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OCAJP In Beta Review Phase
Representing a drastic new change in how Java developers earn their coveted designations, the Oracle Certified Associate Java Professional (OCAJP) certification exam closed its Beta phase testing on December 17th, 2011. The Java SE 7 Programmer I test, as the OCAJP exam is referenced on the Oracle website, is currently in its Post Beta Review phase, where Oracle employees working in the certification and training branch of the company examine the results of the beta testing, refine which questions are best suited for evaluating Java proficiency at this level, while tossing out questions that were poorly received by the beta test takers.
Three months between beta and final
Oracle approximates eleven weeks for the Post Beta Review phase to complete, but the beta exam did close just prior to Christmas of 2011, so the real work on this exam might not pick up steam until early 2012. So, a safe approximation of the date on which the OCAJP exam will go live would be late March to early April.
As far as the OCPJP exam goes, the exam itself still hasn't been released in its beta phase, let alone going through the three month beta review phase. Expect the beta for this exam to go live sometime in the next eight weeks, which means the final product should be available in late spring to early summer. However, for those who already have a Java professional certification, you can always tackle the upgrade exam, which tests on new language features such as the enhanced switch statement, binary notation, numeric underscores, try with resources, and new API libraries such as the JDBC 4.1 APIs, concurrency, localization and Java File I/O (NIO.2).
A New Approach to Java Certification
It will be interesting to see how this new Java testing strategy from Oracle will be received. The classroom training requirement Oracle put in effect for their rendition of the Architect designation greeted a great deal of furor in the programming community, although Oracle has stated definitively that no official training requirementwill be placed on OCPJP or OCAJP candidates, so this is a positive step. However, this will be the first time that a prior exam must be passed, in this case the OCAJP exam, before being allowed to tackle the highly coveted OCPJP exam, which gives the successful test taker the Progammer designation.
Regardless, given the new direction in certification, and the fact that passing this exam is the new requirement in order to progress in your certification quest in the field of Java programming, there is no doubt that in 2012, the Java Associate certification from Oracle will be more popular than ever.