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Oracle 1Z0-117: An SQL Tuning Challenge

All of these topics are important and you must understand each of them at a very granular level. The point of the Oracle OCE designation is specifically to demonstrate candidate’s in-depth knowledge of the areas covered. The SQL Tuning exam does not resort to the ‘tricky’ questions seen in the SQL Expert exam. The subject matter allowed the test designers to create straightforward questions that are still difficult.

"Despite what I thought was adequate preparation, the exam was a bear."

I did not feel any real time pressure on this exam. I completed it with twenty minutes remaining, and that was after going back to re-evaluate a number of questions I had marked for review. I would estimate that only a quarter of them contained exhibits – certainly a lower percentage than the last few Oracle exams I’ve taken. The main problem that candidates will have on this exam is that the questions require such detailed knowledge of the topics. While I feel this is one of the hardest Oracle certification exams I have ever taken, the knowledge gained while studying for it is some of the most valuable I have ever acquired in preparing for a certification exam.

Despite what I thought was adequate preparation, the exam was a bear. I passed, but with a lower margin of error than I consider to be acceptable. To properly prepare for this exam, you ideally need experience using the tools and techniques involved. Oracle Education attempts to design the questions on Expert-level exams to be easier for individuals that have real-world experience with the topic. There are a number of white papers and articles on the subjects covered by this exam. They are not a replacement for experience, but used in combination with the Oracle documentation, they can improve your chances of passing. The 1Z0-117 page on the web site listed in the author’s box below has links to a significant number of these resources on the web. Good luck on the exam.


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,, is dedicated to providing links to resources for Oracle certification preparation.

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