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Passed with 83%

DW Bolton
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 29, 2005
Posts: 28
Hi guys,

Just got back from the exam, and passed with 83%.

I'll write up some more notes on my preparation this afternoon when I get a chance.

I'll be sticking around in this forum as well to pass on any help to other people looking to get this certification. I always think its a shame when someone attains a certification, but then doesn't stay around to answer other peoples questions.
DW Bolton
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 29, 2005
Posts: 28
Finally got around to sitting the XML exam. I had to set a date to really force myself into action, so last week I got on the Thomson Prometric site, pulled out the credit card (Visa, 4940� hang on!) and chose a time.

I guess working on XML based trading systems all day made me a little complacent, but coming into study for the exam I didn�t think there�d be much to do. Needless to say, XML is such a broad topic, that there were several areas I didn�t know anything about (XLink anyone?) and my depth of semantic knowledge in other areas was more than a little lacking from an exam perspective.

Anyway, the exam took me a little over an hour, and I passed with 83%. I�d hoped for more, but I�m not disappointed considering my preparation.

Time spent in preparation:

* about 3-4 hours a week for six weeks
* about 8 hours a week for next two weeks
* about 8 hours total over last weekend

Study materials:

* Mastering XML - this was the main book I used at the beginning. Unfortunately it is rather out of date in many areas, and didn�t cover some topics like XML Schemas that hadn�t become W3 recommendations at the time of writing.
* XSLT - I�d read that this book my Michael Kay would be invaluable when studying for the exam, but the truth is I�m not sure I even opened it!
* XML Bible - by Elliotte Harold. This was a worthwhile book, but again, my edition was a little out of date. It was more useful than Mastering XML
* Processing XML with Java - Elliotte Rusty Harold - this book was irreplaceable for learning about DOM and SAX. Anyone learning XML should read this book (whether they work in Java or not)
* w3schools.com - an excellent resource for delving into XML, particularly in the areas of XSLT, XSLFO and XML Schema. Very highly recommended.
* Javaranch XML Certification forum - Another excellent resource. Questions asked in this forum and the XML forum are always promptly responded to, and users like Hari Vignesh Padmanaban have a very detailed knowledge on the tricks required to become certified.
* WhizLabs exam simulator - this was essential, I would not have been ready for the exam without it. However, I think some of the XML Architecture questions must have been written by someone who has not architected a commercial XML application/system, as they were not clear and in some cases incorrect. Aside from that, it was an excellent resource
* XML Certification Success - Part 1
* XML Certification Success - Part 2
* XML Certification Success - Part 3

Many people (and IBM) had recommended the WROX book Professional XML, but I couldn�t find a new copy anywhere, and from my experience I don�t think its necessary to track one down. There are plenty of other good resources on XML these days.

The Exam:
Lengthwise, the exam took me a little over an hour. There was even a noisy course being run in the room next door. The 90 minutes given is very generous for this exam.

As noted elsewhere, the most important areas to learn are XSL, XML Schema, SAX and DOM. I would say that 60-70% of the exam was covering these areas.

Overall, I feel a lot more versed in XML now than before, particularly from a system design standpoint and with some semantics. Most importantly, when I don�t know the answer to something, I at least know how to find out, which is often half the battle.
Hussain Fakhruddin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2004
Posts: 96
Kool gr8 score Bolton ...... congrats

Soo whats next.

By the way can you tell me what is the percentage of scenerio based question in the exam and which objective they mainly belong too.


Hussain Fakruddin<br /> <br /><b>IBM 486-OOAD with UML</b>
DW Bolton
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 29, 2005
Posts: 28
Originally posted by Hussain Fakhruddin:
Kool gr8 score Bolton ...... congrats

Soo whats next.

By the way can you tell me what is the percentage of scenerio based question in the exam and which objective they mainly belong too.


I think I will next tackle IBM 486 OOAD, which I see you have already got!

My impression was that most of the scenario based questions in the exam would fall under the Architecture and Information Modeling objectives. I think probably about 10 - 15 scenario questions all up, but I didn't keep count. For the record, Architecture was 18% of the number of questions in my exam, and Information Modeling was 27%.

I think the best place to find out about where and how scenario based questions pop up in the exam is in Hari's XML Certification Success Part 3 article.

Also, the exam I sat was only 55 questions, not 57 as in most mocks and the Whizlabs simulator. The number of questions must have been changed recently.
Hari Vignesh Padmanaban
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2003
Posts: 578
Originally posted by DW Bolton:
Hi guys,

Just got back from the exam, and passed with 83%.



Congrats Great score



I always think its a shame when someone attains a certification, but then doesn't stay around to answer other peoples questions.


very true



I'll be sticking around in this forum as well to pass on any help to other people looking to get this certification.



AWSOME
 
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