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happy to pass SCJP with 93%

Sriram Chintapalli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 59
Hi Ranchers,
I finished my SCJP last friday with 93% and wanted to post it here right away but coudnt have posted much about my experience preparing for the exam. Most of the inspiration I got was from these posts in JavaRanch. Whenever I felt down or needed some pep I used to read the posts here. It was my dream to post one with a pass percentage of more than 90% and I dont believe I am actually saying this but I used to rehearse it

I did not know a lot of java 2 months prior. I did some projects in school but my approach was not right, it was just "ok lets get the job done" kinda stuff. I decided to hone my java skills and get certified. For anyone who thinks it is very tough to get 93% in SCJP well its not, but dont get me wrong,its NOT HARD only if you WORK HARD and push yourself REEEEAL HARD.

Now here is my experience with SCJP:

I bought the best book for the exam Kathy & Bates and started studying pretty seriously, practicing the examples, taking tests and basically do everything they asked me to do. It took me around 3 weeks to finish all the chapters from the book. Once I was done with it I started taking mock exams. I did the very easy ones first so I could build my confidence. I started revising K&B and simultaneously take Dans' exams. I swear these tests will make you cry and run back to your mama. No I didnt run to my mama but bought Mughal & Rasmussen and started studying couple of chapters which needed further study. I started taking exams from Mughals' also along with Dans'. Once I finished both I was a little confident that I could do good on other mock exams. Dans' exams helped me a lot to think out of the box, Dan you the Man.

I used to visit JavaRanch regularly and post questions which helped me a lot to understand some hard to learn topics.

I was about a week and a half from my exam at this point. So I revised K&B again this time paying very close attention since I have learnt a lot after taking the mock exams. I pasted about ten pages from K&B on my wall basically Wrapper Classes, Collections and primitive ranges. All this made me remember them easily so that I could concentrate more on the difficult part of the exam.

I was a week away from my exam now. I did all the chapter wise tests from K&B(again) and Mughal. At this point it was time for me to do the comprehensive exams. I did all the comprehensive exams from K&B,Mughal,MarcusGreen,JavaCertificate and revised Dans' exams. My scores from individual exams and comprehensives are:

K&B first time study : 75%
K&B second time study : 90%
Dans' exams : 70%
K&B comprehensive : 90%
Khalids' comprehensive : 75% (could have scored a lil high if I didnt chat with my roommates during the exam)
Marcus Greens comp. : 87%
JavaCertificate aggregate : 95% (my name is still on there as the trial exam topper )

I hope this gives a good picture of how these would map to the actual exam.

Couple of tips:

I tried studying when I could concentrate the best and take the mock exams when I coudnt concentrate at all. Think im whack??? that way I made a lot of mistakes which I coudnt have made otherwise. While taking Dans' mock exams I marked questions which I would like to try again days' before the exam. During your final days of prep I would advise you guys to concentrate on where you make mistakes, more specifically the ones you knew the answers but overlook some details or make calculation mistakes so that you would not repeat them in the main exam.

So the last day I answered questions I marked in Dans' exams and revised K&B again. By this time the book was totally abused by floro marking and scribbling.

Now the worst part of the whole deal was that I could not sleep the night before the exam. I tried drinking beer, eating yogurt, listening to music even reading a book(the best soporific of all times) but nothing seemed to work. I ended up sleeping 1hr after 7hrs of trying. This did affect me a lil bit during the exam because I had to concentrate more than usual but I guess this is where my "taking the mock exams when I coudnt concentrate" crap logic worked. So my advise is try to get a good nights sleep before the exam, yes it is very important. The difference between anybody who scores above 90% and the one who scores 100% is only how good one can concentrate in the exam. Also I would think it is best to take your time and answer questions after checking the answers twice rather than zoom thinking that you would come back and check the correct answer, however definitely mark the questions you were not sure about and check them again if you have time, I did answer one question correctly this way.

I want to thank these people behind my success:

-All the people at and behind JavaRanch, specially the Bartenders who answer questions promptly.
-Kathy and Bert for their wonderful book I would recommend this book anyday for the exam.
-Mughal for a very good book, I only rank this book second because it has stuff which goes beyond the exam.
-Dan Chisholm for his wonderful mock exams one more time everyone Dan you the Man
-Marcus Green for his mock exams
-JavaCertificate for their wonderful website
-my cousin Hari for paying my fees for the exam thank God I didnt let him down.
-finally, I always save the best for the last:
My 2 best friends, I dont have words to thank them. They believed in me and set high standards for me, they were tensed, worried and spanked me if I didnt study. They would have been more disappointed than me if I didnt score good.

whew thats a really big post hope it helps aspiring SCJPs'.


[ November 03, 2005: Message edited by: Sriram Chintapalli ]
[ November 03, 2005: Message edited by: Sriram Chintapalli ]
Satish Avadhanam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 12, 2003
Posts: 697
Hey Sriram, great work man!! Congrats.

As you completed the exam and with a good score, lets start it again...
Good Luck.
fethi makhlouf
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2004
Posts: 50
felicitation for ur success
can i ask you just if the real questions level is near to the mock level? wich mock is really near to the exam in level?
Thanks too much, and once again congratulation!

SCJP 1.4
Sriram Chintapalli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 59
Thanks Satish and Fethi for the congatulations. The real exam difficulty level is comparable to the mock exam level. I thought K&B and Marcus Greens' exams would be the closest.
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Congratulations Sriram! That is such a fabulous score, too.
Thank-you for mentioning the book; glad it helped. Mainly I wanted to thank-you for making such a detailed post about the work you did to get ready. The only thing you did that I don't recommend is drinking beer the night before the exam I do recommend drinking WATER! Remember, everybody else out there, your brain loves, craves, lusts after water. The more fluid sloshing around up there the better, especially at test time. You're supposed to drink the beer AFTER you pass And tell everyone else here, of course, so that we can all have a drink in your honor.
The idea of putting pages of things on your wall is interesting. If I'd known you might use part of the book for wallpaper, I would have tried to get the book printed in different colors But I *do* this myself for everything. I have my entire half of the office (Bert's half is mostly little things and a weird Grateful Dead poster) covered with poster-sized post-it notes stuck on the wall, with things I want to remember and refer to often, like a picture of the Tomcat directory structure for a web app, a properly-formatted JNLP file, and even how I need my environment variables to be set on OSX. I think having things you want to be reminded of is a great idea for anyone. But I recommend copying the key points yourself, using a giant marker, and then pasting that on your wall so that it's so big you can't help see it. Then maybe rotate a few different things. It'll help make things stick.
Anyway, congratulations again and we really appreciate that you took the time to make such a helpful post, when you COULD be out doing more celebrating
Sriram Chintapalli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 59
thanks for congratulating me Kathy. Its cool that an author is congratulating me, usually its more like "alright thats the last book of mine you are studying, you are a disgrace to this subject".
I agree with what Kathy says please dont' drink alcohol the night before the exam. Yes Joe, beer IS alcohol.
Weerawit Maneepongsawat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 203

Weerawit<br />SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.2, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCBCD 5.0, SCMAD 1.0, SCJA 1.0, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA, SCDJWS 1.5
Glenn Castro
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2003
Posts: 78

Glenn Castro<br />Sun Certified Web Component Developer
Thomas De Vos
stable boy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2003
Posts: 425
Beer or no Beer, no matter what... You made it with a fantastic score and we are well pleased that the website was useful.
I agree with you. To obtain anything in life you have to work very hard, you will not get anything for nothing.
Many congratulations.

[ February 26, 2004: Message edited by: Thomas De Vos ]

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karolos ignatiadis

Joined: Nov 15, 2003
Posts: 25
Seems that we got the same mark. Many congratulations and all the best with whatever you decide to do next!!
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
Congrats Sriram -
I don't care what Kathy says, the Grateful Dead poster helps!

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

Joined: Jul 09, 2003
Posts: 107
Many congratulations,
Have fun some time(if possible....with beer),...then start preparing for another SUN certification, let career keep moving forward..............

George Thomson<br />SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, IBM-141(XML), SCEA<br />......................................................................
I agree. Here's the link:
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