Jeanne’s experience taking the 1Z0-819 in the time of COVID-19

I took the 1Z0-819 exam today. I guess that makes me “triple qualified” having already passed the 1Z0-817 upgrade exam and the 1Z0-815/1Z0-816. I took the AWS Associate Architect exam two weeks ago.

COVID-19 logistics

I’m not willing to take the exam online so I signed up at a local testing center. I took this exam at a different center than where I took the AWS one since it wasn’t offered there. This exam center is a short bus ride away. (The AWS one was walking distance.) Overall, I think this center handled it better. They have more space so I was naturally further away from other people. I was also given hand sanitizer immediately on entry.

I was asked to take off my mask twice (once to verify I match my id and once to take a photo). That seems like it could have been combined.

Writing instruments

I haven’t been offered pencil/paper at an Oracle exam in years. This was the first time I wasn’t given an eraser for the erasable board. The proctor did come by towards the middle to see if I needed a second one though. (I did not).

Getting the score

I received my score immediately on completing the exam. It appeared right when I clicked finish. I was then given a printout saying “Your exam results are not available at this time… 30 minutes”. It looks like they are transitioning how it works. I’m happy to get a real time score again though! It’s been a while. (My score was 72%. That’s just barely passing. But that’s a story for another blog post)

Exam timing

You get 80 minutes to answer 50 questions. I can easily imagine someone running out to time on the exam. I finished going through a first pass of all the questions with 30 minutes left. However, I essentially skipped two (aka I guessed.) They weren’t hard – about control/flow. But they were time consuming. And I wanted to use the remaining time to go through the questions again to make sure I could say that our Complete Study Guide prepares you for the 819 exam. And it does.

Test taking skills are definitely important on this exam. For example, I looked at the answers before reading questions with a bunch of code. This gave me a clue what to look for. And also told me that I could read faster if there was “do not compile” option.

Question Distribution

When taking an exam, you have to agree not to share what was on it. So no details about what was covered. Sharing the distribution of questions by objective is fair game though!

Objective# Questions
Working with Java Data TypesAbout 5
Controlling Program Flow3
Java Object-Oriented Approach10-15
Exception Handling4
Working with Arrays and CollectionsAbout 4
Working with Streams and Lambda Expressions10
Java Platform Module System4
Java I/O API3
Secure Coding in Java SE Application2
Database Applications with JDBC1

(The counts don’t add up to 50 because a few questions covered multiple objectives for the early objectives)

815 vs 816 topics

Our books are labeled with 815 and 816. On the 819, it was split almost evenly. However, the difficulty of questions was uniform. It was just the topics that got distributed.

Where the topics what expected?

Almost. Enthuware wrote that doPrivileged was on the exam. We had used the Secure Coding Guide when writing our security chapter. Oracle updated the guide since the 816 came out. They also revised the exam. The word “privileged” was not in the objectives for the 816!

Should I take the 817 or 819?

Those who hold a Java 6, 7 or 8 certification are eligible for their choice of the 817 or 819 exams. They cost the same. The 819 allows half the time, but has a little over half the questions. So you have less time per question on the 819. Additionally, the 817 passing score cutoff is a bit lower.

While the 817 has a lot on modules (3/10 objectives), there are a lot of topics on the 819 not on the 817 (concurrency, secure coding, JDBC, localization, and annotations). Combined with the longer time for the 817, you are likely to find it an easier exam.

And important disclaimer about randomness

With only 50 questions, randomness is a bigger factor. This means you could easily not see questions on a topic. Or get more than someone else on another topic. Be careful as you read the experiences of people who have taken the exam. Just because they didn’t get a question on X doesn’t mean that you won’t! So you don’t get to skip studying topics.

10 thoughts on “Jeanne’s experience taking the 1Z0-819 in the time of COVID-19

  1. Can you please write a blog about the topics we need to study from OCP 815/816 study guide? As per Enthuware team. they cover almost everything But bigger concern is that they seem to cover a lot more than required.

  2. Hi my son who graduated from high school this year is going for java certifications . He is studying for OCA 808 . After reading your article I am confused should he go for 808 , will it be waste of time or he should start preparing for 819 as you said by studying your book on 815 , 816 , 817 , which I have already ordered . Please guide me thanks

  3. Hello, I have OCA 8 and now I want to prepare for OCP. Which would you recommend, OCP 8 or the new OCP 11 ? Are there many differences…? Thanks in advance.

  4. Thank you for reply Jeanne

    Your blog mentioned the chapters to study under particular section but they do not mention chapters according to exam’s objective.

    I was asking to develop the following helpful approach which you have used in your books

    Java SE 11 Programmer 1Z0-819 Exam
    Study Guide
    Exam Objective Chapters
    Working with Java data types
    Use local variable type inference, including as lambda parameter 1, 12

    Thank you,

  5. @Muhammed: There are no full chapters you can skip. This means you have to read all the chapters, just skipping what we mentioned is now out of scope. 99% of the book still applies

  6. @Dimitri: Correct. I did not have the strikethrough feature either. (Scott and I took the exam at different locations in different states for what it’s worth)

  7. Is there any difference in the Certification we receive through passing 815/816 and 819?, do they print the year(2019) like what they did in 815/816 certification?.

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