Sunday, March 16, 2014

1Z0-060 Exam Preparation Seminar

One of my contacts at Oracle University gave me a sneak peek at a new training option that is about to be released for 1Z0-060 exam candidates. Their new exam seminar will be a set of recorded videos and presumably will be offered under their existing 'Training on Demand' model. While I did not get a chance to review any of the videos, I saw the complete set that will be made available and the duration of each. The seminar contains 43 videos (44 if you count the 2-minute intro), with a total length of almost exactly twelve hours. You can see a YouTube video with a brief intro here.

Since the current recommended training on the Oracle Certification site for 1Z0-060 is Oracle Database 12c: New Features for Administrators, I compared the content of this course to the seminar. The 12c new features course runs for five days and OU's Training-on-Demand version of it runs $3250. Oracle University courses vary somewhat, but from the ones I have taken in the past, each day nets about 5-6 hours of instruction (with labs and class discussion consuming the rest). A five-day course would have somewhere around 28 hours of lecture time, give or take a few hours. I did not get a price for the seminar (and it may not even be set in stone yet), but it will almost assuredly be lower than the five-day New Features course.

The two courses are not quite an apples-to-apples comparison in terms of content. The new features course is geared towards the features added in 12c but has no information dedicated to the 'Core DBA Skills' portion of the exam. The seminar is focused strictly on the topics covered by the exam. The net result is that the 1Z0-060 seminar is covering more topics than the new features course... in well under half the time. 

Mind you -- I am not saying this is a bad thing. Covering the exam topics in a very concise fashion is what my study guides do after all. However, just as I recommend that exam candidates use my guides in tandem with another source of information, I would recommend the same for those who decide to use this seminar. I do not believe that most people will be able to use this seminar to go from zero knowledge about the new 12c features to being test-ready just by watching the videos. I think candidates who opt for this seminar should use it as either the cornerstone or capstone of their exam preparation. Start with this seminar, or end with it, but be sure to include some time preparing with other materials as well. I suspect that it would work best as a capstone. Prepare for the exam using the documentation or white papers, or OTN articles (e.g. the type of stuff I link to on the 1Z0-060 page of my website). Once you feel that you have covered all of the topics through those sources, the seminar would be a valuable means for reinforcing the information and helping to catch anything that might have been missed in your earlier preparation.