1 down, 1 to go....

Today I wrote the OCA exam 1Z0-042 and the good news is I passed. I wasn't able to prepare as much as I would have preferred because they are changing the OCA track as of Monday, Dec. 1st. That meant I only had a few weeks to study and given work, home and extra-circular activities (mine and my kids) thats not alot of time.

To study I used the Oracle Press 10g Exam Prep book, Selftest Software and of course 10g installed in a vmware environment. I don't think I would have done as well if it wasn't for the Selftest software, especially since its pretty similar to the exams.

I did have a few issues with the software tho and what I believe were incorrect answers. In one case I tested the solution in my vmware environment and offered to send them the log.. They haven't responded yet. To be just, I believe I found a couple of incorrect answers in the Oracle Press book as well. I contacted the publisher tho and they don't maintain a list of corrections.

I'm glad its over... Now I have to start studying for the next exam but tonight i'm finishing Gears of War 2!!


Busy Studying . . . but why..?

After studying for the OCA exam for the past few weeks I am now going through demo exams. I have to say, if these are the types of questions I will see on the exam I don't know if I will take the second one.

Alot of the questions are very subjective and you are not provided with enough information to choose the 'best' answer. For example, one question is that a database is having IO issues and is suffering from degraded performance. The available answers are:

1. standby database
2. SQL Tuning/Access Advisors
3. file system without RAID
4. ASM

Depending on the circumstances 1, 2 or 4 may be the answer.

1. I have implemented a few standby databases which are opened in read only mode so that reports could be executed against them. This helped reduce the load on production because they are IO intensive and long running. All of our production environments are on a SAN so there isn't much more tuning we can do there.

2. I've seen databases accessed by poorly written SQL. Look at my post A New Record! So this could be the best answer if this was the database in question.

4. Sure ASM can help but we will be making assumptions about their IO subsystem. For all we know they may only have 1 disk on the server.

BTW> The correct answer was 4.

So for questions like this, I find myself trying to determine the best answer that Oracle may choose, not what may be best given my years of real life experience. Maybe its easier for someone that hasn't worked in the real world to perform well on this exam? That would explain pretty much every OCP we have hired in the past hasn't performed well......