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Passed with 84%. Some tips...

Nils Winkler
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 1
Hi, I passed the Programmer exam on Saturday with 84%. That was about the same score I got in most of the mock exams, so I'm quite satisfied with it.
I thought the exam was pretty tough, a lot tougher than most of the mock exams I took. Study material was RHE and the mock exams from Maha Anna. Just reading the book is not enough, make sure to take most of the exams. They help a lot to get the feel of it.
Major differences between the mock exams and the real exam: The code examples in the real example are longer. I had several questions where I had to open a separate window with the code example, sometimes up to 30 lines of code. Be prepared for something like that, since it can be quite annoying not to see the code and the answers at the same time.
Passing the exam is easy if you learned, but getting a high score is pretty tough IMHO. Some of the questions were really tough, especially the ones on Threads. Prepare for questions on synchronized access from multiple threads!
Don't get stuck if you don't know the answer to a certain question right away. You've got plenty of time (120 minutes), so just mark the question and go on to the next one. You can come back later to work on the marked questions. I went through the whole exam a second time to check all questions, and I was done after about 90 minutes. No need to worry about time, just don't panic.
Regarding the questions: Several questions required typing in the answer, for example from a String concatenation. Most of the other questions were radio buttons (select the one correct answer), only a few were check boxes.
I'm pretty sure that one of the check box questions (select the TWO correct answers) had only one correct answer, must have been a typo in one of the answers. So I selected a second answer randomly, but apparently I took the wrong one
Several questions had the common traps, watch out for them as it can shorten the time you have to think about what the program actually does. Traps I spotted:

  • "Constructor" that has a return value
  • Default constructor is missing
  • Using long as the argument for switch
  • Calling a non-static method from main()
  • Subclassing Thread, but adding a parameter to run()

  • Always watch out for these traps, you might be able to just select "Program will not compile" as the answer. This can save you a lot of time and worry.
    To sum it up: Don't worry too much about it, passing is not that hard. Make sure that you do lots of mock exams, if you get high marks in them, you will do well in the real thing.
    Sorry for the long post
    Nils
Vijay, Bakshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 40
Dear Nils,
Congratulations!!!
As long as the post makes sense and is useful the length does not matter, I guess that's all java what javaranch is about, Am I right??.
Vijay

[This message has been edited by Vijay, Bakshi (edited January 08, 2001).]
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Congratulations Nils ... good tips
------------------
Jane
The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.
-- Dorothy Parker


Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
 
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subject: Passed with 84%. Some tips...