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).

Choosing an exam: Java Foundations vs OCP 11

Three years ago, I wrote about why you should take the OCA 11 rather than the Java Foundations exam. Now that the Java 11 cert is out, the situation changes.

Java Foundations vs OCA 8 (1Z0-815)

Until the OCA 8 is discontinued, I think everyone considering the Java Foundations exam should take the OCA 8. The reasons in my original blog post still apply:

  • The OCA 8 is not that much more difficult than the Java Foundations exam. It’s definitely in reach for an entry level programmer.
  • Taking the OCA 8 lets you use it as a pre-req for a later exam. You can take either the OCP 8 (IZ0-809) or OCP 11 part 2 (IZ0-816). This means you will only need to take one more exam to become OCP certified.

So when should you take the Java Foundations exam:

  • Cost: The Java Foundations exam costs less than half the price of the OCA 8. If you can’t afford the OCA, this is an option.
  • Requirement: If you took a course that requires the Java Foundations or lets you take it for free.

Java Foundations vs OCP 11 part 1 (1Z0-815)

With Java 11, it’s a harder decision deciding which exam to take because:

  1. The OCP 11 part 1 (1Z0-815) is significantly harder than the OCA 8 (1Z0-808). The OCP 11 part 1 is still in reach of an entry level programmer, but it is more work.
  2. Passing the OCP 11 part 1 does not give you a certification. Another (even harder exam) is needed for that.

So who should you take the Java Foundations exam:

  • Time: If you don’t have the time to study for two harder exams, the Java Foundations exam gets you a certification faster.
  • Cost: The Java Foundations exam costs less than half the price of the OCP 11 part 2 and a quarter the cost of the OCP credential.
  • Requirement: If you took a course that requires the Java Foundations or lets you take it for free.

Just be aware that taking the Java Foundations exam does not serve as a prerequisite to later certification exam. If you plan to get OCP certified in the future, be aware that the Java Foundations exam is a one off.