Do you need to pass OCAJP before taking OCPJP - Java Certification for SE 7

One thing, which I certainly noticed after Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems is creating confusion around Java certifications like hell. I used to remember those days, where Java Certifications are well defined and well known e.g. SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD etc, but currently, Java certification for SE 7 is known as either SCJP 7, OCJP 7 or even OCPJP 7. By the way, the official name of two most sought after Java certifications is Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer ( Code: 1Z0-803) and Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 7 Programmer ( Code 1Z0-804 ).  I receive lots of questions regarding Java Certifications for Java SE 6 and 7, with a range of queries from how to prepare for the exam, to suggestions on books, resources, and mock exam simulators.
One of the questions, which a lot of my reader email me is about, whether taking OCAJP is mandatory for giving OCPJP or not?  Many of them have doubt about whether OCA is required for taking OCP or not? Well, the answer is both Yes and No.

If  you are appearing for Java SE 7 certification and haven't done any Java certification before then you need to first clear OCAJP and only then you can take OCPJP, but if you are upgrading from an earlier version e.g. you have already passed Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 6 or SE 5 Programmer (OCPJP 6 or OCPJP 5) or any version of Sun Certified Java programmer exam ( SCJP) than you don't need to go through OCA path.

You can directly appear for OCPJP 7. By the way exam code is different for the upgrade version, you need to take 1Z0-805, Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer.

On a similar note, if you are appearing for Java SE 6 certification then you don't need to pass OCA, you can directly take Java 1.6 certification.

Should you upgrade to OCP Java SE 7

Well, I suggest, you should upgrade to OCP Java SE 7, if you have given SCJP 1.4, SCJP 1.5 or any older SCJP certification at least 3 to 4 years ago. The main reason for the upgrade is to get yourself familiar with recent changes in core Java.

Since these Java certificate exams are gone through significant changes, and a lot of things are added in the syllabus, which was not there earlier, they present a good opportunity to make your core Java skills stronger.

They also present unique opportunity to refresh and update your existing core Java knowledge. On similar note, these exams are also better aligned with industry standard and covered a wide range of topics which are not present in OCPJP SE 6 exam e.g.
  • Design Patterns
  • Describe the JDBC API
  • Localization
  • Java Concurrency

Do you need to give OCA before OCPJP Java SE 7
You can see complete syllabus on official Java certification page. Now let's see some important fact about OCP Java SE 7 exam. The exam has a duration of 150 minutes, with almost 80 - 90 questions, given if you are giving it first-time code 1Z0-804 or upgrading from earlier versions of Java certifications e.g. SCJP 1.4, code 1Z0-805. Similarly for 1Z0-804, passing score is 65%, while for the 1Z0-805 passing score is 60%. The format of the exam is still multiple choice questions for both exams.

That's all about this question, whether you need to pass OCAJP for taking OCPJP or not. As I have answered the question in the first paragraph, you only need to pass OCAJP SE 7, if you don't have any previous Sun Certification, if you already passed SCJP 1.4 or SCJP 5, then you can directly take OCPJP SE 7 exam. That's cost saving too, So if you are already certified SCJP than no need to take OCAJP SE 7 exam again. Also, if you are going to give SCJP 1.6, then you don't need to pass any OCA exams.

Important resource for OCAJP and OCPJP Java SE 7 Certification

Here are some of the important resources and links for any Java 1.7 certification aspirants:

Official Oracle Java Certification page 

Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 7 Programmer Exams 1Z0-804 and 1Z0-805: A Comprehensive OCPJP 7 Certification Guide By S G Ganesh and Tushar Sharma

OCA: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-808 1st Edition by Jeanne Boyarsky (Author), Scott Selikoff (Author)

Do you need to pass OCAJP before taking OCPJP

Sample OCPJP 7 Questions  
Java SE 7 Programmer II - Sample Questions

If you decide to go for Java certification, always go for the latest Java certification, currently Java 8 certification are the latest so you should prepare for 1Z0-808 and 1z0-809 exams, rather than old Java SE 7 certifications.
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jonaseduardo said...

I never have taken any previous Sun Certification, I would like to take the exam for java 7, in this case ¿what is best?, take the exam for java 6 and upgrade to java 7 (SCJP SE 7) or to take OCAJP SE 7 SE 7 and OCPJP SE 7 directly?

yugendra babu said...

i have the same question as mentioned in above comment ...plz comment on the above comment

Anonymous said...

@jona and ygendra, best approach is to take the OCAJP 7 (1Z0-803) first and then OCPJP 7 (1Z0-804) rather than giving SCJP 6 and then upgrading to Java 7 programmer II certification, exam code 1Z0-805 because, SCJP 6 is harder than OCAJP 7. You would have better chance of getting Java certified if you take associate to programmer route. Also giving SCJP 6 when Java 8 is out makes no sense. I even suggest you guys to go for OCAJP 8 and OCPJP 8 now.

shib said...

is it mandatory to give OCAJP (7 or 8) before giving OCPJP (OCJP) (7 or 8)?
I Mean, can I give directly OCJP 7 or OCJP 8?

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