I took the test today and passed with a 45/57. I would like to thank the people that posted threads in regards to this exam, it gave me an idea of what I was up against. Here is what I did to prepare.
1). I took the ILTS course at a local college.
2). Used Oracle's recommended vendor for the STS.
a. I made extensive use of the STS and actually purchased its use for 90 days (as opposed to getting the CD).
b. I never specifically reviewed the questions that I missed - I just made note of the areas/chapters that I was having trouble with and reviewed appropriately. I can't tell you how many times I reread chapters regarding functions, sub-queries, group functions, creating and managing tables and User access.
c. I took the STS in "certification mode" 16 times (this is not including chapters that I tested on in "study" mode). This was done over a two month period. I would read, read, read and then finally take the certification mode testing. My first STS test I scored a 44%, my last one I scored a 94%. Several days prior to the test I did "cheat" and reviewed individual questions that I had missed (to at least figure out why). This actually worked ok, by that time I knew the material like the back of my hand and my learing was more conceptual as opposed to rote.
-----bottom line, having the ILTS material is a must
3). I studied for two months, the last three weeks were very intense (at least 4 hours every night).
4). I also used the Sybex material.
a. It was useful in that it was more in depth and helped me understand concepts better.
b. I noticed that my STS scores started to get better once I started using Sybex.
5). I also used Osborne materials -- some chapters were good (areas regarding subqueries, table creation, manipulating data).
6). My technical background.
a. I am not a DBA, but I do have a years worth of hands on experience with Oracle. This mostly consists of restoring database .dmp files, installation and configuration of Oracle clients, servers for co-workers.
b. I made a point of doing everything through the command line as opposed to using the GUI -- this helped me get familiar with the various dictionary views, creating users - assigning privileges, creating tablespaces etc.
The actual test is harder than the STS but only because they are asking different questions (which tests conceptual knowledge). There was stuff that was similar (don't let this fool you - the parameters of the question might be different even though the question looks the same, this is why learing the STS in a "rote" manner is dangerous).
Thanks for your input. I'm planning to take this exam in a couple of weeks and every little bit of information helps. I have not noticed any mistakes in STS and have found several mistakes in the sybex questions.
Thanks for your information. I am also preparing for the first exam of OCP oracle 8i DBA. I am referring the Sybex book as well as STS software. Also i am taking practice tests on different sites. I hope that will be enough to pass this exam.
I used just sybex to perpare for the 001 exam and got 50/57 on the exam, so it worked quite well for me.
During my perpartion, I converted an existing SQL Server database to Oracle. The SQL server database had quite a few triggers and stored procedures, so I got a lot of hands on training during the conversion.