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 9 Family Fundamentals, 730."

Then take any of the five additional certification exams, depending on your area of interest. For example, to become a certified DB2 Database Administrator for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (or"LUW"), pass the "IBMCertified DatabaseAdministrator exam 731." Or certify as a mainframe DB2 DBA by passing the equivalent exam for z/OS,exam 732. You may also choose to become an IBM-Certified Application Developer by passing exam 733.

Note that if you've already passed the DB2 Version 8 “Family Fundamentals" test 700, you can present this as prerequisite to DB2 9 exams 731, 732, and 733. You don't need to take the DB2 9 “Family Fundamentals" test. You can use your IBM Database Associate certification for Version 8 DB2 as the basis for taking the advanced DB2 9 exams.

Figure 1. DB2 9 certification roadmap
A really nice feature of the DB2 certification program is its modularity. After passing the "DB2 9 Family Fundamentals" entry test #730, take whichever exam(s) you like. Each one you pass gives you another certification.

For Linux, UNIX, and Windows DBAs, the roadmap shows three ascending levels of certification:

Table 2. DB2 9 LUW DBA certification path

Step Exam number Exam title Certification
1. 730 DB2 Family Fundamentals Database Associate
2. 731 DB2 Database Administration Database Administrator
3. 734 DB2 Advanced Database Administration Advanced Database Administrator

If you're already certified as a DB2 Version 8 Database Administrator, the DB2 9 certification program offers a single test by which you can upgrade your certification to DB2 9. This is the "DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX and Windows Upgrade Exam, 736." If you are a Version 8 certified DBA, you can either take this upgrade test (you must have passed Exam, 700, DB2 UDB V8,1 Family Fundamentals), or simply pass the standard database administration exam 731 to upgrade your DBA cert to DB2 9. The upgrade test features fewer questions and is a shorter test, but some prefer to take the more comprehensive DBA test, 731. It's your choice.

To take any certification test, simply visit Prometric, the testing organization. This Web site lists 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 using a standardized multiple-choice interface. Table 3 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 3. Exam information

Exam Exam title Number of questions Correct questions to pass Time (minutes)
730 DB2 9 Family Fundamentals 64 59% 90
731 DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX and Windows 69 59% 90
732 DB2 DBA for z/OS 73 57% 90
733 DB2 9 Application Developer 70 55% 90
734 DB2 9 Advanced Database Administrator for Linux, UNIX and Windows 51 64% 90
736 Upgrade test (DB2 Version V8 DBA for LUW to DB2 9 DBA for LUW 38 55% 60

The IBM Information Management certification page provides information on the DB2 certification program and details for each exam. The DB2 9 exam preparation brochures make it easy to understand the certifications and their requirements.

It's critical to review IBM's “test objectives" for any exam you'll take. These tell what the exam covers, and how much of the exam focuses on each topic. View the test objectives by clicking on the link for the exam that interests you in the left-most column of Table 3 above.

There is an IBM podcast available to quickly orient you to the DB2 9 certification program. (You'll find a link to a whole series of free DB2 podcasts from IBM on various certification and technical topics in the Resources section.)

Before committing to certification, review IBM's certification policies and the Certification Agreement to ensure you understand and feel comfortable with them. You'll find links to these in the Resources section of this article.