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SCEA FAQ   

Frequently asked questions about the Oracle Certified Master Enterprise Architect certification (still known by its previous name SCEA - the Sun Certified Enterprise Architect). Also see SceaOnlineResources.

  • What is the new name of the certification?
OCMJEA - it stands for Oracle Certified Master, Java Enterprise Architect

  • Where can I ask questions about the exam that aren't covered in this FAQ?
That's what the JavaRanch SCEA discussion forum is for.

  • Where can I find books / tutorials / white papers / helpful links?
SceaLinks

  • What is the policy on posting questions I saw on the exam / details of how to do the assignment?
You may not describe or talk about the questions you saw on any of the Oracle exams - see the JavaRanch Policy on Real Questions for further details. (http://www.javaranch.com/realquestions.jsp)

For questions / discussions on the assignment, in general we will allow discussion where members are trying to understand the domain model and/or terms used in the assignment. We will also allow questions about which tools to use.

But we will not allow discussion on a solution to the assignment (or a part of the assignment) itself.

Refer to the thread IMPORTANT - Position on real assignment (Part 2) questions

  • What other certifications do I need before I go for the OCMJEA certification?

There are no prerequisites for the OCMJEA certification. This is because OCMJEA certification is aimed at different people than the other Java certifications offered by Oracle. All the other Java certifications are designed for programmers and/or developers - the people who actually do the coding. The OCMJEA certification is designed for architects: those who write up the specifications that the programmers use.

Of course there is nothing to stop you going for all the Java certifications, and if you are in the process of transitioning from being a developer to being an architect, then getting both the certifications in the programming stream and the certification in the architect stream will be very good for you. Part II of the OCMJEA certification requires you to design an application which uses JEE technology, so doing the other certifications will help you learn the technology.

OCMJEA may not be suitable for someone who has just come out of school or someone who is still a junior programmer as they certainly won't have the industry experience that is needed to be a good architect. Furthermore having this certification without having industry experience may confuse potential employers as to what sort of a position you are applying for (are you going for a junior position, or one of the most senior positions in the department?). Having said that, there have been people who passed OCMJEA without having much experience designing applications.

Also - the OCMJEA assignment can be thought of as a learning exercise. Note there is now a 6 month time limit though. (Originally, there was no time limit on when you must complete it, so you can always purchase it, and then learn as you work through it.)

  • Is training necessary to get the OCMJEA?
Yes. Oracle now requires candidates to have mandatory training in order for them to obtain the OCMJEA certification. Approved courses include intructor-led, online, live web classes, live virtual classes, training on demand and learning subscriptions. Self study CDs do not satisfy this requirement.

  • How many parts are there in OCMJEA?
3 parts plus training.
Part 1 = multiple choice exam
Part 2 = assignment
Part 3 = essay
Parts 2/3 are considered together, Oracle won't look at your assignment until you done essay
Training = can be done anytime before, in between or after

  • What are the minimum scores per section on parts 2/3
Section Max points Minimum score
Component Diagram 40 26
Class Diagram 40 26
Deployment Diagram 24 17
Interaction Diagrams 16 0
Risk & Mitigation List 16 0
Part 3 Short Answer 24 17
Total 160

If you fail one section you just have to resubmit that section not the whole thing. The minimum passing score is 114. Getting the minimum score in each section does not get you 114!

  • Where can I find information on Cost / Location of exam sites in <your country>?
Go to http://www.pearsonvue.com/oracle/

  • How does the live virtual class work?
http://www.coderanch.com/t/636107/java-Architect-SCEA/certification/Java-EE-Features-LVC-Feedback

  • How important are the scores?
The OCMJEA certificate does not show the score. However, a nice percentage always looks good on a resume.

  • Should I purchase all three parts (both exams and assignment) at the same time?
You should be aware that there was originally no time limit on completing the assignment, however vouchers have a time limit. Now the assignment has a 6 month time limit as well.

Vouchers are valid for different lengths of time from country to country. To the author's knowledge, this can vary from 3 months to 1 year (other periods may be possible).

There have been reports of some Oracle offices telling candidates that they must purchase the exam voucher at the same time as they purchase the assignment. This is not the case in all Oracle offices though.

My recommendation would be to only purchase each section when you are ready to use it. That way you do not have to worry about any time limits on each section.

See also the next question: "My voucher for the exam is about to expire, what can I do?"

  • My voucher for the exam is about to expire, what can I do?
Check the voucher conditions on Oracle's web page of your country, or the wording on the back of the voucher. It may have words to the effect of:

"You must register for an exam prior to the expiration date printed on this voucher. Voucher expiration dates cannot be extended. Your actual testing appointment may be deferred for up to one year after registration."

So register for the exam before the voucher expires, then contact Pearson VUE and defer the exam. You may defer multiple times. Be aware that Pearson VUE and the test centers themselves have requirements as to how much notification must be given before deferring an exam. So don't leave it to the last minute.

For other vouchers (e.g. Australia):

You must register and take your exam prior to the expiration date of your voucher.

So be quicksmart and have a JEE book for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is no possibility of extending a voucher. Passing on the voucher to someone who is ready to take the exam, and hoping for someone in the same situation when you are ready may be worth consideration.

  • Can I use my voucher in a different country than the one I bought it?
No. See this thread for Oracle's explanation.

  • Which version of EJB is in the part I exam?
The exam is based on Java EE 5+, which includes EJB 3

  • Any tips before taking one of the exams?
For a start - don't force yourself into a panic. If you know your stuff, you will have plenty of time. Probably enough time to go through it twice.

If you have never been to the testing centre before, it is worth while going there a few days before the exam to make sure that the centre itself is OK. There have been some horror stories about people going to centres that have no air conditioners, that were too noisy, and even in one case of going to a centre that had closed!

If you are about to do part I, try to do some of the mock exams. They will give you a feel for what you know / what you need to concentrate on.

If there is something that you have been seeing in the mock exams that you just keep forgetting, take it written on a notepad to the exam site. Before you go in to the exam, read your note then leave the note outside the exam room. As soon as you are in the exam room write it down on the paper that you are provided.

If you can, take some water in with you - it does help refresh you part way through the exam. (Don't take so much that you need to go to the washroom though ;))

If you can, relax the night before. It will not help you if you spend a sleepless night re-reading all your notes. Get a good rest so you are awake and concentrating for your exam.

  • Do you get told how many answers you must choose in each question for part I?
If there is only a single answer, you normally get radio buttons so that you can only pick one answer.

In the multiple choice questions you are told exactly how many right answers there are, and the exam software stops you from selecting more than the right number of answers.

  • Will I get a certificate for part I if I pass it?
You only get the certificate after you complete all parts (MC exam, assignment, essay and training).

However when you complete part I you will get an official transcript from Pearson VUE. This shows that you have passed part I and gives a breakdown of what marks you received in each of the major categories.

  • If I fail part II, do I have to resit parts I and III?
If you fail part II, you just have to purchase the assignment resubmission voucher and resubmit it (after making changes). There is no need to resit part I or III.

  • I purchased the assignment, but I have not received it yet, what do I do?
Oracle does not send the assignment to you, you must download it.

See the question "What site do I use to download / upload my assignment and to see what score I got?" for which website to use, and try and download it. If you cannot download it, you will be told who to contact, and what information to provide them in order to get permission to download it.

  • How long do I have to complete the assignment?
6 months. Both the assignment and the essay exam must be completed within the 6 month time limit.

  • How long will it take to complete the assignment?
The assignment requires you to take some (vague) written instructions detailing a proposed software implementation, along with some basic UML diagrams (use cases & domain model), and from that develop Class diagrams, Component diagrams, Deployment diagrams, and Sequence or Collaboration diagrams.

If you are doing this everyday in your normal job, are very familiar with JEE, and are reasonably familiar with the domain terms, then you may find this a very simple exercise, and may be able to complete it in under a month full time.

Candidates who are not familiar with any of those concepts, or who are not doing this in their day to day job may find that it will take considerably longer.

  • What site do I use to download / upload my assignment and to see what score I got?
Downloading and uploading assignment is through Pearson VUE site

For checking your scores, you log into Oracle CertView

  • Help - I cannot find the upload button
Pearson VUE shows you the same page for downloading and uploading. When you are ready to upload, click the NEXT button (not the download button). Then you will get to the upload page.

  • Can I schedule the essay exam before uploading the assignment
Apparently Pearson VUE and Oracle prevent you from doing this. If you do try to schedule for the essay, the system will say you haven't done the assignment or the same effect.

  • Help - I uploaded my assignment and it says I failed, with no score and no comments
You cannot fail the Part III exam (unless you leave questions unanswered), however Pearson VUE sometimes marks the test as failed in the system. There have been reports of it having something to do with timing: when they think you did the exam / when they pass the exam data to Oracle / when Oracle acknowledges it.

Your assignment and your exam will be sent to an examiner, and eventually you will see your score, at which time you will be able to see whether you have passed or failed. Until then unfortunately you may still see the Failed status with no comments or explanations.

If you are still nervous, you could write to Pearson VUE and/or Oracle and get their assurances as well. (And if you get a better explanation for why you have got a "Failed" status, please let a bartender know so that we can update this FAQ.

If you fail the assignment, you should either get a description of the major area you failed (e.g. missing file) or you should get a points break down for each section showing where you lost points. If you did not get either of these then you have to write to Oracle and get clarification.

  • Oracle says it takes 4-6 weeks to grade my assignment, it has been over 6 weeks. What should I do?
For a start - did you take the essay exam after uploading the assignment? Your assignment will not be looked at until after you have completed the part III essay exam. The 4-6 week time frame starts when you have done the essay, not uploading the assignment.

If this is not the problem, then you could try contacting Pearson VUE and Oracle to see what the status is.

  • How do I find out why I lost points?
You don't.

  • What UML tools can be used for the Part II assignment?
Nearly anything - you need to be able to upload HTML files with graphics attached, so any UML tool which can export graphics may be used. Take a look at Michael Godfrey's UML page (http://plg.uwaterloo.ca/~migod/uml.html) or Wikipedia UML tool listing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unified_Modeling_Language_tools) for some ideas of what tools are available.

  • Will I get an email when the assignment is graded?
Yes, Oracle will sent you an email to go to CertView to check your score and results.

  • What is in the Certification Pack?
A congratulatory letter, a certificate stating that you have passed the OCMJEA certification, a label badge identifying you as a OCMJEA, an identification card identifying you as a OCMJEA.

  • OCMJEA 5 Books
Section 1: Application Design Concepts and Principles
    • "Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for Java EE Study Guide, 2nd Edition" by Mark Cade and Humphrey Sheil
    • "SCEA study guide" by Allen and Bambara

Section 2: Common Architectures
    • Designing Enterprise Applications with the J2EE Platform
    • J2EE Architect's Handbook

Section 3: Integration and Messaging
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VI Services.
    • Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions
    • J2EE Connector Architecture and Enterprise Application Integration
    • Java Message Service, Monson-Haefel & Chappell

Section 4: Business Tier Technologies
    • EJB 3 in Action
    • Pro EJB 3 Java Persistence API
    • Mastering EJB 3.0
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part IV Enterprise Beans.
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part V Persistence.
    • Nice to have SCBCD/OCPBCD 5

Section 5: Web Tier Technologies
    • Core JavaServer? Faces, Second Edition
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part II The Web Tier.
    • Nice to have SCWCD/OCPWCD 5

Section 6: Applicability of Java EE Technology
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VII Case Studies.
    • Practical J2EE Application Architecture
    • J2EE AntiPatterns?
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part III Web Services.
    • SOA using Java Web services

Section 7: Patterns
    • "Design Patterns", GoF
    • Core J2EE Patterns, 2nd ed.
    • Head First Design Patterns

Section 8: Security
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VI Services.
    • Java Security
    • Core Security Patterns
    • Sun JEE tutorial



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