OCP Java 17 Certification 1Z0-829 Preparation Strategy

Java Certification 1Z0-829 Exam Experience

After a lot of delay Oracle finally released OCP Java 17 Certification 1Z0-829 exam in April 2022. It is a tough exam to pass. It is also expensive (250 USD), so, failing this exam will cost you a substantial amount of money. Since we get many questions regarding how to go about it, in this article, we present a couple of preparation strategies for passing this exam on first try.

How much time do I need to pass the Java Certification Exam?

The first thing people ask is how much time do they need to allocate to prepare for the Java Certification Exam. This is really a tough question to answer because it depends on your current Java knowledge and expertise. This exam covers a wide range of basic and advanced topics and even if you are an experienced Java developer, you cannot expect to pass it without thorough preparation. At the same time, this exam requires you to be extremely good with Java fundamentals such as objects and references, polymorphism, equality, arrays, lambda expressions, and such. So, if you have learnt Java from a good book earlier, then it should not take you much time time to learn the advanced topics that are mostly information based such as Modules and the Date/Time API.
Still, if you are looking for some numbers to plan your preparation, here is what we believe is the time required to prepare for the Java 7 certification exam:

    1. For Java newbie (0 to 1 year experience): 6 months to 1 year. This exam covers a lot of ground and it is better if you don't rush it. You will not only need to read up a lot of stuff but also memorize the APIs. You need to get comfortable with reading and writing Java code because most of the questions on the exam are code based. If you can't read and comprehend code fast, you will not be able to go through all the questions in the exam within the time limite. You will definitely need to go through a good book, write code, and take mock exams.
    2. For Junior Java Developer (1 to 3 year experience): 3 to 6 months. If you have been developing with Java for some time, you are already familiar with the syntax and are comfortable writing and browsing Java code. This will help you compile the code "mentally". You will also be able to related to the exam style code problems better.
    3. For Senior Java Developer (3+ year experience): 1 to 3 months. You already know the tough parts of Java such as the collections API, concurrency, lambda expressions/method references, JDBC, and File I/O. You are comfortable looking up and reading JavaDoc API documentation to understand what a class or its methods do. You are also not afraid to use the Java Language Specification to find out the answers to Java fundamentals. You know about that boundary conditions and "exceptions to the rule" exist and are watchful of them already. If you have been seriously developing Java applications for the past three years, you will not have much trouble absorbing the new material and getting into the mode of answering multiple choice questions.

The above timelines are only an approximation. Every person is different and everyone learns at their own pace. So, there is no fixed rule. The best way to find our how much time you need would be to take a couple of mock exams and see how you score. See the kind of mistakes that you make and the kind of information base that you lack. From our experience of training people, we can tell you that if you are able to score above 50% in your first mock exam without preparation, you won't need more than a couple of months to get ready for the exam.

Do I need books to prepare?

There are now two books for OCP Java 17 1Z0-829 exam:
  1. OCP Java SE 17 Developer Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-829, written by Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky.
  2. OCP Java SE 17 Developer (Exam 1Z0-829) Programmer's Guide Volume I & Volume II, written by Khalid Mughal and Vasily A. Strelnikov
Although these books are expensive, they are worth buying because you will find all the topics required for the exam in one place. Without the book, you will have to find all the relevant material on the internet and also be extra careful about changes that have happened to Java 17 since Java 11.

If you are a new Java programmer or have less than a few years of professional Java development experience, it would be a good idea to go through the book. The exam is tough and covers a lot of topics. Most developers never get to use many features of Java that are included in the exam. While it is certainly possible to learn about them from online tutorials and blogs, using a book would be the easiest way to cover them all.

If you are an experienced Java developer and are willing to go through assorted learning material available on the internet, here are the topics that you need to read up on:
  1. Sealed classes
  2. Records
  3. instanceof operator with pattern matching
  4. switch expressions
  5. Date/Time API

For experienced developers

If you have already read the new topics and want to totally skip going through the theory part, it would be best if you take the four Foundations tests that are available in Enthuware 1Z0-829 mock exam suit. Questions on these tests are not like the actual exam but focus only the basics. They will tell you how much you really know.

If you are confident about your knowledge, you may skip the foundation tests and just take the regular standard tests. If you fail the regular tests, then you should get back to reading and Foundation tests before attempting the regular ones. After each test, make sure that you go through the explanations for all the questions, including the ones that you answered correctly.

If you follow this process, you will see your score increase with each subsequent test. Once you feel you are ready, take the last three "Unique Tests" from the Enthuware suit. If you pass these tests, you will be sure to pass the real exam.

All the best!