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SCEA FAQ   

Frequently asked questions about the Oracle Certified Master Enterprise Architect certification (still known by its previous name SCEA - the Sun Certified Enterprise Architect). Also see SceaOnlineResources.

  • What is the new name of the exam?
OCMJEA - it stands for Oracle Certified Master, Java Enterprise Architect

  • Where can I ask questions about the exam that aren't covered in this FAQ?
That's what the JavaRanch SCEA discussion forum is for.

  • Where can I find books / tutorials / white papers / helpful links?
SceaLinks

  • What is the policy on posting questions I saw on the exam / details of how to do the assignment?
You may not describe or talk about the questions you saw on any of the Oracle exams - see the JavaRanch Policy on Real Questions for further details. (http://www.javaranch.com/realquestions.jsp)

For questions / discussions on the assignment, in general we will allow discussion where members are trying to understand the domain model and/or terms used in the assignment. We will also allow questions about which tools to use.

But we will not allow discussion on a solution to the assignment (or a part of the assignment) itself.

Refer to the thread IMPORTANT - Position on real assignment (Part 2) questions

  • What other certifications do I need before I go for the SCEA certification?

There are no prerequisites for the SCEA certification. This is because SCEA certification is aimed at different people than the other Java certifications offered by Oracle. All the other Java certifications are designed for programmers and/or developers - the people who actually do the coding. The SCEA certification is designed for architects: those who write up the specifications that the programmers use.

Of course there is nothing to stop you going for all the Java certifications, and if you are in the process of transitioning from being a developer to being an architect, then getting both the certifications in the programming stream and the certification in the architect stream will be very good for you. Part II of the SCEA certification requires you to design an application which uses J2EE technology, so doing the other certifications will help you learn the technology.

SCEA may not be suitable for someone who has just come out of school or someone who is still a junior programmer as they certainly wont have the industry experience that is needed to be a good architect. Furthermore having this certification without having industry experience may confuse potential employers as to what sort of a position you are applying for (are you going for a junior position, or one of the most senior positions in the department?). Having said that though, there have been several people recently who passed SCEA without hav
Also - the SCEA assignment can be thought of as a learning exercise. Note there is now a 6 month time limit though. (Originally, there was no time limit on when you must complete it, so you can always purchase it, and then learn as you work through it.)

  • What are the minimum scores per section on parts 2/3
Section Max points Minimum score
Component Diagram 40 26
Class Diagram 40 26
Deployment Diagram 24 17
Interaction Diagrams 16 0
Risk & Mitigation List 16 0
Part 3 Short Answer 24 17
Total 160 114
If you fail one section you just have to resubmit that section not the whole thing.

  • Where can I find the official Oracle Java FAQ?
http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=39

  • How does the live virtual class work?
http://www.coderanch.com/t/636107/java-Architect-SCEA/certification/Java-EE-Features-LVC-Feedback

  • How important are the scores?
The SCEA certificate does not show the score. However, a nice percentage always looks good on a resume.

  • Should I purchase all three parts (both exams and assignment) at the same time?
You should be aware that there was originally no time limit on completing the assignment, however vouchers have a time limit. Now the exam has a six month time limit as well.

Vouchers are valid for different lengths of time from country to country. To the author's knowledge, this can vary from 3 months to 1 year (other periods may be possible).

There have been reports of some Oracle offices telling candidates that they must purchase the exam voucher at the same time as they purchase the assignment. This is not the case in all Oracle offices though.

My recommendation would be to only purchase each section when you are ready to use it. That way you do not have to worry about any time limits on each section.

See also the next question: "My voucher for the exam is about to expire, what can I do?"

  • My voucher for the exam is about to expire, what can I do?
Check the voucher conditions on Oracle's web page of your country, or the wording on the back of the voucher. It may have words to the effect of:

"You must register for an exam prior to the expiration date printed on this voucher. Voucher expiration dates cannot be extended. Your actual testing appointment may be deferred for up to one year after registration."

So register for the exam before the voucher expires, then contact prometric and defer the exam. You may defer multiple times. Be aware that Prometric and the test centers themselves have requirements as to how much notification must be given before defering an exam. So dont leave it to the last minute.

For other vouchers (e.g. Australia):
You must register and take your exam prior to the expiration date of your voucher.
So be quicksmart and have a JEE book for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is no possibiliy of extending a voucher. Passing on the voucher to someone who is ready to take the exam, and hoping for someone in the same situation when you are ready may be worth consideration.

  • Can I use my voucher in a different country than the one I bought it?'
No. See this thread for Oracle's explanation.

  • Which version of EJB is in the part I exam?
The current exam is based on Java EE 5, which includes EJB 3

  • Any tips before taking one of the exams?
For a start - don't force yourself into a panic. If you know your stuff, you will have plenty of time. Probably enough time to go through it twice.

If you have never been to the testing centre before, it is worth while going there a few days before the exam to make sure that the centre itself is OK. There have been some horror stories about people going to centres that have no airconditioners, that were too noisy, and even in one case of going to a centre that had closed!

If you are about to do part I, try to do some of the mock exams. They will give you a feel for what you know / what you need to concentrate on.

If there is something that you have been seeing in the mock exams that you just keep forgetting, take it written on a notepad to the exam site. Before you go in to the exam, read your note then leave the note outside the exam room. As soon as you are in the exam room write it down on the paper that you are provided.

If you can, take some water in with you - it does help refresh you part way through the exam. (Don't take so much that you need to go to the bathroom though ;))

If you can, relax the night before. It will not help you if you spend a sleepness night re-reading all your notes. Get a good rest so you are awake and concentrating for your exam.

  • Do you get told how many answers you must choose in each question for part I?

If there is only a single answer, you normally get radio buttons so that you can only pick one answer.

In the multiple choice questions you are told exactly how many right answers there are, and the exam software stops you from selecting more than the right number of answers.

  • Will I get a certificate for part I if I pass it?

You only get the certificate after the end of part III.

However when you complete part I you will get an official transcript from Prometric. This shows that you have passed part I and gives a breakdown of what marks you received in each of the major categories.

  • If I fail part II, do I have to resit parts I and III?

If you fail part II, you just have to purchase the resubmission voucher and resubmit it (after making changes). There is no need to resit part I or III.

  • I purchased the assignment, but I have not received it yet, what do I do?

Oracle does not send the assignment to you, you must download it.

See the question "What site do I use to download / upload my assignment and to see what score I got?" for which website to use, and try and download it. If you cannot download it, you will be told who to contact, and what information to provide them in order to get permission to download it.

  • How long do I have to complete the assignment?

Either a year or unlimited time. The voucher has a date/expiration for part 2 and Oracle indicates a year expiration. Others say you have an unlimited time to complete the assignment and the date on your voucher for the assignment has no meaning. If you plan on taking more than a year to complete part 2, check with Oracle for the current policy.

If you buy your voucher for the Essay portion of the SCEA, then you will have one year from the date of the Essay Voucher to take the Essay exam. The Essay portion voucher is not related to the assignment.

  • How long will it take to complete the assignment?

The assignment requires you to take some (vague) written instructions detailing a proposed software implementation, along with some basic UML diagrams (use cases & domain model), and from that develop Class diagrams, Component diagrams, and Sequence or Collaboration diagrams. The current assignment revolves around a package for an airline.

If you are doing this everyday in your normal job, are very familiar with J2EE, and are reasonably familiar with the airline terms, then you may find this a very simple exercise, and may be able to complete it in under a month full time.

Candidates who are not familiar with any of those concepts, or who are not doing this in their day to day job may find that it will take considerably longer.

  • What site do I use to download / upload my assignment and to see what score I got?

You must e-mail your assignment now. The site is only for checking on results.

  • Help - I cannot upload my assignment

This is a very common problem. The first day you try to upload your assignment, you will get an error saying that you don't have permission to upload the assignment. When you see this error you should also see an address to write to in order to get your permissions updated. . By the next day you should be able to upload your assignment.

  • Help - I cannot upload my assignment and I have scheduled my exam for today

This happens quite often. Oracle used to allow candidates to upload after sitting the exam. Now you are supposed to take Part III before uploading Part II Make sure you do send an email to prometric to tell them that you cannot upload, and keep a copy of the email. And upload as soon as Prometric tell you that they have fixed your permissions!!!

  • Help - I uploaded my assignment and it says I failed, with no score and no comments

You cannot fail the Part III exam (unless you leave questions unanswered), however Prometric sometimes marks the test as failed in the cert manager database. There have been reports of it having something to do with timing: when they think you did the exam / when they pass the exam data to Oracle / when Oracle acknowledge it.

Your assignment and your exam will be sent to an examiner, and eventually you will see your score, at which time you will be able to see whether you have passed or failed. Until then unfortunately you may still see the Failed status with no comments or explanations.

If you are still nervous, you could write to Prometric and/or Sun and get their assurances as well. (And if you get a better explanation for why you have got a "Failed" status, please let a bartender know so that we can update this FAQ.

If you fail the assignment, you should either get a description of the major area you failed (e.g. missing file) or you should get a points break down for each section showing where you lost points. If you did not get either of these then you have to write to Sun and get clarification.

  • Sun says it takes 4-6 weeks to grade my assignment, it has been over 6 weeks. What should I do?

For a start - did you take the essay exam after uploading the assignment? Your assignment will not be looked at until after you have completed the part III essay exam.

If this is not the problem, then you could try contacting Prometric (mailto:SunCert@prometric.com) and Sun (mailto:who2contact@sun.com) to see what the status is.

  • How do I find out why I lost points?

You don't.

Sun does not provide you any specific detail as to the reasons for point grading. They do break down the scoring by sections, which you can see on the Assignment Watcher web site (see question above on which web sites to use).

  • What UML tools can be used for the Part II assignment?

Nearly anything - you need to be able to upload HTML files with graphics attached, so any UML tool which can export graphics may be used. Take a look at Michael Godfrey's UML page (http://plg.uwaterloo.ca/~migod/uml.html) and Bruce Yu's pages on part I & II (http://www.scea.be.tf/) for some ideas of what tools are available. Many members of this forum seem to be using Posideon. (http://www.gentleware.com/)

  • Where can I find UML diagrams for the Java Petstore?

The component diagrams for the petstore example are: Figure 11.4, 11.6 and 11.10 in http://java.sun.com/blueprints/guidelines/designing_enterprise_applications_2e/app-arch/app-arch5.html

  • Will I get an email when I pass / fail?

No - you have to check the website on a regular basis to see whether you have passed or failed. You will receive the certification pack sometime after you pass, but this may not be for a week or two after you passed.

  • What is in the Certification Pack?

A congratulatory letter, a certificate stating that you have passed the SCEA certification, a lapel badge identifying you as a SCEA, an identification card identifying you as a SCEA, and a form for you to sign if you wish to obtain the SCEA logo for use on your business cards and/or resume.

  • SCEA 5 Books
Section 1: Application Design Concepts and Principles
    • "Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for Java EE Study Guide, 2nd Edition" by Mark Cade and Humphrey Sheil
    • "SCEA study guide" by Allen and Bambara

Section 2: Common Architectures
    • Designing Enterprise Applications with the J2EE Platform
    • J2EE Architect's Handbook

Section 3: Integration and Messaging
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VI Services.
    • Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions
    • J2EE Connector Architecture and Enterprise Application Integration
    • Java Message Service, Monson-Haefel & Chappell

Section 4: Business Tier Technologies
    • EJB 3 in Action
    • Pro EJB 3 Java Persistence API
    • Mastering EJB 3.0
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part IV Enterprise Beans.
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part V Persistence.
    • Nice to have SCBCD 5

Section 5: Web Tier Technologies
    • Core JavaServer? Faces, Second Edition
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part II The Web Tier.
    • Nice to have SCWCD

Section 6: Applicability of Java EE Technology
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VII Case Studies.
    • Practical J2EE Application Architecture
    • J2EE AntiPatterns?
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part III Web Services.
    • SOA using Java Web services

Section 7: Patterns
    • "Design Patterns", GoF
    • Core J2EE Patterns, 2nd ed.
    • Head First Design Patterns

Section 8: Security
    • Java EE 5 Tutorial. Part VI Services.
    • Java Security
    • Core Security Patterns
    • Sun JEE tutorial



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