This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
I found the exam was challenging but fair. I got 80s and 90s (percents) in all areas except Collections & Generics, where I got 30% - which gave me an overall score in the 70s.
The drag and drop questions were okay, although I would have preferred to have some instruction and/or chance to practice the logistics of doing them. As it was, I had trouble figuring out where exactly you have to drag the answer TO before it will drop where you intend it to go. Just curious, are there any mock exams that have attempted to simulate this type of question, so folks can practice at home?
The one thing I really hated was drag and drop questions where you drag the answer ON TOP OF part of the question, i.e. once you have finished all you can see is your answers and not the questions any more. To review what you've just done, you have to drag your answer AWAY from its final position to see what was under it. (And if you aren't careful while you do this, the answer disappears and you have to drag it back again!)
In case it's useful to anyone, here's how I prepared:
1. Read Sanghera's book, SCJP Exam for Java 5. This was helpful because I'm fairly new to Java (though I have extensive experience with other languages, including multi-threading).
2. Bought Sun's 210-question ePractice exam for the SCJP 5. ($75, worthwhile if you have the funds, but not necessary.)
3. Joined JavaRanch and explored the forums and the recommended mock exams.
4. Bought K&B, which helped answer most of the questions I still had after reading Sanghera. (I also enjoy their cheerful writing style. )
5. Took the K&B mock exams. I have some bones to pick with the exam interface (such as the time it told me I FAILED because supposedly the required passing score was 806/1000??), but the content of the questions was very useful in stretching my brain to think the right way.
6. All through these steps, I kept writing down questions I wanted to know the answer to. Even while taking a mock exam, I would take notes on what I didn't understand. Then later I would go through those questions and look up the answers in Sanghera, K&B, the Sun online Java docs, or search on JavaRanch.
7. Finally, just as my head was about to explode from carrying around all this information (I actually started having dreams about code ), I took the exam. When I finished the exam I wasn't certain whether I'd passed, but I *did* feel certain that I had done the best I could for the amount of preparation I had done. So I strongly recommend getting a good night's sleep the night before, or whatever your particular body needs in order to be refreshed and thinking clearly for the exam.
Best of luck to whomever's turn is up next! b. [ September 13, 2006: Message edited by: E McKenney ]
Originally posted by E McKenney: Just curious, are there any mock exams that have attempted to simulate this type of question, so folks can practice at home?
We believe that our simulator has the closest interface for Drag and Drop questions. However, unlike the actual exam, it doesn't reset the answers if you open it up again. This is done deliberately to minimize waste of time while you are preparing for the exam.