Here are a few tips I’ve gathered over the years that may help you with your quest to get certifed:
- Most of the IM certification exams have a time limit of 90 minutes, except the upgrade exam which has a time limit of 60 minutes. The number of questions and the cutscore for each exam varies. For example, exam 730 has 64 questions and you must score 59 percent or higher to pass it.
- Make sure you check out the exam objectives before you study. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. You can find the exam objectives by going to the specific page for the exam on this site: IBM Professional Certification.
- If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass the exam based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Assessment exams cost $10 per take, so if you really think you are ready, come and take the exam to see.
- If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!
- Decide on how you want to increase your skills:
a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.
The Certification prep guides were written by members of the exam development team. That is, they created the questions for the certification exam that you are about to take! Also, each chapter of the book corresponds directly to a section on the exam. So, if you take the assessment exam and find out that you are week on a single topic, you simply need to read the chapter that corresponds to the topic where you need improvement. Lastly, the authors created a set of sample questions for the book that provides you with the correct answer to the question as well as an explanation as to why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect ones are not.
b) For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If you have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners. These classes typically have a fee, even for employees, so check with management to see if you can take one of these classes. Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify due to costs. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/roadmaps.html.
- If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml
Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs?
Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.
Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:
I hope you find this information useful! Good luck on your journey towards certification!
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