Java 8 upgrade exam retirement

Until the end of last year, Oracle maintained an exam retirement list. The list still exists, but is no longer update. The new model is to put a red banner on the actual exam page.

Two exams recently had retirements announced with only three months of lead time. They are both the Java 8 upgrade exams. (The main Java 8 exams remain live.)

This caught me by surprise. Oracle has historically kept exams live longer and given more lead time for retirement. After all, it’s not uncommon to take more than 3 months to study for an exam.

Which exams are being retired?

  • !Z0-810 – Upgrade Java SE 7 to Java SE 8 OCP Programmer
  • 1Z0-813 – Upgrade to Java SE 8 OCP ( Java SE 6 and all prior versions)

What are my options if I hold an older cert and was thinking about upgrading it?

If you hold an OCP 7

  • If you feel comfortable, take the 1Z0-810 before it is no longer being offered. Keep in mind that Oracle’s retake policy is that you can’t take the exam for 14 days if you fail. If you worried about failing and want to be able to retake the exam, I recommend targeting early February.
  • If this isn’t enough time, you will need to take the Java 11 exams. If you passed the OCA 7 and OCP 7 exams, you get to choose between the 1Z0-816 (part 2) and 1Z0-817 (upgrade). The 1Z0-816 has any associate cert as a pre-req. The !Z0-817 has a professional cert as a pre-req. I wrote a blog post helping choose between the two exams. If you got the OCP 7 via an upgrade exam in the first place, you’ll have to take the 1Z0-817.

If you hold an OCP 6

  • If you feel comfortable, take the 1Z0-810 before it is no longer being offered. See the above advice.
  • If that isn’t enough time, you only have one choice – the 1Z0-817 upgrade exam.

If you hold an SCJP/OCP 5 (or lower)

  • If you feel comfortable, take the 1Z0-810 before it is no longer being offered. See the above advice.
  • If that isn’t enough time, you will not be able to take an upgrade exam. You will instead need to take both the 1Z0-815 (part 1) and 1Z0-816 (part 2).

Java OCP 11 Programmer I Study Guide

Scott and I are proud to announce that our first Java 11 book, OCP Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 11 Programmer I Study Guide:: Exam 1Z0-815, published by Wiley Publishing is at the printer.

Amazon is releasing the book on November 26th so now is a great time to order it.

Have a question for Scott or I? We will be doing a book promotion in the Programmer Certification forum at CodeRanch next week. Come say hi or ask a question and you might even win a free copy.

My Experience taking the new Java SE 11 Programmer II 1Z0-816 Exam

Back in March, I took the new Java SE 11 Programmer I 1Z0-815 Exam only 2 days after it was released. Going into the exam blind, I wasn’t too worried because the previous OCA 8 1Z0-808 exam had been such a breeze. Boy was I surprised! While I passed with a decent margin, I was shocked the level of difficulty of the Programmer I 1Z0-815 exam. It was nothing like the 1Z0-808 exam it inherits from, especially in terms of question difficulty!

This past month, Jeanne and I finished writing our new Java OCP 11 Programmer I Study Guide (now available for preorder), which meant it was time to turn our attention to our upcoming Java OCP 11 Programmer II Study Guide. Rather than go in blind, and especially given all of the new material, I decided to spend some time studying *before* taking the 1Z0-816 exam. Well, it paid off because I passed today with a quite a wide margin. Below are some of my impressions of the exam.

Level of Difficulty

This might sound crazy, and I’m sure I’m biased, but overall I found the 1Z0-816 OCP11 exam less difficult than the OCP 8 1Z0-809 exam it inherits from. Don’t get me wrong, it was a difficult exam, but I felt like there were so many topics and they were so broad, the exam rarely went into especially deep detail on some of them. For example, many of the questions regarding SQL injection had pretty clear answers. In most of the questions, I was able to eliminate completely “ridiculous” answers right away, getting the answer choices down to 2 (or 3 if it was pick 2, or 4 if it was pick 3, etc). In fact, some questions I didn’t even need to read the text to whittle down the answer choices. For example, if an answer choice is an invalid lambda expression, it clearly cannot be a valid answer. With that in mind, most questions boiled down eliminating bad answers, then reading the question text to know which of the two remaining choices was correct.

Better Focused

One of the best changes they made in the new 1Z0-815/1Z0-816 exam series was to move most of the core Java syntactical questions to the first exam. While they made the 1Z0-815 exam harder, it made the 1Z0-816 exam a lot clearer. For example, if a question appears to be about NIO.2 on the 1Z0-816 exam, then it’s about NIO.2! On the older 1Z0-809 exam, I always felt like they mixed common Java topics with advanced ones. For example, a question that appears to be about NIO.2 on the 1Z0-809 exam might actually be about constructor overloading or overriding methods. In other words, the 1Z0-816 exam is better because the questions are derived from the objectives more cleanly, and there aren’t as many trick questions. You still have to know a lot to pass, but at least they aren’t mixing topics as much as they did in previous exams.

Streams, Streams, Streams

While the exam seemed reasonable to me, I’m also very proficient in streams. It is an understatement to say they are all over the exam. If you don’t use them regularly, you’ll need a lot of practice before taking the exam. Remember, they can show up in almost any topic like NIO.2, Concurrency, Collections, etc.

Modules

Modules are on the exam but I found the questions a lot more straight-forward than the module questions I saw on the 1Z0-815 exam. I had a lot of trouble with the module questions on the 1Z0-815 exam, in part because a lot of them didn’t make sense or didn’t appear to have a correct answer. Given how early I took the exam, Jeanne suspects I might have been exposed to beta/experimental/broken questions. That said, I thought the module questions on the 1Z0-816 exam were a lot more fair than they were on the 1Z0-815 exam. You need to know a lot about modules, of course, but the topics the questions were testing were a lot clearer.

Still a Very Broad Exam

While questions within a topic were relatively straight-forward, the amount of topics you had to know for the 1Z0-816 exam dwarfs the 1Z0-809 exam. Annotations, Security, Local Type Inference, Private/Static Interface Methods, and Modules are completely new. You should read the Secure Coding Guideline and Annotations Trail prior to taking the exam. Unfortunately, there’s not one single source of material for modules so you have to study from what you can piece together on the web… that is until our new 1Z0-816 study guide is released!

So You Want to Take the Exam?

Great! If you’re not in a hurry, I would wait for our new study guides to come out. The first book is already on its way to print and the second book will be available early next year. You can use our OCP 8 Study Guide to take exam, but you will have to supplement it with a lot of reading from a dozen different sources. And as I said earlier, if you’re not using streams regularly, you will definitely need a lot of practice. Regardless of which path you take, we wish you the best in studying!