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 90 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
Concurrency2
Java I/O API3
Secure Coding in Java SE Application2
Database Applications with JDBC1
Localization1
Annotations1

(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.

It’s a Book! OCP Java 11 Complete Study Guide Now Available!

Jeanne and I thrilled to announce “the birth” of our new OCP Java 11 Complete Study Guide! This nearly 1200 page tomb of work is the combined product of our two recent OCP Java 11 Study Guides (Programmer I and Programmer II) and contains everything you need to pass Oracle’s the 1Z0-815, 1Z0-816, and 1Z0-817 Java exams. On top of that, it’s filled with challenging practice questions, interesting examples, and a bit of fun and humor.

Available for purchase now in physical or digital editions, where ever books are sold.

This Book is *Not* a Study Guide

Well, technically it is. But what I really mean is our new OCP 11 Java Programmer II Book is so much more than that. In fact, it’s my favorite book we’ve written (don’t tell my other books!) because it dives deep into some really interesting topics like streams, concurrency, I/O and NIO.2, method references, etc that people often only have passing familiarity with.

It’s not written solely for you to pass the exam (although it contains plenty of strategies/tips/tricks for that too!). For example, maybe you’ve used annotations but been too scared to write you own? This book will teach you everything you need to know about writing custom annotations like a pro. Or maybe you’ve heard about lambdas and streams but don’t really understand them well enough to use them. Completely understandable! I was once terrified to use them too, for fear of looking unintelligent (aka dumb). Now, I use lambdas, streams, and method references to accomplish in a handful of lines what used to take me pages of boiler plate code.

Whether you take and pass the exam or not (and I sincerely wish you do), I hope that by reading this book you’ll gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Java. Oh, and if you’re more just starting out, I recommend reading our OCP 11 Java Programmer I Book first. That provides a solid foundation for Java classes, methods, and polymorphism.

If I sound excited, it’s because I am really proud of this book and all of the hard work that went into making it interesting, easy-to-understand, and perhaps… a bit of fun! Purchase now on Amazon while supplies last!