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How to become an Oracle Certified Java Professional

javinpaul profile image javinpaul Updated on ・8 min read

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links; I may receive compensation if you purchase products or services from the different links provided in this article.


Oracle's Java certifications are highly regarded in the IT Industry and provide recognition to a Java developer worldwide. It helps you to find a better job, get a better salary, and even a better raise or bonus at your current job.

That's why thousands of Java developers try to become certified every year, but success is not easy in this exam.

Oracle's Java Certification has a tough passing percentage, close to 65% for both OCAJP (the Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer) and OCPJP (the Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer).

You need in-depth knowledge of the Java language and API to succeed in the exam.

As a note, preparing for OCPJP is not very different from OCAJP, though you have to use resources that are focused only on OCPJP. You also need to cover more topics and more in-depth because OCPJP 8 is certainly a tough nut to crack.

In order to prepare well and get a high score, here are some tips which will help you to become a Oracle certified Java professional. These tips have helped me in the past to score more than 90% on the certifications.

So, without wasting any more time, here are my five tips to prepare well for the OCAJP and OCPJP exams.

1. Code Every Day

There is no substitute for coding. You must code daily to develop a coding sense, which will help you to read the code given in the real exam.

In the case of OCPJP, it becomes even more important because attention to detail is required to understand each coding question before you select options.

2. Join a Good Course

In my opinion, online courses are one of the best ways to learn new technology in a short period of time, and that also holds true for preparing for a certification exam like Oracle's Java certification or Spring Professional certification.

They are the second-best way, just next to a personal instructor or classroom training. You learn actively from experienced professionals who have gone through that path and know exactly where the breakers are and where the road is bumpy.

When I prepared for my Java certification some 10 years ago, books were the only way, particularly the Khalid Mughal book, but now you have a lot more books and courses to help you out.

  1. Whizlab's OCAJP 8 training course
  2. Whizlab's OCPJP 8 training course
  3. Oracle Java Certification --- Pass the Associate 1Z0--808 Exam

3. Read a Good Study Book

There is no better companion than a good study book if you are preparing for Java certifications.

They cover all the exam topics, give practice questions at the end of the chapter, and share a lot of exam-specific tips that you don't find in any normal Java book.

There are a lot of study guides available in the market, but if you are preparing for OCAJP 7 or OCAJP 8 you can take a look at these resources to find a good study guide.

  1. OCA Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I by Jean Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff
  2. OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Certification Guide (Exam 1Z0--808) (Mala Gupta)
  3. Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer Exam 1Z0--809 By Ganesh, Hari, and Tushar

4. Choose a Good Exam Simulator

After choosing a good book or study guide, the next thing you need is a good exam simulator. This is a must if you want to score high but not required if you just aim for passing the exam.

The exam simulators will help you to develop the speed and accuracy required to complete all questions in 2.5 hours.

I suggest that you keep doing mock tests until you score 80% on a consistent basis before going for the real exam.

Here are some of my recommendations for exam simulators:

  1. Whizlab's Exam Simulator\ There are the best in the market, tried and tested by many developers including myself.
  2. Enthuware's Practice Test\ That's again the second best in my opinion, also very cheap, you can just get it under $10. It's also tried and tested by many certified Java developers
  3. David Mayer's Practice Test\ If you need to go the extra mile with your preparation, I suggest you solve the 450+ problems from David Mayer's Test.
  4. Java Certification: OCA (1Z0--808) Exam Simulation\ 260+ multiple-choice questions with an explanation to assess Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer I preparation
  5. Java Certification --- OCA (1Z0--808) Topic-wise Tests\ Multiple choice questions covering all the exam objectives of Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer I

Btw, if you are buying Whizlab's simulator then you can also use the coupon code "JAVACOMBO2" to get a 25% discount.

Since they provide lifetime access to their simulator, I suggest you buy both OCAJP and OCPJP simulators together and take advantage of this coupon code.

5. Regularly Participate in Forums

You have to keep yourself motivated and up to date on the exam and other details. With that in mind, there is nothing better than participating in forums like CodeRanch or Oracle's official Java Certification forum.

You can ask questions, clear doubts, and become familiar with other candidates who are preparing for exams.

You may be able to find some buddies as well who can prepare with you for exams.

6. Solve As Many Practice Questions As Possible

Practice makes you perfect, so solve as many you can. You will slowly develop the speed and accuracy needed for the exam.

There are many such free exams available and Google is your friend. You can find a lot of them to get started with.

Here is a list of some of the freely available practice questions for OCAJP 8 and OCPJP 8 exams:

  1. http://www.java67.com/2017/05/10-free-java-8-certification-sample-questions-OCAJP8-OCPJP8-Mock-Exams.html
  2. http://javarevisited.blogspot.sg/2015/11/5-free-ocajp8-ocpjp8-mock-exams-and-practice-questions.html#axzz5ACLhR0b5
  3. http://javarevisited.blogspot.sg/2016/08/5-free-ocajp-7-and-ocpjp7-mock-exams.html#axzz4pXl8Axsv

These are just the samples of free certification questions you will find on the internet. If you need more, you can do a Google search or can also look following resources.

Other Useful resources for Java 8 certifications:

Here are some of the useful resources for preparing OCAJP8 (1Z0--808) and OCAPJP8 (1Z0--809) examination.

Some resources are free and you have to buy others, but given the actual exam cost is 245 USD or 10,100 INR, it is worth spending some more money to prepare well. It's better than taking a retake of the exam.

Closing Notes

Thanks, You made it to the end of the article ... Good luck with your Java Certification exam! It's certainly not going to be easy, but by following this roadmap and tips, you are one step closer to becoming a certified Java developer.

P.S. --- If you need some FREE resources, you can check out this list of free OCAJP 8 and OCPJP 8 mock exams to start your preparation.

Discussion (8)

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osklyar profile image
Oleg Sklyar

As a long time TL and engineering (hiring) manager I pay exactly zero attention to such certificates and so did every single company I worked and hired for and so did every other colleague of mine looking for engineers. If you really have nothing else to show that makes you stand out contributing to open source is still going to have a higher impact than this certificate. Your choice how you invest your time.

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javinpaul profile image
javinpaul Author

Hello @oleg , you may be right, as there are different opinions, some value certificaitons, some not. For me, apart from tangible recognition, the intangible benefit is much more. I learned Java better when I prepared for my Sun certification long back. I got to learn things which I would have not learned for years if I haven't gone for certification. So, I highly regard the certification. It's one step towards mastering your skill.

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examsure6 profile image
examsure6

Good article Javin ...

As someone who has an Oracle 7 Certificate of Java, in my humble opinion, with Oracle completing the help for Java 8 and moving on to a continuous launch cycle of half a year and more people exchanging to OpenJDK, I basically have no idea if justify consuming money on these tests more. But in case you are delighted with the basic Java test or your association is paying for the test, I affirm that they stay away, they do not have the weight they used to have. In any case, the test books are an incredible reference material.

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katecallcat profile image
katecallcat • Edited

The simplest solution that comes to my mind is to get a certificate by completing a Bootcamp like Thinkful or Springboard. I've found this review - self-starters.com/springboard-review/ and it seems like worth trying. However, the key is self-practicing and self-motivation to get your first job as a Software Engineer.

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kingnathanal profile image
William Britton

Nice Article Javin...

As someone who has a Java 7 Oracle Certificate, IMHO with Oracle ending support for Java 8 and moving to a more 6-month release cycle and more people switching over to OpenJDK, I just don't know if it's worth spending money on these exams anymore. Unless your interested in the basic Java exam or your company is paying for the exam I say stay away they don't hold the weight they used to have. But the exam books are really good reference material.

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javinpaul profile image
javinpaul Author

If your company is paying then its best to use that money. Actually my main motivation was that when I did mine :-) more than 10 years ago. But, after doing certifications I realize they are complete worth of your time and money. You learn a lot while preparing for certification that helps in Job interviews and your day to day job. I actually come out as better a Java programmer after passing my certification.

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judyraabe profile image
judyraabe • Edited

Hi there! I am currently studying at college, but I think of becoming a Java developer. I believe certification is a crucial step in getting a dream job. Thank you very much for valuable resources that will help to obtain deeper knowledge in this specific field. I have also discovered an interesting website that might be useful for the students as me. I just click to investigate the topic for my essay and receive the website that offers the best examples for students for free. I think of preparing for this Oracle examination as it will be the brilliant first step in my future career.