Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Getting Oracle Certified Master

The Oracle Certification program offers three distinct certification levels for Oracle Database 10g— Associate, Professional, and Master —shown in Figure 1. The three levels are organized to suit the needs of entry-level, professional, and senior-level IT professionals, respectively. The highest level of certification an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) can achieve is Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Master (Oracle Certified Master).

About the Master Exam

The Oracle Certified Master exam tests candidates on their ability to perform in a real-world, live database environment, and it is a test of both knowledge and experience. In addition to having practical experience, a candidate taking the exam is required to have expertise in complex DBA tasks. The prerequisites for this rigorous performance-based certification are that candidates must first earn an Oracle Database 10g OCP credential and complete two advanced-level courses through Oracle University.

The Oracle Certified Master certification consists of a two-day onsite practical exam that is conducted in an Oracle University classroom. The test is available at more than 150 locations worldwide. Also, Oracle Certified Master upgrade certification will be available soon for Oracle9i Oracle Certified Masters, who will be able to take a one-day practical exam to upgrade their credentials to Oracle Database 10g.

Practicum Content

The Oracle Certified Master practicum content focuses on eight primary areas:

1. Server configuration
2. Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control
3. Managing database availability
4. Data management
5. Data warehouse management
6. Performance management
7. Oracle Real Application Clusters
8. Oracle Data Guard

Each Oracle Certified Master candidate is provided with a dedicated server that has both Oracle Database 10g and Red Hat Linux installed. A complete Oracle 10g documentation set is available on the server. Over the course of two days, candidates are given scenarios in which they are asked to perform complex technical tasks that require setup, diagnostics, troubleshooting, and problem resolution. There are no multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions on the exam.

Strategies for Achieving a High Score

The following are recommended strategies for meeting the exam objectives and achieving a high score on the Oracle Certified Master practicum:

* While preparing for the exam, you must perform tasks associated with each of the exam objectives. Limiting preparation only to book study will not adequately prepare you for two days of rigorous hands-on testing.

* Basic understanding of operating system commands is necessary. A candidate must know how to copy, move, and delete a file; navigate between directories; and execute programs from the command-line prompt.
Next Steps

LEARN more about the Oracle Certification Program, and download a free exam guide

READ Inside OCP columns

* Although Oracle documentation is available for reference during the exam, looking up simple commands in the documentation will cost time. Therefore, candidates should not rely too much on the availability of reference documentation during the exam.

* Scenarios in the exam must be completed within a specific time. Therefore, time management is critical. Moreover, some scenarios are built on each other; failure to meet a set of objectives in one scenario may have a negative impact on later scenario objectives.

* Be prepared to restore and recover your data. Candidates must back up their data during the exam and restore and recover the data if necessary.


With Oracle Certified Master, Oracle provides the only hands-on certification and the first master-level database certification in the industry. Achieving this rigorous certification puts an Oracle technologist in the most elite group of database professionals in the world.

This article is adapted from