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"Write code... / Develop code..." like in SCJP 1.4??

Davide Pierri
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 10
Ciao everybody
In the Objectives for the SCJP Exam is mentioned: "Write code for this and thus". In the SCJP exam almost all is multiple choice, you have to write just one or two code line.
My question now is, if in the SCMAD Exam is also like in the SCJP Exam ,
because in the Objectives for the SCMAD Exam you can find many expression like "Write code ..." or "Develop code...". Or you must really write down lines and lines of code?
Thanx for any helpfull comment!!
Greetings
Davide
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Ah.... this is a good question. You're very observant
We have changed the way exam objectives are written. For the new exams, the objectives are written from a practical perspective. This does not mean that you will actually *do the do* (that's how we say it). In other words, in the exam, you won't actually BE developing real code. But... it DOES mean that when we develop the exam, we look at each objective and we build our own objectives that say, "Given this objective, what could we do to TEST that this person probably COULD *do the do* (e.g. write code that uses less memory, etc.).
That means that the questions on the exam are usually more performance-based rather than pure knowledge-based. That also means that you'll see a lot more real code, and you often have to supply, say, the missing line of code that makes it work. So rather than saying, "Which interface do you use to do XYZ", you'll see code and you'll have to figure out what to do. But there are still a LOT of knowledge questions on the SCMAD, including questions about class hierarchies in the areas that really matter (the Generic Connection Framework and the MIDP 2.0 gui classes, for example).
There is not very much of what we would call "trivia", like memorizing the exact order of arguments to a method, for example. But for some APIs, you *are* expected to know the key methods, and what they take, but you aren't expected to remember the exact argument list.
There are, as some of you will perhaps hate, a *lot* of drag and drop questions. Sun is working with Prometric to try to get all Prometric centers to be in full compliance with their system requirements for their exam machines. They are *supposed* to be able to fully support drag and drops, but apparently some centers have not sufficiently upgraded their systems, so this does continue to be a small problem (well, BIG problem, but it affects only a few testing centers).
I am going to try to post some mock exams here this weekend, and they will give you a *very* good idea of the type and tone of the questions on the exam. I believe it's a very challenging exam, but I wasn't a subject matter expert in J2ME. However, all of the other exam developers were J2ME experts, and many of them had trouble with some areas that they weren't familiar with. Of course, this just proved one of the key benefits of going for a certification -- it forces you to extend your "comfort zone" into areas in which you haven't had to work in. The GUI expert had to learn more about security. The messaging guy had to learn more about games. The guy who knows about the record store had to learn more about networking...
But within each topic area, the questions are pretty intense. However, it IS all covered in the spec, although there are some practical questions about performance/memory/speed, etc. where you must understand the *implications* of the details of the spec.
And again, the specs are a *requirement* in preparing for the exam, but if you are not familiar with J2ME you really do need to start with a book as well. And yes, we recommend the Knudsen book because it is current, but it will *not* cover things in the depth and detail that you need. For that, you simply MUST use the specs and do a lot of experimenting and developing right now (which is, thanks to the WTK, quite easy).
If you can get your hands on the older John Muchow book, I think it is a better book for understanding and learning than the Knudsen book, BUT it is completely out of date and doesn't cover the newer areas. However, most of what is in that book is on the test. It just doesn't go far enough because it doesn't cover the new specs.
cheers,
Kathy
 
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