- The first stage was to go through the 9 scenarios for the first time. This was the hardest time for me. I constantly encountered errors but couldn’t figure out why. I was very frustrated and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, I had my fellow course mates to help and it took me over a month to go through all 9 scenarios.
- The second stage was the continuous practice till I could be completely independent of the textbook. I spent the most time on this stage. It was very tiring but it’s also the most rewarding stage. I was looking through all kinds of reference books, official manuals, while consulting my friends and colleagues to solve all kinds of problems. Each time when a problem was solved I felt I made a small step forward. I went through the emotional ups and downs again and again, while telling myself to carry on. I finally was able to absorb the knowledge from all 9 scenarios along with the official documents in my mind as mental maps. This is a process of digesting and synthesizing an abundance of knowledge.
- The third stage was the intensive preparation right before the exam when I had to go through everything again to check for weak links while pressing on with the practice to improve my speed. This was also the stage at which I felt most accomplished as I was very self-disciplined. As someone who had almost no training on Linux, I was actually able to use all the Linus codes, which was a nice surprise.
It wasn’t till one month before the exam that I was able to complete all the scenarios without instructions. At that time, I was very anxious about the exam as I wasn’t sure how much speed-up I would manage over a month’s time. But once I’m off the instructions, I found myself speeding up very rapidly so maybe I should have gone off script sooner. During the last month, each day was very intensive as I was trying to get the most out of the training. I was going through all the scenarios every day, on weekends, and every two days on work days. Although my speed was maintained at around 50% just before the exam, I was no longer very nervous about it. Mr. Hou was very encouraging and gave some very useful advice before the exam, while I also kept telling myself to believe in what I know. My mindset was that I didn’t need to be perfect but only perform to the best I can. Overall, my exam went fairly well. I did come across a few small problems but was able to solve them calmly.Advice on Taking the OCM Exam
- Regardless your prior knowledge of Oracle and Linux, believe in yourself! Follow the instructions from the teachers and you will be fine.
- You have to join the “Hong Bao” (红包) Group. It will give you encouragement and help from teachers and course mates. You are not alone – there are many people behind you offering their support. [This group is in China. Find a similar community in your area to help you prepare for the exam and support you through the process.]
- Once you've completed the 9 scenarios, set the exam date as soon as possible. This will force you to start your preparation and improve your efficiency. The longer you drag it on, the more exhausting it will get.
- If your situation permits, attend the exam crash course. It will help you to know the latest development in exams. It was during this exam crash course, the teacher corrected some of my wrong operations and answered many of my questions, which really helped me to pass the exam.
- From when I first started, it took me nearly half a year to complete the database OCM exam. During this time, I went through a lot but also learned a lot. With the dedication and help from the teachers, I made great progress and also lots of lovely friends. I cherish all of this. Looking back the journey, I would like to thank all the teachers for their help and guidance, thank all my course mates for their precious friendship, thank my managers and colleagues for their support, and especially thank my family for their hard work and support. There’s no end in learning and I shall continue with my journey of learning!