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Passed SCWCD Exam Today (May 09)

 
Ricardo Cortes
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Well, as Jimmy Blakely said back in March, "I finally got that monkey off my back"! Whew. I am exhausted and my brain is fried from studying all week but I passed the SCWCD exam today with a score of 77% and that's all that matters. More on my score and the actual exam in a bit.
First off, as is customary, I'd like to thank everyone here at JavaRanch for helping me along the way. This place is THE place for Java Certification exams. I would also like to thank the following people who helped me in some way or another: Carl Trusiak, Peter den Haan, Miftah Khan, Madhav Lakkapragada, Mika Hirvasoja, Jimmy Blakely, Jyothi Ve, the folks at enthuware for writing JWebPlus and most importantly, Marty Hall for writing such an enjoyable, readable and indispensible JSP/servlet book ("More Servlets and JSPs"). It's one of those books that you just can't live without.
So, onto the exam itself. I thought it was harder than I expected. It almost seems that the Sun guys read these posts because 3 months back everyone was saying how they thought it was pretty easy. Well, that wasn't the case for me. Some of the questions were really tricky and some even played on the assumptions that readers often make when analyzing code. Tricky tricky tricky! But, even so, I thought after the time ran out that I might get at least an 85% or so. Oh well, I am not complaining.
As for my formula for success, here it is:
* Read "More Servlets and JSPs" all the way through (including chapter on Filters) save the chapter on the JSP Standard Library.
* Read the Servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2 specifications once all the way through
* Two weeks before the exam I bought JWebPlus and it was damn helpful. However, after taking the test, I'd say the questions a formatted a bit differently. The real exam just a different way of stating things. Also, the explanations for a lot of the questions on the exams are cut and pasted from the specifications. But, there are some really good tactics that come from the explanations as well. So, I'd say buying it is worth it.
* Took the 5 standard mocks in JWebPlus (60 questions each) and the Random Test. Also took Mika's mock exam and a few others. Here's my breakdown on all of my mocks and the order in which I took them:
JWebPlus Standard 1: 43%
JWebPlus Standard 2: 61%
JWebPlus Standard 3: 60%
Java Ranch Mock: 80%
Sun's Sample Questions: 80%
Sun's JSP Quiz: 70%
Sun's JSP Quiz (2nd try): 100%
Sun JSP Prof., Chap. 12 Quiz: 90%
Mika's Mock (100 questions): 60%
JWebPlus Standard 4: 70%
JWebPlus Standard 5: 75%
JWebPlus Random Test: 88%
* One of the biggest things that helped me was going through every question on every mock, regardless of whether it was wrong or right.
* As for some other strategies, here are few that I came up with that might help some others.
- Memorize all the major elements of the <web-app> element. I counted 11 of them and used the following phrase to remember them:
"Can Larry Show Steve Some Ways Everyone Talks Slowly, Living Slowly"?
The letters correspond to elements and their ordering in the <web-app> element:
<context-param>
<listener>
<servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
<session-config>
<welcome-file-list>
<error-page>
<taglib>
<security-constraint>
<login-config>
<security-role>
Before the exam even started, I wrote them all down, including all of their possible subelements. Then, all you have to do is refer to the paper when taking the test.
- Memorize the implicit objects for JSP pages and when they can be used. For example, exception is only available if the page is an error page.
request
response
page
pageContext
config
session
exception
out
application
"Ricardo Ricardo Please Please Come See Everyone Ordering Apples"

- There is no corresponding XML syntax for the taglib directive.
- Memorize all the get methods in the servlet specification. Know which interfaces and classes contain which methods. For instance, getResource() is a method on ServletContext and takes a path which must start with a "/" and returns a URL object.
* Ok. That's all I have for now. Good luck!
[ May 13, 2002: Message edited by: Ricardo Cortes ]
 
Brian Glodde
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Congrats Ricardo, I am scheduling my exam very soon, the tips you've given will definitely be an asset! What's next for you?
 
Mark Spritzler
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Congrats Ricardo. Well done
Mark
 
Chuchi
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Congratulations Ricardo
 
Ricardo Cortes
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Mark/Chuchi: Thanks!
Brian: I am not sure what is next and I am not sure if I want to pursue another certification right away. I am currently unemployed and looking for a job so I have lot of feelers out with respect to talking to companies and looking for either part-time or full-time work. So, I might just focus on getting that job now that I am a Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the J2EE Platform But, I have thought about the next certification and I'd say it's probably UML, XML or the architect exam but most likely UML/OOA/OOD or XML.
[ May 10, 2002: Message edited by: Ricardo Cortes ]
 
Sam Cala
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Congrats Ricardo,
You made it ,
Ricardo - how many questions were there on Design Patterns and whether the question were realted to only 4 patterns listed in objectives ? how many qustns from DD ??
Congrats once again !
 
James Kwan
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Congratulations!!!
 
Axel Janssen
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congrats Ricardo.
Fun to read.
Axel
 
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Congrats.
- madhav
 
Ricardo Cortes
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Thanks Sam.
As for your questions, all I am going to tell you is that I was quite surprised at the distribution. And yes, I did have questions on the DD and design patterns!
Originally posted by Sam Cala:
Congrats Ricardo,
You made it ,
Ricardo - how many questions were there on Design Patterns and whether the question were realted to only 4 patterns listed in objectives ? how many qustns from DD ??
Congrats once again !
 
Jeff Allen
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Congrats Ricardo!
Thanks a million for your tips!
And thanks to the people of Javaranch for providing this valuable forum.
 
Donald Nunn
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Congrats, Ricardo. Great job!
Regards,
[ May 10, 2002: Message edited by: Donald Nunn ]
 
R K Singh
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congrates and ur words are really helpful .
 
Ricardo Cortes
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Bad post...
[ May 13, 2002: Message edited by: Ricardo Cortes ]
 
Ricardo Cortes
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There is a mistake in my above post. The phrase should be:
"Can Larry Show Steve Some Ways Everyone Talks Slowly, Living Slowly"?
The letters correspond to elements and their ordering in the <web-app> element:
<context-param>
<listener>
<servlet>
<servlet-mapping>
<session-config>
<welcome-file-list>
<error-page>
<taglib>
<security-constraint>
<login-config>
<security-role>
Sorry for any confusion. In my defense, I posted the initial post just after the exam!
 
Ricardo Cortes
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Bad post...
[ May 13, 2002: Message edited by: Ricardo Cortes ]
 
Mubbashir Ahmad
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Congrates and Good Job

Thanks & Regards
Mubbashir Ahmad
SCJP2
 
Rob Ross
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Congratulations Ricardo.
 
John Wetherbie
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Congrats!
Thanks for posting your advice.
 
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