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*failed* SCJP :(

Joerg G.
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 4
Hi everyone!
Just came back from the test center with 50% score
Since I read a lot of "Passed with [> 51]%" post here, I �d thought, I might show people the other side, too.
Because of so many "success stories" here, one might think, the SCJP is an easy exam - you�re wrong! I got 75% on Marcus�s exam just yesterday and was pretty confident for today�s real exam. I also did a number of other mock exams listed here on this site and always past them with 70-80%. Read also 2 certification study guides and did those exams in there successfully, too. So, what went wrong? Maybe I have an exam phobia ..lol .. well, I was quite nervous about it, maybe too much.
The exam itselfe, was pretty hard (what else would I say with 50% ). Questions like you find here http://www.danchisholm.net . Not as tough as those but close to it. I was asked about 7-9 Thread questions. Partially, quite tricky. Some code questions that had up to 30 lines. Only one question like "which are Java keywords?" about 3 Maths questions (learn the signature of those methods - I did and scored 100% on Maths..lol) And some (I think 3-4) questions about garbage collection, which I found, were tricky, too. And make sure, you�re an Overloading/Overriding etc. Guru
But what�s really annoying is, that question no. 32 had a typo in the given sourcecode. It contained a line "Sytsem.out.println("bla");" (notice the typo) The option did not have "Doesn�t compile" therefore, you either make no answer or you click on something just to have it answered somehow. So, with that answer answered properly, I would have passed with 52,45%
(passed is passed )
Oh well, I�ll give it a try in 2 weeks again and then I hope, I can post here too with "Passed with [51]%"
Bye,
Joerg
Alton Hernandez
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 443
Hi Joerg,
I'm sorry to hear that But I guess it's jitters that got you. IMHO, your scores on the mock exams are not that bad.
I remember during the first few minutes in my exam, I was pretty anxious. Even when the questions are obviously simple, I had some doubt with my answers. In fact, I even suspected that they are trick questions. But then I managed to calm myself down, which made me able to concentrate on the questions and not hesitate on my answers.
I am also surprised that the exam had typo error. Don't they(meaning Sun) screen the questions?
Anyway, don't be discouraged. Looking on the bright side, now you have 61 tip questions at your hand.
Andres Gonzalez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
No worries Joerg-
You have the courage of posting a failing SCJP topic, not many people do that . The good thing is that you have 2 weeks to concentrate on the things you screwed up. You know what they were. You know that you only need to have a quick review of Math class, since you scored 100%, and target those hard topics (threads, GC, inner classes, etc).
See you in two weeks in the SCJP results forum. Good luck


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

Joined: Sep 08, 2002
Posts: 127

Sure you'll get it next time.
I agree - its still an underrated exam. I actually pay more attention to the fail postings than the pass ones. Its just so much hard work to get it done... I sometimes think I'll never actually think I'm ready. I'm at the fundimental classes objective now and it seems like there are just so many signitures and API related stuff to learn parrot style. Quite frustrating.


<img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="graemlins/beerchug.gif" border="0" alt="[beerchug]" /> <br />SCJP 1.4
Nishu Batra
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 9
I recently started preparing for this exam. I had only read Passes of SCJP's. This is the first person I am hearing who hasn't cleared it. Honestly it inspires me. I was at an information session a few days ago where they talked about failure of Erik Peterson (who the hell is he??). He was a Harvard Business School Graduate an A1 student. He started working as a manager in a cellular communication company. He failed miserably as a Manager and eventually was fired from his job. This is one of the first cases they teach at Harvard and at other business schools.
Bottom line of this case is you can do what ever you want to, but you can still fail, because you can't be overconfident and that is what I was becoming after reading all these success stories here as in its going to be easy.
And the reason they teach this course at Harvard is because you shouldn't be overconfident after graduating from Harvard there is always something you need to learn.
I want thank you for putting in this post, makes me and I hope lot of others work more harder.

I am pretty sure that you are going to do great in your next try, and for sure you are going to succeed.


--nb-- <p>Life is short love life live life..
Joerg G.
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 4
Hi Alton!
Yes, was a bit too nervous... but I had a nice beer meanwhile and I�m taking it like a sportsmen now ...
Yes, there was really a typo in on of the given sourcecode. I even went out to the staff to tell and show them. They said "If it should get tight with your score, then we should talk to Sun". And I was close enough... So, I wrote email to Sun today, first to inform them abou the error and second, what they�d do, if I had this very question right, if it hadn�t had a typo Let�s see, what they reply I wouldn�t mind taking a free exam ...(costs 215,- USD here in Germany) ...
Anyways, I�m going to pass the exam in 2 weeks ... Now I know, what the required skill level is
Cheers,
Joerg
Originally posted by Alton Hernandez:
Hi Joerg,
I'm sorry to hear that But I guess it's jitters that got you. IMHO, your scores on the mock exams are not that bad.
I remember during the first few minutes in my exam, I was pretty anxious. Even when the questions are obviously simple, I had some doubt with my answers. In fact, I even suspected that they are trick questions. But then I managed to calm myself down, which made me able to concentrate on the questions and not hesitate on my answers.
I am also surprised that the exam had typo error. Don't they(meaning Sun) screen the questions?
Anyway, don't be discouraged. Looking on the bright side, now you have 61 tip questions at your hand.
Joerg G.
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 4
Hi Andres!
Yes, few people write "failed SC..." postings here. But that�s why I did. So one doesn�t get the impression, the exam is a piece of cake. If you read a posting with "passed 90%" it doesnt say a) in how many tries b) how much time one spent on preparation and c) what�s the background of that person (experienced programmer etc.). So, this might misslead people here that enroll for the exam. I�m sure, there are many people who fail. In my group this morning (4 guys) I was best with 50%. At least I was "best of the class" ...lol...
I�ll saddle my horse in 2 weeks again ..giddy up
Cheers,
Joerg
Originally posted by Andres Gonzalez:
No worries Joerg-
You have the courage of posting a failing SCJP topic, not many people do that . The good thing is that you have 2 weeks to concentrate on the things you screwed up. You know what they were. You know that you only need to have a quick review of Math class, since you scored 100%, and target those hard topics (threads, GC, inner classes, etc).
See you in two weeks in the SCJP results forum. Good luck
Joerg G.
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 4
Hi Jim!
Yes, it�s not an easy exam. Most problem is, that one doesn�t know, what skill level is required for the exam. I have 2 study guids and did all the mocks in those books successfully (80-90%). So, the problem starts already with your study book. Because one doesnt expect the question in the exam to be much harder than in your study book. Well, maybe a bit harder but not worlds apart I have 10 years C++, and 2 years Java experience. I have to admint, that�s practical experience. Many questions provide sourcecode, where you�d like to slap the programmer silly, when you read it. Things like "(int)(char)myFormerHighestIntNumber", I mean, who writes such code? That�s where I have problems with. It�s the "nonsense" code. But I guess, that�s where the learning part comes in ... As far as the method signatures are concerned, I�d suggest that you look closely to the wrapper classes, String class, Math classes and Collections. However, I got some questions on Object and Thread class today. As I write these lines, I could come up with even more stuff to consider...lol... It�s really a lot to learn. But I�ll be happy when I hold the certification in my hands ... in 2 weeks, I�ll get it ...
Good luck & cheers
Joerg

Originally posted by Jim Crawford:

Sure you'll get it next time.
I agree - its still an underrated exam. I actually pay more attention to the fail postings than the pass ones. Its just so much hard work to get it done... I sometimes think I'll never actually think I'm ready. I'm at the fundimental classes objective now and it seems like there are just so many signitures and API related stuff to learn parrot style. Quite frustrating.
Jeff Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2003
Posts: 804
Hi, Joerg -
I'm one of those "passed with [>50%]" guys, having taken the test about two weeks ago after about three weeks prep in Sierra/Bates. I have some commercial Java programming experience, but mostly I've done C and assembly.
I think the thing that helped me most with the mock exams was that I would study every single question that I answered incorrectly (and there were many, trust me!); I would study them until I knew exactly why I got the question wrong and exactly why the correct answer was correct and why all the incorrect answers were wrong. Bottom line, I guess, is that I studied my faults almost exclusively, only spending a little time brushing up on stuff I already scored well on.
I know this approach worked for me because I went from about 50% on practice exams to 95% on the real thing in only three weeks. (Check out Java Certificate's free Practice Exams, which are grouped by exam objective so that you can test and polish by objective.)
I even applied this practice in the real exam by first choosing what I thought was a correct answer, then going through the rest of the answers and making sure that they were all incorrect. I think I got an extra two or three questions right with this technique.
I hope this tip helps, and I'm sure with your attitude (humor in face of disappointment! That's great!) and with some brushing up you'll do great in your retest. (Assuming Sun doesn't modify your score to "passed" from the one typo question.)
Good luck!


Give a man a fish, he'll eat for one day. Teach a man to fish, he'll drink all your beer.
Cheers, Jeff (SCJP 1.4, SCJD in progress, if you can call that progress...)
Anupam Sinha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2003
Posts: 1088
Hi Joerg
Best of luck for the comming exam. It is very much possible that the Sun gives you another voucher(for free) because after all it was Sun's fault. Secondly the score on the mocks was good. Try and you shall be certified.
All the above tips should help you get a great score in your exam.
Alton Hernandez
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2003
Posts: 443
I agree with Nishu. There is a greater possibility for failure as there is for success. For those of us who pass it for the first time, it would be to easy to say, "Well, that's not difficult". But I wonder if we failed. I think we need more people, who did not pass, to tell us their stories, so that we can have a balance view of the exam.
Bert was right when he said that this exam is not easy. That is why they made the passing mark just a little over 50%.
Marlene Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 1391
Hi Joerg,
I am sorry that you did not pass the exam. Thank you for telling us what happened.
I would like to suggest that you practice taking tests by working through the Whizlabs exams, if you haven�t tried them. They seem very reasonable and helpful to me. They include important things to learn and tricky things to watch out for. There are 11 exams � lots of practice, lots of thread situations.
I wish you well next time.
Marlene
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
You will do better next time Joerg Keep it up...
I'm moving this thread to the results forum...


SCJP 5, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCDJWS, IBM XML
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qingwu wang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 147
Hey,Joerg.I am sorry to hear that.Don'nt give up!I hope hear your hot wire before long.In my homeland there is a aphorism:Failure is the mother of success.Best wishes to U!


Thanks...qingwu<br />When I open my eyes,I see your pretty face.
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Hey there Joerg,
Be patient for a few days... there is a rumour floating around Sun that you may have actually *passed* after all. I cannot guarantee or verify that, but you will be hearing from Sun, in response to an email that you sent to whotocontact on Sept. 12.
If I'm wrong about that, then PLEASE keep the faith! You have no idea how many people do not pass the exam on the first try, because you almost never hear from them on javaranch. But *I* know... and its a LOT!! (Including a lot of Sun's Java employees ) Exam-taking is a skill of its own, and sometimes you have to do a lot of question practice, regardless of your actual Java knowledge and ability, just to be able to get through the act of answering this style of questioning about the topic.
But I have just seen the email you wrote to Sun, and (I'll keep it private), if what you said in your email to Sun can be verified, you may be certified after all
And personally (and on behalf of Sun cert as well), I really appreciate your having such a positive attitude about this. Stay tuned!
cheers,
Kathy


Co-Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596007124/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">"Head First Design Patterns"</a><br /> <br />Just a Jini girl living in a J2EE world.
L Durrell
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 15, 2003
Posts: 9
Hey.
My heart goes out to you. I took the SCJP Exam about the same time you did. I didn�t think it was *hard*, but it�s not a cakewalk either. The key thing is that this test, as far as I can tell, is designed to be beatable if you know the material. It is not like the Medical College Admissions Test where every other test taker does not get into medical school at all. It�s not like the GRE English subject test where test questions are drawn upon any work written in English. Considering the slide you took on that one test, it�s most likely that the test was flawed in some way or another. Take heart and resolve ( ) to cream the next week. You can do it because you already have.
Good luck!


L Durrell
L Durrell
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 15, 2003
Posts: 9
Correction.
I should have typed "cream the test next week" and not "cream the next week".
Stupid typos.
Monika Anand
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 23
Sorry to hear this...but better luck next time and thanks for guiding us...
 
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subject: *failed* SCJP :(