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SCJP 85% - Experience detailed - long post

Win jones
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2004
Posts: 38
Hello everybody,
I final cleared SCJP 1.4 (85%) � Jan 7 2005, even though not a high score based on Javaranch standards I am definitely happy.

Experience in details

I used :- Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates books � great book written with this certification in mind. I read the chapters only once , but just in the morning went through all the exam watch and certification summary and two minute drills. Earlier I also did Marcus Green 60 q mock got around 95 % � what I found in the actual exam is slightly difficult in the area of Garbage collections, Threads and Collections I also took Dan Chisholm�s study guide 1 and 2 mock and also single topic mocks but did not have the time to take the comprehensive. Dan this is a fantastic effort � A big thank you to you.

I am totally new to Java you can check up the forum for some of the basic questions that I have asked  and I took about 1 1/2 months to prepare spending about 2 hrs a day.


What to expect in the Exam :-
The exam starts with a series of questions asking you to rate yourself in the objectives with choices given as pro, intermediate etc � your are given 15 min for this survey the time does not count in the actual exam � I blindly checked intermediate in all of them. A timer runs but gets reset before the next section.

Next comes the non- disclosure stuff � you have to say I Agree else the exam stops.
Then there are couple of questions that ask you whether Sun can use your email to contact you etc etc (usual Advertising stuff ) I blindly said I don�t agree � I think there were about 5 0r 6 questions like this . Someone had posted a link in which the actual contents of this stuff was given I am unable to recollect it now so it was easy to say at the exam � I am sure the moderators would know the link. Where the non-disclosure and advertising stuff comes from, the exam clock starts ticking when you go thru this stuff I lost about 2 min in there.

Actual exam
The questions from Threads, Garbage collection and collections are difficult from what is available in the mock test Marcus , Dan, Voodoo , many listed in the Java ranch mock test list ( this could also mean that I was unable to translate this knowledge into answers in the actual exam) these were my low scoring areas in the exam.

Exam Navigations
If I remember right you have the Next previous arrows at the bottom and also the exhibit button which will show up if there is a lengthily piece of code which would be around 20 line if it is around 5 line or less then there will be no exhibit button and the question appears on the same page. On the top left hand corner you have a check box to Mark the questions. ( I am also told that if you chose a particular choice for a question and then mark it because your are not sure and if you don�t have the time to come back to it whatever is marked is taken as your choice )

Suggestions at the risk of giving out too much

Threads � work out a lot (doing mocks is one thing but actually typing out some code is need � experiment ) try out some example to see what actually happens with multiple thread, many object instance with synchronization etc.
Garbage collection � I felt I should have read some additional material for this or worked out more mocks in this area they were not as simple.
Collection :- Try out some example of actually using the collection classes � never thought it would be needed � Like adding elements and iterating thru them.

Had a number of array questions � one of my many weak areas � it was pretty simple.

Pay close attention to the verbiage make sure you understand what the choices are, this reflected that I should have paid more attention to minute details when I read something�s either in the book or the mocks  In the actual exam sometimes a lot of choices appeared to have more than what is mentioned to be correct (could also mean that I didn�t put in a good enough preparation  )

Remaining areas the questions were pretty simple not as complicated as the mocks.

I completed the exam in 1 hour and 35 min after that I went thru the 8 marked questions and went thru about 52 questions found out one which I had wrongly marked before the time ran out.

Suggestions
Try not to take any mocks on the day of the exam � I tried a couple and was getting even the basic questions wrong could have been I was too jittery � As mentioned in other post don�t try to cram in new stuff in the last day that definitely does not help. Be clear with what you read � thinking about all variations and combinations that information can be used

Set aside some mocks for the last week, I must have done tons of mocks and the problem is that I seemed to remember the answers to Marcus and K&B book mocks so I found it was difficult to retake the test again in the last few days.

If you are using K&B book make sure you download the online Bonus exam and make sure it is different that what you have in the CD I found it to be the same at the last minute and yesterday night tried to post in the Java ranch for the link and also Tech support and I got the response only today and so I finally did not get a chance to take that test hopefully none of the questions that came for the exam are in there 


Well people I hope I have not bored you all with my exam preparation / taking experience.

A big thank you to all my fellow Java ranch folks.

Take care and I am looking for to a long journey in the Java land from now.


Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Congratulations on passing, thanks for the name check and the detailed feedback.
Marcus


SCWCD: Online Course, 50,000+ words and 200+ questions
http://www.examulator.com/moodle/course/view.php?id=5&topic=all
Jay Pawar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 411
Congratulations !!! nice score


If I remember right you have the Next previous arrows at the bottom and also the exhibit button which will show up if there is a lengthily piece of code which would be around 20 line if it is around 5 line or less then there will be no exhibit button and the question appears on the same page. On the top left hand corner you have a check box to Mark the questions. ( I am also told that if you chose a particular choice for a question and then mark it because your are not sure and if you don�t have the time to come back to it whatever is marked is taken as your choice )


To add what Jones already mentioned, there is one more button viz: "TILE" which will tile the question window and the exhibit window which has the code.

Good job Jones !!! what's next ?
[ January 07, 2005: Message edited by: Jay Pawar ]

Cheers,<br />Jay<br /> <br />(SCJP 1.4)<br />Heights of great men were not achieved in one day, they were toiling day and night while their companions slept.
Win jones
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2004
Posts: 38
Thanks guys,
Jay I am interested in getting certified in UML I would like anyone who has information on this to post it for me I see that IBM has a test 486 pertaining to this but no certificate it is a part of a bigger exam the other option that I have is
OMG-Certified UML Professional Fundamental OM0-100

I am not sure which one would be a good for me. I think I will take a short break from Java for now
sunny van
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Posts: 5
Congrates, Good Job
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8764
    
    5
Congrats Win!


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Ajith Kallambella
Sheriff

Joined: Mar 17, 2000
Posts: 5782
Congratulations and best wishes for your future endeavors.


Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect. Open Group Certified Master IT Architect. Sun Certified Architect (SCEA).
 
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