Low-Cost or No-Cost Methods to Prepare for Oracle Certification Exams

No one likes spending money and everyone likes getting paid well for their work. These two truisms explain why there are so many people seeking Oracle certification who ask for free materials to help them pass the tests. Unfortunately, there’s a third truism that’s applicable here: “You get what you pay for”. Essentially the only exam materials that people are willing to email free to someone they’ve never met are brain dumps. Brain dumps are not valid study materials for Oracle exams and put your certification at risk.

It’s worth spending some time doing the math on the cost of Oracle certifications. The numbers will all be in US dollars and assume US training rates. You’ll have to rework them for your own situation. To become an Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Professional, you must pass three tests and take one hands-on course with an Oracle authorized provider. The tests cost $125 for the first two and $195 for the third. Oracle training for the Admin II exam is $3,250. If you spent nothing for study materials, your money out-of-pocket would be $3,695. You can purchase books for OCP tests for anywhere from $10 to $70 depending on what they contain. If you spend $30 in study materials for each of the three tests, the total is only $90. Passing just one test that you would have failed otherwise pays for the study materials for all three.

The Free:
That aside, it is possible to study for any Oracle certification test using materials available online. Every single Oracle manual can be downloaded free. The test topics provided by Oracle Education for each exam gives you a specific list of what information you need to look up in the manuals. Using the documentation in this fashion is an extremely good way to study for a certification test. Locating the information will take you longer than using a book designed for the test. However, reading these manuals will provide you a better background in Oracle and help you in your career.

You can often find certification books at public libraries. They may not have what you want or what they have may be out of date. However, it is possible that the very book you need is available to borrow. It’s also sometimes possible for your local library to request a book from another one further away if you need a book they don’t have. You’ll never know unless you ask.

The Cheap:
Certification books tend to be throwaway resources. Once someone has their certification, the book itself is generally no longer useful. Many people look to resell them, or donate them to libraries or charities. You may find a copy of a certification book at a used bookstore or a library book sale.

A source where you can almost always find used versions of any certification guide is Amazon. They’ve started selling used books. However, the prices they charge are often so close to the new price that you might as well buy a new book.

Another option to get materials cheaper is to share the expense with a friend or coworker who wants to get the same certifications. There are a dozen different ways to share the costs among two or more people that will make the cost of the study materials negligible to the overall price for becoming Oracle certified.

The End Result:
Oracle Certification can help you to get a job, but you will need Oracle skills to keep it. A certification is nothing more than a line on your resume if you don’t have the knowledge to back it up. That line may get you an interview and perhaps even hired. It won’t do anything to help you perform the daily duties of that job. Making the effort to learn the material that the test covers will serve you much better in the end than trying to pass the test quickly..

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