The Voice of IT Certification

Oracle 1Z0-060: An Oracle 12c Upgrade for All

If you are an OCP in any release, then you can become a 12c OCP with this exam — but it won't be easy. Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c has teeth.

1Z0-060: Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c

Reviewer's Summary
This test is not the creampuff that New Features exams have been for earlier releases. The Core DBA Skills section on this exam adds a twist that is going to bite some test takers.

Time Limit
120 minutes

Number of questions
51 / 34

Counts toward
Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional

Exam Objectives
1Z0-060 Exam Objectives

1Z0-060: Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c is the exam required for Oracle Certified Database Administrators from earlier releases to recertify for Oracle 12c. Unlike previous upgrade exams offered by Oracle University, 1Z0-060 has no restriction on which release the exam candidate must be certified in. Oracle professionals who last earned their OCP as far back as release 7.3 of the Oracle database can perform a single-step upgrade to being 12c-certified. Of course doing so will not certify candidates in the releases that were bypassed. For DBAs holding 7.3 and 8i certifications who are not interested in taking multiple exams, this is an excellent opportunity to blow the dust off their credentials by taking a single test.

Cynics (or realists) might wonder if there is a catch involved.  There is. Previous "Upgrade" exams have always been called "New Features" exams. The only topics contained on these exams have revolved around the new bells and whistles that were added in the release of the database they were for. The 1Z0-060 exam is different in that it has two sections with different goals. The first section covers the new features of Oracle 12c.  The second section is for "Core DBA" skills. The two are separately scored and candidates must have a passing score in both to receive credit for the exam.

Many of the topics of the Core skills are extremely broad. One example is, "Perform daily administration tasks," which can cover a huge range of potential questions. It is difficult to study for topics that have no clearly defined limits. For test-takers who have worked as a DBA, much of what is on that section will be information that was accumulated through job performance. Candidates who have never worked as a DBA (or have not done so recently) may find this section to be a significant challenge.

The exam has 49 topics on new features and 34 on Core DBA skills. As with all of Oracle University’s New Features exams, the topics are all over the map, so grouping them into a small number of related categories is not feasible. The single biggest selling point of Oracle 12c is the Multitenant capability, and a significant number of topics are related to it. Beyond that, the other topics have little in common. To demonstrate just how diverse the material covered by this exam is — while performing my research, I had to reference 20 separate Oracle manuals:

  • 2 Day + Performance Tuning Guide
  • 2 Day DBA
  • Administrator's Guide
  • Advanced Security Guide
  • Automatic Storage Management Administrator's Guide
  • Backup and Recovery User's Guide
  • Concepts
  • Database Installation Guide for Linux
  • Migration Assistant for Unicode Guide
  • Net Services Reference
  • New Features Guide
  • Oracle Database Utilities
  • PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference
  • Reference
  • SQL Language Reference
  • SQL Tuning Guide
  • SecureFiles and Large Objects Developer's Guide
  • Security Guide
  • Upgrade Guide
  • VLDB and Partitioning Guide

I have always found the New Features exams of the Oracle Certification Program to be fairly easy, something I noted last year on a GoCertify review about 1Z0-050. My preparation for these exams has always been a routine process. Perhaps the Oracle University test development team read my review and took it as a personal challenge. Whatever the case, 1Z0-060 is a more difficult test than I have seen in earlier releases. Part of the problem is with the vague Core Skills topics as noted above. However, I also believe that Oracle University reduced the percentage of "learner-level" questions in this exam in comparison to previous releases.

At 85 seconds per question, the time pressure was not really bad, but it was close enough to require some budgeting. My exam had absolutely no exhibits, which was a little surprising, but nice from a time standpoint. The last several exams I have taken have been notably free of them. I don’t know if this is coincidence or if OU is moving away from using exhibits as often as they have in the past.

This is easily the hardest of the exams I have taken to upgrade my Oracle DBA certification. I suspect that was a conscious decision on the part of Oracle University because of the multi-step upgrade it provides. However, it may be part of a larger strategy to increase the difficulty of the Oracle DBA certification. I noted in my GoCertify review of the 1Z0-062 test that it was markedly more difficult than OCA exams typically are. Oracle University may be looking to raise the bar on what it takes to become an OCP. Whatever the reason, do not underestimate 1Z0-060.  Good luck on the exam.

matthew-morris120

About the Author

Matthew Morris is an experienced DBA and developer. He holds Oracle DBA Certifications for releases 7, 8i, 9i, 10G and 11G; is an Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Certified Professional; and holds Oracle Expert Certifications for SQL, SQL Tuning, and Application Express. He is the author of several Oracle certification guides. His Web site, www.oraclecertificationprep.com, is dedicated to providing links to resources for Oracle certification preparation.