People pursuing Oracle certification exams often ask how much time they should give to prepare for the exam. Unfortunately, there are so many variables involved in the time required that most answers are just shots in the dark. No one can give a specific preparation method for someone he knows nothing about. In general, the best anyone can do is to say how long they studied for the same test. That said, the thing to do is to provide low and high values to give you room to work. At this point I can add a few examples of data points that help change study time up or down. I passed about twenty Oracle certification exams. Study times vary between them for many reasons. However, as a general rule, I usually spend four to six weeks preparing for any given exam.
The time I spend reading is about 80 to 100 hours during this period. I would put 80 to 100 hours in advance as a lower limit for preparation time. I am a fast reader; I have worked with Oracle for over 16 years; and I usually know a lot about the tested topic before I even start preparing for the test. The only way I can see an applicant spending less time than the course would be for someone who is a true expert in the subjects being studied. I would put the high end preparation time three times as low.
Considering 15 hours of study per week, you will need 16 to 20 weeks to prepare for the exam. To figure out how long it will take you to study for a given exam, start by estimating that it will take about the middle of the high and low numbers, or 190 hours. Ask yourself these questions.
Are you already familiar with this topic or have you just learned it? If you know better, set aside 10 or 20 hours. If you are new to the test subject, add ten or twenty. If you know enough but not too much, leave the number as it is.
Are you a fast reader with good reading comprehension? If so, leave 10 or 20 hours. If you are a fast reader or need to read something several times to retain it, add 10 or 20 hours. Oracle books are a great source to prepare for the exam, but the information is scattered in many manuals, which will slow you down. If you use it to study more than other places that gather the information in one place, add 15 or 20 hours. Can you fail this test and pay to get it back?
If so, you should add another 10 or 20 hours to give yourself a better chance of passing the test on the first try. There are other things to consider and other questions you may have. The list above should give you a good enough starting point for adjusting the plan based on your situation. The key phrase is “your position”. The required study time has little effect on the exam itself. It almost entirely depends on your ability and current level of education.
Whatever you do, make sure you don’t underestimate it. I have never been to an exam center to take an Oracle exam where I would like to spend a little time preparing. Do not schedule the test until you are sure you are ready to pass it. Everything here is just a plan, if you spend three hundred hours preparing and you are still not sure you know what, study some more. The worst thing that can happen is to take it before you are ready and fail.