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Passed SCWCD exam with score of 65%

Fayyazuddin Syed
Greenhorn

Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Dear Fellow Developers:

I wrote the SCWCD exam this past Wednesday and passed with a score of 65%. The score is quite mediocre, but in all honesty, I found the exam to much more difficult than I expected, and you have no idea how relieved I am now that it is over. I had been preparing for this exam on and off (mostly off) over a 2 year period before I finally decided to commit myself once and for all to get it over with. I want to first of all congratulate all those who have scored 80% or higher on this exam. You know your stuff well and I applaud you. It is something to be proud of. I also would like to thank the writers of HFSJ, for writing such an excellent book. For this exam I sincerely believe this book should be used as the basis (but not necessarily the ONLY source) of studying and preparation. A special thanks to Mr. Basham for taking the time out of his busy schedule for sending me the notes on dynamic attributes (I did not get any questions on this topic by the way on the exam) via email.

Some thoughts:

-Certification should complement your experience, but by knows no means thought of as a substitute. Experience is the most valuable asset you can have with your I.T. skills.
-Questions are given randomly, so each persons exam will vary. I honestly expected to get some questions on dynamic attributes, and get none. I also got questions on areas that took me totally by surprise.
-It's a 2.5 hour exam, and I advise everyone to use it all. If you finish early, then go back to the beginning and check your answers. That's what I did.
-Part of the reason why for me this exam was tough is that your seeing the questions for the first time, and have the added pressure knowing that THIS IS IT. Confidence comes with knowledge, and knowledge comes with studying and doing as many practice exams and problems. Try to actually do some practice coding to visualize what it is your studying. This will help your understanding.
-The supplementary notes offered on this site are all valuable, I did derive great benefit from the notes on the design patterns. However, everyone is different so the summary notes of one individual may not be as beneficial to everyone. There are a variety of collections on this site, use the one that you feel you understand the best.
-All sections are covered, so don't overlook any areas, you will be tested on each part. Aim to score as high as you can by studying all sections. That way if you do indeed fall short, you may not get a really high score, but at least you'll still pass.
-My advice after passing this exam is to take some time off and do some projects (at least one or two) to implement your skills. If you are looking for work and want to really boost your career, then work on small projects using open source tools and the skills you've gained from this certification to clearly demonstrate your skills to your future employer. Experience does not always have to be on the job. It can be from just using your spare time.
-Look at the big picture when doing this exam (i.e. Don't stop learning). Try to build on your skills by learning things that will support your Servlet and JSP skills (eg. learning AJAX, or learn to use the Apache Commons Library, Hibernate, Spring, JSF, EJB's, etc.) Don't limit yourself to certifications only.
-Forums are a great way to learn, and meet new friends. Everyone using this forum to help one another is a special person, and I am very thankful to those who setup this site as a means for people to connect and share their knowledge. As for those who provide answers and solutions to other people problems, you may not be getting financially compensated for your time immediately, but do understand that your answers/solution/explanations make a REAL difference for a person, and could be the push that one needs to accomplish his/her goal (trust me, I have been the benefactor of many such people and you have no idea how much this help has made a difference for me). In a world where there is so much hate, greed, and selfishness, it truly is a good feeling to see people help out their fellow human at a time of need just because they can. It's a nice feeling when a friend helps you out, but an even nicer feeling when the help comes from a complete stranger. It only takes one person to make a difference.
-In my humble opinion, what truly separates one from the rest of the pack is the ability to be creative with the use of technology, which can only occur once you have mastered the fundamentals. Strive to be creative with your skills as opposed to simply developing boiler plate code. Take the new iPhone for example. Steve Jobs didn't invent the cell phone, nor the blackberry, nor the mp3 player, but rather he improved on them to make it what it is today. Push the limits of technology and you will succeed.

All the best to everyone, and hope all those preparing for this exam eventually pass. I will periodically check back to this forum, and if I am able to provide my two cents (1.5 considering my score), I will.

Thanks to all those who have taken the time out of their schedules to help in whichever way they can.

Sincerely;
Fayyaz
SCJP, SCWCD

PS: My sincerest apologies for writing so much. Not trying to appear self-righteous. Just wanting to share whatever I can with everyone.
Chandra Bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2007
Posts: 1707
Congrats Fayyazuddin!

Thanks for sharing your valuable experience with us.


Thanks,


cmbhatt
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9345
    
    2

Congrats for the SCWCD and thanks for sharing your experience!


SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 - Hints for you, Certified Scrum Master
Did a rm -R / to find out that I lost my entire Linux installation!
Vassili Vladimir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2007
Posts: 1585
Congrats and thanks ...


Vassili ...
SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 1.4, SCJA 1.0
uday ogra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2007
Posts: 66
oops i will be giving this test on monday...after reading this message i am getting a little bit nervous....anyways congrats dude....


People laugh at me just because i am different and i laugh on them just because they all are same.That's ATTITUDE<br /> <br />IBM DB2 8.1<br />SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4<br />Oracle 9i-007<br />IBM XML 142<br />SCJA<br />SCBCD5<br />SCDJWS<br />IBM Websphere MQ 994<br />IBM SOA 664
Hanuma Deepak Muvvala
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 20, 2005
Posts: 158
Congrats , and your explanation and suggestions are helpful to us.
Fayyazuddin Syed
Greenhorn

Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Thanks for all your comments. I'll try to answer any questions you have about preparing for the exam for the next while.

Fayyaz
Remko Strating
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 28, 2006
Posts: 893
Congrats and have fun with using your gained knowledge



Remko (My website)
SCJP 1.5, SCWCD 1.4, SCDJWS 1.4, SCBCD 1.5, ITIL(Manager), Prince2(Practitioner), Reading/ gaining experience for SCEA,
Mohit Chadha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 04, 2007
Posts: 264
Congratulations!
victor kamat
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 10, 2007
Posts: 247
Congrats !
Fayyazuddin Syed
Greenhorn

Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
Uday, you'll be fine. Do the mock exam on the back of HFSJ and look at where you went wrong. Study the design pattern document that's available on this site. They have a bunch of questions on it, I forget how many. If we were to say at least 5 questions, and you get them all correct, then you're left with 65 questions left. Out of those questions, you'll be asked about all the other areas. Easy areas that they'll ask you questions on are things like the deployment directory structure(There is NO excuse to not getting these questions right). Then concentrate on JSTL/EL, Thread safety, javaBeans, Servlets, security (another easy topic) etc. Focus on your weaknesses and you'll be fine.

I hope this helps.

Fayyaz
Grace Yang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 58
Congradu Fayyazuddin !!

Did you do final mock of HFSJ? what's your score? If you do, what do you think of level of difficult of HFSJ compared with the real one?

Did you do Whizlabs?
Did you do Enthuware which I heard is quite good simulator?

thanks.
Fayyazuddin Syed
Greenhorn

Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
I did the HFSJ exam three times, each time many months apart. The final time I wrote it, I got a score around 55% which sadly enough was the highest I had. It's a good exam to prepare from, but I must stress that I don't think it is wise to simply limit yourself to it alone. I did the whizlabs exams also. They are good preparation but I felt they were easy compared to the actual exam. My marks on the Whizlabs were about 10% higher than my score on the actual exam (mid 70's). One thing I want to point about the Whizlabs exams. I don't believe I did any Enthuware exams, but that shouldn't stop you from doing them. You can't practice enough. One thing I must caution you about is that some of these mock exams that are available will test you on things that are not actually on the exam. eg. you don't need to know the beanName property for the <jsp:useBean> standard action, yet I saw questions on this on many mock exams I practiced which kind of threw me off. Make sure you follow the objectives closely. Also, a good thing to do is when studying for the exam, refer to a book on servlets and jsp's that is NOT dedicated for the exam. I found it helped to refer to a neutral book on the subject just to get a different perspective. Understand that this is just my opinion. My score was very mediocre so I can't really call myself a guru on the subject. I'm sure people like yourself will get a much higher score than I will and have better advice for the newbies :-)

I hope this helps.

All the best.
Fayyaz
Grace Yang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2007
Posts: 58
Thanks you very much for the detailed feedback.

It's very valuable for me as I am going to take my test soon.

Grace.
Fayyazuddin Syed
Greenhorn

Joined: May 14, 2006
Posts: 10
One important thing that I almost forgot. There are 10 sample SCWCD exam questions on the sun microsystem site, as well as another 10 sample problems on servlets and jsp. These are available in the same place where you go to purchase the voucher.

Here is the link:

http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/WGS-PREX-10-QUEST.xml

These give a very good idea about the level of difficulty and don't be surprised if you find one or two of them on the actual exam.

On a side note, does anyone know how long it takes Sun to provide the password to download the logo, and how long it takes to receive the certificate? Just wondering.

All the best to everyone.
Sincerely;
Fayyaz
uday ogra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2007
Posts: 66
I got the password in around 3 days
Christophe Verré
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14687
    
  16

Congratulations


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