Upgrading from SCJP 5 (or earlier) to OCP 11

I got this question in a comment to a blog post and decided to answer in blog form.

I have SCJP Java 5 from 2005, now preparing to 1Z0–813 using your book
My goal is to get Java 11 cert eventually

Per the Oracle FAQ, you cannot use the 1Z0-817 upgrade exam to upgrade from an exam Java 5 or earlier straight to the OCP 11. If your goal is OCP 11, there are a few options on how to get there. Each comes with pros and cons.

Exam sequenceCerts obtainedBenefits of ApproachCons of Approach
1Z0-808 (OCA 8)
1Z0-816 (OCP 11 part 2)
OCP 11
– easier first exam– second exam will feel harder because missed part 1
1Z0-815 (OCP 11 part 1)
1Z0-816 (OCP 11 part 2)
OCP 11– traditional path
– exams go together
– requires taking OCP 11 exam sooner (before study materials are available; so far Enthuware is the only provider with Java 11 part 1 materials)
1Z0-808 (OCA 8)
1Z0-809 (OCP 8)
1Z)-817 (OCP 11 upgrade)
OCP 11
– get a professional level cert sooner– costs more
– have to take an extra exam
1ZO-813 (OCP 8 upgrade)
1Z0-817 (OCP 11 upgrade)
OCP 11
– get a professional level cert after first exam– the hardest option because upgrade exams tend to be the toughest and this approach has two

Did you know Set.of does that?

I was working on some code and need to turn an array into a set. I knew that Set.of() has a varargs overload so I tried to use it. And promptly learned that it doesn’t work for my needs.

How many ways can you think of that set1 and set2 differ here?

String[] words = { "all", "the", "words", "in", "the", "world" };

Set<String> set1 = new HashSet<>(Arrays.asList(words));

Set<String> set2 = Set.of(words);


set2 is immutable while set1 is not. I knew that going in. I don’t need to modify the set I’m creating so that’s fine.


set2 doesn’t get created if there are duplicates in words. set1 does. This is a big difference and caught me by surprise. And what better way to deal with a surprise than make it a blog post? Surprise! (And yes, this in the JavaDoc. So if I had read the exception details in the JavaDoc, I wouldn’t have been surprised.)

Jeanne’s experiences taking the 1Z0-815 exam

I wasn’t as fast as Scott who took the exam two months ago (the day after it came out). I waited until I was done with “FIRST robotics season” and a vacation before thinking about taking the first half of the new Oracle Certified Professional: Java 11 Developer certification. I passed today with an 87%.I’ll be taking the second half in a number of months.

Jeanne vs Scott’s exam

A lot changed since Scott took the exam. I think he got a lot of experimental/unscored questions. The exam was still harder than the OCA 8. But it wasn’t insanely hard like he got. Key differences:

  • Scott had a lot of “pick 3 or 8” type questions. About 75% of the questions I got were pick one out of four or five choices. I got exactly 4 questions with seven choices. One was “pick 3 or 7” and three were “pick 1 of 7”. I got about 6 questions with 6 answers. Two were “pick 2 of 6” and the others were “pick 1 of 6”. I got about 12 “choose 2 or 5” questions.
  • I got 7 questions on modules. Which is what you’d expect statistically. Scott had a lot more but I think that was because the topic was new and Oracle was testing questions.

What is still harder

  • Overall, it is longer than the OCA 8. It took me 75 minutes to get through all the questions on the first pass. Then I spent 50 minutes reviewing (and memorizing). During that phase, I fixed one incorrect answer and changed a correct answer to an incorrect answer so it was a wash.
  • The scope is larger than the OCA 8 and the questions go deeper. This makes sense as this is a professional level exam.

What else was interesting?

  • The instructions say press control to cross out answers. This didn’t work. (I had this problem before so it might be my exam center.)
  • The exam results are supposed to be available within 30 minutes. I didn’t bring my phone to the exam center. When I got home, the email with the results was from “30” minutes ago. It took me a little over half an hour from when I ended the exam until I go home so he results were available fast!

How I studied

Even though I’m the author a study book, I find I still need to review. More so for part 2 of the exam, but it still helps for part 1 seeing the details.

  • Read our OCA 8 book
  • Re-read the basic parts of Manning’s Module System book. I was the tech development editor for this book and also helped with some of the finishing touches.
  • Do all questions in our OCA 8 book and K&B’s 8 book.
  • Do about half the questions in our Practice exam book for OCA 8 and the mock exam. (I ran out of time to do them all. This was mainly about practicing speed and confidence anyway. I do know the material.)
  • Did the official practice questions. (It would have been better if these were split between part 1 and part 2)