How to Prepare for OCI Foundation Certification

Prepare for OCI Foundation Certification

Prepare for OCI Foundation Certification

I recently took the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Foundation Exam 1Z0-1085-20. This is the most basic exam in the series of 5 exams (blog coming soon) that Oracle offers. I took the proctored exam online and I was able to pass in my first try.

For those of you planning to take this exam, Oracle is offering not only free online training but also free certification on PearsonVue. More details for this are here.

Now for the exam itself. Since this is the foundation level course, if you have prior knowledge of any cloud provider, it should be a walk in the park for you. I completed the online course (~3.5hours long) by Oracle instructor Rohit Rahi.

The course talks at a high level about what cloud is in general and all the OCI services. The duration of the course is not too bad for an intro level certificate.

The exam is 105 minutes long and 60 questions, which means you have roughly 2 minutes to get to the right answer.

I finished the exam in 45 minutes and went over all the answers again. After taking the exam, I feel some of the topics were missing in the online videos like SLA, Oracle db resource manager, what practical solution needs what service.

Being an intro level certification, I was not expecting these. In a way it’s good, I went over the online videos twice as it helped me retain the materials better. For the second time, I did it at 1.5X speed and saved some time. It took me 3 days from start to finish to achieve this certification.

Important things you need to remember for OCI Foundation Certification exam.

You can be asked a question from each of the following section:

  1. Common cloud question that is often asked in most fundamental exams – Difference between:
    • Capex and Opex  
    • IaaS, PaaS, SaaS  
    • Scale In-Out, Up-Down. Note that downtime is required for scaling up/down  
    • Public, private and hybrid cloud models
    • RPO vs RTO
  2. OCI Infrastructure:
    • OCI has Regions, Availability Domains (AD’s), Fault Domains (FD’s).
    • 3 FD’s for each AD.
    • You can be asked on how to create a Fault tolerant architecture with Multi-AD, One-AD, along with the use of multiple regions when deploying the resources.
    • Compartments to isolate and control access. Can also be used to analyze cost and assign budget.
    • You should know when you need Bare Metal, Dedicated Virtual Hosts, Virtual Machine, Container Engine and a Function. There can be couple of questions based on this.
  3. Storage Services
    • Know the difference between Boot Volume and Block Volume. Boot volume is a type of block volume. There are three types of Block volume – Basic, Balanced and Higher Performance. You won’t be asked the numbers around throughput or IOPS but remember which has highest and lowest. Block Volume stores replica of data in 3 separate FD’s.
    • Local NVMe is not durable but can survive a reboot. It has high performance. Because it is locally attached, there are no backups
    • File Storage is fully managed and has three backups
    • Object storage is bucket storage. It is for unstructured data (images, logs, video). Use of PUT and GET for object storage. It has two Tiers – Standard (hot) and Archive (cold). There will be questions based on this.
  4. Networking Services
    • VCN – Virtual cloud network is a software-defined construct
    • Know the types of gateways – IGW (Internet gateway connect to Internet), NAT Gateway (only outbound, no inbound), DRG (Dynamic gateway to connect to on-premises datacenter using IPSec VPN), service gateway (connects to internal resources). There will be questions based on this
    • Understand the difference between Local VCN Peering (same region) vs Remote VCN Peering (2 different regions) and peering is not transitive
  5. Security
    • You can put firewall rules at NIC or at subnet level
    • Understand what is the responsibility of Oracle (Security of cloud) and what is Consumer responsibility (Security in cloud)
    • When to use MFA vs Federation
    • Oracle allows Key Management as service (allows BYOK).
    • I was asked a question around certificates that oracle has for security
    • Oracle Data Safe, Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  6. Understand about Load Balancer. This is highly available and scalable resource. This is assgined a public IP so that it can distribute traffic to internal web servers.
  7. IAM, Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
    • Understand about users and groups. Instances can also be treated as users when it comes to permissions.
    • Know the difference between Authentication and Authorization. Authorization on policies can be of type inspect, read, use and manage
  8. Database Services
    • There are VM Db systems (Fast provisioning and you can change storage)
    • Bare Metal (Fast performance and you can change CPU only)
    • Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC – highly available)
    • Exadata Db system (fully managed and used for OLTP)
    • Autonomous (Shared and Dedicated). This is highly secure, and self-repairing, self-driving
    • Know that patching is a two-step process. You patch the instance and then you patch the db.
    • Understand what is Data guard vs Active Data guard. How these are used for Disaster Recovery (DR)
    • You will be asked a few questions in this section
  9. Pricing and Billing
    • You have 3 plans – Pay As You Go (PAYG), Monthly Flex and BYOL
    • The important thing to note is all regions have the same pricing
    • There is no ingress cost. Unlike other cloud providers, there is no egress cost between AD in one region. But there is egress cost between two regions
    • You can track the cost/budget by using tags. The budget service runs every 15mins and can send you an email. Reports are retained for one year

That’s it folks. Hope this helps. Good luck on your exam.

If you are interested in other cloud certifications and how to prepare for them, check out our website.

Have questions? Participate in OCI discussions on our Forums. Click here.

Author: Haman Sharma is a life long learner with an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

UPDATE: We have created two practice exams for OCI Associate Architect and posted on Udemy. First 10 people will get it for FREE – Click here. Alternatively, you can also take the exam on our website for FREE.

UPDATE: FREE Flashcards on for your OCI Certification preparation. Click here.

RELATED: Exam Tips for OCI Architect Associate.

How to Prepare for OCI Foundation Certification
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35 thoughts on “How to Prepare for OCI Foundation Certification

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  • July 8, 2020 at 10:41 am

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    • July 11, 2020 at 1:12 am

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  • May 14, 2020 at 3:26 am

    The information provided here is crisp and precise. Helped me clear my OCI Foundation Certification in the first attempt. This blog covers all the topics and provides the much-required roadmap for the preparation.
    As people have mentioned in the blog please study the
    -PCI and HIPPA security standards

    There is also a new video around the SLA added in the course which has a few questions to expect from.

  • May 7, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    Can someone let me know How the scoring procedure works?
    What is the most effective way to crack when its asking 2-3 answers? are they giving minus points? WIll it be beneficial if we tick only one answer that we exactly know rather than guessing other 1 or 2 answers? Are they giving some marks even if one answer is correct? or should it be all 2/3 answers correct?

    • May 8, 2020 at 12:29 am

      There is no negative marking and no penalty for making an educated guess. For ones you aren’t sure, I would recommend you guess your answers based on the process of elimination. This means eliminate the answers which you think are totally wrong. Then between the remaining left, the probability of getting it right or wrong would be approximately the same.

      • May 8, 2020 at 3:03 am

        Thanks..Appreciate it..

  • May 7, 2020 at 5:50 am

    I see the certification is free. But when I tried to register and block the time, the link end up with charge of $95. Could not even find any voucher.

    Please advise.

    • May 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm

      The $95 fees is waived off when you either go through the Oracle website (click take exam from your Oracle University) to PearsonVue or have “-F” at the end of the exam code. Please try that and let us know how it goes.

    • May 7, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      I also struggling to schedule the exam..It says scheduling will be available future 🙁

      • May 8, 2020 at 12:29 am

        You can select to be in the waitlist and hope you make it to the free exam.

  • May 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    I passed with an 83% so thank you for writing this post!

    • May 6, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Brett.

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  • April 29, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Hi I have taken the exam last 12hrs ago but a bit disappointment due to unresponsive cursor during the exam. I can hardly navigate the cursor and not even point a single thing on my screen. My laptop is working fine as I am currently using it with wfh set up. Does anyone here experienced this? Thank you for your inputs. I have contacted PearsonVue and Oracle for a request to re-take if they let me.
    Thank you in advance for inputs/any ideas.

    • April 30, 2020 at 12:00 am

      Hi Jasmine. Sorry to hear about what happened with you. At the start of the test some people I know of did complain about cursor issue, but it got better as the exam proceeded. I’m sure PearsonVue should be able to reschedule your exam if you were not able to finish it.

  • April 28, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    I passed the exam today.
    Thank you for this post, was very useful in preparation.


    1) SLA’s are mentioned throughout the course, keep note of them.
    2) Before taking this exams I have gone through the videos of Operational and Architect courses. This helped to answer few questions based on Terraform , CLI and APIs.
    3) Compliance Certification – There is a slide in the security module. Just go over that slide.
    4) For Support related questions refer –>

    Good Luck to everyone.


    • April 29, 2020 at 12:18 am

      You are very welcome Ragul. Glad you found the post helpful. Thanks for your additional tips as well. Would be great for you to write about your preparation journey on
      ~Team reviewNprep

  • April 28, 2020 at 12:07 am

    How many questions?

    • April 28, 2020 at 12:26 am

      I believe I got 60 questions if I remember it right!

      • April 28, 2020 at 11:54 am

        Alright thanks. And I hope the questions ain’t that difficult too?

        • April 28, 2020 at 1:42 pm

          Because this is entry level, not difficult. It is also based on your area of work. You might find it easy or difficult based on work experience.

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  • April 25, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Hi ,

    I too passed this foundation exam

    This article is very useful to clear it

    • July 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Please I will love to know if they didn’t go outside the the video tutorial on their website. Can you help give clues. My mail is I will love if we can discuss


      • July 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm

        As long as you are covering all videos, you should be good.

  • April 24, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Hi folks,

    Is it a multiple choice exam only ?


    • April 24, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      Yes. Multiple choice only.

Comments are closed.