The Oracle Certified Master Exam is among the highest rated exams in the IT industry for a good reason: It is extremely hard to pass!
Unlike most other IT exams that are done as multiple choice tests, the OCM exam means two days of hands-on practical tasks. No chance you can pass it by just reading books or brain dumps and learning by heart without deep understanding. Without years of practical experience with Oracle database administration – don’t even think about it. Even as a seasoned DBA, you won’t find it easy to pass the OCM exam. Why is that so?
The tested topics have a very broad range and some of them are likely outside your comfort zone
Your usual tools (e.g. scripts and google) are not available
There is very limited time to complete the tasks
The exam is exhausting, so after a while oversights become a severe danger
To help you prepare for the exam, we offer a quite useful class: Oracle Database 11g: OCM Exam Preparation Workshop Ed 2
I delivered it many times and it is probably the best preparation you can get – but also expensive, I admit.
I use to give following guidance to the attendees of the workshop – and the last two paragraphs may help you even if you don’t attend it:
During the OCM Preparation Workshop:
Go beyond your comfort zone and put additional focus on the topics you are not yet so familiar with
Notify the pages in the documentation that you can copy from to resolve the tasks and memorize them
Check if & how the Enterprise Manager can help doing things more efficiently than manual procedures
Make sure that you are ABLE to do things manually in the absence of GUIs, though
After the Workshop:
Create a sandbox environment (e.g. VirtualBox on your notebook)
Practice using only the Documentation!
Practice the things that you felt not so comfortable with during the workshop in the first place
Practice things from inside your comfort zone also, but with a (short!) time limit for the task
During the Exam:
Read the tasks carefully and make sure that you understand them exactly BEFORE you begin working
If the order of tasks is not relevant, do the things first that you feel most comfortable about
Don’t waste too much time on a problematic task if other things can be done instead
You don’t need 100% to pass – so keep up your confidence even if you couldn’t complete all tasks
It is of course possible to prepare also without the workshop. See here for an impressive description about it. Good luck with your journey to become an OCM and I hope you find this little article helpful 🙂