam. Working under pressure of time is the biggest obstacle I found that I had to cross.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed by the volume of what is asked in the exam. Every skill set will have an “End State” where your database is expected to be in a particular state. Ensure you keep this in mind and while it may not be possible to complete every task, whatever you do, do it well rather than start each task and leave it incomplete because of time constraints.
  • Practice, practice and more practice. Get as much hands-on experience with all the exam topics. Unlike the 11g OCM exam, the 11g OCM Upgrade exam does not cover topics like RAC and ASM. So it should be quite easy to create a database on even a personal laptop and get as much hands on time as possible as your work environment may not offer opportunities to be faced with all the exam objectives in your practical day to day work as a DBA.
  • While doing the practice, time yourself and see how long it takes to perform any of the exam objectives. Try and figure ways to reduce time through your own shortcuts.
  • Also be familiar with the command line option as well using the different API’s and do not just work on performing everything via GUI Enterprise Manager.
  • The documentation is your best friend in the exam. Be fully familiar with it and know very clearly which manual in the documentation set covers which exam topic. Documentation on both Enterprise Manager as well as the Database Server will be provided, but do remember that it is not searchable. So you do not have the luxury of time in the exam to browse through the entire documentation set trying to find what you are looking for.
  • Very Important – Be very familiar with different backup and recovery scenarios. You will be expected to perform recovery and at the end of every skill set your database needs to be in a required End State – so no marks for crashed databases!
  • Remember the Enterprise Manager version is not 11g even though the exam is an 11g exam. You will be provided a Grid Control environment.
  • While the official OCM certification site does state that the database version will be 11g Release 2 on Red Hat Linux 5, the database version that I got at the exam was So not too sure if that was a one-off case or the norm.
  • Last but not least – Good Luck! – and hope to see your name and profile listed on the official OCM website.

    11g Oracle Certified Master profiles

    10g Oracle Certified Master profiles



    • Feb 22 2011
    Wow, Congratulation, congratulation ! Hope you will have more much useful oracle article for us Thanks
    David Siqueira
    • Feb 22 2011
    Hi Gavin, Congratulations man..This is an important award. Great Job!!! See ya!!!
    Balaji Vankadari
    • Feb 22 2011
    Congratulations Gavin, Remember me, You were in my class 11g New Features at Bankwest,WA in May 2010. Even I am planning for this, but time not permitting me. Hopefully i can finish this in 2011. Regards Balaji Vankadari
    • Feb 22 2011
    Hi Gavin, Congrats for your 11G O.C.M!!
    Martin Decker
    • Feb 23 2011
    Congratulations Gavin!
    Rajesh Kumar Govindarajan
    • Mar 15 2011
    congrats gavin...soon my name is also in the list..i hope so with God blessings...i am preparing for that everyday. you experiance is motivating for the people/person like me..thank you gavin for sharing your experiance..
    Rauna Devi
    • Mar 16 2011
    Congrats Gavin. Keep in touch.

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