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How to certify

You certify by passing one or more exams. The Roadmap to DB2 Version 8 certification in Figure 2 shows that you certify as a DB2 Database Associate by passing the required entry test, "DB2 Family Fundamentals, 700." Then take any of the five additional certification exams, depending on your area of interest. For example, to become a certified DB2 Database Administrator, pass "DB2 DBA for Linux, UNIX and Windows, 701," or certify as a mainframe DBA by passing "DB2 DBA for z/OS, 702." (Note- exam #702 will be available in 1st quarter 2004). You could also become a Certified Application Developer by passing "DB2 Family Applications Development, 703." Or certify in Business Intelligence by taking "DB2 Business Intelligence, 705," or specialize in the Content Manager via exam #442.

Figure 2. The DB2 Version 8 Certification "Roadmap"Figure 2. The DB2 Version 8 Certification "Roadmap"

A really nice feature of the DB2 certification program is its modularity. After passing the "DB2 Family Fundamentals" entry test #700, take whichever exam(s) you like. Each one you pass gives you another certification.

IBM introduced several new features in the Version 8 certification program. First, there is a tripartite path yielding three ascending levels of DBA certification. This clear path replaces the grab-bag of advanced "Certified Solution Expert" (CSE) exams in Version 7:

Table 1. The version 8 DBA certification path

Step Exam Number Exam Title Certification
1. 700 DB2 Family Fundamentals Database Associate
2. 701 DB2 Database Administration Database Administrator
3. 704 DB2 Advanced Database Administration Advanced Database Administrator

The Version 8 program also introduces a single test by which Version 7-certified DBAs can upgrade their certification. This is called "DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows Version 8 Upgrade Exam, 706." If you are a Version 7 certified DBA, you can either take this new upgrade test, or simply pass the standard database administration exam #701 to upgrade your DBA cert to Version 8. The Upgrade test features fewer questions and is a shorter test, but many more study resources are available to help you pass the standard DBA test, #701. In Version 8, IBM introduced a new test called the "DB2 Problem Determination Mastery Exam". The exam covers problem determination using DB2 tools, for installation, configuration, communications and the like. Technically, it is not a certification exam, so it has no formal pre-requisites, nor do you achieve an official certification by passing it. This test will be of great interest to those who certify as a DBA and want to strengthen (and prove) their problem identification and resolution abilities. The test costs only $40 and can be taken online via the web. For full information on this exam, and a free, downloadable set of nine study tutorials, visit the exam web page at http://www.ibm.com/software/data/support/pdm/db2exam.html.

To take any certification test, simply visit Prometric, the testing organization. If you're outside of North America, visit testing organization Pearson VUE. These Web sites list testing locations (there are usually many to choose from in any city), and you can sign up for exams online. Show up at your scheduled exam time with two forms of picture identification. They'll assign you a PC onsite, where you'll take the test via a standardized multiple-choice interface. Table 2 shows how many questions are on each DB2 exam, how many you need to correctly answer to pass, and how long you have to take the exams.

Table 2. Exam information

Exam Exam Title Number of questions Correct questions to pass Time (minutes)
700 DB2 UDB V8.1 Family Fundamentals 54 61% 75
701 DB2 UDB V8.1for Linux, UNIX and Windows Database Administration 70 61% 90
702 DB2 UDB V8.1 for z/OS Database Administration n/a n/a n/a
703 DB2 UDB V8.1 Family Application Development 63 57% 75
704 DB2 UDB V8.1 for Linux, UNIX and Windows Advanced Database Administration 57 56% 75
705 DB2 Business Intelligence Solutions V8.1 56 58% 75
706 DB2 UDB V8.1 for Linux, UNIX and Windows Database Administration Upgrade exam 30 55% 40
442 DB2 Content Manager V8 64 64% 90
n/a DB2 Problem Determination Mastery n/a n/a 60

Before starting the certification process, read the IBM "terms and conditions" and current explanation for their program to ensure you understand and feel comfortable with it before committing.

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