Certification Exam Exam preparation: step by step

Step 1. Choosing an exam

Written by Mushfiq Mammadov

First of all, you should decide which exam you want to take. If you have not got any java certificate so far, you have to take an exam on Java Standard Edition level. You can choose one of these exams: OCJP 6 (1Z0-851), OCA 7 (1Z0-803), OCA 8 (1Z0-808) etc.

The advantage of OCJP 6 exam is that you take only one exam and if you pass then you can take any Java Enterprise Edition (EE) exam. However, after 7th version Standard Edition (SE) exams are divided into two parts: Associate and Professional. You have to pass both exams (Associate and Professional) in order to take Java EE exam.

The disadvantage of OCJP 6 is that this exam is now considered relatively old. As it is expected that Java 9 will be officially released this year, probably java 6 will no longer be a suitable exam. It is recommended to choose either 1Z0-803 or 1Z0-808 exams. Detailed information for all exams is available on Oracle’s official website.


Detailed information about 1Z0-808 exam (29.01.2017):

(click for the latest information)

1Z0-808 exam details


Detailed information about 1Z0-803 exam (29.01.2017):

(click for the latest information)

1Z0-803 exam details


Comparing OCA SE 7 vs OCA SE 8



Exam Number




150 minutes

150 minutes

Number of Questions



Passing Score



Exam Price

US$ 245

US$ 245

Next Step





You can see the differences between OCA SE 7 and OCA SE 8 exams from the pictures above (number of questions, passing score). But the main difference is related to the exam topics, more clearly the following new  topics were added to the OCA SE 8 exam:

  • static and default interface methods;
  • Create and manipulate calendar data using classes from java.time.LocalDateTime, java.time.LocalDate, java.time.LocalTime, java.time.format.DateTimeFormatter, java.time.Period;
  • Write a simple Lambda expression that consumes a Lambda Predicate expression.

But according to my exam experience about 4-5 questions are asked regarding time package and lambda expression in actual exam. There isn’t much material to study. So I recommend to choose OCA SE 8 exam. In addition, this exam might help you to learn changes made in 8th version. I really loved lambdas very much. You can see exam topics in the above links by clicking on “Exam Topics”.


Exam price

The price of exam was noted as $245 in official website, but Oracle has different pricing policy for different countries. The price of exam is $150 for my country (Azerbaijan). You can learn the price for your country when register for exam in Pearson VUE website. This price may be even lower if discount is offered by Oracle. I took an exam in November, 2015 and paid $120 instead of $150. Because Oracle had made a 20% discount on all java exams until the end of that year in honor of the 20th anniversary of Java.

Oracle also offered 35% discount on more than 10 exams last year – from June, 2016 until December 31, 2016. You have to enter promo code to use discount. I will write about it in detail in step 5 (Register exam in Pearson VUE).

See All Steps

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Mushfiq Mammadov


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