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Passed with 86% - Here is some advice :)

Monisha Talwar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2003
Posts: 102
Hi Guys,
Took the exam today - PASSED
Got a score of 86% !!!
I am going to give you a few tips on how I studied. And tell you my exam experience.
Ok some tips on how I studied:
1. I went thru Kathy Sierra / Bert Bates Book - Its a great study book...totally recommended.
Don't worry about some parts not in the book - like static initializer or whatever! Basically I did not get anything on my exam, over which I freaked out because that was not covered in that book.
2. I did all of Dan's topic mock exams.
3. Did Marcus's mock exams - got 93/82/87 on those three - avg of 87 - and that�s about how much I got in my real exam!
4. Took Bill Brodgan's mock and toughest 19 Qs.
5. Tried Valentine's Mock - Freaked me out - Good to solve if you want some confidence!!
6. I also did many of the mocks on :
7. I also read parts of Mughal's book - just to make sure I had not missed anything. I would not think that would be very necessary though. There is one great table for inner classes in that book though.
8. In the last 2 days, I flipped thru Kathy/Bert's book again - Concentrate on the Exam tips they give you in that book - THEY ARE VERY VERY USEFUL - READ AND RE-READ THEIR 2 MINUTE DRILLS, AND THEN RE-READ IT AGAIN, AND ONCE AGAIN!
7. I drank a lot of water - as per Kathy's advice.
OK NOW, few things about my exam experience
1. Even though I was fairly prepared - I was nervous as hell! Just the idea of going in to a room and taking an exam � the thought got me nervous � Its just those 2 hours that matters - no matter how much you prepare!! I tried to remind my self that the key is to keep cool and think straight.
2. I started of well, but then in between sometime - I came through a couple of hard questions and I freaked out.... ....I thought I was short on time too�.I got tenst and basically lost 10 mins of good thinking time -SO DON'T GET TENSE!! Coz then you can't think and you loose even more time.
3. Over all time was sufficient for me. I was able to go thru 1 round of the questions, then revisited the 8/10 I had marked, and finally got to check about half my exam again....If I had not freaked out in between, I probably would have got an extra 10 mins...and been able to check my whole exam!!
3. Third thing, I assure you, if you study hard - as in know your stuff from Kathy/Bert�s book well, and take all of Dan's topic mock exams, and take Marcus's mock exams....and a may be a few others online...then getting a pass score should not be tough. I can also assure you if you don�t study, you won�t pass the exam. According to me, the exam makes sure you will fail if you don�t study, just pass if you study, do well if you prepare well, excel if you are a brain.
4. There are many "easy" to "mid level tough" questions which should get you through....Its NOT like an all evil exam with all VERY TOUGH questions. Its not like its set so you don�t pass.
5. There were some questions I got stuck on, scratched my head, made a sad face, wondered what the person who thought of that question must have been thinking ;-) , and finally answered my best, but I have no idea if I got those right or not....be prepared for some of those - MAKE SURE THOSE FEW DON'T KNOCK YOU OFF - KEEP YOUR COOL - ITS NOT A BIGGIE IF YOU MISS 2/3 OF THEM!! DON'T FREAK OUT STAY CALM...You still gotta bag what you can bag!!

6. I messed up in Garbage Collection big time Although I never found it a tough topic, I usually ended up getting most Q�s in the mocks right � dunno what happened there...
Thread Q's were kinda brain teasers - I'd say they were definately not very easy. But I did quite well in that section � better than I expected.
7. Flow control part - like if/for/do-while loops kinda stuff, was a little more time consuming...kinda tricky too!! Not difficult, just thinkers!
8. Topics like Declarations, Access Control, Language Fundamentals, java lang, collections, overloading, overiding....do lots of practice q's in the mocks - these topics are the ones where you can score.
9. For most questions, think simple - look for silly things! � well I don�t mean silly, I mean �things you would not think of� kinda things - I can't tell you how many questions were misleading - like you think they are on some topic, but they are totally testing something else!! So read the code in the questions slowly, closely, carefully
Read the exam traps in Kathy�s book!! You�ll thank her and Bert.
10. Java ranch is a GREAT place to share knowledge!! PARTICIPATE!!
11. Over all, a great experience and a satisfactory result.
12. Finally � Last but not the least, THANKS to all of you who helped me - answering my doubts BILL BRODGEN, COREY, DAN, JOSE, KATHY, MARLENE, RESHMA, PREETI, and all the rest who helped me...
All the best to all of you taking the exam!
Cheers, Monisha.
PS: Yeah now you can move this thread to the passed forum to continue the congrats

Hey! It compiles! Ship it!
Marlene Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 1391
Congratulations Monisha. Best wishes for whatever you plan to do next.
Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to share your experiences and thoughts in great detail. How kind and thoughtful. It's very helpful.
[ April 16, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
preeti khane
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 12, 2003
Posts: 93
congrats.. good job...what's next
Reshma Shanbhag
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 204
Congrats Monisha, well done . Do keep hanging around the ranch .

What plans next ?

SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4
John Zoetebier
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 76
Congratulations Monisha !
Thanks for your elaborate advise.
Neeraj Kumar

Joined: Apr 10, 2003
Posts: 6
Congrats... u gotta gr8 score..
nice tips as well...
keep it up..
Rory French
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 97
Fantastic Monisha ! Well done. And thanks for the oodles of advice.
sunny park

Joined: Apr 12, 2003
Posts: 3
and Thanks for your some tips.
In fact, I was so confused how to prepare for this test.
you give me lots of Info and encourage me.
I hope to put my good news in this forum to share
joy like you
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2583

Congrats Monisha!!!
Enjoy your success...
- Manish
Jessica Sant

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

nicely done -- however, I'm moving this to the Sun Certification Results forum. Please continue the congratulations there.
John Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8896
Monisha -
Congratulations, great score!
We're glad the book helped.
I have a question - could you tell us how you scored on the various mocks that you took?

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Nice shot Monisha

[Blog] [Blogroll] [My Reviews] My Linked In
Dan Chisholm
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 1865
Congratulations Monisha!

Dan Chisholm<br />SCJP 1.4<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.danchisholm.net/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Try my mock exam.</a>
Monisha Talwar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2003
Posts: 102
Thanks for the wishes
Well I am going to take a small break...then probably start looking at the Web Component exam.
Bert, I'll send a post with my scores on the mock.
Thanks again guys,
Mauricio De Maria

Joined: Apr 02, 2003
Posts: 10
Congratulations man!
Are you thinking about taking the developer exam too?
Maur�cio De Maria.
SCJP 1.4
Monisha Talwar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2003
Posts: 102
Mauricio, I'm not planning to take the developers yet, my work is more web-related, so I plan to go for the web component exam.
My final aim is to be a certified architect - but thats still a long long way to go I guess !!
I might consider doing the Developers Exam for my own knowledge at some point, but as of now, I plan to go the other route.
Fisher Daniel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 582
Congratulations to you...
Monisha Talwar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2003
Posts: 102
Reply for Bert
Bert, you asked me to put up scores of my mock exams...so here they are:
Firstly I did most of the mocks found at
1. I practiced a lot on The JavaRanch Rules Round-up Game...mostly started getting 100% toward the end.
2. Did all of Dan Chisolm's topic exams - used it more as a study guide. Did not keep track of exactly how I fared on those.
3. I also used your (Kathy and Berts) Book's CD as a study guide. I could never complete the mock exams in there...because it had 65 questions and 1.5 hours. So I was not able to calculate exactly how well I did. But I used to do the open book exams regularly - that one tells you right away if you are correct or not..which I really liked, so I did not have to come back to the questions and rework it in my head.
4. Marcus Green's Mock Exam 1 - 93%
5. Marcus Green's Mock Exam 2 - 82%
6. Marcus Green's Mock Exam 3 - 87%
7. John Hunt's Mock Exam - 33/46 (71.7%)
8. Bill Brogden's Exam Simulation Applet - 80%
9. Bill Brogden's Hardest Questions 13/16 (81.25%)
10. MindQ Mock Exam - 38/45 (80%)
11. Sreenivasa Kumar Majji's Questions - 16/26 (61.5%)
12. Barry Boone's Mock Exam 44/48 (91.6%)
13. JDCert - 46/47 (97%)
14. Jxam - 31/36 (86%)
15. Valiveru's Mock Exam - 38/46 (82%)
16. Mughal & Rasmussen's Mock Exam Engine - 39/47 (82.9%)
17. Robert, Heller, & Ernest's Practice Questions - 10/10
18.Jamie Jaworski's Certification Exam Preparation - 89/111 (80%)
19. Naveen's JavaPrepare.com Test - 35/41 (85%)
20. TipSmart.com's Sample Questions - 22/24
Hope this helps.
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Congrats, Monisha, you prepared more than I did and did better on the exam.
Good advice generally. Your experience paralleled mine in most ways, right down to blowing garbage-collection to heck.
I'm working on the SCWCD then will do either the SCEA or the Weblogic certification. The SCJD is due for a major overhall soon (I hope) so I think I will wait for the new version. Right now it proves you can do Swing, RMI, and maybe some JDBC so it's not that useful a certification from a marketing perspective.
There are heavy rumors of some major changes in Sun certification soon, perhaps some new certis. Like a J2ME certification mebbe. That would be worth doing I think. I'd like to see the SCJD broken down into specialty areas, maybe with a mega-certification available to those who have passed several of the specialty projects?

Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
subject: Passed with 86% - Here is some advice :)