50% off All Oracle and Java Exams!

Making a New Year’s resolution to get Java certified? For this month only (expires 12/31/2019), Oracle is offering 50% off all digital training and exam vouchers. This means if you want to get Java (or any other Oracle certification), you can do it for half the price! Better yet, the vouchers are good for 6 months from date of purchase. Why wait till the prices go up?

Need help? Our new book for the Java 11 1Z0-815 exam just went on sale last month! Jeanne and I offer a wide variety of books for Java 8 certifications including the Java 8 OCA 1Z0-808 exam or the Java 8 OCP 1Z0-809 exam, or if you’re taking both we offer a Java 8 Certification Kit and a Practice Questions book.

The first step to getting certified is making the decision to get certified! Then, you purchase a study guide and draw up a study plan. For example, you could decide to read one chapter a week. Finally, you start taking practice exams to determine what topics you need to study more. And since the vouchers expire in 6 months, you have a nice incentive to not give up!

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).

[2019 oracle code one] Java 11 Certs

Fun path to Java 11 Developer Certifications
Speaker: Mala Gupta – @emalagupta

For more blog posts, see The Oracle Code One table of contents

Why cert

  • Highlights important topics
  • Suggests a path to learn
  • Bare minimum of what every Java programmer must know to get started
  • Don’t plan to fail. Ok if do so. But don’t plan for it
  • Good coding practices [I think the exam tries. But not always. For example, the Java 8 JDBC topics were an example of how not to write JDBC. This got better with the java 11 exam where PreparedStatement was finally covered]
  • Industry standardizes IT skills
  • Good for students, professionals, those transitioning from other languages

Other ways to learn [not mutually exclusive. Mala wrote a book for the cert. As did Scott and I]

  • Books
  • Courses – Mala had a bad experience. Course oversold.
  • Hackathons – deep dive on select topics
  • Learn on job – would you go to a surgeon where it was his first surgery.

Changes with Java 11 cert

  • No more OCA exam
  • Still two exams – Programmer I and Programmer II.
  • But no longer earn interim OCA cert.
  • Oracle felt people were stopping at OCA level
  • Can take part 1 and part 2 in any order, but makes sense to take level 1 first.
  • Level 1 covers basics; level 2 covers exam topics.

8 types of questions

  • sample code and question about output
  • text only – simpler to answer – conceptual
  • fill in the blank
  • select options that are true about code
  • select incorrect options (that are false about code)
  • answers are blocks of code
  • diagram
  • [I missed one type]

How to make studying for a cert fun

  • Images – emotional connection. Also fun to draw images. Point embedded in mind.
    • Try catch block concept with a tiger and two doors. Animals only and Tigers only. Very cute!
    • Cartoon showing finally block with coffee
  • Highlighted code block
    • throw vs throws with the keywords highlighted with a rectangle surrounding
    • nested circles to show access control
  • Diagrams
    • people
    • array with cars/shapes/grid for multi dimensional array
  • Cartoon dialog
    • Code on left. Image on right is two people in love (or not)
    • Discussion about equals
  • Write own questions and have others do that
  • Twist in the tale – change code and see what happened
  • A-ha moments – write them down as study


  • How long to study for cert? 1-3 months [I think upper bound is longer]
  • 6 months cadence? Probably LTS versions but can’t confirm [Oracle hasn’t said, but I agree]
  • Books? Will have MEAP out soon. [Also, Scott and my book publishes this year]

My take: I like that Mala had characters introducing her presentation. It reminded me of the book. Mala speaks a lot like she writes which is good. I felt like there was a lot up front selling the cert. I would think people who chose this cert talk would be interested in the cert. I was happy to see 2/3 of the presentation was on making studying fun. I like the 8 types of questions and samples. It was a good organization system. The types were a little hard to read. I like the interaction by having everyone write a question.