Thursday Jan 10, 2013

Certification Integrity and Cheating

The Oracle Certification program is something that we are proud of. We invest many many hours and numerous resources carefully crafting the focus and contents of our exams to be sure that they accurately and fairly measure the skills needed to master our technologies. We also invest in securing the exams to help ensure that scores closely reflect abilities. That is why when we learn of any persons or groups attempting fraud against the community and our program, we take it seriously.

We continue in our efforts to pursue and prosecute security incidents such as cheating or attempting to cheat at our testing centers, providing test questions to other users, proxy testing, using cheating materials to prepare for the exam, and fabricating score reports. Oracle takes various actions against cheaters including nullifying exam results, de-certifying candidates, and banning candidates from further Oracle testing.

We have previously posted a series where we discuss some information about cheating, who it hurts, and who it really benefits, and so you'll see links to the series below.

If you become aware of a cheating incident, please let us know. Because of security measures, we obviously cannot disclose our resulting actions; but rest assured - we do investigate these claims and respond accordingly. We are committed to preserving the integrity of your certifications and our program, and we genuinely appreciate your involvement.

QUICK LINKS


Monday Nov 05, 2012

The Real Value Of Certification

I read a quote recently by Rich Hein of CIO.com "Certifications are, like most things in life: The more you put into them, the more you will get out." This is what we tell candidates all the time. The real value in obtaining a certification is the time spent preparing for the exam. All the hours spent reading books, practicing in hands-on environments, asking questions and searching for answers is valuable. It's valuable preparation for the exam, but it's also valuable preparation for your future job role and for your career. If your goal is just to pass an exam, you've missed a very important part of the value of certification.

We receive so many questions through different forms of social media on whether or not certification will help candidates get jobs or get better jobs. Surveys conducted by us and by independent entities all point to the job and salary benefits of certification. However, a key part of that equation is whether a candidate can actually perform successfully in a job role. If preparation time was used to practice and learn and master new skills rather than to memorize a brain dump, the candidate will probably perform successfully in their job role, and job opportunities and higher salary will likely follow. Candidates who do not show that initiative, will not likely reap the full benefits of certification.

Keep this in mind as you approach your next certification exam. You are preparing for a career, not an exam. This may help you to be more appreciative of the long hours spent studying!

Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

Register Your Interest In Taking The Oracle Database 10g Certified Master Exam

Due to the increasing demand for the Oracle Database 11g Certified Master exams, the 10g version of the exam is being scheduled less frequently worldwide, to reserve space for delivery of the Oracle Database 11g Certified Master Exams.

Since we have received several recent requests about the Oracle Database 10g Certified Master Exam, we would like to remind you that if you would like to take this exam, please be sure to register your interest so that Oracle University can gauge interest in this exam in each region. Otherwise, we recommend preparing for the Oracle Database 11g Certified Master Exam.

We recognize the effort it takes to reach this level of certification and applaud your commitment!  Register your interest  with Oracle University today so that you can get closer to completing your certification path. 

Friday Jun 15, 2012

Purchase Vouchers From A Reputable Source

We have seen a recent increase in counterfeit vouchers being marketed online and we want to make sure our Candidates are aware of the risks of purchasing vouchers from unauthorized sellers.

Please be advised that only Oracle University and Oracle University authorized resellers may sell vouchers for Oracle Certification exams. If you purchase a voucher from any other source, your voucher may not be valid and you run the risk of program sanctions from Oracle which could include a lifetime ban on taking Oracle Certification exams.

Be sure your voucher is from an authorized source:

  • Oracle University
  • Oracle Authorized Reseller

If you are unsure whether your voucher seller is an Authorized Reseller:

  • Call Oracle University to confirm.
  • Check for the official Oracle Reseller logo on the website.
  • Ebay, Craigslist, etc are not authorized resale avenues.

The only exceptions to the above sources are vouchers from programs that provide a discount on exams, or vouchers from your employer who has purchased them through their partner program or with learning credits. These vouchers may not purchased by you, but may be provided to you from:

  • Oracle Academy
  • Oracle Workforce Development Partner
  • Your employer who has purchased vouchers directly from Oracle 

This investment is too important to trust to chance. Be sure that you are purchasing your voucher from a reputable source so that you can free your mind to prepare for your exam. View the full Oracle Certification Exam Voucher Use Policy.

Friday May 18, 2012

New On The Oracle Certification Website

Several recent improvements have been made to the Oracle Certification website to help make things easier for you to quickly find the information you need. 

NEW TRACK PAGES

Track pages are the pages that describe the requirements to earn each Oracle certification. There is a track page for each certification path that shows you how to achieve your certification - step-by-step. Here you also find links to the courses that fulfill the training requirement (for those certification paths that require training) as well as a link to each exam required in your path, showing helpful exam information such as exam topics, cost in local currency, etc.

We have recently redesigned our track pages based on feedback from our customers to make them easier to follow and more comprehensive. At the top of each track page is a section that gives you an idea of what can be expected of a person who holds this certification, a broad idea of what is covered in the exam, and what types of skills will be covered in your exam preparation. 

For certifications that have logical next steps (such as OCA to OCP, or add-on OCE certifications), our track pages now suggest which credentials would likely be most helpful to you in your technical field. 

Our track pages now include any applicable upgrade paths directly within the track pages itself (i.e. no more hunting through the website for upgrade paths and exams). To upgrade from an earlier version of a certification to the current one, look for the path on the track page under the 'Upgrade An Existing Certification' tab.

Click on each of the images below for a larger version: 


NEW CERTIFICATION FINDER

Have you ever had difficulty knowing exactly where to look on the Oracle Certification web pages to find the certification you are looking for, or to see what certifications are available in a certain area?

With the Oracle Certification Program's significant growth over the past few years, the number of certifications has expanded exponentially - sometimes making it challenging to find the certifications you are looking for. With this in mind, we're pleased to have released our new Certification Finder.

This powerful new tool will allow you to search for certifications either by Product Area (as was available in the past), or by Job Role (new). Users can then drill down further, narrowing their search by product group and by product. Users can also start with the product area or pillar rather than job role and drill down in the same fashion - narrowing their results to only those certifications in which they are interested.

Click on the image below for a larger version:

Friday May 11, 2012

Authorized Oracle Practice Exams from Self Test Software

Once you commit to the decision to become certified, a critical first step is to prepare your customized study plan. As you build your personalized plan, it is important to evaluate high-quality, Oracle-authorized training and practice materials.

The Oracle University team continues to strive to make high-quality certification preparation tools available to our students. In support of this effort, we are expanding Kaplan Self Test Software's relationship as an Oracle Authorized Practice Test Provider to bring candidates a new feature-rich and fully authorized series of certification practice exams.

Practice tests are one of the most effective ways you can prepare for your Oracle certification exam. Authorized practice exams are an excellent tool to help assess your knowledge using realistic exam simulations. These practice exams utilize best-in-class practice exam tools including: Learning Mode (fully customize your own practice exam preferences), Certification Mode (simulates a real, timed testing situation) and Flash Cards (check yourself on key topical concepts).

All of the authorized Kaplan Self Test Software practice exams are based on the same objectives as the actual Oracle certification exams. The team at Kaplan Self Test Software does a great job creating high-quality practice exams and works in close coordination with the Oracle certification program team.

You can access the authorized practice exams through SelfTestSoftware.com/Oracle. A number of new exams are available now and Kaplan Self Test Software is working to expand the product set with additional offerings (including additional Java practice exams). Product demos with sample questions are available for you to review.

We encourage to you evaluate Kaplan Self Test Software practice exams as a trusted partner to help you prepare for the challenging task of an Oracle certification.

Thanks,

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Be Aware: Java Master Assignment Deadlines

With the transition of Oracle's Java exams to delivery through Pearson VUE, some policies have slightly changed - including a change to Java Assignment and Essay submission deadlines.

SIX MONTHS FROM PURCHASING YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

Java Master Assignments must be submitted and their accompanying Essay completed within six (6) months of the assignment purchase date. This is very important to avoid having to purchase a new assignment.

When you purchase your assignment, count six (6) months out from that date and mark your calendar. This is your deadline to (1) have your assignment submitted, and also (2) to have your essay completed. Keep in mind that you can register for your essay only after you have submitted your assignment, and your essay must be completed at a Pearson VUE testing center. To avoid scheduling issues, allow sufficient time after submitting your assignment to get your essay scheduled. If you have not submitted BOTH your assignment and essay within 6 months of the assignment purchase date, you must purchase a new assignment. This deadline is being enforced at this time with no exceptions.

ASSIGNMENT RESUBMISSION DEADLINE

Another important deadline to be aware of is the assignment resubmission deadline. Assignment resubmissions must be submitted within 30 days of failure notification. If you do not resubmit a failed assignment within 30 days of failure notification, you will be required to start over by purchasing a new assignment and essay.

So what do you do if you are outside the 30-day resubmission deadline? Submit as soon as possible. Due to the recently resolved issues that were causing delays in receiving assignment scores, we are currently allowing a small grace period on the 30-day deadline. This deadline will begin to be enforced on September 1, 2012 with NO EXCEPTIONS.

COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

I had trouble submitting my assignment by the 6-month deadline. How do I get an exception to submit it now?

  • There are no exceptions. You will need to purchase a new assignment. If you are having trouble with submitting your assignment, contact Pearson VUE immediately for assistance.

I submitted my assignment within the 6-month deadline, but I did not have time to complete my essay. How do I get an exception to submit my essay?

  • There are no exceptions. You will need to purchase a new assignment. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your essay after you've submitted your assignment. If you submit your assignment at the last minute and you are not able to schedule your essay at a Pearson VUE testing center within the deadline, there will be no exceptions. It is your responsibility to ensure that you allow enough time to accommodate any scheduling challenges.

I missed my resubmission deadline. How to I resubmit now?

  • BEFORE September 1, 2012, you may resubmit.
  • ON OR AFTER September 1, 2012, you will not be able to resubmit if you miss the deadline. You will need to purchase a new Assignment and Essay.

I am on a project and do not have time to complete my assignment resubmission. How do I get an extension?

  • There are no extensions. It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the deadline, which is 30 days from the date you receive your failure notification.

How do I know the deadline date for resubmission?

  • Count 30 days from the date stamp on your failure notification email. You may resubmit through the 30th day. The deadline date will also be noted in your failure notification email.

I purchased the resubmission, but did not get it submitted in time. How do I receive a refund?

  • There are no refunds for resubmissions that are not submitted by the deadline. 
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