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81%, no experience ... cleared in 10 days???

Gary Lupul
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 23, 2001
Posts: 5
Ranchers,
I was alarmed when I read a recent post where a fellow rancher passed the exam with 81% after 10 days of study and had no previous Java experience and no previous programming experience.
This lead me to think a few different things:
1) This person is true genius.
2) This person is not being completely honest.
3) The resources that were used quoted as being used Khalid Mughal and JQ+ (which i have never seen) may be compiled from questions that are memorized by people writing the exams.
My conclusion from these three thoughts are:
1) A genius, great, but to learn Java AND pass the exam in 10 days ... this person should be somewhere working on artificial intelligence, not Java.
2) I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that this person is being honest.
3) If most of Sun's questions are in Mughal and JQ+ ... even then, 81% after 10 days is not a bad accomplishment. But, I see that as the only thing that would allow one to pass the exam in 10 days with no prior programming experience; barring 1 and 2 above.

I am an experienced Java programming who has mainly been using Bill Brogden's Exam Cram and I am working pretty hard to get my certification and can't help but think that some resources are undermining the validity and credibility of this certification. I find it very, very hard to believe that an honest, non-genius could learn Java in 10 days ... i think it's impossible.

Please share your thoughts and bear in mind that this post was not intended to offend anyone.
Gary
Elizabeth Lester
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 14, 2001
Posts: 129
Originally posted by Gary Lupul:
I was alarmed when I read a recent post where a fellow rancher passed the exam with 81% after 10 days of study and had no previous Java experience and no previous programming experience.
I find it very, very hard to believe that an honest, non-genius could learn Java in 10 days ... i think it's impossible.

Gary,
I have to say that I also wondered about this. I personally have relatively little programming experience, no Java or other object-oriented programming experience, have been teaching myself Java for most of this year, consider myself a relatively intelligent human, and failed the exam recently with a 59%.
I can't say that I was completely surprised by my score, I probably did not spend enough time on some of the more challenging topics (namely IO and Threading), but I cannot even begin to estimate how much time I have spent studying Java so far, and I still did not even pass the exam.
I find it pretty amazing that someone, especially with no OOP experience could master the material so quickly.
A photographic memory, perhaps?
--liz
[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Lester (edited August 23, 2001).]
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Hay Gary Dude,
Some people have more IQ compared to others. May be this guy is a very high IQ and analytical minded guy( this helps in dealing the sample program and Thread realted questions )
If you are interested in where you can find JQ+ test it is at URL: http://enthuware.com/jqplus/
Have fun,
Kishore.

[This message has been edited by Kishore Dandu (edited August 23, 2001).]


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Donald Nunn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 11, 2000
Posts: 200
Interesting topic fellow ranchers. I saw the posting as well and maybe this person is special, however, passing that test is no way easy especially If you don't have the background. Even If you memorized Khalid's book and every question in JQPlus you still have to understand the concepts across all categories and I don't see how you can do that without the background, especially in 10 days. I guess it's possible, however, it does bring certain questions to the surface.
Thanks,
Donald


<b>Donald Nunn</b><br />Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
N Gupta
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 07, 2001
Posts: 13
I pointed that earlier to Tejas that it is almost impossible to go thru RHE, Khalid & JQ+ in 10 days. How can a person read all stuff, sit in exam, arrange sun's exam, etc..., all in 10 days? May be a superhuman
Guys take heart. You can make it with time and hard work.
NG
SCJP
Gary Lupul
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 23, 2001
Posts: 5
I just wanna clarify a couple of things.
N. Gupta said, "Guys take heart. You can make it with time and hard work". This topic was not meant to discourage, I apoligize that some have seen it that way. My main curiousity was: what is in these JQ+ and Mughal resources? The person who got certified in 10 days (with no prior programming experience) said he did it by doing the mocks in those two resources.
I think most of us would agree that if you are a JCP'er you should know how to program in Java otherwise there is a loss of credibility in the certification. Why would an employer value this certification some JCP'ers can't program in Java. It was my thought that it would be nearly impossible to pass without having a decent ability in programming Java. I am now questioning that judgement based on the person who passed by doing the mocks.
After just looking at JQ+, it is not a teaching aid for Java beginners. And, although I have never seen this Mughal book I have a hard time understanding how a completely green beginner could learn Java with this one book, especially if it is just a certification book. My point here is that based on the posts that I read this person may not have learned Java, they learned to purely pass the exam.

Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
Hay Gary Dude,
Some people have more IQ compared to others. May be this guy is a very high IQ and analytical minded guy( this helps in dealing the sample program and Thread realted questions )
If you are interested in where you can find JQ+ test it is at URL: http://enthuware.com/jqplus/
Have fun,
Kishore.
[This message has been edited by Kishore Dandu (edited August 23, 2001).]

As Kishore mentioned, this person may be brilliant and learned it all. I mentioned earlier that you would have to be a genuis. But, I don't understand how even a genuis with no prior programming experience could learn Java from mock exams in 10 days. This is why I was wondering if it was possible just to memorize questions from those resources to pass. This would be terrible news for all JCP's, even for those who memorized the questions. On the bright side, I am doing mine for myself anyway and I will understand the details of every answer I get right.

Gary
Siobhan Murphy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 19, 2000
Posts: 72
Gary
The person who claimed they learnt Java, sat and passed the SCJP's exam in 10 days is not completely honest.
If anyone is that clever, they would devote their energy to winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, and not waste 10 days on a programming certification exam. Anyone with such a natural flair for technology and who had formal education, would have been exposed to some form of computer training. It would be difficult to avoid it. I'd like to know what other achievements this person can claim.
I do believe it's possible, but only for people at the level of von Neumann.
Gary, to answer your question, I don't think the Sun questions are taken from Mughal and JQ+, though these two resources are very good for anyone preparing for the certification exam.
shailesh sonavadekar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 1874
all the very best for the future. that is good score.
Your Friednly Bartender
Shailesh.
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Gary,
Well ... the person may have spent 10 days concentrating on studying and reading Mughal and doing JQ+ but he frist registered on the Ranch January 24th so my guess is he was exposed to the language for close to 6 months. All depends on how you define 'studying'.
I had some experience with procedural programming and had played with Java off and on prior to deciding to study for the SCJP. I actually studied for 12-13 weeks before taking the exam. But that doesn't count the time I spent prior just getting familiar with the language.
I've never used the Mughal book or JQ+, so can't really comment other than to say that Paul Anil, who created JQ+ is very careful not to include real exam questions ... Sun actively enforces it's copyright on the material and has been known to shut down sites which violate the copyright. It's a safe bet that if JQ+ included any real questions it wouldn't be on the market for long. Same with Mughal's book; Sun would be going after the publisher's.

------------------
Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform


Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Samira Mastali
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2001
Posts: 74
Hi all,
Well, first thing that comes in my mind is that why that person should not be honest.All of us know our ability and capablilities, so it doesn't any help even we want to prove something wrong to others.
The second thing is that, I believe if somebody has a good back ground in Math (which I think most of the good Engineers should have it), he/she can have a deep understanding in different subjects.
The third thing is that, when you don't know something deeply, you don't know about the difficulties.For example, if I want to go to moon, I just know it might be difficult and I have no idea how the scientists do that.When you get a closer look then your fear will be more.
When somebody is an expereinced programmer, she/he thinks about all of the different questions and all of the difficulties that they can be.So,it is clear that for an expereinced person should looks more difficult.
The last thing is that, having the Sjcp doesn't prove anything.
As all of us know, the exam is a collection. I mean even you know the whole subjects,if you are not in a good situation you might be lose it.
Maybe it is better that don't think about to judge people.Everybody knows himself/herself better than others.If I am not a honest person,first I am not honest with myself.
Best wishes for all of Java Ranchers.
Samira
norris rath
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 29, 2001
Posts: 3
I went through it and I just don't think it's possible to learn Java and pass the exam in just 10 days. One thing I can think of is that the person cheated. Come on guys --- Politics...politics--for example, if you have a friend working at the testing center and you really need that certification---you can always get someone with Java knowledge to go in and take the test for you. I'm sure your friend at the testing center will allow that. Simple as that. A lot of the time, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Don't always believe everything you read or hear. Have you gotten a phone call before telling you that you won a big prize or a two weeks cruise for two to your favorite destination and only to find out later after your wallet experience a drought season that there was a catch to the whole stuff. If it looks too good to be true, then it's just that. Sorry, got off the subject a little bit there.
Originally posted by Gary Lupul:
Ranchers,
I was alarmed when I read a recent post where a fellow rancher passed the exam with 81% after 10 days of study and had no previous Java experience and no previous programming experience.
This lead me to think a few different things:
1) This person is true genius.
2) This person is not being completely honest.
3) The resources that were used quoted as being used Khalid Mughal and JQ+ (which i have never seen) may be compiled from questions that are memorized by people writing the exams.
My conclusion from these three thoughts are:
1) A genius, great, but to learn Java AND pass the exam in 10 days ... this person should be somewhere working on artificial intelligence, not Java.
2) I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt and believe that this person is being honest.
3) If most of Sun's questions are in Mughal and JQ+ ... even then, 81% after 10 days is not a bad accomplishment. But, I see that as the only thing that would allow one to pass the exam in 10 days with no prior programming experience; barring 1 and 2 above.

I am an experienced Java programming who has mainly been using Bill Brogden's Exam Cram and I am working pretty hard to get my certification and can't help but think that some resources are undermining the validity and credibility of this certification. I find it very, very hard to believe that an honest, non-genius could learn Java in 10 days ... i think it's impossible.

Please share your thoughts and bear in mind that this post was not intended to offend anyone.
Gary

Justin Wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 31, 2001
Posts: 17
I feel compelled to respond as I've recieved a few private emails from fellow ranchers who claimed that it's not possible to pass the exam with only 2 weeks of studying and another individual, who will remain anonymous accused me of cheating.
First of all, let me tell you a bit of my background. I'm a 4th year student studying in Simon Fraser University as a computer science major with a specialization in software engineering. Back in 1998, I took a course called "Introduction to Java Programming". Some of the topics include: Developing Simple Java Programs, Basic Java Programming Constructs, OO Programming, The Graphics Classes, Enhanced Class Design and Graphical User Interfaces Construction in Java. The majority of the assignments were relatively simple with the final project which is to create a text editor. Since then, I haven't used Java for any of my course assignments and needless to say, I can't even write a "Hello World" program without a compilation error 2 weeks prior to my SCJP exam. However, I have taken courses such as Object Oriented Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms and Operating Systems which is not aimed at the Java language but programming languages in general. I felt that this was beneficial in further enhancing my understanding of the different aspects of object oriented programming. Ok, enough about myself, here's what I did to pass the exam:
When I mentioned that it took 2 weeks of studying, I really meant it - I spent 8 hours at a minimum per day cramming for this exam. Studying is definately not new to me as I have been doing this pretty much every day for the past 4 years. Initially, I planned to cover 1 chapter a day including the chapter questions, hoping to finish the book within the next 13 days. As time went, I found that some topics are easier than I anticipated and ended up covering 2 chapters every other day. On day 9, I finished the 13th chapter and averaged the low 70s in the chapter questions and about 75 on the practice mock exam. Needless to say, I wasn't too confident about going into the exam and I knew I that needed extra preperation. Everyone recommended Marcus Green's exams and that's exactly what I concentrated on for the next few days. The questions on his exams are relatively more difficult and require more thinking than the exams in RHE. I ended up with 80-85 on his 3 exams. Getting slightly frustrated, I went through all 13 chapter exams, the 4 mocks in RHE (95%) and the 3 Marcus Green mocks on day 13 (85-90). On day 14, I spent the whole day going through Exam Cram, which I scored 75%. Passed SCJP on August 2nd, 2001 with 83 on the next day.
As Gary mentioned, what use is a SCJP if I'm not confident that I can program in Java? There's only 1 way to find out -
There's only a month left before the fall semester starts and I thought I might as well make use of what I learned and pursue the Java Developer's exam. I downloaded the assignment on August 7th, finished and uploaded on August 17th and took the exam on August 22nd. The questions on the exam are very easy - if you spent enough time documenting the assignnment and have good reasons to backup your design choices, then you should have no problem. It took about 20 minutes for 5 questions. I'll be posting my results when I get them.
Although I find it hard to believe for the person who passed the exam with 81 after 10 days of study and no previous Java experience, I have no reason think that he/she would lie. Is this more believable than a 15 year old who cleared SCJP with 91? Probably not, but it's possible. There are people out there who can do some pretty amazing things and I respect them for who they are. The last thing I would do is accuse someone of cheating.
Take care,
Justin


[This message has been edited by Justin Wong (edited August 25, 2001).]
Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

Justin,
Don't get hurt! Ur clarification will work as an inspiration to others. U r really a hard-working, disciplined person and brilliant! Wish u success....

------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer For Java 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
 
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subject: 81%, no experience ... cleared in 10 days???