Study for 1Z0-060: Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c

Oracle released version 12c of the database in mid-2013. Several of the new features introduced with 12c will make it a very attractive upgrade option for large corporations running Oracle databases. As of this writing, the 1Z0-060 exam has only been in production for a few months and the number of 12c certified Oracle DBAs on the market is still small. Those who upgrade early will be in the minority for some time. Earning this credential early can help DBAs stand out from their peers.

I have been an Oracle Certified DBA since version 7.3 and have upgraded over the years to 8i, 9i, 10g, 11g and now 12c. In my experience, preparing for upgrade certifications is an extremely effective means of staying abreast of the current capabilities available at Oracle. I have learned numerous times about new Oracle features that have been helpful in my work while preparing for the refresher exam. That being said, in every version of Oracle, there are many features that I’m not interested in. I’d still rather spend time learning about ten new features than find one I like if the alternative is never discovering that feature at all. In this article, I’ll try to give you some exam guidelines to help guide your preparation.

The exam topic page on the Oracle University website should always be your first stop when preparing for an Oracle certification exam. This page will provide all the topics that will be covered on the exam. Not all of the new features added in version 12c will appear on the exam, so it is critical that you use the list of topics to determine which ones to study. The 12c Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c exam is unusual in that it has two graded sections. The first section deals with what’s new in 12c and has forty-nine topics. The second section is on basic DBA skills and has thirty-four topics. On the exam, the sections contain fifty-one and thirty-four questions respectively. Indeed, each topic will lead to approximately one question on the exam.

This exam was different from any of the refresher exams I have taken to date. In large part, this was due to the new ‘Basic DBA Skills’ section. All other upgrade exams consisted only of questions about added capabilities and changes made in the latest version of Oracle. Having almost half of the exam directed at DBA assignments required additional preparation time. The exam questions about the new features also seemed to require more depth than in the past. One of the largest topic blocks on the exam is about multi-tenant architecture which is new with 12c. You want to spend more time making sure you’re comfortable with how this changes the management tasks of a DBA.

As with every new feature review, the topics covered are all over the map. Beyond multi-tenant architecture (which makes up only about 15% of the exam), there isn’t a particular area of ​​focus. Candidates preparing for this exam using Oracle documentation will need to use many books. In my research for the exam, I used twenty separate Oracle manuals. That’s not meant to discourage anyone from using them – the Oracle documentation is a great resource for preparing for your certification exams.

I found the 1Z0-060 exam to be more difficult than I expected. Historically, I have found Oracle University’s refresher offerings to be some of the simplest exams they offer. Be prepared to spend plenty of time studying the material in 12c and renewing your knowledge of the topics covered in the Basic DBA Skills section. Reading the 12c New Features manual is a reasonable starting point for your study. However, it doesn’t come close to providing enough information to pass the exam. Be sure to locate a good source of study materials for the exam, and make sure you spend enough time on each of the topics to feel comfortable with them before scheduling. Good luck in the exam.