Exam Cram: Preparing for the MySQL 5.6 certification exams

As noted in earlier posts, exams for the MySQL 5.6 Developer and DBA certifications are entering a beta period, allowing candidates to register for the exams at steep discounts from normal certification exam fees.  I’ve registered to take both exams late this month, and – like Moritz – I’m starting to prepare for the exams now.  For those considering sitting for the exams, my plan is to document my exam preparation in a series of blog entries.  This won’t be a formal or official study guide, but I hope it will prove useful to those preparing for the exams during the beta period (or those who come later).  That said, I’m fortunate to have some great resources to help guide my preparations, and hopefully these will benefit others as well.

What to study

This is almost universally the first question asked by candidates – what do I need to know to be successful?  There’s fortunately a really direct answer to that question found in the Exam Topics tab of the web page devoted to each Oracle certification.  For quick reference, here are the pages for the MySQL 5.6 Developer and MySQL 5.6 DBA exams.  These topics are the “exam blueprint” – every single question asked on the exam is tied to one of these topics.  You’ll notice that the exam topics are not concrete nuggets of knowledge (“the default value for max_connections is 151 in MySQL 5.6”) – they are action-oriented – things a successful candidate will know how to do, not just know.  You might find it interesting (and perhaps useful) to compare these exam topics to those for the soon-to-be-retired exams (DEV 1, DEV 2, DBA 1, DBA 2) – because the old certification exams covered similar content scope spread out over two exams instead of one, the topic guides are a bit more granular.  At the same time, certain topics have been emphasized or de-emphasized.


The exam topics not only map directly to every single question on the exam, they also map to content found in the corresponding training courses.  That makes the training – either instructor-led or online virtual delivery options – a great way to get up to speed on MySQL 5.6 quickly.  Even if you don’t register for the training (and you should consider it – read about Ben Krug’s experience with the MySQL for Beginner’s course), you’ll find the Course Topics tab on the web pages for the MySQL for Developers and MySQL for Database Administrators informative.

Guest Experts

I noted earlier that the MySQL Support Team was instrumental in authoring much of the revised exam content.  While I no longer manage that team, some of them still talk to me (go figure!) and have indicated they would be willing to help me pass the exams they helped create.  Others, such as Oracle’s MySQL Community Manager Morgan Tocker, have also agreed to share their exam prep efforts.

I hope this series of blog posts will prove useful in preparation for the MySQL 5.6 certification exams.


I’ll update this section as posts are written for each section of each exam.

Here’s a list of blog entries by others preparing for the certification exams I’ve found useful:



10 thoughts on “Exam Cram: Preparing for the MySQL 5.6 certification exams

    1. The old study guide might be useful to those just getting started with MySQL, but a lot of the questions on the beta exam really focus on 5.6-specific functionality (I just took the DEV certification exam yesterday). I wouldn’t rely solely on that study guide.

  1. Todd, if I have books, video tutorials that are related to mysql 5.5 would I be wasting my time going through those ? I mean only a few things have changed between mysql 5.5 and 5.6. The querying bit (majority of the objectives) seems to be the same.

    I’m planning to use murach’s mysql to prepare for this.

    1. Hi Ashish,

      I just took the 5.6 DBA cert exam this week, and a lot of the content is 5.6-based. There is naturally a lot of fundamental knowledge found in those resources, so I won’t say it would hurt, but expect to have to spend effort beyond that to do well on the 5.6 certification. I’m hoping to post more entries soon (to help last-minute beta test takers) sharing my experiences on what’s important, but I would highlight PERFORMANCE_SCHEMA, replication (semi-sync, delayed, GTIDs, setup and recovery theory) and security enhancements (mysql_config_editor, mysql_secure_installation, audit log, authentication plugins) as key elements.

  2. Thanks Todd.

    I was specifically talking about the Dev exam though.

    Upon reading your blog post on the architecture and syntax objectives of the dev exam, it seems there are some new features there which must be covered. I completely understand that.

    But my point is that topics like Querying Data, Modifying Data, Joins, Subqueries, UNION, stored procedures, views, etc shouldn’t be very different from 5.5 ?

    1. Hi Ashish,

      Yes, those topics are largely identical. At the same time, my experience was that the exam was very heavy on 5.6 new features and functionality (memcached interface, explicit partition selection, online ALTER TABLE commands, etc.).

  3. Hi Todd,
    I am going to take MySQL 5.6(1z0-882) exam after 10 days.I amnot much expert in MySQl,What I want to do,What books I have to read and all? Please Give suggestions about this issue as soon as possible..

    1. Hi Abilash,

      There aren’t many good books that focus on the MySQL 5.6 Certification. There’s a very old 5.0 certification prep book which provides a decent foundation, but (obviously) doesn’t cover any material from 5.1, 5.5, 5.6 – that’s problematic. I’m hoping to help bridge that gap with my blog posts, but those won’t be ready to help you prepare – sorry.

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