OCM preparation

The OCM 10g Upgrade is currently under development, and the OCM 10g exam should be available in May.

How will I prepare for the 10g OCM?

  • Part I, get confident with the environment :
    According to http://education.oracle.com/certification, the exam will be on redhat AS3 with DB RHAS3 is not free. If I had not RH in my company, I would then probably use WhiteBox Linux or a similar RedHat clone to get an environment as close as possible to the lab. It seems very important to me is to get the same terminals (Gnome) and the same Browser (Mozilla 1.6).

    I am trained to customized my environment within seconds. For example, I like to have a bookmark for 10G Book List, one for the Reference, one for SQL Reference, one for PL/SQL Packages Ref and one for RMAN Reference. So within one click, I can reach the appropriate book. I also like to shortcut most of my commands… I like to type pmon instead of ps -ef |grep ora_pmon and so I defined some aliases. I am able to define those below plus a few more obscure ones in less than one minute.

    alias abort='echo shutdown abort|sqlplus -L -s / as sysdba'
    alias alert='vi $ORACLE_HOME/admin/$ORACLE_SID/bdump/alert_$ORACLE_SID.log'
    alias nomount='echo startup nomount quiet|sqlplus -L -s / as sysdba'
    alias ora='cd $ORACLE_HOME'
    alias pmon='ps -ef | grep [p]mon'
    alias startup='echo startup quiet|sqlplus -L -s / as sysdba'
    alias sysdba='sqlplus -L / as sysdba'
    alias tns='cd $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin'

    I have read man vi until my eyes hurt. I have trained using GNOME keyboard shortcuts until my finger skin burnt.

    I have shortcut to set my oracle homes, and I am proficient with Unix commands.

    With the few commands I defined, I am able to do most maintenance tasks and to call the oracle binaries like sqlplus faster than Lucky Luke.

    I have read the SQL reference manual, the reference manual, and the RMAN reference manual.
    I can type in less than two minutes the complete syntax for creating a database. I am familiar with the most commonly used character sets. I can create tablespaces, add and remove files (well, removing logfile and tempfiles only in 10gR1).

    I have a bulletproof backup and recovery strategy. I know how to check critical ORA- message in the alert log, I can identify the missing files / directories on disk, I can recover from any error.

    I know -almost- every listener.ora, sqlnet.ora (except the security related ones), and tnsnames.ora. I can create sqlnet.ora, listener.ora, tnsnames.ora, start and stop my listener within one minute.

  • Part II, read the specification
    I print the documentation and I make sure I have understood the objectives. I try every scenario. In order to save time during the preparation, I am using scripts, so that I can generate a few databases quickly. For each scenario, I am generating errors. If you train with a collegue, try to generate the most surprising database corruption for your collegue at each scenario πŸ˜‰

    There is a RAC scenario. I have received an Egenera blade to test Oracle Real Application Cluster, with up to 8 nodes. I documented in a previous post the steps I followed to install RAC on my notebook before receiving the Egenera hardware : Suse10 10gR2 Laptop Rac.

    … invest enough time … do not schedule it too early … search for articles in Oracle magazine

  • Part III, relax
    It is a nice challenge. Do sleep enough before the exam. Book a quiet hotel at least one day before. Do not work on the day before. Just rest.

  • 54 thoughts on “OCM preparation

    1. APC

      >> I can type in less than
      >> two minutes the complete
      >> syntax for creating a database.

      A while back somebody picked me up for describing someone as being “one of those scary OCM types”. I think the above claim validates my point exactly.

      Good luck Laurent, although I suspect you don’t really need it.

      Cheers, APC

    2. Anonymous

      It is amazing, i think, if i per accident πŸ˜‰ would get access to your box, i’ll feel me quite comfortable πŸ˜‰ – here are mine aliases:
      alias bdump=’cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/$ORACLE_SID/bdump/’
      alias cdump=’cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/$ORACLE_SID/cdump/’
      alias dbs=’cd $ORACLE_HOME/dbs’
      alias disp=’export DISPLAY=$(ip):0.0′
      alias pmon=’ps -ef|grep pmon|grep -v grep|cut -c58-‘
      alias sid=’echo $ORACLE_SID’
      alias talert=’tail -f $ORACLE_BASE/admin/$ORACLE_SID/bdump/alert_$ORACLE_SID.log’
      alias tns=’cd $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin’
      alias udump=’cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/$ORACLE_SID/udump/’
      alias valert=’vi $ORACLE_BASE/admin/$ORACLE_SID/bdump/alert_$ORACLE_SID.log’

      Seriously, – i’m sure , such prepared you’ll get enough time to drink a cup coffee during the sessions.

      Best regards


    3. Aman Sharma

      Hi sir
      Thanx alot for sharing and guiding this information for OCM preparation.I believe nothing is tough and unachieveable.All one needs is to be determined and focused.I have started my prepration.Hope to get inputs and guidance from you in future also.
      Thanx and regards
      Aman Sharma

    4. The Human Fly

      Good input for OCM preparation. I hope you will finish your OCM upgrade when the exams are scheduled. I will be taking my two advacned courses on backup & recovery and RAC in order to meet the pre-requisit courses for OCM.
      Good luck.

      The Human Fly…

    5. Martin

      > It seems very important to me is to get the same terminals (Gnome) and the same Browser (Mozilla 1.6).

      When looking at http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=42 they explicitly mention “KDE”:
      “Practice in a representative environment; you can download Oracle products from the Oracle Technology Network. Use either a United Linux or RedHat Linux operating system. Both support KDE.”
      I’m currently preparing thus on KDE, but would have a better feeling if both oracle and you would mention the same desktop environment …
      Wish you a nice weekend,

    6. Laurent Schneider

      well, oracle education probably overused copy-paste… in 9i, the browser was Konqueror on United Linux + KDE 3.0.

      On 10g, they will be using RHEL AS3 and the firefox browser, so I could suppose it will be Gnome.

    7. Hubby

      Hi Laurent,

      Thanks a lot for those quite good advices, we will follow them. Somebody I know which did managed to get the 9i OCM told me that he was quite upset about the keyboard of the computer which was german. Do you confirm that this is true that we will have to use the local keyboard? Or is it possible to bring it’s own keyboard? Thanks

    8. laurentschneider Post author

      OMG, I confirm I have been terribly upset by using the German keyboard, it was truly a nightmare to find the double quote on this one, I never used a German keyboard (which is very different from Swiss-German keyboard) πŸ‘Ώ

      Well, try to get an old German keyboard on Ebay for 1€ to train your typing !

    9. Ra,mesh J Menon

      Have your completed your OCM exam? I wanted to know one thing,
      what if you get an ORA-600 error and hit a bug? I am sure you cannot proceed! What would you do? (In real world, you lodge a SR, but what about lab?)

    10. Ramesh J Menon

      Have your completed your OCM exam? I wanted to know one thing,
      what if you get an ORA-600 error and hit a bug? I am sure you cannot proceed! What would you do? (In real world, you lodge a SR, but what about lab?)

      Kindly let me know

    11. Laurent Schneider Post author

      Hi Ramesh,
      I completed my 9i OCM in Jan 2004. There is no such thing as an ORA-600 during the exam. I did not get one. If you get one, bad luck, try to find a workaround. You will have no access to metalink or internet during the exam, only the offline documentation, without search.

    12. Laurent Schneider Post author

      you get a dedicated server, it means you are creating your database locally on your linux pc and can do what you would like with your machine…

      “Randomly?” it probably means you cannot chose your seat …

    13. Tim

      Thanks for your reply, Laurent.

      Is there any relationship between work you have done on 1st day and 2nd day?
      Because every day different machine, different environment and so on.

      Thanks again.

    14. Tim

      Dear Laurent.
      One more question: excerpt from OCM exam objectives: http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=41&p_exam_id=10gOCM#3

      “Implement transportable tablespaces between homogeneous and heterogeneous systems (using different methods of moving files)”.

      Could you pls let me know what they mean TRASNPORTABLE_TABLESPACES in conjuction with “homogeneous and heterogeneous systems” and “using different methods of moving files”.

      Thanks for your time.

    15. Laurent Schneider Post author

      you may have to implement TRANSPORTABLE TABLESPACE from Linux to Linux (homogeneous). Heterogeneous system would mean transport tablespace from Linux to Windows, but I doubt you will have this task at the exam…

    16. Tim

      Many thanks.

      it is interesting for me: We have no RAC in production. However, I am going for OCM, so I have to implement it at own test environment. Do you think it is enough for clearing RAC scenario successfully?

      Thanks for your time.

    17. Tim

      @Laurent Schneider

      I mean, some topics (f.e: Streams) not used in our business currently. What about experimenting such tasks only in a test environment?


    18. Vivek


      I want to know what about the linux configuration like ocfs2 (in case of RAC) , mount points etc..is take care by the examine or they will provide the configured enviornment .??

    19. Vivek

      @Laurent Schneider
      Hi Laurent,

      Thanks for your reply.. but i did’nt understand exactly, my query is for RAC or oracle software installation we have to configure the linux part like mount points in ocfs2 and rpm installation etc or the environment is already configured by oracle.

    20. Paresh


      I have a question about OCM exam. I understand that it is not advisable to β€˜discover’ things during the exam. At the same time I don’t think it is possible to remember all the syntax (diagrams) no matter even if one has years of experience. Is the search function (*not* google search ;-)) available in reference documentation provided during the exam?


    21. George Huang


      This thread is very helpful. I got a lot of info. from it.

      I living in Toronto, I may need go to US to take this exam. But the way, is it a German keyborad? I don’t know how to use it.

    22. Mary

      Thanks for the post… my question is are we required to set the linux kernel params on the machines or will those be set already? i.e. params in the /etc/sysctl.conf file

    23. Wagner Pinheiro

      Hi Laurent, congratulations…

      Can you answer a questions about OCM test?

      The questions are submited written or spoken?
      The moment you took the test, there were others doing the test in the same room?

      Thank you…

    24. Laurent Schneider Post author

      The proctor only explain you the rules and the schedule, he does not test you at all, the result is evaluated electronically, for instance by looking in the alert log for the correct alter system and create tablespace commands (so do not purge it!!!)

      We were 2 in the room

    25. Dilli R. Maharjan

      Hi Laurent,
      First of all Congratulation.
      I am very interested on Oracle and have completed few certifications as 10g OCP, 10g RAC, 10g Oracle for Linux. Now I want to prepare for 11g OCM. I strongly believe there is no OCM exam Center in Nepal. I have to go India and that is not big deal for me. I am willing to get advice on how to start the preparation some useful URL if possible. I have strong Linux background. I am working on Oracle RAC, Backup and Recovery. Your suggestions will be very helpful for me.

      Thanks in advance.

    26. Laurent Schneider

      I am preparing myself the 11g upgrade, no clue what I am expecting.

      The best is to really exercise the topics defined on Oracle Education and make sure you know all syntaxes by heart.

      Imho the most challenging part of the exam is that you must be fast and also you need to be able to recover from any failure (missing undo, redolog, datafile, system tablespace and the like)

      One very friendly advice is that you come to the place at least one day in advance and sleep a lot before the exam.

    27. Ahmed

      Hi Laurent, I appreciate if you answer me.

      I have appeared in OCM 10g exam. and unfortunately i was not successful. I failed in task 5, 7&8
      I know about task 5 because i didnt complete it, but I dont know why if failed in 7 and 8.

      NOTE: IN TASK 7 the 1st setup was not doing ping in RAC private interconnect then Procter give me new machines setups for the RAC installation.

      I have done the Insatallation of RAC successfully including all task in this section, run crs_stat -t command every service was online and running

      section 8
      I created the Dataguard by Grid-control as per your required DB name and machine but path of the datafile may be change, that I don’t remember.

      all the thing done by grid, So it is not possible that I could failed because all the thing I have verified by grid.

      So do you have any idea why they failed me in task 7 & 8.


    28. Laurent Schneider Post author

      Hi Ahmed,

      I do not know about the 10g exam topid, what was 5,7,8, as I did only the 9i, and they were no grid at that time.

      Mostly, Oracle will not tell you why you failed or passed, you probably should try again, maybe use command line next time if you suspect grid !


    29. Paul

      And another thing … is it possible to use a graphical text editor (under Linux) to store, edit Oracle commands ?


    30. S. Charlie

      What a good advise Laurent,
      Can we use Enterprise Manager in some of topics ? (i.e. Trasportable Tablespace, create Streams Administrator, etc) and will we get GUI desktop on Linux in OCM exam ?
      I think it much easier if we user netmgr, dbca, and OUI when install Grid Control, Grid Infrastructure, and RAC using GUI.

      S. Charlie

    31. Laurent Schneider Post author

      as mentioned in the exam topics :
      Tasks can be performed using CLI or GUI environment and tools when available
      There were no such thing as Grid or RAC in 9i, and I did not attend 10g (because the 10g upgrade was never released). But I believe you can use OEM to setup stream admin.

      There is also no rac in 11g

    32. Mani

      Thank you for your tips.
      Question I have is, are the scenarios given in sequential order of the exam topic or at random? Unlike online regular exams, is there a submit button after each scenario? if not, how do we tell that I had completed the scenario?
      Thanks in advance.


    33. Laurent Schneider

      good question!
      the scenarii build in a strict order. That is, if you mistreat your db at scenario 1, you will suffer all day long !

      you do not have to submit. If you have one hour, after one hour it is over, you lose access to your screen/keyboard. If you are faster, just exits the room and get a tea

    34. Laurent Schneider Post author

      neither is 10g… btw

      this is the hassle with OCM, you wait years to an exam that is out of date. I guess 12c OCM is not going to be released before 2014… but this is all he point in belonging to a limited group of certified master πŸ™‚

    35. Jiri

      Well, I decided to pass 10g because I am more familiar with 10g, we have most of databases on 10g. I think it would be easier for me to pass 10g. If I’ll succeed, I’d like to pass 11g upgrade.

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