Pearson Vue Proctored Exam Experience - Taking Java Certification Exam online at home

Steps for taking java certification exam at home or office

TLDR; Steps to take Java Certification Exam from home

  1. Buy the voucher - Either from Oracle or from Pearson. There is no special voucher for this i.e. the voucher for scheduling the exam in the test center and the one used to schedule the online proctored exam at home/office are the same.
  2. Login and schedule the test on Pearson Vue website.
  3. Login to Pearson Vue website 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time to perform the check in process and begin your test. Do as explained on Pearson site.

Taking the Java Certification Exam from home or office - Details

The standard practice for taking Java Certification exams is to schedule the exam at a Pearson Vue test center near your location. The test center has all the equipment that is required and most importantly, the student is not held liable for any incident such as power failure, loss of internet, or computer malfunction, that hinders the test. This is, therefore, a very safe option.

Due to Covid 19 pandemic, however, many countries are on a lock down and test centers are closed. Even if a test center near you is open, you may not want to risk going there fearing infection.

Pearson Vue's online proctored exam mode is meant exactly for this scenario. It allows you to take the test right at your home and on your computer.

A few of our students have taken their Java Certification exam this way and we can tell you that it is a convenient, painless, and straight forward way to take the exam. If you are scared of taking the exam at home, don't be.

On Pearson online proctored exam page, you will find an option to run their software to check if your machine has the required capabilities.

System check for taking java certification exam at home or office

Since this is the same application that you will use for taking the test later, better save it to you machine for later use. You can run it without having the voucher. So, try it out.

On the same page, you will find a options to "Schedule the exam" and to "Begin the exam". These options require signing in.

After starting up their s/w, just follow the prompts. It is very easy to follow. It asks you to first submit the photos of your room and desk including walls and doors. You can take the pictures from your phone or even from your computer's webcam. The proctor uses these pictures to verify that your room is clean and usable for the exam. You have to show all sides of your workplace. One of our students in India has shared the pictures of the room in which they took the test. As you can see, the room is empty except for the computer table. (See pictures below)

At the time of exam, if the proctor finds something questionable in your room, they may request you to move your webcam (or laptop) around to see more details. This may happen if you have stuff written on white boards.

You will also be asked to upload front and back pictures of your ID such as Driving license. Your name and face must be clearly visible in the picture.

The following are a list of things to watch out for:
  • In this mode, a Pearson Vue's person keeps an eye on you through your webcam. They see and hear you all the time during your exam. You are not allowed to talk to anyone. Your face must be visible at all times.
  • They check your system by making you run their software on the system to make sure the test can be delivered on it.
  • They will take your picture as well as of your ID such as Driver license.
  • If you wear glasses, the proctor may ask you to take them off and show the glasses more closely through the web cam.
  • It is not a problem if your looks are a little different in the your ID. For example, one of our students now sports a beard and was not sure whether they would match the picture in the ID. It was alright. If they have any concern, they may ask for another ID.
  • They have explicitly written that mobile hotspot is not ok. Home wifi is ok. If your power and internet connection work smoothly for the duration of the exam, you will have no problem.

Problems faced while taking Java Certification online proctored exam

  • Test centers provide you with pen and paper for rough work but you can't use it in online proctored exams. The exam software does have an online whiteboard/scratchpad on which you can draw with mouse. Generally, you don't need to write anything to answer the questions on Java Certification but some students write a lot.
  • Loss of connectivity may freez your PC. You will have to contact Pearson Vue support. Send them an email if you are not able to proceed with the exam. Pearson vue will reschedule the exam.
  • Although Pearson's OnVue application makes you close all running applications on your machines before proceeding with the test, some applications have services that keep starting up periodically if their corresponding applications are closed. For example, applications such as DropBox may start up in the middle of the test automatically and, if the proctor notices it, they may cancel your test immediately. So, make sure you don't have any such apps on your machine.
  • Webcam Adjustment: If you are using an external USB webcam, make sure it is mounted properly and does lose its orientation during the exam. The proctor must be able to see you at all time and if there is any disturbance, they will ask you to adjust your webcam. This distraction will waste your time as well as break your concentration.
  • You are not allowed to eat, drink, talk (to others or even to yourself). If your lips are seen moving, the proctor will first warn you and then may cancel the exam.


Pictures of the room used to take the test at home:

Room picture for taking java certification exam at home  - front

Room picture for taking java certification exam at home  - back

Room picture for taking java certification exam at home  - left

Room picture for taking java certification exam at home  - right

We will keep updating information on this page as more people use this mode to pass the OCA OCP Java Certification exams. Meanwhile, here are a few links to pages where people have shared their experience: As always, if you have any question or want to share your experience, feel free to post it on our Java Certification Whatsapp group.

Newbie planning for Java Certification

Tips for Java certification

If you are a newbie Java developer and are looking for information on how to start preparing for Java certification this article is for you. Most likely you have some knowledge and/or experience in Java programming but you do not have any certification currently.

Not to worry. Here is how you should start.

First, you need to check the status of your current knowledge. Go through the official exam objectives and see if you feel comfortable with the topics listed. If you feel completely lost, then you need to step back and go through a good Java beginners book such as Java Beginners Guide by Herbert Schildt.

Once you learn the basics of Java, you can take a mock exam (there are several available but we recommend taking the Foundation Exam from Enthuware Mock exams) and see if you have really learned the basics. A good score on this test means that you are now ready for the next step.

You should now grab a certification study guide such as OCP Java 11 Part 1 Fundamentals by Hanumant Deshmukh and go through each chapter. Writing code is very important while preparing for the exam. This book includes short coding exercies at the end of each chapter. You should do those using Notepad++ and command line. Avoid using IDEs such as Netbeans and Eclipse at this stage of your preparation.

The final step is to practice using mock exams. Enthuware mock exams give you a real feel of the actual exam. The real exam is quite expensive (about 240$) while the set of 7 mock exams from Enthuware cost only $10. It is better to spend money on the mock exams and make sure that you will not fail the real exam. Most students get 10% more on the real exam than what they get on Enthuware mock exams.

Enthuware mock exams contain detailed explanations. After taking a mock test, make sure you go through explanation for every question. Even for the ones that you answered correct.

Do not repeat a mock test because you score will be very high on a subsequent attempt but that's just because you remember the answers from the previous attempt. There are enough mock exams in Enthuware simulator. So, don't worry about using them up. Just remember to analyse your performance after each test and if you score too less on a topic, go through that topic from a book before taking the next test.

If you are able to pass an Enthuware standard test in first attempt, you can be certain that you are ready for the real exam.

Are Java Certifications worth it?

how java certification can benefit your professional career
If you have ever wondered, "should I take Java certification exam?" or "Are Java Certifications worth it?", read on.

Many people will try to disuade you from going for certifications. You will hear statements such as, "certification doesn't prove you can program", or "java certification is useless" or "nobody cares about java certifications". You should ignore such naysayers. The fact is Java certifications are a good addition on your resume. Companies looking for interns look for candidates whose basic Java concepts are clear. Oracle Java certifications show that you have learned at least the fundamentals of the Java language and will be able to code correctly.

Also, remember that it is not the paper certificate but the things that you learn while achieving Java certification that make you stand apart. So, make sure you study well for the certification. Don’t go for java certification dumps. Use legitimate books and mock exams that accurately reflect the style and standard of real questions.

Benefits of Java Certification

If you are trying to find out the dollar increment in your salary after acquiring Java certification, then you have missed the point altogether. The benefit of Java Certification is that you become better equipped to do your job well and thereby become more productive for your employer. While studying for Java certification, you learn important techniques that you may not have used before. You learn the logic behind a lot the things that you did earlier. This gives you confidence and that confidence translates into better career prospects. Nobody pays for mere degrees and certifications. But the Java Certification process provides a structured methodology to acquire useful skills, which is what the employers want.

Generally, Associate and Professional level Java certifications are regarded as proof of knowledge of a Java programming and Expert level Java Certifications are regarded as proof of specific areas of Java technology stack such as EJB, JPA, Web Services, and Servlet/JSP. Thus, to summarize,

  • Java certification places you ahead of the job applicants with no certification for Java related jobs.
  • The Java certification exams test you on Java language fundamentals. Therefore, in job interviews, you are better prepared to answer seemingly tricky and hard questions than other candidates.
  • The skills gained while preparing for a Java certification will make you more productive on the job.

Cost of Java Certification

How much do Java Certifications such as OCAJP, OCPJP, JPA cost?

The cost of appearing for the Java Certification exam is typically USD 245 in the US. However, cost varies from country to country and exam to exam. The Java SE 8 Professional Certification has two exams, OCAJP 8 or 1Z0-808 and OCPJP 8 or 1Z0-809, cost of both certification exams are different in different countries. For example, the 1Z0-808 costs around 10,000 INR in India but 245 USD in the USA, 330 CND in Canada, 322 SGD in Singapore, and CHF 238 in Switzerland. You should check the cost on Oracle's official website.

Oracle also runs promotions on anniversaries and reduces this price of temporarily. There is no fixed schedule for such promotions, so you have to watch out for them on sites such as JavaRanch.com. You should also go through Oracle's Exam Policy
Before releasing new versions of an exam, Oracle offers Beta version of the new exam for a low cost. Typically, beta exams cost USD 50 only.

Since appearing for the exam is a costly affair, you would not want to fail the exam. To ensure you pass on your first try, you should also buy a good book and a set of high quality mock exams. Books typically cost $10 to $50 and good mock exams such as Enthuware's are only $10.

Of course, money is not the only cost. Oracle's Java certifications are tough to pass and so, you will need to spend considerable time preparing for the exams. Even candidate is unique and it is not possible to determine how much time one may need for preparation. However, if you attempt one full sized Enthuware mock exam, you will get a fair idea about where you stand and how much preparation do you need.
6 Steps to Java certification

Here are the 6 steps to become a certified Java professional:

1. Understand the Java Certification versions and their domain

Oracle has several versions, categories, and levels of Java Certifications. See this article to find out which one is most suitable for you. As of April 2019, Oracle Certified Java 11 Developer is the most recent version of the Java Certification. However, the older Java 8 version of the certification is also available.

For Java 11, there is no "Associate" level certification. There is just one "Professional" level certification and to get it, you need to pass two exams - the OCP Java 11 Programmer Part 1 1Z0-815 Exam and the OCP Java 11 Programmer Part 2 1Z0-816 Exam. Yes, you will get only one certification after passing two exams.

If you want to get an Associate level certification with just one exam, then go for the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer certification i.e. OCAJP 8 1z0-808. The exam of this certification is composed of basic Java and object oriented programming questions. You can find detailed information about this certification by visiting the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer Certification official web page.
Oracle has come up with an even more basic level of Java certification called Java Foundations Certified Junior Associate (aka JFCJA). This certification is for school going students (Grades 9th to 12th). This is a good certification if you are a Java beginner but we recommend going for the OCAJP certification because OCAJP is a required certification to acquire other higher level certifications. The JFCJA certification path, on the other hand, is a dead end.

If you are already an Oracle Certified Professional Java programmer for an older version of Java such as OCPJP 7 or SCJP 6, Oracle also offers upgrade exams that upgrade your certification to the Java 8. However, for this, you must have completed the Professional level certification of a previous version. If you have just completed the Associate level certification of a previous version (such as OCAJP 7), the upgrade certification is not for you.

You may want to check out all the Java SE certification exams that Oracle offers on official web page for all Oracle Java Certification Exams

Oracle has a habit of changing exam details such as number of questions, pass percentage, and syllabus. So you should always check out the exam details on Oracle official certification page. 


Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer exam requires that the applicant have an Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer certification. This certification demonstrates deeper knowledge of Java development skills using JAVA SE APIs such as Concurrent API, JDBC API and etc.

There are many Oracle Certified Expert certifications on different specific subjects requiring advanced Java certification. For example, to apply for the Oracle Certified Expert, Java EE 6 Web Services Developer certification, one needs to earn the Oracle Certified Professional, Java SE 8 Programmer certification first. On the other hand, the Java EE Enterprise Architect certification has a different path; it does not require the Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer certification. The steps for earning the Java EE Enterprise Architect certification are as follows:

  • Complete one of Oracle Academy Java courses
  • Pass Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Certified Master 1Z0-807 exam
  • Pass Java (EE) Enterprise Architect Certified Master Assignment 1Z0-865 exam
  • Pass Java (EE) Enterprise Architect Certified Master Essay 1Z0-866 exam

2. Read Recommended Books

Although Java certifications focus mostly on fundamentals, they do contain topics that are rarely used as well. Therefore, irrespective of how much experience you have, you should go through at least one certification book. Java Certification books make sure you don't miss any important topic that is on the exam.

  • For OCAJP 8 exam, we recommend, "Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer Fundamentals" by Hanumant Deshmukh

3. Solve Mock Exams/Sample Tests

The exams contain tricky questions and even if you have a few years of Java development experience, you will trip while answering the exam questions. Therefore, it is better to prepare by solving as many questions similar to those encountered in the exams as possible. Enthuware offers the best mock exam s/w. It is also very reasonably priced. Usually, people score about 5-10% more on the real exam than what they score on Enthuware mock exams.

4. Register and Buy Vouchers

To enter a certification exam you need to register with the Oracle Education System and buy an electronic voucher. One exam voucher is nearly $245. It is valid for 6 months from the date of purchase. In case you fail the exam, one can register again after 14 days to retake it.

Here's the Oracle Education Exam registration link.

5. Locate Exam Place and Time

After registration and buying a voucher, when you're ready to take the exam, you can use the Pearsonvue organization to find a suitable place and time to take the exam. Exams may also be rescheduled if need be prior to the exam date.

It is now possible to take the exam online in your home as well. See this for details on how to take the exam in your home.

6. Check Your Results

Within 30 minutes after taking an exam, you can get your score via email. Therefore, you can learn the outcome of your exam very quickly. After all controls, 3-4 days after, certifications are sent electronically. You can check your eCertificate here.

That's it!

Subcategories

Helpful resources for OCA/OCP OCAJP/OCPJP exams (1Z0-808, 1Z0-809, 1Z0-815, 1Z0-816, 1Z0-816).
Sample project implementation for OCM Java Developer exams (OCMJD/SCJD).
Helpful resources for OCE EJB Developer, Java Persistence API Developer exams (1Z0-895, 1Z0-898).