OCM 11g Preparation

Today (22nd October 2014) I will start my Oracle OCM 11g study project. I will list here the topics and some study guides for each of them, so I can exchange with you who is also applying, interested or have any skills. Please comment in the post related to each topic if you find out any more valuable information to add.

My target is to take the exam by October/2015.

UPDATE 1: I did it on 14th AND 15th October IN Bucharest, Romania. Now I’m waiting for the results! (More information in section 4 and 5).

UPDATE 2: After 35 long days, the result finally came on 20th November and now I’m officially and OCM! (More information in section 6).

Every topic will have a link to a post where I will cover some test cases, what is needed to study and the link to the official Oracle Doc related. Remember, the Oracle Official Doc is all you will have on the day of the exam, so being fast and getting to the item in the DOC is a necessity.

Let’s start:

1 – Before you begin

Recommended Hardware for Study
Download the Exam Environment
Prepare your Environment
Course Requirements
Where to take the exam

2 – Topics

Those topics were get from the official Oracle OCM website on Oct/2014. I will update if I notice any modification.

I recommend you to print this list in a front/back page (you can get the pdf here and print it) and “check” each completed item with a pen! It’s a good way to control your progression. Thanks to Kamran for this tip.


Server Configuration
• Create the database
• Determine and set sizing parameters for database structures
• Create and manage temporary, permanent, and undo tablespaces
• Stripe data files across multiple physical devices and locations
• Configure the database environment to support optimal data access performance
• Create and manage database configuration files
• Create and manage bigfile tablespaces
• Create and Manage a tablespace that uses NFS mounted file system file
• Create and manage multiple network configuration files
• Create and configure a listener
• Configure the database instance to support shared server connections
• Set up network tracing
• Manage Oracle network processes
• Configure the network environment to allow connections to multiple databases
• Use configurationless connections
• Use OPatch to install a patch
• Use Grid Infrastructure to manage oracle databases and other resources
• Use Enterprise Manager Configuration Assistant(EMCA) utility

Enterprise Manager Grid Control
• Install and Patch Enterprise Manager Grid Control software
• Configure the Enterprise Manager repository
• Create Enterprise Manager Grid Control users
• Use Enterprise Manager to modify a database configuration
• Configure Enterprise Manager to modify database availability
• Create and manage jobs
• Create and monitor alerts
• Create notifications
• Implement Grid Control and Database Control
• Choose the appropriate tablespace type for the intended use
• Create Scheduler jobs
• Create schedules
• Assign jobs to windows
• Create programs
• Create job classes
• Install the Enterprise Manager Grid Control infrastructure
• Deploy Enterprise Manager Grid Control agents
• Configure Grid Control for business requirements

Managing Database Availability
• Mantain recovery catalogs
• Configure Recovery Manager
• Use Recovery Manager to perform database backups
• Use Recover Manager to perform complete database restore and recovery operations
• Configure RMAN
• Create different types of RMAN backups to cater for different performance and retention requirements
• Set Flashback Database parameters
• Configure a Fast Recovery Area
• Perform various recovery operations using Flashback technology

Data Management
• Manage Materialized Views to improve rewrite and refresh performance
• Configure and manage distributed materialized views
• Create and Manage encrypted tablespaces
• Manage Transport of tablespaces across platforms
• Configure a schema to support a star transformation query
• Administer external tables
• Implement Data Pump export and import jobs for data transfer
• Implement Data Pump to and from remote databases
• Configure and use parallel execution for queries
• Use SQL*Loader
• Administer, manage and tune parallel execution

Data Warehouse Management
• Administer partitioned tables and indexes using appropriate methods and keys
• Perform partition maintenance operations
• Maintain indexes on a partitioned table
• Implement securefile LOB
• Create and manage LOB segments
• Implement fine-grained access control
• Create and manage contexts
• Administer flashback data archive and schema evolution

Performance Management
• Administer Resource Manager
• Use Result Cache
• Use multi column statistics
• Gather statistics on a specific table without invalidating cursors
• Use partitioned indexes
• Administer and tune schema object to support various access methods
• Interpret execution plan
• Use SQL tuning tools and features
• Use SQL Tuning Advisor
• Use SQL Access Advisor
• Use SQL Performance Analyzer
• Configure baseline templates
• Use SQL Plan Management feature
• Implement instance caging

Grid Infrastructure and ASM
• Install Oracle Grid Infrastructure
• Create ASM Disk Groups
• Create and manage an ASM instance
• Implement ASM failure groups
• Creating ACFS File System
• Start, stop, configure and administer Oracle Grid Infrastructure

Real Application Clusters
• Install the Oracle Database 11gR2 software
• Configure ASM for the shared disks and create a clustered database
• Configure archiving
• Configure services using both Manual and Policy Managed methods

Data Guard
• Create Physical Standby Database with real-time apply.
• Configure the data guard environment to reduce overheads of fast incremental backups on the primary database
• Configure the Observer
• Switchover and switch back
• Configure connect time failover
• Convert the standby to a snapshot standby
• Configure archivelog deletion policy for the Dataguard configuration

3 – Others Certifications as study strategy

One very good path to study for the OCM is taking other Oracle Certifications as a way to cover a topic. This is the way I’m doing and I recommend it. The work & study required to prepare for certification exams broadens your knowledge by exposing you to a wide variety of essential functions, features & tasks.

Getting certified also adds a lot of benefits for you and your career, as Oracle listed here.

So, what extra certifications do I recommend you to take as you study and for what topics do they prepare you?

I hope you don’t ever think in using Brain Dumps for them. Why?

  1. It’s illegal.
  2. It will not help you and will not give you any base for any OCM skillset.
  3. Every Oracle Professional knows that Brain Dumps exists. If some candidate during an interview show me some certification budget, the first thing to do is make some questions that this credential should allow him to answer. Imagine how shameful would be to him not to know basic things.

4 – Tips for the exam trip

Here are some tips that I recommend:

  • Arrive some days before the exam to the city to align your biological clock, specially if your time shift is bigger than 3 hours.
  • One day before the event, go to the exam place to check if the address is right, where is the room, the best way to arrive, etc.
  • Don’t drink any alcoholically things from 3 days before the event. Do it after the second exam day to celebrate (and do it well).
  • Don’t eat heavy food or any kind of food that put you stomach at risk during the exam (like fat or sea food).
  • Take a good breakfast in the morning. Avoid drinking too much liquid before the exam or during the breaks. Do it after.
  • Sleep for at least 8 hours before each exam day. Relax your body and your mind!
  • Keep in your pocket some pills for headache that could come.
  • Don’t forget to take with you 2 (TWO), I said 2 (TWO) ID’s. Maybe the passport and the other your driver license or your country main ID. If you don’t, you will need to leave. Rules are rules, they will not be flexible with you in this point.

5 – After the event!

After you do the exam, don’t talk any information about anything in the exam to the others (even if it is your best friend or your wife/husband). Why?

  1. Before starting the exam you must sign a NDA (non disclosure agreement), available here, saying that you won’t say or talk anything about the exam. If you don’t want to sign it, you cannot do the exam and that’s it, good bye. But if you do sign and if you talk to anyone about the exam, you will lose your OCM credential.
  2. It’s not fair to the ones who studied and worked hard to get it.
  3. The value of the something is inversely proportional to how easy is to get it. If we have 100K people that are OCM and got it cheating, the ones who didn’t will also be harmed. That’s the case of the OCP certification today, where many people got it using Brain Dumps.

Also, that’s why you usually don’t see much information about the exam in the internet.

And what about the results?

  • “Participants will be notified of their final score 4 – 5 weeks following the exam”. So relax during that time also.
  • If you pass, celebrate it, you deserve. If you didn’t, don’t give up. Try again! Imagine if the babies give up trying to walk after the first wrong attempt. We would have a world of people crawling around.

I’m still waiting for mine, that will be probably available by November/2015. =]

6 – The Results

After 35 long days waiting, one year of dedication and 10 years working with Oracle DB, I could not be happier with the result. Now, I’m officially an OCM 11g.

The OCP team sent the result at 5h27 UTC/GMT-2.


Soon I will receive the OCM kit by email.

7 – External Pages that helped a lot!

8 – Special Thanks

Alex Zaballa is a Brazilian Oracle OCM and ACE who gave a presentation about “How to became an Oracle Certified Master” in the GUOB Tech Day 2014. This is an OTN event that happens once a year in Brazil.

I’m very thankful to him as this was the kick off for my studies. He also gave a lot of tips that I use in many pages of this article.

He is also known as the 100+ Oracle Certifications man. Here is his webpage link where you can find much more information about him: http://alexzaballa.blogspot.com/


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  1. Pavan Kumar N


    Nice to see you are preparing for that, even I have started for OCM 11g, I will share across my views on topics and practices which I prepare.

  2. Essa

    Hi pavan. Really nice to see your post I have also started my OCM preparation a month ago after completing the RAC cert. Let’s stay in contact and exchange information and try to get OCM on good ground. Thanks bawer

  3. Balazs Papp

    Hi, nice collection. I ended up on these pages a few times during my preparation phase. We almost met, I attended the exam in Bucharest on Oct 12-13. Still waiting for the results, this part is the worst… 🙂

    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Balazs,

      I’m glad this helped you in someway! Yes, for 2 days only we didn’t met, maybe in the 12c upgrade we will =]
      Yes, waiting is never good, maybe in 1 or 2 more weeks we wikk have the results!

      See you,
      Rodrigo Jorge

  4. Alvaro

    Hi, Rodrigo. After 1 year studying and practicing all the exam topics, what is the real level of difficulty is the exam? It’s so complex or the complexity is the race against time by the big number of questions?

    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Alvaro,
      Complexity and difficulty are very subjective things, they depend not only on how much you study but also on your past experience with Oracle Database.
      In my opinion, they exam was very complex and time is for sure also an issue!

      Rodrigo Jorge

  5. Alvaro

    Thanks for your information! It has a lot of value. Sure you’re a new Ocm.

  6. Maciej

    Congratuliatios passed OCM exam

    1. DBA RJ

      Thanks Maciej! =]

  7. Sudik Atogulum

    for this great achievement .. Your site has been really helpful for me .
    I am also planning to take the exam after 3 months ..

    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Sudik,

      Thanks and I’m glad this is helping you in someway! Good luck in your exam! Plz let me know when you do pass!

      Rodrigo J

  8. Maciej

    Rodrigo, could you tell me which type of oracle documentation was available on exam ? Old style or new style ?

    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Maciej,
      Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about the exam itself. But I would recommend you to do the OCM Workshop as you will have training in a similar environment that can give you some idea.

  9. Shahrukh Yasin

    Hi RJ

    First of all congratulations for the passing of 11G OCM, the amount of work that you have put in this post is really amazing. I am thinking of appearing in OCM 11g for last 3 years and could not go through the preparation part, but i will try next year 2016 hopefully

    Keep up the good work!

    Shahrukh Yasin

    1. DBA RJ

      Thanks Shahrukh!
      I’m glad you enjoyed! Please let me know when you take your exam and certification! =]

  10. Ian

    Hi Rodrigo,

    Congratulations! I just wanted to drop a word of thanks, as I came across this post in preparation for my own exam, and the documentation shortcuts came in quite handy for those sections I didn’t work with too regularly.

    All of the best for 2016



    1. DBA RJ

      Hey Ian,
      I’m glad this article have helped you! Thanks and I hope you have also passed.
      All of the best for this year!

  11. Scott

    Thanks RJ for the details tips and guides!

    very nice.
    i am planning to take OCM exam in April 2016. only 3 months left

    i may have some questions to ask shortly while i prepare this exam.

    thanks again

    1. DBA RJ

      Thanks Scott!
      I’m happy you liked it!
      Please let me know when you achieve your certification!

  12. @j1m0nz

    Thanks for good blog. It helps in my preparation.

  13. Arun Rangasamy

    Hi Rodrigo,

    Congratulations on passing your OCM Exam. Well Done mate.

    I have been following your website for preparation for the exam. I appreciate your great work.

    1. DBA RJ

      Thanks Arun,
      I’m glad you enjoyed!

  14. Scott

    thanks a lot RJ!


    has the ” X windows” software(example: Exceed) been installed on the lap environment?
    as we need to use Xwindows to install oracle software(runInstaller) and create database(dbca) via GUI, although we can do it using response files.

    what are we provided in order to complete some many tasks in lab?.
    1) “a windows PC”
    2) just “a Linux server”
    3) “oracle Virtual box”


    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Scott,
      For question 1, I used Virtual Box to study. So, sometimes I used the Gnome Linux interface and sometimes I used X Windows in my Windows 7 environment to bring the GUI.
      For question 2, I cannot talk anything about the exam lab environment.

      Rodrigo Jorge

  15. Scott

    thanks RJ!

    oracle website says Each skillset explicitly describes the required “end state” that participants must achieve.
    i can not understand “end state ” here. could you please explain more “end state ” ?

    best regards,

    1. DBA RJ

      “End State” is the state desired by the question in the end of the skill set.
      Example: Let’s say there is a skill set asking you to create a table FOO.T1. The skill set will ask you that in the “end state”, the table T1 must be select-able by the user SCOTT in the database ORCL.
      So you must ensure this database is online in the end and the user SCOTT has the necessary grants to select the contents of this table.


  16. Md. Matinur Rashid

    Thanx for your graciousness for sharing your preparation details for OCM 11g.
    Would really appreciate if you share the same for your Oracle OCM Cloud preparation.

    Best Regards

    1. DBA RJ

      I will as soon as I have time!

  17. Mariami Kupatadze

    Thank you Rodrigo!!! You are the best DBA I have ever seen after Tom Kyte 🙂 !! Thank you for sharing this information .. it is easy to prepare..

    1. DBA RJ

      Thanks Mariami! Let me know when you get yours!
      Rodrigo Jorge

      1. Mariam Kupatadze

        I have passed Rodrigo!!

        Thank you very much!!!!

        By your blog it is really easy to pass OCM, you are super helper :)))

        1. DBA RJ

          Congratulations Mariam! Only who passed knows how much dedication and efforts are needed!
          Welcome to a group of very few and high level experts! You rock!
          (and sorry for the late response!)

          1. Mariam Kupatadze

            Thank you ! 🙂
            I agree with you. You must dedicate yourself to this exam, no sleep , to much reading, practicing, pressing brain…no family, no friends (they should understand you, there is no way 🙂 )
            But it gives you a lot of experience, you become quick to solve problems… and you feel like cool 😀

            Exam is stressful. You are getting tired even on the first day, like you are beaten by someone, but there is another day and you must restore your energy.

            Good luck everyone!

  18. Jakub Szepietowski

    Hi Rodrigo,

    today I’ve got Congratulations letter from Oracle University.
    I would like to thank you for your amazing work creating this blog especially part about exam. This was very very helpful.

    Big thanks and have a nice day.

    Best Regards

    1. DBA RJ

      Hey Jakub!
      What a great news !!! I am sure you deserve it ! CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to OCM community !

  19. John Cantu

    Hello Rodrigo,

    I found your website a few days ago. Thanks for providing your experience and examples for each topic as there are about 5 topics that were unclear to me so you saved me some time and great job on earning the OCM. I’ve been an Oracle DBA for 17 years and will finally take the OCM exam. I earned first OCP back in 2002. I started studying for this exam about a year ago. I am scheduled to take the exam on Jan 18th. I even left my family for about 4 months to focus on studying

    One thing I noticed is that my speed to work items has really improved to the point of “being too fast” and the more I practice, the more it becomes second nature. I fear that the exciting challenge of doing Oracle DBA work will move toward the boring side lol. Did you once start to think that this Oracle DBA is starting to get too easy?

    Oh well, I guess it will finally be time to moving into management. Sigh.


    1. DBA RJ

      hahahahaha the idea of studying for OCM is exactly that, being able to do anything as soon as possible.
      And don’t worry, you probably won’t finish all the exam topics before time is over =D
      Good luck man!

  20. Witek

    Hello Rodrigo,

    do you know how long OCM 11g exam is available to pass ? I am trying to pass it in 2017.
    Who know if it is possible in Septemeber ?


    1. DBA RJ

      Hi Witek,

      Probably it will be available as long as 11g is officialy support. That was the case with 10g exam.


  1. Principal fonte para estudo! | DB & CLOUD

    […] A principal fonte de estudo será a documentação oficial da Oracle, seguindo a estratégia montada pelo Rodrigo Jorge, conforme esse post. […]

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