Kamran Agayev's Oracle Blog

Oracle Certified Master

How to become an Oracle Certified Master (My OCM journey)

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on August 16th, 2013

This is it! Finally I’ve successfully passed OCM exam. It was almost more than 1 year that I’ve been preparing for this.

It’s almost impossible to find additional information about the exam online, so I decided to make my own preparation plan as I’ve done it for OCP exams before.  And I would like to share my preparation tips with you and hope it will motivate you to start thinking about OCM.

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill

Please note that this document has already been checked and approved by Oracle Certification Team.  


My preparation

–          In parallel to working as a production DBA at a leading mobile operator company in Azerbaijan (Azercell Telecom LLC), I decided to make a preparation plan for 9 months. I printed exam topics from this link and put it on my desktop. I planned to spend a month on each section for preparation (there are total 8 sections)


–          For each section and topic I went through the documentation, checked blog posts, studied metalink notes and created my own practices. I installed VirtualBox on my laptop and used it for all type of practices including RAC and Data Guard. I created different practices for each topic of each session, assigned a time frame for each practice and tried to solve them in a very limited time. I tried to not use GUI in all kind of scenarios. I was able to install Oracle Software and create a database both in silent mode using almost all parameters in a few minutes (with closed eyes :) ) . I learned all commands by heart; I was able to create a Data Guard using command line without looking to the documentation. I created RAC for several times, added and deleted nodes, went through all configuration and management issues. If you’re preparing for OCM exam, you have to forget GUI at all!

EM is a very important tool which has to be used on your production system and which helps you to administer all your databases from one window. You have to know every single link and page on EM, however you shouldn’t rely only on EM, because there may be some tasks which should be performed without EM. And don’t forget to master EM, as the second Section is all about Grid Control :)

–          You have to be prepared for any type of corruption at any time during the exam. You have to test all kind of failure scenarios and recover from any type of error. If you are not able to recover your database during the exam, you will have to return home earlier. I created all kind of corruption and failure scenarios, and prepared and tested all “How to recover if …” cases.

–          Each time I studied everything related to any topic and solved all practices, I removed that line from the paper. My aim was to have a paper with everything removed out like this :)


–          I sensed that I would have to fight against the time during the exam, so I decided to improve my typing speed. For the last 7 years I’ve been typing without looking at the keyboard, but it wasn’t enough for me. I decided to improve my typing speed and accuracy, thus registered at www.typeracer.com and competed every day. As a result my typing accuracy improved further.

–          After 8 months I finished my research almost for every section and topic of an OCM exam. For the 3 weeks of the last month I performed all practices that I had made for myself (all practices per week!). For the last week I did all practices per DAY! Every time it took me a few hours to finish all tasks. In the last week I realized that my fingers type faster than my brain process :) It was very hard to devote some hours per day for all practices, so I was preparing over the lunch breaks, after work, and mostly on weekends.


Finally, registration day arrived. Actually, I had planned that date before the preparation and started the registration 2 months before the exam. When you register for the exam try to check the nearest country, book the nearest hotel to the exam center, get a document to have a VISA from the embassy and book flight tickets. Don’t forget to contact OCM exam center 1-2 weeks before an exam to make sure that the exam will proceed and make sure you’ve received a confirmation letter from Oracle.

Before taking an OCM exam, you have to earn OCP certification and take 2 Oracle University (OU) courses. You can check this link for more information. If you haven’t taken the required courses before, it would be better to take the topic that you don’t feel at ease. After taking the required courses, you should submit them at Course Submission Form using course Enrollment ID

Also don’t forget to print addresses of the hotel and the exam center. On the first day I could not explain where to go unless I showed the printed address to the taxi driver. Don’t forget to take your ID to the exam center. In my case, I forgot it, came back to the hotel 1 hour before the exam started, was stuck in a traffic jam and finally got to the exam center 10 minutes ago :)

Although I had not a chance to relax (slept only 3 hours before the exam), but I would strongly advise you to have a rest a day before the exam.


About the exam 

Exam starts at 9.00 and finishes at 18.00. You should arrive 1 hour before the exam. Don’t forget to bring your Oracle Testing ID with you

You will not get any bug during the exam. The proctor is responsible for the discipline, provides information in the beginning of each section and doesn’t answer to any technical question. You can use nonsearchable documentation.

You need to find syntax of any command in a second, you have to know which book, which chapter and which section you need to look for specific topic or question. During preparation days, don’t use documentation search and google AT ALL! In some cases, you don’t have the second chance to correct the mistake you’ve made. You don’t have any chance to learn something during the exam. If you don’t know any topic or haven’t done it or practiced it before, or even don’t know where to find the information in the documentation just go to the next question. I’m sure you’ve already done the same at OCP exam

As I’ve signed NDA, I can’t provide more information about the exam. In a nutshell, you’ll struggle against the time during the whole exam. I want to repeat again – If you come across a question that you haven’t prepared for and seen any time before, that can be a big problem. Theoretical knowledge is not enough; you have to have a practical experience.

In order to avoid feeling nervous during the exam, you are supposed to have gone through the same experience during your DBA life. If you’ve faced such critical issues and solved them in time, then the exam will be less excited.


In conclusion …  

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, it is still very challenging to use only command line interface to perform any requirement, to solve data corruption and recover the database from any data loss, create and manage RAC and Data Guard in a very limited timeline, tune the database and perform different kind of administrative tasks one by one without any mistake.

I hope my preparation method will help you start the preparation for the OCM exam. If you have any question, please do not hesitate to post your comment.

First and foremost I would like to thank The Alimighty God. He has given me the power to believe in my passion and pursue my dreams.  I could never have done this without the faith I have. Sincere thanks to my family, especially to my father who motivated me every day. I would also like to thank to my collegues, my friends and all my students for supporting me. Thank you for being genuinely happy for my success and good fortune, as if it were your own

And last but not least, I would like to share some motivation quotes which can help you to be motivated during the preparation and also in your entire life

  • If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it. – Muhammad Ali
  • “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” -Bobby Knight
  • You’re never a loser until you quit trying. -Mike Ditka”
  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up
  • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
  • Accept challenges in life, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
  • “The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it.” – Michelangelo
  • Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times. – Napoleon Hil



87 Responses to “How to become an Oracle Certified Master (My OCM journey)”

  1. roza.hamzayeva@gmail.com Says:

    Teacher we are proud of you!!!

  2. Fuad Hajiyev Says:

    Congratulation teacher,
    All your students are on your trace :)

  3. Egidio Ndabagoye Says:

    Well done!
    Thinking of OCM.

  4. Ümit Says:

    Congratulation teacher :)

  5. Helios-Gunes EROL Says:

    Hi Kamran;

    Its very nice to read your post, It gives lots of hints and also clues about OCM exam.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, its very useful.

    Helios-Gunes EROL

  6. Rashad Ahliman Says:

    Congratulation :)

  7. Koray Says:

    “The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a person’s determination.”

  8. Bora Yuret Says:


    Çok çok tebrik ederim, kendim geçmiş kadar sevindim. Benim de önümüzdeki dönemde hedeflerim arasında. Seninle bir ara uzun uzun konuşalım :)

    Başarılar diliyorum.

    Bora Yüret

  9. Ibrahim Says:

    congrats bro

  10. Sabuhi_Asad Says:

    Congratulation Kamran

  11. Javid Yusifov Says:

    Thanks for very good post..Really it motivated me ..I think it is also great courage to share the ways of success and give motivation to other people, more ones don’t do that..

  12. khurram Says:

    A well informative article.

  13. Hans Forbrich Says:

    Congratulations. Excellent post and deserved result.

  14. Osama Mustafa Says:

    Congratulations , Well Done

  15. Steve Karam Says:

    As a one-time author of the OCM exam (10g OCM) I have to say you’ve got it all right. This is an outstanding guide and you really hit on the main prep points without giving away too much.

    Great article, and more importantly great job on passing the OCM!

  16. Mahesh Ellandhula Says:

    Thanks for sharing your expirience and congos….for the OCM…….

    surely will try to go in your way …..and its inspiring ……

  17. Ittichai Chammavanijakul Says:

    Good writing about preparation. Congrats!

  18. shivahindwan Says:

    Congratulations. Excellent

  19. Nadeem Says:

    Congratulations Kamran, You are an inspiration for many. Thanks for writing OCM tips.



  20. Neeraj vasudeva Says:

    Congrats !! On an average how many hours you spent per day for OCM perpetration ?

  21. How to become an Oracle Certified Master (My OCM journey) | IT Support Says:

    […] By Kamran Agayev A. […]

  22. Taoqir Says:


    Sir you are greate.I done my OCP.NOW thinkg about OCM after reading this artical.


  23. Danesh Thamby Says:

    Congrats.. and big THANK YOU for explaining a wonderful step by step approach to earn OCM certification.. Was planning about OCM and this article was really helpful…Appreciate your sharing of motivational quotes.. Once again thank you and ALL THE BEST. :)

  24. Muhammad Abdul Halim Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    I appreciate your post.


  25. suvajit maity Says:

    respect respect and respect….

  26. Pratik Says:

    Wow, a Dream come true.. And now you belong to the most elite database group in S/W world.

  27. karim Says:

    congratulation keep up the good work

  28. OCM Certifikace užitečný link a Pathfinder pozvánka at PL/SQL programátor bloguje – vývoj aplikací pod databází Oracle Says:

    […] http://kamranagayev.com/2013/08/16/how-to-become-an-oracle-certified-master-my-ocm-journey/ […]

  29. FK Says:

    Mubrook! might contact you for guidelines :)

  30. Don Burleson Says:

    Congratulations. . . .

  31. Juan Mosqueda Says:

    Hi Kamran, first I want to congratulate for your OCM and for the post.

    My question is related to the English language, what I mean is English is not my mother tongue and I want to know:

    How much I need to be proficient with the English language?

    I can read all technical stuff but what more I need beyond of that for the OCM exam.

  32. Tuba Altun Says:

    Thanks for your excellent post

  33. Farid Says:

    Kamran, congratulations!

  34. sajid khan Says:


  35. Lawal Moshood Says:

    Well Done Kamra, I have been looking for this over a very long time keep on updating fellow members like myself who wants to be like you. Thanks

  36. Zaur Says:

    Congratulation teacher

  37. Aaron A, Masembe Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    This is good staff!! i been following your page for a while and certainly this has inspired me to close my OCM dream!! I’m an OCE,OCP…but OCM is one of the biggest goals for me in the coming 12months!!.

    Cheers to your achievement…..!

  38. suse Says:

    well done!

  39. Umaruddin Ansari Says:


  40. ls Says:


  41. Vishnu Says:

    Congrats..Hard Work Definetely Pays More !!!

  42. Andy Says:

    Congratulation !

  43. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    * Thank you, I’m also proud of you and all my students. I know how all of you were waiting for this news. Wish you the same
    Roza, Fuad, Umit, Zaur

    * Thank you for congratulation!
    Egiio, Rashad, Ibrahim, Sabuhi, Khurram, Osama, Ittichai, Shivahindwan, Nadeem, Taoqir, Muhammad, Suvajit, Pratik, Karim, Don, Tuba, Sajid, Farid, Suse, Vishnu, Andy

    * Happy to see you like my post. Would be more happy if I know it helped and motivated you at your OCM exam!
    Helios, Bora, Javid, Mahesh, Lawal, Aaron

    * Thank you Hans!

    * Thank you Steve. I remember the times when I was OCA and were reading your articles and thinking to be OCM like you in the future!
    Steve Karam

    * Neeraj, It depends. Sometimes it took me 2-3 hours, some day 1 hour, and at times more than 6 hours

    * Juan, If your English is intermediate, you should understand all questions. If you’ve passed OCP exam, you should understand every question at OCM as well

  44. thiyagarajan Says:


    Congrates.. Hants off……

  45. syed shafiq Says:

    Congrats….I do use to check ur blog all the time to this and to use to think you u havn’t come across OCM …and finally the day came true…I am ur big fan, i suggest ur blog for my friends and most of the time i use to show them forcefully so that can inspired from you. You are awesome and i like the motivational quotes which you have given for all of us..JazakALLAH hu khaira for sharing your knowledge with all of us..and keep guiding us.

  46. Abdul Matheen Says:

    Hi Kamran sir,

    Congratulation for your success in OCM,

    Thanks for your Valuable preparation experience sharing with Learners like us.


  47. Monowar Mukul Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    Congress for OCM. I would like to add so that someone can get little more information.

    Below is the link where I mentioned how to prepare for 11g OCM:



  48. riaz Says:

    Assalam Alikum


    Congratulations for OCM…..

    May Allah Bless You……

    You are sharing your knowledge with everyone…….

    It is very good thing……..


    Allah Hafiz


  49. Seth Williams Says:

    Hey Kamran, Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with the OCM exam. We have created a video playlist on Oracle BI. I’m hoping this could also help anyone preparing for their OCM exam. Feel free to check it out. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbbJy7LxchQNrpaqFXQQ2eUEccYVI1sS2

  50. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Seth. Thanks for sharing! Your videos looks good !

  51. Abdul Wahab Says:

    Hi Kamran Sir,
    Thanks a lot for sharing your OCM preparation journey. It will really help a lot those people who want to be an OCM. You deserve this always. Your articles always help me when I face any problem in Oracle.

    Can I ask you for a personal help? Can you please share your mail id? I have some queries that I need to ask. If you feel it’s fine, then please share your mail id.

    Your remote student,
    Abdul Wahab

  52. oracle training courses in pune Says:

    hello sir,
    Heartly Congrats for the journey of OCM through the way………..

    Regards :
    Qadir Shaikh.

  53. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Thank you so much Qadir

  54. Fabio Fonseca Says:

    Hi Kamran,
    How are you doing?

    First of all, congrats for this great achievement! :)
    Your preparation hints are very helpful for whom wants to start to work in a preparation methodology for this exam.

    I have some questions:

    1. Currently, I am OCP 10g/11g and intend to upgrade my OCP to 12c. What do you think that I should wait to prepare/take an exam for 12c or prepare for the 11g? I intend to take this exam on the first quarter of next year (2015), I will study during this year to be confident to take this exam. Does it worth to take the current version or wait for the newerst one?

    2. You have mentioned that you used some vms to simulate some scenarios and study for this exam. Would you mind to share with us which vms you created to study those OCM exam topics? I mean: One RAC two nodes vms, One VM with Data Guard and another one to test add/remove nodes from the RAC? Do you have additional suggestions for which kind of vms are good approach to help to review all topics of OCM exam?

    Thanks again for your attention.
    Happy New Year, I wish that 2014 could bring much success and happiness for everyone!

    Best regards,
    Fabio Fonseca.
    E-mail: fabiomiguel@gmail.com

  55. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Fabio. Thank you

    Here’s the answer for the questions:

    1. Are you planning to take 11g OCM exam? (You haven’t mentioned it). If so, I would strongly suggest you to take OCM exam, rather taking 12 exam. Concentrate only one exam. 12c OCP is not as much popular as 11gOCM.

    2. I used only two Virtual Machines (for RAC). You can test Data Guard scenarios on one machine as well. Or you can use both RAC machines to install and configure Data Guard

    Wish you best of luck !


  56. Viktor Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    Post-congratulations :) Thank you for such interesting and useful post (especially for the last inspirational part). I believe I saw on of ouyr videos previouslly. Currently I am looking for OCM and OCP notes. I will take your steps into account definitelly.
    By the way, can you give also few recommendations for OCP? What algorithm do you recommend: docummentation-books-blogs or books-docummentation-blogs? OCA was really easy for me. But I am little bit afraid right now after reading articles on OCP topic. Documentation takes a lot of time but books with mistakes can lead in totally wrong direction (according to the rewiews on bunch oracle books).
    Thank you in advance, Kamran.

    Best regards,

  57. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Viktor, thank you for your comment

    If you have plenty of experience on the topics of the OCP, you will pass it easily. I would suggest you to read the whole documentation (not just for OCP, just because you’re a DBA :)) and then read OCP related books. There might be some small mistakes, but in general, those books are really helpful

    And don’t forget to practice more and more and more

    Best of luck and hope you’ll get your OCP and OCM certifications soon

  58. Ericlee Says:


  59. Zurab Machavariani Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    I appreciate your post.

    Best Regards

  60. Doan VLK Says:

    Hi Kamran Agayev A.
    I have a question:
    Can I use my document (text file, PDF file) in test room?


  61. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    HI Doan
    Not at all!

  62. DBA Scripts Says:

    This article does not surprise me much, it’s really a lot of work and practice to pass this exam but worth the effort

  63. omer Says:

    i want to by your Book – Expert secrets for using RMAN and Data Pump
    the last edition.
    where can i get it ?

  64. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Omer
    You can get it from Amazon.com. Check the following link:

  65. riaz Says:

    Assalam Alikum


    once again Congratulations for OCM…..May Allah Bless You……
    You are sharing your knowledge with everyone…….It is very good thing……..
    i am also planning to give OCM.but i am confused about 10g OCM and 11g OCM.please guide me.


    Allah Hafiz


  66. Baurzhan Says:

    You really deserved it as you worked hard.
    Thanks for sharing, there is rly little information in web on this. I

  67. roh Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    Do they ask to setup Oracle Grid Control ?


  68. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Roh

    Yes, the second session is about to install Grid Control, and if you fail it, most probably you will fail the whole exam

  69. roh Says:

    Thanks Kamran !!

  70. Mohammad Samad Says:

    Thanks Kamran for sharing your experience. I got inspiration after studying your article and started to taking preparation for OCM exam for last couple of months. I have experience as a DBA about 3 years. But from last month I started my MSc program in one University in USA and here specially emphasis Java Programming. But till I determined to sit for OCM exam and build next carrier as an Oracle DBA and proceed myself. Because its my dream. If I take preparation for around 10 months and every day 3-4 hours give time for practicing then it will be okay? Another If I could become OCM certified then It will help a lot to get a job in USA market or Oracle Corporation? Please inform me.

  71. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Mohammad. I’m so happy that you’re inspired from my article, and it should be enough for you to prepare for the exam for 10 months. If it lasts 20 months, no issue, just go for it. And sure, it will definitely help you to find job not just only in USA, but around the world

    Best of luck!

  72. Hemang Shah Says:

    Thank you for giving us a brief on your preparation!
    And yeah congrats !!

  73. Kishore Says:

    Inspiring!!EducatIVE!! and Motivational. Thanks for a wonderfully written Blog.

  74. soumya Says:

    Congrats sir :)

  75. Quora Says:

    How do I prepare for OCP and OCM?

    i personally don’t know about it. Check this link it may be helpfull:- kamranagayev.com/2013/08/16/how-to-become-an-oracle-certified-master-my-ocm-journey/

  76. MANSOOR BP Says:


    Congratulations Kamran, You are an inspiration for many. Thanks for writing OCM tips.

    Only one question please, Can we choose platform before OCM exam like OEL or Redhat. Or we need to show capability in windows or other operating system as well ?

  77. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Mansoor. Thank you
    The exam requirements are based only on OEL, so no need to show capability in windows

  78. Jean-Philippe VERGER Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    Congratulations for your OCM DBA title.
    I would also want to say that I visit frequently OTN forums, and I like to read your posts there (in the Database Administration forum and in the PL/SQL forum.
    Kamran, I am currently an OCP DBA, and I plan to take the OCM DBA exam. I have two questions regarding the duration of the OCM DBA exam:

    a) The first question is:
    The duration of the OCM DBA exam is 2 days or only one day?

    b) The second question is:
    When you say : “Exam starts at 9.00 and finishes at 18.00”, I would want to know if there is a break between 9.00 and 18.00.


  79. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Jean-Philippe. Thank you for the comment. Here are the answers to your questions:

    a) The duration of the OCM exam is 2 days. The upgrade exam is 1 day
    b) There are breaks between the sessions (15-20 minutes) and 1 hour (might be a little bit more or less) for the lunch

    Good luck!

  80. Paul Says:

    Hi Kamran, thanks for sharing your OCM journey with everyone. I hope it opened doors for you…..
    I just have a few questions….

    1) What does access to “nonsearchable documentation” mean?
    Don’t you get access to the docs.oracle.com website?

    2) Did you finish any of the sections, or is the time limit so short that you can’t finish?

  81. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Paul

    1) You don’t get access to the internet, you get access to the offline oracle documentation
    2) There’s a time limit. Each section has it’s predefined time scope. If you are not able to finish the any section during its time scope, you will fail that session even you solve the problem on the next section. Failing one section might be the reason of failing the whole exam.

  82. Foued Says:

    I just read this post today, but even if it dates some time ago now, I congratulate you Kamran for this achievement , and thanks for continuing to share your nice articles. Much appreciated the wonderful quotes as well, it explains why you succeded in first place.

  83. Scott Says:

    thanks for sharing Kamran!

    question: if each section is independ?

  84. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Scott

    Some of them were independet, some were not

  85. Scott Says:

    thanks Kamran!

    there are 8 skillsets.
    how oracle scores if I pass or not?
    1) average of all skillsets must pass a point(say 70%): avg=sum(point of all skillsets)/8
    2) each skillset must pass a point(say 70%).

    for example: a tester got over 90% correct on 7 skillsets but he only got 40% correct on 1 skillset. did he pass this example?


  86. Rajesh Says:


    How much minimum time require for OCM preparation, if i’m giving six hours daily for preparation.


  87. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    HI Rajesh. It depends how much you can read and practice. 1 year should be enough

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