My Experience taking the new Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-815 Exam

Update (11/05/2020): Read The 1Z0-819 Exam page to learn how you can easily our Java 11 Study Guides to prepare for Oracle’s 1Z0-819 Exam, as well as the 1Z0-817 Upgrade Exam.

One day after Oracle announced the new Oracle Certified Professional: Java 11 Developer certification, I decided to jump in and take the first of two exams! As an author of a best-selling Java certification series, how hard could it be I thought? In short… very! I did pass, but it was very different from what I imagined it would be.

Certification Changes

On the surface, the new Java 11 Programmer I (1Z0-815) and Java 11 Programmer II (1Z0-816) exams appear to be loosely based on the original OCA 8 (1Z0-808) and OCP 8 (1Z0-809) exams. I say loosely, because glancing at the objectives would lead you to believe they might be the same exams. They are decidedly not! More on that in a minute. One major change to the structure, though, is that the Oracle Certified Associate title no longer exists. Completing either exam does not grant you any certification title, and you must complete both Programmer I and Programmer II exams (in any order) to be an Oracle Certified Professional 11. There is also a single Java 11 OCP Upgrade (1Z0-817) exam for holders of a Java 6/7/8 OCP certification. Each of the three new exams are listed at $245 US. Unlike previous Java exams, there is no discounted beta exam, or beta exam of any kind, for the new Java SE 11 exams.

Neither Jeanne nor I have taken the Programmer II exam yet, so the rest of this post will be about my personal experience with the new Programmer I exam.

OCA 8 (1Z0-808) vs Java 11 Programmer I (1Z0-815): What’s the difference?

A LOT. I can’t emphasize this enough. The new Programmer I exam is significantly harder than the OCA 8 exam was. Questions are much more involved, much longer, and often require answering multi-part questions. For example, a question might have 8 answer choices and you need to select 3 completely independent answers. Process of elimination is crucial to finishing the exam. For example, in some cases it’s a lot easier to find the 5 choices that don’t compile than the 3 that do.

The new Java 11 Programmer I exam also includes a lot of topics that were previously only found on the OCP 8 exam. While you don’t need to know stand-alone topics like Concurrency, JDBC, and NIO.2 for this exam, you do need to know nearly everything there is to know about core Java topics like interfaces, generics, and Java operators. Jeanne and I noticed the new objectives appear to be a lot vaguer and broader than the previous objective set, meaning they can (and do) encompass a lot more than is explicitly listed in the objective titles. For example, == and equals() are no longer listed in the objectives, but don’t let that lull you into thinking for a second that you don’t need to know them to pass the exam!

Modules, modules, modules, Oh my!

The Java 11 Programmer I exam includes new topics like Project Jigsaw modules. Prior to taking the exam, I thought there going were only going to be a handful of questions on modules. Boy was I wrong! There were many questions on modules and the depth of them was honestly very surprising. You definitely need to memorize all module-related command line arguments to java/javac/jdeps/jmod, as well as knowing the long and short command-line flags. Just because modules is 1 of the 12 of the top-level exam objectives, don’t be fooled into thinking only 1/12 of the questions will be on modules! Understanding modules is vital to passing this exam!

OCA 8 (1Z0-808) vs Java 11 Programmer I (1Z0-815): What’s the same?

Excluding modules, the objectives are quite similar between the OCA 8 and Java 11 Programmer I exams, but that’s more likely to do more harm than good. Anyone going into this exam thinking this is just a Java 11 version of the OCA 8 exam will be in for a surprise.

So what is the Java 11 Programmer (1Z0-815) exam?

In a nutshell, it’s like they took the old OCA 8 exam, increased the difficulty of the questions by an order of magnitude until it was as hard as the old OCP 8 exam. Then, they updated the length of questions so that you had to answer 2-3 questions at once in a single question. Next, they greatly increased the depth of any topic on the previous exam. For example, previously you might have only needed to know 2-3 StringBuilder methods, whereas now you need to know nearly all of them. Finally, they filled the exam to the brim with Java module questions.

Of course, they also included other new Java 9/10/11 topics, like var and some string/array methods, but they pale in comparison with the changes in depth, difficultly, and new module topics.

“Can I use your OCA 8 book to study for the Java 11 Programmer I exam?”

As the sole source of preparation for the exam, definitely not. The OCA 8 exam was significantly easier and lighter than the new Java 11 Programmer I exam, and we wrote the questions and topics to match that particular exam. If you only study from our previous book, there is a good chance you might fail the exam.

That said, you could use our OCA 8 book, as well as the first half of our OCP 8 book as a starting points for studying for the new Java 11 Programmer I exam, but you will absolutely need to supplement it with education on the new topics, methods, and classes in Java 9/10/11, as well as in depth and hands on knowledge of modules. You should also expect the questions to be at least on the level of difficulty as the OCP exam.

“Hey Scott and Jeanne, is there a new Java 11 certification book coming?”

We get this question a lot, even before the objectives were announced. All I can say is, stay tuned for now!

119 thoughts on “My Experience taking the new Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-815 Exam

  1. hello pls, is there lots of gui questions in java 11 exam? what is percentage of gui questions?

  2. Hi, How are you? Your guides are of incredible use, but I currently have the 1Z0-816 AND 1Z0-817 study guide …

    I don´t have any java certification, that study guide would help me to present the 1Z0-819 certification ?

  3. Hello, does one need to now study Java SE 8 in order to study and write the Java SE 11 exams? Is SE8 and prerequisite for SE11?

  4. Hi Scott, thank you for sharing your experience.
    I am planning to take a Java certification.
    It will be my first Java certification which I am planning for.
    What certification should I prepare for (Java SE OCA v 8 or Java programming I SE 11)
    I am confused, please help me. Is OCA SE 8 a prerequisite for Java Programming I certification?

  5. @Tarryn Java is cumulative so if you don’t know Java 8 you’re going to have trouble on Java 11. That said, our Java 11 books cover everything for the exam so just stick with our study guides!

  6. @Ahmad The Programmer I Java 11 Exam no longer exists, it was replaced by the 1Z0-819 exam. There are no prerequisites for this exam. I would say the OCA 8 is an easier exam than the 1Z0-819 exam, but I prefer to be certified on newer versions of Jafva than older, so I’d target the Java 11 exam. You’ll have to study a lot more though.

  7. Hello Scott and Jeanne, i pass the Java 11 certification earlier this year, thanks a lot for all the work you’ve done with the study book. WHAT A BIG BOOK !!! 😉 i learned a lot and still very happy to open a random part and read again to keep studying !!!
    Again thanks for the hard work.

  8. I have OCA SE8 certification and I plan to obtain the professional certificate. But I’m confused which exam should I have to take to attain it and also about the study guide which I’ll have to follow to achieve it
    If someone can shed some light on this would make my day shiny

  9. @Krishna If you are taking soon, you can take the OCP 8 and the OCP 8 study guide. At some point that will be retired and then you’ll have to take the 819 (use of Java 11 Complete Study guide for that)

  10. @Jeane
    So how long will be OCP 8 exam be available. Is there any information about it. I’ll have to order the study guide itself. Will the exam be valid till mid 2022?

  11. Please i need clarity do i have to take both 1Z0-816-JPN: Java SE 11 Programmer I and 1Z0-816-JPN: Java SE 11 Programmer II to be certified.
    note: this is my first time of taking any java certification

  12. Oludamilare: The 815 is a pre-req for the 816. This is interesting. For the English version of the exam, the two were merged into one exam (the 819). However, the Japanese 815 and 816 are still offered.

  13. what is prerequisite for Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0–815 .
    Do I need to have java 8 certification ?

  14. Rohan: There is no pre-req for the Java 11 exam. You do not have to take the Java 8 cert first.

    Note that the 815 and 816 were combined and turned into the 819. You can use our materials to study, but it is one combined exam now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *