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Passed SCJP 1.4 with 91%

 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Hi folks -- passed it about an hour ago with a 91. Missed a few questions, but oh well. I'll save the lamenting for later.
It's so nice knowing you've passed before you have to hit that end button the last time. Overall, I thought the test was a whole lot easier than I was expecting it to be.
 
Priyank Patel
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Congratulations....Could you give us some pointers.
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Pointers .. hmmm. Well, to be honest, I'm not really a good example of a responsible certification-er. My regiment consisted of:
1. Several years of procrastination.
2. A week reading through the 9 chapters in Sierra & Bates' book.
3. A few mock exams.
Finding mock exams was a bit difficult. I went through some of the ones on the list of mock exams here on javaranch, but most of them seemed to be for the old 1.2 exams (or whatever version it is .. with io and awt). So, I opted against them. The night before I did 3 of Dan Chisolm's mock exams.
So, the only mock exams I really did were the questions in the book (scoring approx 80% first time through), Sun's sample 10 question exam (90%), and Chisolm's first 3 exams (70%, 70%, and 40%). Honestly, I was expecting to get a bit lower on the test -- around 70%, but about 15 questions in it was apparent I was well suited.
I think the best approach a person can have is to just do your homework, get the stuff in your head (in whatever way best works for you), and then the day of the exam just RELAX knowing that you've done your preparation. I think I ended up finishing with 40 minutes left on the clock, even with a multi-pass strategy that other people are mentioning.
The mock exams really were great though. If I had time and had known about them, I would have gone through all 30 tests that Dan Chisolm has on his website (I forget the exact number).
It seemed that the actual exam was alot less "tricky" than the um .. authors/co-conspirators .. made it out to be. Or maybe I just saw through them too easily so they didn't seem to be traps at all -- just freebies.
 
Andres Gonzalez
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.... I think I ended up finishing with 40 minutes left on the clock, even with a multi-pass strategy that other people are mentioning.

soryy.. i missed this strategy. How is it? :roll:
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Oh, well, you go through the test several times.
The first pass, you pick off the easy answers and just mark the harder ones for the next pass. So, the idea is at the end of your first pass you have a very good idea how hard the test is and can gauge things more accurately at that point.
Second pass: answer the rest of the questions like you regularly would.
Third pass: (everything's answered by now) go through and "double-check" or something like that.
Strangely, with mock exams, I was simply going through one question at a time, so no passes. In the actual exam, I guess I actually only did 2 passes. First pass just answered almost all the questions (since most seemed pretty easy), and then second pass I thought a little more about several problems that I held off on (only about 5 out of the 60? 61? (hoping something later in the test would clarify something I had my doubts about), and then the last pass (ok 3 passes) I had to spend a bit of time on one or two problems. (I couldn't for the life of me remember what 2^16 was! I had to sit there and multiply 2*2*2*....*2. So, um yeah, memorize the ranges of those data types.
 
Francis Siu
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Overall, I thought the test was a whole lot easier than I was expecting it to be.
It is not easy,but you are luck
Joke only
 
Bert Bates
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Nathaniel -
Wow - rockin' score!
Glad the book helped.
-Bert
 
Sujoy Chandra
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Hi Nathan,
Congratulations...
But you didnt have multiply 2*2*2...
^ is the bitwise exclusive OR !!!
Cheers

Originally posted by Nathaniel Stoddard:
Oh, well, you go through the test several times.
The first pass, you pick off the easy answers and just mark the harder ones for the next pass. So, the idea is at the end of your first pass you have a very good idea how hard the test is and can gauge things more accurately at that point.
Second pass: answer the rest of the questions like you regularly would.
Third pass: (everything's answered by now) go through and "double-check" or something like that.
Strangely, with mock exams, I was simply going through one question at a time, so no passes. In the actual exam, I guess I actually only did 2 passes. First pass just answered almost all the questions (since most seemed pretty easy), and then second pass I thought a little more about several problems that I held off on (only about 5 out of the 60? 61? (hoping something later in the test would clarify something I had my doubts about), and then the last pass (ok 3 passes) I had to spend a bit of time on one or two problems. (I couldn't for the life of me remember what 2^16 was! I had to sit there and multiply 2*2*2*....*2. So, um yeah, memorize the ranges of those data types.

 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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Well of course ^ is bitwise or in Java -- it's "power-of" everywhere else (isn't it?). You know 2^16 is read "2 to the 16th." Anyways, that was my saving a bit of time instead of saying "I had to compute 2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2*2."
Personally, I would have gone for a bitwise operator problem at the time.
Ironically, I remember a problem similar to this situation, in which I very easily confused the ^ (in java!!) with "power-of." Luckily, none of the answer choices matched what I was coming up with in my head, so after a few minutes, bingo.
Haha, good times at the ol' testing center.
 
Tong Chen
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Congratulations to you!
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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