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Barely squeaked by SCJP 1.4 with 88%.

Dave Alkire

Joined: Jun 25, 2004
Posts: 10
Actually of course I'm quite happy about it, though I do envy the brainy types on this forum who nailed the thing completely. And I didn't really expect to do any better, but I decided a very long time ago indeed --four years, now-- that I wanted a Java certification.
I did much of Deitel & Deitel�s �Java 2 How to Program� back then- particularly enjoyed their array-manipulation and recursion exercises, like the palindrome tester, the towers of Hanoi puzzle, and the random maze generator.. But then many months passed without any Java for me.. Then about 1 � years ago I read through Head First Java, Sierra & Bates � you guys are hilarious! Then after another 6 months I picked up S & B�s Sun Certified Programmer & Developer.. Read through it, did all the exercises (there are only like ten of them, compared with almost 200 in Deitel & Deitel.. Not that I�m saying that�s a bad thing, mind you..) and did all of the end-of-chapter self tests. For wrong answers I read the explanations and thought I understood.
Then I took a few practice exam sessions from the book�s CD, just five or ten questions at a time, to see how I�d fair.. Not well. I consistently got at least half of them wrong. Discouraged, I gave Java a rest for a few more months.
Then I picked the book up again in January and really gave it a go this time. Every time I saw a snippet of code anywhere in that book, even if it was just an aside, I typed it into some class and made it run or break or do whatever it was trying to demonstrate. This time with the self-test questions, sort-of understanding the mistakes wasn�t enough; I had to code it out. I followed this idea for the free practice exams that you get with the book, and bought the Sun practice tests, proceeding the same way..

So anyway now you see why I say I barely squeaked by with 88%. Whew!

-Dave A.
chowdary Thammineedi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2004
Posts: 126
COngratulations or are they BARELY?

Dave Alkire

Joined: Jun 25, 2004
Posts: 10
Thanks Chowdary, actually I am grateful and relieved that I got by as well as I did; I hope my post did not truly convey any sort of, well, whatever it is that inspires angry faces, and I hope you were just trying to be funny..
But nevertheless, I should ask you: how long ago did you start working toward the exam? I bet it was sometime more recent than spring 2001. Those guys who aced it 100%? I think one of them mentioned that he studied for maybe two months. I have family members, grad-student types, who consistently get 98-100% on all manner of difficult tests, some of them, I dare say, even more difficult than the SCJP. Considering how long and hard I�ve been at it, well, lets just say my desire for a centum score far exceeded my more realistic expectation, which was maybe 80, or well really I had no idea as my practice test results were all over the place.

Oh I should mention, on the GC section, whenever I saw a question like �when is object on line 13 eligible for garbage collection�, I drew little diagrams like the ones found in S&B�s Head First Java � you know the ones with reference variables that look like little remote controls and objects like balloons? I think that�s why I scored centum on that part.
My weakest section was in Flow Control, Assertions and Exception Handling, at 66%.. I was disappointed because thought I had that stuff down pat.
Tong Chen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2002
Posts: 1011

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Barely squeaked by SCJP 1.4 with 88%.
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