Preparing for any Java certification may seem like an overwhelming and daunting task – especially for those IT professionals who are not experienced or knowledgeable of the overall certification path. However, as long as you know each of the steps that need to be taken and the order in which to take them, you can overcome the apparent “obstacle” that separates you from obtaining this coveted certification much sooner than you may think. How so?
Below is a brief overview of the seven key steps that you need to take from start to finish along your educational path of Java programming training:
Educate Yourself on the Actual Paths
The first step is to learn everything that you can about the actual certification paths themselves. Even if you are already certified in one particular IT field or another, it is imperative to keep in mind that each certification journey is different in one way or another. Depending on the credentials and certifications that you already have, you may essentially be starting over in a number of different ways while trying to pursue this Java credential and certification.
An ideal approach is to focus on the most recent version of this certification available – which is Java 8. Therefore, when it comes to identifying the different certification paths, you should begin with the path toward becoming an Oracle Certified Associate with the Java SE 8 Programmer certification. You will be tested on basic Java functions and systems in addition to object oriented programming. Keep in mind that there is a wide variety of Oracle Certified Expert certification options with multiple options when it comes to required subjects. Therefore, you must focus on whatever is required of your specific career goals and overall path within the IT industry to navigate your educational journey towards Java certification accordingly.
Take Advantage of the Recommended Reading
Once you have educated yourself on the certification paths necessary to lead you from Point A to Point Z of this process, the next step is to take full advantage of all available resources and recommended reading. There are quite a few books and other publications (printed and digital) that focus on this particular type of certification. Do not become complacent by assuming that you already know everything that you need to know, because the examination process may quickly humble you and force you to start all over again. Two of the books that receive the most recommendations within the realm of Oracle certified professionals is the OCA: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide or even the Certification Guide. You can more than likely find competitively-priced deals on these books, but the key is to make sure that you take the time to study and examine them carefully. Do not rush through the content, because doing so will not benefit you or your career very much at all.
Pay Attention to the Most Recent Version of Java
As you probably already know, Java seems to regularly update from version to version. . Shortly after you have become familiar with one particular version, the gears may shift and another version may be released. This is frustrating to most consumers, but it can become exceptionally frustrating to the aspiring IT professional who was studying the now-outdated version of Java for certification purposes. The key is to identify the most recent version and then focus on the key changes and differences that exist between that version and the one that you initially studied.
Complete Practice Tests
Another helpful step is to complete as many high-quality practice tests and sample examinations as possible while preparing for the official exam. One of the most effective ways that you can prepare for your Java certification exam is by solving a vast number of relevant questions that are similar to the ones actually encountered on previous examinations. Depending on the test center at which you register or even the certification guide that you decide to purchase, you should be able to gain access to at least a small collection of these practice examinations to get the ball rolling in your favor.
Register for the Exam and Purchase Vouchers
Once you have successfully completed practice examinations as part of your Java training, the next step is to register for the official exam and purchase the appropriate vouchers that you will need. You must register through the Oracle Education System and purchase a digital voucher, which is reportedly close to $245 and valid for 6 months from the date that you purchase it. If you happen to fail the exam, there is no need to worry about starting all over. You can register again for the exam after 14 days to retake it. As mentioned, the actual voucher is valid for 6 months after you purchase it so keep this in mind when scheduling the actual exam date that you will select based on your current preparation and readiness level for the exam.
Find the Testing Center and Take the Test
After you have purchased the voucher, the next step is to find a nearby testing center and schedule your testing date. This is all part of the registration process. Make sure that you select a date that is close enough for the majority of your Java training and reviewed information to remain fresh on your mind. However, you definitely do not want to schedule your exam too soon because you run the risk of performing poorly and deflating your enthusiasm and confidence in your ability to pass the exam.
Examine the Results and Act Accordingly
The final step of your journey towards obtaining a Java certification is being able to examine the test results once they are ready. Fortunately, you will not have to wait very long to get these results. Within 30 minutes after you complete the exam, your score will be sent to you via email. Therefore, you will be able to make your future plans accordingly based on those results.
If you were successful in passing the exam, you will receive your certification electronically 3-4 days later.