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My thoughts on passing the exam

Jeff Sparaganna
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Passed with 81%
I would like to thank the contributors to this site. This is truly a GREAT resource. Thank you!
My thoughts on the exam...
I'm a tech lead/pm for a big 5 consulting firm. I am not a particulary good programmer, I just took the exam to put it on my resume. The majority of work we do is single-threaded server side J2EE compenents that run in an app server, so much of the exam material was new to me, and not terribly relevent.
I used the following resources:
This site, particularly the Java roundup
The complete Java2 Cert guid by roberts, heller...(there is a newer version out)
Java 2 ExamCram
JCertify 5 tutorials
All of Marcus Greens stuff
Heather MacKenzie Java tips(some errors)
IMHO, the mock exam on this site and on j+(bought them and really didn't use 'em) are overkill. They can be a good source of code samples to play and experiment and step through using an ide, but for the purposes of simulating an exam, they are overkill.
Unless you genuinely have fun figuring out the answers, I don't feel they are an effective use of time. I think taking those to prepare for the exam is kind of like training for a 20k race by running full marathons. Sure, it will prepare you for the race, but it's just not necessary.
It doesn't make sense to hash through overly complex java code when you can use any decent java IDE and answer the questions faster and more accurately than even the most seasoned pros.
I felt the difficulty of the exam was on par with Marcus's exam and the JCertify exams. I think the 80/20 rule is applicable... (You can score an 80% by putting in 20% of the effort required to get a 100%... blah, blah, you know, diminishing returns and such)
I thought the exam was very fair.
Know the items listed in the objectives.
Be aware of irregular for loop constructs
Know switch/case cold, particularly behavior of default
class, inner classes
One think that kind of initially threw me, was that you couldn't always see the code samples and answers at the same time and required scrolling back and forth. I was accustomed to a larger screen and higher resolution so scolling wasn't necessary. Sounds like no big deal, but I found it took me much longer than if I could see everthing at once.
I know people generally frown on using an ide such as jbuilder to prep for an exam, but I think it is a great tool to prepare. Don't use the wizards, shortcuts, auto complete features and you'll be fine. I strongly rec copying/writing and stepping through code to help really understand what's goin' on.
Again, thanks to you all!
[ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Jeff Sparaganna ]
Matt Ghiold
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2002
Posts: 213
Congratulations and thanks for the advice.
-Matt


-Matt<br /> SCJP2<br /> SCJD
Ivan Ivanoff
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 04, 2002
Posts: 56
CONGRATS Jeff !
Any recomendations on i/o ?
Please
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Good job Jeff


SCJP 5, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCDJWS, IBM XML
[Blog] [Blogroll] [My Reviews] My Linked In
Rob Ross
Bartender

Joined: Jan 07, 2002
Posts: 2205
Congratulations Jeff.


Rob
SCJP 1.4
Jeff Sparaganna
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Originally posted by Ivan Ivanoff:
CONGRATS Jeff !
Any recomendations on i/o ?
Please

I thought the q's on IO were straight forward, and not particularly complicated. I'm not saying they were easy, but I didn't feel like there were any zingers. Practice using real code to understand the IO classes!
Understand the hierarchy (sp?)
KNOW THE CONSTURCTORS and the effects that creating io objects have on the underlying fs. (untouched, overwrite, or apppend etc)
Understand chaining and which ones can be used together (writers/readers don't go with streams) Is that right???
Know the io methods

Also,
know overloading, overriding cold.
Good luck brotha!
Matt Ghiold
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2002
Posts: 213
Jeff,
Any thoughts on what to know about the java.util classes.
I got a good handle on a lot of them, just wondering how much more time I should devote to this particular objective.
Thanks,
-Matt
henry wu
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 01, 2000
Posts: 23
How were the AWT questions like? That is the one area I have yet to learn..
 
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