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How hard is 141 test?

jim yin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posts: 111
Hi, I am new to XML. And I want try this cert in a few weeks. I am wondering how time-consuming this test is cuz I only have limited time every day, and how hard compared with other Java tests.
Thanks.
jim yin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posts: 111
Is this board already dead?
Valentin Crettaz
Gold Digger
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2001
Posts: 7610
jim,
It's summer time, plenty of prefessional are on vacation, most of the students, too!
Don't worry, you'll get some answers to your questions soon.
In the meantime, you may look at our XML FAQs to find some information.
The following posts are very interesting:
http://www.coderanch.com/t/146243/po/certification/Passed-test
http://www.coderanch.com/t/146277/po/certification/Books-Preparation-time
http://www.coderanch.com/t/146209/po/certification/Online-resources-XML-certification-your
[ August 15, 2002: Message edited by: Valentin Crettaz ]

SCJP 5, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, SCDJWS, IBM XML
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jim yin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posts: 111
Thanks, Valentin.
Shashank Tanksali
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2001
Posts: 122
Hi Jim,
Hi, I am new to XML. And I want try this cert in a few weeks. I am wondering how time-consuming this test is cuz I only have limited time every day, and how hard compared with other Java tests.

I can't really make a general statement that IBM XML Certification is harder than SCJP or SCWCD, since it depends a lot on one's background and it is possible that someone might find the XML certification to be easier than Sun's java certs.
I have put my observations below. Hope that will help you assess the difficulty level of IBM 141 as compared to the Sun's Java certs.
IMHO, I think that the IBM 141 certification is harder than SCJP or SCWCD. I cannot really compare SCJD with IBM 141, since SCJD is an implementation type of certification, which is different from IBM 141.
Some of the reasons why I think IBM 141 is harder than SCJP and SCWCD are . . .
(1). IBM 141 has a higher passing percentage (65 % as opposed to 61 % for the SCWCD). Many people who pass Java certifications get scores in the 90s. However there are very few people who have managed a score above 80 in IBM 141 (based on Javaranch posts).
(2). A lot of questions in SCWCD just require you to have good memory. On the other hand, IBM 141 has a lot of questions, where you are required to apply your learning to a given case study.
(3). Several people who passed IBM 141, including me found that we could have used more time for IBM 141. On the other hand, I never had a problem with time for SCJP,SCJD or SCWCD.
(4). The number of technologies covered in the IBM 141 is quite large. You will need to know apart from core XML, DTDs, XML Schema, XPath,XLink,XPointer,XML encryption,SOAP,WSDL,UDDI,DOM,SAX etc. Even though, some of these technologies are not covered in depth, it still takes a while before you know what these technologies are for especially if you are new to XML.
(5). Since the Java certs are very popular compared to the XML certification, there is a lot of organized study material and mock exams for all the java certs. However there are not many organized study materials or mock exams for the XML certification.
(6). There are no certification exam specific books for the XML certification. There are a quite a few books written specifically for the Sun certification exams. So you will need to organize your study material from various sources to prepare for the XML certification.
Ranchers have posted some really useful study notes on the forum. I relied heavily on Javaranch to get me through the exam.
However, XML and all the related technologies are going to be around for quite a while in the industry since XML is not proprietary and is the core for web services etc.
Hope this helps . . .
Good luck with your exam !!!
Shashank


<b><br /><a href="http://mailto:tanksali@hotmail.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Shashank Tanksali</a><br /><i><br />SCJP2,SCJD2,SCWCD<br />IBM Certified Developer - XML and Related Technologies<br />PMI Certified Project Management Professional<br /></i><br /></b>
jim yin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posts: 111
Shashank, thank you very much for your comments. I saw most of people who made it got less than 80%. Its obviously harder. It may take me more time to parepare it.
mark stone
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2001
Posts: 417
thanks shashank.
tony franz
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 04, 2001
Posts: 14
One thing I'm curious about: if no-one's getting over 80%, is that because they haven't covered certain topics? Or is it because the questions themselves are very difficult?
Can anyone who's passed the exam answer that?
I'm just starting prepare for the XML cert., and I'd like to be sure that the three recommended texts are enough.
Thanks,
Tony.
tony franz
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 04, 2001
Posts: 14
No comment, then?
Shashank Tanksali
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2001
Posts: 122
One thing I'm curious about: if no-one's getting over 80%, is that because they haven't covered certain topics? Or is it because the questions themselves are very difficult?

IMHO, the objectives for IBM 141 are not given in sufficient detail as compared to Sun's certs. For example, the objectives for SCWCD runs into 6 or 7 pages, but that for IBM 141 is only about a page, even though the material covered for IBM 141 is far more than that of SCWCD.
You can compare SCWCD objectives with IBM 141 objectives to get an idea.
A little more detailed objectives would have gone a long way in defining the scope of the exam.
However, that is not the case and some of the objectives in the exam are vague.
Another reason, why a lot of guys score high in the Sun's certs is because there are no case study kind of questions. In the XML exam, there are quite a few case study kind of questions. 2 case studies are repeated throughout the exam and there are several questions based on the supplied case studies.
Some of the questions pertain to identifying the MOST likely,LEAST likely options. To make matters worse, you might be asked to select 2 or 3 options from 5 or 6 available choices. So you will have to choose those options that IBM considers as MOST correct or least correct. Such questions are a bit difficult to answer, as even though unlikely there may be no seemingly correct answers and you will be required to choose the lesser of two evils
I'm just starting prepare for the XML cert., and I'd like to be sure that the three recommended texts are enough.

That should be more than enough. In fact, of the three recommended texts, I only bought Professional XML 2nd ed. I had another XML book not mentioned as suggested reading material by IBM, and I relied a lot on Javaranch and web resources. Even if you have the three texts, you will still need to use some web resources (for example, for XML encryption/security etc). Some ranchers have even passed the exam with only the
W3C site as their resource. Also it helps a lot to play around with some XML parser/XSLT processer like Xerces,Xalan as it will help you to reinforce your learning of the subject. You can get the XML Parser and XSLT processer for free from the Apache web site.
Hope this helps . . .
Good luck with your exam !!!
-Shashank
tony franz
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 04, 2001
Posts: 14
Thanks for that answer, Shashank. I can see what the problem with the exam is now.
I did the SCEA Part I recently and faced a lot of those scenario-type questions. I managed to get a good mark - but it wasn't until I got the result that I was even sure I'd passed.
I've got the Xalan processor up and running, and I've decided to also add "Java Web Services" (O'Reilly) to my reading list, since Prof XML doesn't cover this topic very well.
Thanks for the other links.
I'll do my worst!
Tony.
 
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