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Passed SCJP with 90% score.

Alton Hernandez
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 443
Hi all,
I'd finally bitten the bullet! I took the exam today and passed with 90% score, i.e. 55 out of 61. I am happy with it but at the same time a little bit disappointed .
I am happy considering that I don't have any working experience with Java. I mostly use C and Python, but I occasionally code Java at home. Also, considering how noisy the room was at the time I took the test. Another guy who was taking an exam was reading the questions in whisper as he goes along, but you can still hear it. . I had to literally stuff tissues in my ear to stop myself from hearing him.
I am also a bit disappointed because the questions are not as hard as I expected. I made a mistake in my strategy of answering the questions fairly quickly thinking that I had some time to review all of them. It worked for me before with the other exams. Well, almost at the end, when I realized that I don't have much time, I panicked and ended up answering the remaining questions far more quickly. So one suggestion I can make is you should answer the questions expecting that you cannot go back to them again. In short, try to do it RIGHT the first time!.
As I said, the questions are not that hard, but it is also not what I expected. First, I expected a lot of questions on Threads and Nested classes but I guess I overestimated my expectations. There are also quite a number of questions in narrative form. There are also some giveaways(i.e. really easy questions) that you end up thinking whether they are trick questions or not. But what I don't expect is that the option 'Compilation Fails' appears on almost every questions where you need to analyze the outcome of the program. That one makes you think twice about the answer.
A lot of people are also saying that you will NOT get any type-in answers. Well, I got two. One of them, I had some doubt, because it requires you to type-in the value of a String variable. I am not so sure whether to type "String", i.e. in quotes, or simply String (NO, that is not the answer to the question). I opted for the latter.
As for my review, I studied using quite a few books. I've read
Mughal & Rasmussen, RHE, The Java Programming Language 3rd edition. Unfortunately, our library here, where I borrowed most of these books, does not have K&B book.
I also relied a lot on the JLS, and on "Inside The Java Virtual Machine" by Bill Venners, the only Java book I owned. I would personally recommend that one because it gives you a better insight of the Java architecture. Maybe it's not the right book for certification, and perhaps its a bit technical, but I learned a lot from that book.
I also did a lot of mock exams. For those interested, I scored 75% on Valentin's mock, 93% on Marcus Green's, 73% on Dan's comprehensive exam.
But most of all, I hang around on this site. JavaRanch is of tremendous help. People here had been generous in answering my questions. It also helps me a lot when I answer some of the questions. So I would suggest that you do that also. When you try to articulate an answer or explanation to a problem, it sticks to your mind more than just reading an authors explanation.
Well, I think this has been a long post. I had to stop now. So thanks again to everyone.
[ August 26, 2003: Message edited by: Alton Hernandez ]
Armando Anton

Joined: Aug 22, 2003
Posts: 16
Great job!!!
And thank you for your advices

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Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
Nice shot
I'm moving this to the Results forum.

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Andres Gonzalez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
Good job man.. I also got one type-in answer. Piece of cake though
welcome to the club ... now we only need Marlene

I'm not going to be a Rock Star. I'm going to be a LEGEND! --Freddie Mercury
Alton Hernandez
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 443
I think Marlene is aiming for 110% score, but don't tell her I said that
Marlene Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 1391
Hi Alton, SCJP. Congratulations.
Anyone whose mother tongue is not English must add 10 points to their score. Then for all of your intelligent, thought provoking questions, you can add another 50 points. Then for helping many people, you can add another 20 points. Then for all the stuff you learned about Java that was not on the exam, you can add another 50 points at least.
220% Wow! Great score Alton!
Thank you for sharing your experience of the exam and for all your helpful advice. I especially thank you for your advice on answering questions not expecting you can go back, and explaining what happened to you. I am sad that person who was whispering disrupted your concentration.
Thank you so very much for all of your questions that made me think. I learned from trying to answer them. And I had fun. Thank you very much for answering my questions.
I wish you the best in whatever you do.
[ August 26, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
Alton -
Congrats! Great score!
I hope you'll stick around, I've enjoyed your posts!
- Bert

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Anupam Sinha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2003
Posts: 1090
Congrats Alton.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Passed SCJP with 90% score.
It's not a secret anymore!