Wednesday, 21 March 2012

1Z1-805 Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer


I have successfully completed the "1Z1-805 Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer" Exam, taken on the 6th of January 2012. My score was 70%. The required passing score was 60%.

Beta Exams? What's that?

No doubt you've noticed that the exam I took is called the "1Z1-805 Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer", while the one that can be taken at Oracle is called "1Z0-805 Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer".[1] The numbers are diffferent.
It turns out that new exams have a "Beta" period.

“Beta exams are pre-production exams used by Oracle to evaluate new exam questions with the participation of a live audience.”[2]

Taking the exam during this Beta period has the following advantages/disadvantages:
  • reduced cost.
    I had to pay 25 € instead of 125 €
  • length.
    While the exam usually takes about an hour, the Beta exam takes three hours.
  • exam number.
    Beta Exam numbers begin with "1Z1"; real Exam numbers begin with "1Z0".
  • number of questions.
    The number of questions are usually more than 175.
  • validity.
    Both normal exams and beta exams are, when passed, perfectly valid.
  • grading.
    Due to the nature of the Beta exams, grading takes a great deal more time. I had my results in on March 20 2012. In my case this translates to 2½ months waiting. *
  • practise.
    As these new exams are regarding new software practices/technologies and the like, you might have to dig a little deeper to find out the ins and outs of the material to study. There're little to no practice exams yet, though the Oracle (Java) website has some good texts.[3]
  • limited period.
    As the Beta exam can only be taken during a specific period, there is a deadline for you to prepare. Once the official exam goes live, the Beta exam is gone.

*) update 15 april 2013 : the reason the grading takes a great deal more time, is that you are graded based on your answers on the questions that will make it to the official Production Exam. Since this exam is not available/created until 10 weeks later, it explains the delay.


[1] Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer
[2] Oracle Certification Program Beta Exams
[3] JDK 7 Adoption Guide

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