Passed OCP 12c test

Well, I finally passed the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) 12c upgrade exam, 1Z0-060.  I got 86% right on the new features section and 78% correct on the general DBA section.  So, that means I missed roughly 7 questions on each section which was more than I expected because I felt good about all of my answers.

I’m happy with the three resources I used which are:

  1. Self Test software – $99
  2. Matthew Morris book – $10
  3. Sam Alapati book – $44

I spent a lot of time in the 12c manuals.  Be careful, though, because the manuals just came out and some things are different in from the test, because the test designers based the test on

I built two Linux virtual machines for test preparation.  On one I installed the database software and created a CDB and a non-CDB for testing.  On the other I installed the grid software and database software and created a CDB on ASM disks.  I spent many hours testing 12c features on these two environments and three databases.

I learned a ton both about new 12c features and features that exist in earlier versions, but it was a long and tedious process and I’m glad to finally be done.

– Bobby

About Bobby

I live in Chandler, Arizona with my wife and three daughters. I work for US Foods, the second largest food distribution company in the United States. I have worked in the Information Technology field since 1989. I have a passion for Oracle database performance tuning because I enjoy challenging technical problems that require an understanding of computer science. I enjoy communicating with people about my work.
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70 Responses to Passed OCP 12c test

  1. cdcox says:

    Hi Bobby, congratulations on passing the exam… and many thanks for sharing your tips with us.

    • Bobby says:

      You’re welcome. Glad I’m done!

      • Baby says:

        Hi Bobby, Thanks for sharing your tips for passing the Exam( OCP 12c )
        I have a small query and I am waiting for your suggestions too:-

        In brief:-
        I am 51 years old and passed OCP DBA , version 8, Exam in the year 2002.

        After passing the exam I was working in SQL , PL/SQL, Forms and Reports.
        For the last 5 years I was working in Automotive Industry, mainly in the functional area.

        I really interested in the DBA but existing certification is obsolete now, because Oracle DBA technology has changed a lot.

        Now I would like to know Oracle 12 c and also planning to appear the test 1Z0-060.

        According to you what should be the best to way to approach this.

        The following are in my mind.

        1) Set a up Oracle 12c environment in my Desktop PC
        ( I am not sure whether it is possible on an Intel i3, 64 bit,
        4GB RAM machine )

        2) Understand Oracle 12c
        a) Read Manuals
        b) Practice on oracle 12c

        3) Read the following books ( as you suggested)
        a) Matthew Morris book
        b) Sam Alapati book

        4) Practice on Self Test software

        Your valuable suggestion are appreciated


        • Bobby says:

          I think you have a good list here. I would focus on reading the concepts manual first. Also, maybe start with Oracle’s 2-day DBA manuals. I highly recommend trying to install 12c on your personal computer. Even if you run into issues that will be a valuable learning experience. I’m pretty sure that I run 12c databases on a 4 gigabyte Linux virtual machine so I think there is a good chance you can use your desktop.

          The only other tip I can add from my own experience is to not worry if you fail the exam the first time. Be prepared to make mental notes of the types of questions that you were not sure about and when you get home write down notes about what you should study.


    • Bobby says:

      🙂 No, I’m done with certifications for now. Hopefully three more years until I have to worry about Oracle 13 OCP.

  2. afocante says:

    Can you compare your both tests?

    • Bobby says:

      On May 1st I got 66% correct on the new features, and 62% correct on the key skills. At that time I only had the Self Test software and it only had 50 questions and they only related to the new features. So, three months of study with the three materials listed, including the updated Self Test questions which included the key skills, brought me up to 86% and 78%.

  3. Pete says:

    Of the two books, which covered the “key dba” best? Like you, passed 12c, but had not prepared for the key section.

    • Bobby says:


      Matthew Morris’ book was the only one of the two that covered the Key DBA skills. The testing software that came with Sam Alapati’s book included Key DBA skills questions, as did the Self Test software. I think it would be safest to buy all three just for the Key DBA skills guidance because that section of the OCP test covers such a broad area and you need something to focus your study to something reasonable. You are guaranteed to have questions that these three resources do not cover so you need to maximize what you can get out of them. Also, I missed several questions in areas that I had studied so it’s worth hitting this section pretty hard to be sure you pass it. But, Matthew Morris’ book was the only one that covered that section of the test in the written part of the book.

      – Bobby

  4. satya Aditham says:

    Bobby, Congratulations on passing the exam… After 10g I was getting ready for 11g and direct upgrade to 12c popped-up now. Still in a dilemma whether to complete 11g first or go straight to 12c. Ur advise is highly appreciated.


    • Bobby says:


      Everyone’s situation is different so it may depend on your own personal goals, but I think that getting your 11g OCP first makes the most sense. You need to know the 11g features anyway, and the 12c test builds on the features that were new in 11g. The cost of the tests themselves are small compared to the salary that an Oracle DBA could make so I wouldn’t let the cost of the tests or the books/software that you use to prepare for the test affect your decision. It could be that after studying for and passing the 11g test you will have an easier time passing the 12c test because the 11g stuff will be fresh in your mind.

      – Bobby

  5. Hi Bobby,


    I am planning to write OCP12c. Also bought Sam Alapati’s Book and just placed the order for Matthew Morris’ book.

    I have a question. I have examined the syllabus.

    I understood they are two sections. Section 1 is purely on 12c NF and Section 2 is KEY DBA Skills.

    I have got confused after going througth the Sam Alapati’s Total Tester.
    I have selected KEY DBA Skills and I am also getting questions on 12c.

    Seems Section 2 needs to be more cautious. Section 1 we do have clear list of syllabus and material.

    Section 2 syllabus is ambiguous. Seems the questions can be asked on any topic.

    I would like to know, how did you prepare for Section 2.
    My concerns are How did you prepare for the Section 2.
    Matthew Morris’ book is enough to cover Section 2 ? What else is needed ?

    I have purchased Actual Test paper for this. Hope that will work.

    please also email me to

    Srini Krovvidi

    • Bobby says:


      I did three things to prepare for the second section of the OCP 12c upgrade test.

      1 – After I failed the test I returned to the office and made notes about what I remembered about the second part of the test.

      2 – I read through the second section of Matthew Morris’s book three times and studied things in it that I wasn’t familiar with.

      3 – I downloaded the latest questions from the self test software and used the questions on it that related to the second part of the test.

      4 – I focused on the total tester questions that related to the second part of the test.

      Unfortunately, you can’t do number 1 without taking and failing the test once as I did. But you can do the other three. The second section of the test is the hardest because it covers too wide of an area to realistically study for. All you can do is use what materials you can find to limit your study to something manageable and then take a crack at the test. If you fail then come back and study the areas you remember being on the test.

      – Bobby

      • pattu64 says:

        Hi Bobby,

        I am planning to give the exam in two weeks from now.

        Prepared well for the 12c NF. But I still have some fears about the KEY SKILLS.

        My concerns are :

        1) Do you remember that the KEY SKILL SETs Questions provided in the self test software
        are the same as in Exam..How much percentage.. you predict that both are same.

        2) I am preparing not only those questions provided in the KEY SKILL SET of Actual Tests
        But all the related basic stuff they have mentioned in those questions.
        Also comparing the original syllabus, to check for any missing topics.

        3) Realized that 1Z0-053 (Part 2 of 11g OCP) is also good source for this KEY SKILL SET.
        browsing all those question and answers as well.

        Please anwer me on point number 1 as I can not afford to fail this exam.
        11g SQL Tuning (1Z0-117) failed two times..

        Srini Krovvidi

        • Bobby says:


          I really can’t comment on what is or is not on the test. Failing the test isn’t the end of the world, but your best bet is to over prepare. The three resources I listed in this blog post helped me pass the key skills section. Others have told me that they reviewed their 11g test preparation materials and that helped them on the key skills. But, nothing guarantees that these materials will cover what is on the test that you take, which may differ from the one I took. At the end of the day, no matter how you do on the test, the study of these materials will only help you be more effective in any DBA job. Good luck on your test!

          – Bobby

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bobby,
    Thank you for comments, I am preparing for 12c OCP test. I will have to study based on your advise. are there any practice test software for second part of 12c OCP test? I have purchased self test practice test to study for it for first part, but as everyone else, worried about second part only, since I have OCP for 10g only and not done 11g yet.

    • Bobby says:

      The self test software includes questions related to the second part of the test. The CD included with Sam Alapati’s book also includes questions related to the second part of the test. Plus, Matthew Morris’ book has a long section covering the topics that are in the second part of the test. I would use these three as a guide to studying for that part of the test. Also, think about any major areas that you are not very familiar with. i.e. If you have not worked much with partitioning maybe look at that. If you are rusty at RMAN look at that. Worst case scenario is that you fail the test and then make notes afterward about questions you remember being difficult then study that area.

  7. sarveswaramar says:

    Hi Bobby:
    When you mention about 12c manuals, did you read all these manuals?

    – Oracle concepts guide
    -Oracle Database Administrator’s Guide
    -Oracle Database Performance Tuning Guide
    – Oracle Database SQL Tuning Guide
    -Oracle Database Backup and Recovery User’s Guide
    – Oracle Real Application Clusters Administration and Deployment Guide

    Thank you

    • Bobby says:


      I read the entire concepts and new features manuals. Otherwise I just read individual chapters that related to features (new or old) that I needed to study. I don’t believe that RAC is covered on the test so I did not study anything related to RAC. I did read up on running single instance Oracle on top of ASM. I started studying before the study guides and test software were all out so I read more than is probably needed. If I were starting over now I would start with the test prep books and tests and then read the manual sections where I needed to dig into something that I don’t understand or to validate that what the test prep books and tests say are accurate.

      – Bobby

  8. Sanjeev says:

    Hi Bobby,

    I’ve setup virtualbox vm on my mac osx and have guest vm oel6.6 hosting oracle db 12c on cooked filesystem.

    Could you please share steps on how you have configured storage for setting up ASM on virtualbox for installing oracle grid infrastructure 12c restart(one node).

    Thanks in advance


  9. luciano guelfi says:

    Hello Bob, I’m from Brazil, and I am looking for materials to start my studies in 12c to soon take the exam.

    You can show me some place to purchase these materials?
    And you mention in your blog that you used, is interested in selling?

    • Bobby says:


      Thank you for you comment. I got the books from I’m not sure if Amazon has a good web site for Brazil but if so that might be a good bet for you. Also, if you have a Kindle or something like that you might be able to download the books from Amazon. The self test software can be downloaded over the internet.

      I’d like to keep the materials I purchased for future reference, but you may be able to buy the books used from Amazon if you are looking to save money. But, the purchase price of the books and software is small compared with the value of the training they provide. It is much less than the cost of on site training for example and of course compared to the potential income an Oracle database job could provide the cost of the materials is small.

      – Bobby

      • luciano guelfi says:


        Thank you for the clarification.
        I’ll be looking for books and materials to buy.
        You can be sure that your site will be in my favorite, as a reference knowledge, hopefully maintain contact and exchange information if possible.

        Once again thank you.

  10. Elizabeth Good says:

    Hi Bobby,

    So, do you still recommend using the Kaplan self test exams over Transcender? I’ve used Transcender tests in the past, and didn’t find that their questions matched the exam format as well as I would have expected.

    • Bobby says:


      Thank you for your comment. I chose Kaplan because it was available before Transcender. But, I don’t know how they compare now that they are both out.

      – Bobby

      • Elizabeth Good says:

        Ok, thanks for the information. I’m more intimidated by the Key DBA Skills section than by the New Features section. By the way, was the test explicitly split up into two sections? Or were the questions just intermingled?

        • Bobby says:

          Your concerns about the Key DBA Skills section are well founded. I took the test twice and thought I was totally ready and still got less than 80% right on that section.

          When I took the test there was a single running clock for the entire test and all of the new features questions were in the first section and the key dba skills were in the second.

          • Elizabeth Good says:

            Great. Thanks again for the information. It’s good to hear advice from someone who actually took the test, as this certification test seems to be different from previous upgrade exams.

            Congrats on passing!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I want to give exams 060 to upgrade from my oracle 9i ocp, but after reading all the above, it is very scary to prepare, I was preparing from last month and half, read the book on upgrade, did some practice dumps of actual test,total testers, but not confident at all. Purchased self test software but cancelled the order after reading review about it.

    Which dumps should I purchase now to help me clear this exam?


    • Bobby says:

      I recommend that you use the three resources that I listed above. Also, you might read the 12c concepts manual and new features manual. Then, when you feel that you have gotten as much as you can out of them take the test. If you don’t pass then try to remember which questions you had trouble with and then study the areas they covered. Also, it depends on how much experience you have with Oracle 10 and 11. If you have not worked on those versions you might want to review some Oracle 10 and 11 new features guides or OCP upgrade guides.

      But, if you don’t mind failing the test it really will help you see where you need more work. I spent several months studying for the test and took it twice.

  12. Kala says:

    Hi, I m a junior Dba and trying to get 1Z0-061 certification. I was not able to clear the exam. I was confident. Is there any tips you can give me for clearing the exam? Appreciate your help.

    • Bobby says:

      The first thing I would do is make notes about anything you can remember from the exam that you have already taken. Then you can use those notes to guide your study for the retake. That is what I did for my retake.

      I reviewed the topics covered by your test. They are here:

      I recommend that you look at the 12c concepts manual and sql manual and read the sections that seem to match those topics. Then play with the different features yourself.

      For example, one topic is “Use the TO_CHAR, TO_NUMBER, and TO_DATE conversion function”. Look up these three functions in the SQL manual and play with them on a database.

      Lastly, I recommend that you purchase a book that is designed to prepare you for the 1Z0-061 test and buy a program that provides you with an example test so you can practice taking the timed test.

      I think these three steps will help you out: remember what was on the test, study the manuals and practice, buy certification book and program.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Bobby.

  14. abdul hafeez says:

    if u can mail me self test software please —

  15. shulbha says:

    hello sir!!
    I am a 2nd year student doing B.Tech in computer science.Iam very much interested in database so, I have wanted to do certification of oracle database of 12c.
    so, i wanted to ask you which exam can i give.
    and in ocp one how many exam are there??

  16. Gunny Kc says:

    Hi Bobby,

    So you don’t recommend Oracle 12c Upgrade Dump will helpful to clear the exam, i am being transparent here because nobody actually wants to fail in first attempt.

    If you can put some light that why did you fail at first attempt, that will be helpful. You can email me on if you think answer to my question here is not an good idea.


    • Bobby says:

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to discuss this with you on this blog’s comment section. I don’t know what an “Upgrade Dump” is so I can’t say whether I recommend it. I can only comment on the materials that I actually used, which are listed in this blog post. I found them to be useful.

      When I took the test the first time I failed the second part of the test. I passed the 12c new features part. I did not have any test preparation materials that covered the second part of the test. After failing the test I purchased additional materials and was able to pass the second part of the test. So, be sure to study hard for both parts of the test. That’s my best advice. Then if you do fail it make mental notes of what was covered so you can study that later.

  17. David says:

    Hi Bobby,

    after trying it for the second time (and still failing the Key DBA part) you really have all my respect: this is a difficult exam, it has to be clear for everybody.
    On the other side I think the first part is doable, thanks to the many resources/study guides available.

    Just my little 2 cents.

    • Bobby says:

      Thank you for your comment. I think the Key DBA part is hard because it is not as clear what you need to study.

  18. norah says:

    Hi Guys,

    Have anyone passed 1z063 exam? Could you share your experience with me about it? How can I best prepare for passing this exam, just studying documentation? If you have any advice write to me, my mail:

    Thanks a lot !


  19. Walter says:

    Hi Bobby,

    QQ, coming from OCP 11g and no strong experience yet with 12c, is it advisiable to skip the new features course from Oracle and start with the materials you listed here ? thanks: )

    • Bobby says:

      I don’t know about the new features course from Oracle. I assume that it is much more expensive than the books and software that I used. I tend to prefer to study on my own but a lot of people prefer hands on courses with and in-person instructor. I recommend that you think about how you learn best and evaluate the costs. My guess is that even if you took the class you will need to study on your own as well, especially for the second part of the 12c OCP test. The second part of the test might not be covered by the new features class at all and I found that part to be harder than the new features part.

  20. I passed the 1Z0-060 yesterday!

    Thanks sharing your experience, it kept me motivated to know I wasn’t the only one who had to take it twice after preparing with incomplete materials the first time.

  21. Erick says:

    I wrote 11g OCP exam and failed i almost lost hope but after reading about your experiences i’m starting all over again…this time i will definitely pass it.

  22. Can you tell me about the tutorials…..

    Thanks for the sharing 🙂

    Oracle training at CETPA

  23. Prakash says:

    Could you please suggest what are the tutorials that you have used to complete the certification. Actually, I do have OCP 9I and would like to upgrade to 12c R2. Would you have any dumps, tutorials, guides or something?

  24. Sanjiv Ranjit says:

    Greetings Sir,
    I am preparing myself for 12c upgrade. I am a 11gR2 OCP. I am checking out for actual updated dumps but i am not getting consistent one. All of them are different from one another. Could you please help me sharing the actual dump files please. I would be very thank ful of you sir.
    My gmail is :: or

    Sanjiv Ranjit

    • Bobby says:

      Hi. I don’t really know what a dump is. I had success using the books and software mentioned in this blog post. I also studied the Oracle manuals and built a couple of practice environments. I’m not sure what your situation is but I’m just sharing what worked for me. It took a lot of study and effort and I think I’m reasonably smart so it isn’t easy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Can you share the dumps please

  26. Holly Song says:

    HI Bobby,
    Thanks for providing very useful information on 1z0-060 exam. I noticed that selftest software is no longer exist. Do you recommend Kaplan 1z0-060 test? Thanks!

    • Bobby says:

      Since I have not used it I cannot say for sure. If it were me I would want software that I could install and use forever and not a subscription that has a limited time span for use. It can take a long time to study for the test.

      • Holly says:

        Thanks so much for your reply and good advice ! Understand and agree with you. I am searching a practice software to meet the criteria you mentioned, but I have not found one yet.

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