How to become oracle certified Java programmer

OCAJP and OCPJP Certifications
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In this post, we will see how can you prepare for Oracle certified Java programmer(OCPJP)

Introduction

The present scenario of the Information Technology industry all over the world is such that it demands a large workforce of skilled professionals who are well impeccable in a language or domain. However, there are a wide variety of programming languages in the world today and even larger number of inexperienced graduates who apply for a position as a software engineer at a reputable organization, and experienced personnel who wish to switch over to another organization. So how does the organization choose? They view your certifications.

Certifications play a big role in today’s world and every single person is expected to be certified in a particular field. Certifications can often be the line between selection and rejection, and often choosing the perfect certification can provide the edge in a competitive selection round. OCPJP is one such certification.

What is OCPJP?

OCPJP, short for Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer(formerly known as SCJP ) is a Java certification provided by Oracle to those individuals who are able to pass the OCPJP examination organized by Oracle for a particular version of Java. It is regarded highly and is the crème-de-la-crème of degrees of certification for the programming language of Java, and is one of the most sought after certifications in the IT world. Seeing this certification in your resume, lets the company know that you are a trained Java professional and often provides the edge required for selection.

In this article, we shall be talking about the OCPJP 8 examination, pertaining to Java SE 8 version.

Levels and Pre-Requisites

The Oracle Java certification for Java SE 8, hereby referred to as OCPJP 8, is much like its predecessor OCPJP 7( for Java SE 7), has two levels of examinations before the OCPJP certification can be obtained. The two levels of examination are as follows:

Java SE 8 Programmer Level 1

  • The Level 1 examination is a multiple choice question examination of 150 minutes duration, and consisting of 70 questions based on the latest version of Java and its fundamentals.
  • Securing more than 65% of the total obtainable score in this examination will deem you as “Passed”
  • If a candidate clears this level, then they shall be awarded the first level certification for Java by Oracle – The OCAJP 8 – Oracle Certified Associate Java Programmer for Java SE 8
  • There is no pre-requisite for appearing in this examination. It can be taken at the will of you.

Java SE 8 Programmer Level 2

  • The Level 2 examination is also a multiple choice question examination on the fundamentals of Java SE 8 and features questions containing a reasonably higher level of difficulty compared to its predecessor.
  • This examination is of a duration of 150 minutes, consisting of 85 questions.
  • Securing more than 65% of the total obtainable score in this examination will deem you as “Passed”.
  • On clearing this level, you are awarded the highest level of certification in Java – OCPJP for the latest version of Java
  • The only pre-requisite for appearing in this examination is clearing the previous level, or with a certification of OCAJP

Syllabus for OCPJP 8

The OCPJP examination for Java SE 8, encompasses the following topics and sub-topics. Thorough knowledge of these topics is an utmost necessity to obtain the certification.

Java Class Design

  • Basic OOP Concepts and their implementation in Java – Encapsulation, Inheritance and visibility modifiers, Polymorphism as overloading and overriding.
  • Overriding and implementing equals, hashCode and toString methods of Object class
  • Singleton classes, Immutable classes and the use of static keyword

Advanced Java Class Design

  • Abstract Classes and methods
  • Use of Java modifier keywords – final, volatile, transient
  • Inner classes, nested classes, anonymous classes
  • Enumerated types
  • Interfaces and their implementation, and the use of @Override Annotations
  • Lambda expressions

Generics and Collections

Lambda Interfaces ( built in )

  • The java.util.function package – use of interfaces like Function, Consumer, Supplier, and Predicate
  • Use of primitive functional interfaces, binary functional interfaces and UnaryOperator interface

Stream API

  • Extracting data from objects using peek() and map()
  • Using Stream search and sort methods and supported associated methods on Collections
  • Use of Optional class and Stream data methods
  • Using flatMap() methods

Assertions and Exceptions

  • Try-catch-finally, throws and throw
  • Try with resources statement
  • Creating custom exceptions and testing invariants by use of assertions

Date/Time API

  • Date and Time management using combination of LocalDate, LocalTime, and associated classes
  • Management of Time Zones and Day Light Savings including date formats
  • Creating and defining Date based and Time based events

I/O Fundamentals

  • Reading and Writing data from the console and use of BufferedReader, BufferedWriter, FileInputStream, FileOutputStream etc.

File I/O

  • Path interface for file paths, and using Files
  • Using Stream API with NIO.2

Concurrency

  • Creation and use of Threads and resolving problems such as deadlocks and starvations.
  • Use of synchronized keyword and controlling order of thread execution
  • Use of concurrent collections and classes like CyclicBarrier.
  • Using parallel streams and fork/join framework

JDBC

  • Using the core JDBC API interfaces Driver, Connection, Statement and ResultSet for connecting to and using a database from Java
  • Create and execute queries and connection management

Localization

  • Using the Locale object
  • Reading Properties files and creating resource bundles for an application

Preparing for the Examination

To successfully obtain a certification in Java, you must be fully prepared to answer all questions correctly and in a suitable amount of time. The OCPJP 8 examination, as already mentioned before, consists of 85 questions and a duration of 150 minutes. That leaves you with less than 2 minutes per question. Thus, rigorous preparation is of utmost necessity to ensure obtaining the certification. The following tips will help you to prepare for the OCPJP Examination.

Learning about the examination paths and processes

First and foremost, before taking an examination, one must know about the examination – the processes required to register, the syllabus, the examination process. All of this can be easily found on the internet and is a good thing to research before taking the plunge. In this article previously, we have tried our best to provide a suitable amount of information about the examination. However, if one believes that they wish to know more, they can always consult the Oracle education website for further information on the OCPJP certification.

Familiarizing with the latest concepts added into Java, with SE 8

Java 8 has brought about quite a number of additional components into the already vast library of Java. Concepts such as Lambda functions, Streams, Date and Time APIs, static default method declarations in Interfaces, are the newest members of the Java library. A professional with experience in SE 7 could learn about the newest concepts and brush up on his or her skills prior to the examination.

Reading up on Reference materials

When it comes to examination preparation, nothing ever compares to the age-old concept of studying from the books. There are a large variety of books written for the sole purpose of the Java certification examinations. There are books written specifically for the version of Java for which one wishes to take the examination.

Some of the more popular books for OCPJP 8 are as follows:

  • OCA: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 programmer 1 Study Guide and OCP: Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer 2 Study Guide – by Boyarsky and Selikoff
  • OCA and OCP by Mala Gupta
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer Exam 1Z0-809 – by SG Ganesh, Hari Kiran, and Tushar Sharma

Besides these, there are also a large number of books on Java itself based on the latest version of Java. Moreover, the Java Community on the internet is one of the largest and ever-growing communities in the world and a lot can be gained from online references and forums where discussions on Java features take place.

Self-Practice

Practice is the best way to be a master at anything. The same applies for examination preparation. The OCPJP examination, being a Multiple Choice Question exam, requires quick thinking and reflexive analytical abilities. One may be a master at the topic, but it would be of no avail if they cannot answer the questions in time. Regular practice ensures that you are well prepared to answer the questions quickly and correctly. Candidates can practice while learning, by completing the practice exercises available in the books after every chapter. As they progress further, they can test themselves by answering the sample questions at the end by timing themselves to check how long they take to answer a question and improve further.

Mock Tests

Any examination is incomplete without taking a mock test first. Taking a mock examination helps you focus and prepare for the real exam environment. Taking mock exams and seeing how you fare is perhaps one of the best ways to truly gauge your performance with respect to speed and correctness. Practicing by taking more mock tests familiarizes you with the pattern of questions and help him or her, segregate the easy and the tough and how to split the time between them and become effective in solving all types of questions within a reasonable frame of time.

Participate in Community discussions

Sometimes, the best kind of preparation is collaborative preparation, where you prepare with a group of individuals who are set on gaining the same objective. The healthy competition and discussions can aid you in gathering more information about the topics or getting answers to questions that you were unable to solve but someone else has. As stated earlier, the Java community is one of the largest communities in the world and can be one of the major sources of information and preparation for OCPJP 8.

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