uCertify Oracle Certification Software Review

From the Database-Geek.

In addition to frequently being asked to recommend books for newbies to Oracle, I am also asked for guidance on certification. Basically, what materials are available and worth purchasing. I used Self Test software and the Sybex books when I was working on my certification. That was back in the 9i days. If you are working on 9i certification, I strongly recommend them. ;-)

However, I figure you are probably working on an 11g certification; 10g at least. In that case, I would guess that Sybex and Self Test are still good options, I just haven’t personally worked with the latest versions (software or books).

uCertify PrepKit

I recently had ucertify_icon.pngthe opportunity to try the latest version of uCertify’s PrepEngine for the Oracle 11g SQL Fundamentals I (OZ10-051) test. I am using the full version of the software but you can download a trial and give it a try. The trial is the complete tool minus support and with a reduced number of test questions and study notes.

It’s a good looking piece of software and very easy to install. I’m not sure if you need to be connected to the internet for the trail version but you will need to be connected for the registered version. The software does a license check and validates your license before you can use.

The specs to install and run the software are minimal: any version of windows and IE 5.5. I was running WinXP Home SP3 and IE7 on an EeePC 1000h. It ran fine for me.

The main screen is like a large menu. You have an actual menu at the top, buttons to take tests in the middle and a row of options off to the right for the different areas of the tool. ucertify_test_menu.png

When using it, I started off with the readiness report and a diagnostic test. These tests give you a feel for where your weak points are and let you know where to concentrate your study time. The tests are a varying degree of difficulty. I ran into one issue which I talk about in the Cons section below.

I like the fact that I was stumped several times. After taking a couple of the tests, I went to OTN and looked up some commands to refresh my memory of them. The articles and notes also have some very good information in them and are worth reading even if you aren’t getting certified.

If you have ever taken an online test, you can pretty much can figure out how to use this software. Multiple choice questions and you may have more than a single answer to any particular question.

I don’t know if it’s because I have spent so much time in software like this but I found it to be very intuitive to use.

Free or your money back

uCertify makes an uncommon guarantee:

If you don’t get certified in the first attempt, we will return your money. No questions asked!

Steps:

  1. Fax your results to 1 (209) 231 3841.
  2. We refund your money.

With an offer like that, I find myself able to recommend this software if you are considering getting certified. I am leery of recommending many things. I am strongly opposed to things like brain dumps. Cheating doesn’t help anyone. uCertify is a legitimate study aide. Here are the pros and cons, IMHO.

Pro

  • Currently on sale for $74.99USD instead of the normal $89.99
  • uCertify guarantees your certification or you get your money back
  • Articles, flash cards, notes, tip and tests in a common interface
  • Adaptive tests (increasing difficulty)
  • Incredibly easy to install and use
  • Very low hardware requirements

Cons

  • I felt that some of the questions were worded strangely, making it difficult to pick the correct answer
  • I found one wrong answer

The wrong answer may stem from an upgrade to the test. It had to do with renaming a column. The questions asked how you would rename a column and the correct answer (from the tests perspective ) was that you would use UPDATE (as in create a new column, update it with the old columns value and then drop the old column). I’m not positive as to the version it was added (I think 9i), but Oracle can definitely rename a column using ALTER TABLE.

To me, an error like that is pretty big. Without the guarantee of success, I would not be able to recommend the uCertify product. With that guarantee though, I don’t really see how you can go wrong. I did some google searching and was not able to find anyone complaining that uCertify was not willing to give them their money back (of course, I didn’t find anyone who said they did either). I did find one case study saying uCertify has a 99% pass rate.

That being the case, I would say it’s worth a shot.

Here are a few more screen shots:

LewisC

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6 Comments »

 
  • Martijn Hinten says:

    Are you sure you only found one wrong answer? Because that would be a giant leap forward for uCertify. I have bought the SCBCD prepKit and it is really stuffed with wrong answers. Be warned.

  • Lewi says:

    martin,

    Did you get certified?  If not, did you request your money back?  Did you get it?

    Thanks,

    LewisC

     

  • Martijn Hinten says:

    Lewis,
    I did not take the exam yet. Am planning to take it in the next few weeks (end of May, beginning of June) and am not planning for failure. However I have read some posts of people having difficulties claiming their refunds. FYI, besides the prepkit I am using ËJB 3 in action”, Mikalai Zaikins *excellent* study guide (http://java.boot.by/scbcd5-guide/) and some other freely available resources. Just visit the Javaranch. Good luck on your (next?) attempt!

  • Martijn Hinten says:

    Just to wrap up this thread: today I passed with 85% score. No need to claim the refund.

  • LewisC says:

    Just a year late but Congrats on passing the exam.

    LewisC

  • Martijn Hinten says:

    Yep, and fortunately I have been able to practice EJB3/JPA on my last 2 projects.

    Regarding the refund-claim, I must add that uCertify contacted me personally for a refund. (I reclined the refund, because of the administrative hassle for only 30 bucks or so, but it was a nice gesture of theirs).

    Ciao.