Detailed Review Of Preparation
So, for all of you who booked the Free version of OCI Cloud Operations Associate Exam (last month when it was Free), the very first email from PearsonVue said the time was 105 minutes. This is same as what is listed in the original Exam Preparation Guide as well as shown below in the screenshot –
However, much to my surprise when I received the reminder email from Pearson it said 85 minutes. I thought it was an error and ignored it but when I started with the test, the actual time was 85 minutes. I believe Oracle is now testing based on the new exam guidelines. So, beware of this that you will get only 85 minutes even if you booked an earlier version of the exam. I was able to finish the exam on time.
I did a quick comparison of the old and new exam guide in the OCI Learning path link and do not see much difference in the new format. So, hopefully no need to panic there. The total number of questions is 60 and passing marks are 70%.
Before I start with the tips, this is the feedback from the exam once it was done:
So, here are my preparation tips for you to pass this exam:
- It goes without saying how important the lectures are in the OCI learning path. However, if you just rely on the lectures you WILL NOT PASS THE EXAM.
- I honestly feel the lectures could be improved and made better, specially the labs which sometimes are very cut and dry. So, make sure you at least are spinning up an instance in the OCI console using a cloud init script. Here is a good blog on Oracle website if you are interested in learning more.
- Terraform – An important topic for the exam. Remember that you can use OCI Resource Manager for provisioning and management activities. Learn more about stacks, jobs, plan, apply, refresh, Rollback/Forward.
- Know when to use Ansible vs Terraform.
- Policies – A very important topic. You should know the syntax of the policies and know how and where to apply them – compartment, instance, dynamic group, groups etc. Also, what happens when to the policies when you move resources from one compartment to the other. I believe Rohit Rahi’s lecture in Associate Architect does a good job at explaining compartments and policies. Do a quick refresher of that.
- CLI Commands for object storage, compute instance. I believe I got at least 4 questions on CLI commands just for object storage. Example includes move to different region, delete object.
- Traffic management Service and Steering policies. You will see a couple of questions from here. Make sure you look at the console and remember the types of policies – Failover, Load Balancer, Geolocation, ASN, IP Prefix.
- Alarms – Go to the console and set up the alarm. Few questions on alarms that you will definitely see in the exam. Important note – If the alarm is triggered and you are getting constant emails from the Alarm, turn off the alarm before troubleshooting.
- Monitoring Query Language (MQL) is another topic that I believe I saw couple of questions. Bare minimum - remember the syntax of the MQL.
- Budgets – Again a very important topic. I got few questions on the usage of Cost Tracking Tags. Again, a good idea to go to the console to set up the budget.
- I got a few questions on the networking side of it to figure out what is not working. So familiarize yourself with Security Lists, NSG, how to write rules (ingress/egress).
- Read the Rules Of Engagement for Oracle Cloud Security Testing Policy. You might see a question or two here.
- A common theme for all OCI exams I’ve taken is backup and recovery, high availability, cross region copy. Expect few questions here.
- Console connections is discussed in one the lecture and it is important to note that these enable you to remotely troubleshoot malfunctioning instances. Read more here.
- Finally Audit Logs and Audit events.
- Go through my Flashcards (OCI Operations) that I prepared for this exam. If you are not clear on any of the card, please go through official documentation on OCI website.
- Take both the practice exams in learning path and besides knowing the right answer, know why the answer is right
- Take the Associate Architect Practice exam again for that extra practice.
- Use process of elimination to narrow down on the answer if you are not sure. It is better than blindly selecting the answer.
- Mark the questions for review later if you are not sure of the answer. Sometimes you might get the right answer in the related subsequent questions.