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Cleared SCWCD with 92%

Dave Seligson

Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Posts: 17
Happily, I cleared SCWCD today and want to share some of my experience.

My Preparation:
Started on 8/1, tested today (9/20), spent about 2-3 hours a night with time off for good behavior.

1) I read HFS&J thru and did all the little exercises and tests.

2) Once I finished through one time, I skimmed each chapter and repeated each chapter test one more time.

3) I read Peabody's notes on Patterns (Thank You Peabody--VERY useful)

4) I went through these PPT's twice (there's a few tiny mistakes, but overall VERY useful. I especially like the J2EE "STUT" presentation. That was very useful, as was the one on Listeners.

5) I read thoroughly the SCWCD Hints by Jothi Shankar Kumar Sankararaj (NOTE especially that the HTTPSessionActivation Listener does NOT need to be in the DD. The book is wrong on this one, see errata)

6) I read the "Tutorial on Dynamic Attributes" by Bryan Basham -Thanks Bryan, a very interesting doc.

7) I did the JavaRanch Mock Exam (1.4)

8) I tried some of the other free mock exams and wasn't thrilled with them as they seemed to cover much more information than was necessary, or were older versions than appropriate. You'll have to judge for yourself.

9) I wanted to take more mock exams before I took the HFSJ final exam so I *purchased* the Sun practice exams. I know, how can I keep this real when I broke down and parted with another $75 when there are lots of free ones out there? Well, I wanted to see what Sun would throw at us. And I'm glad I did. They give you 3 mock exams and they have excellent references with the answers so you can learn while you go through the questions. These were a touch easier than the real exam, and didn't have any drag-drop questions, but fully worth it. I recommend going through and finding out the answer after you submit each answer. Warning--there were a few doubts or errors in the Sun Mock exams, but nothing major.

I mostly scored in the upper 90's on these mock exams. They gave me oodles of confidence so I moved my test taking day up a little.

10) Last night I took the HFSJ mock final and scored 75%. Start early in the day, going through the answers and understanding wrong questions takes a while.
As far as my thoughts go:

First, this test seems much easier than the SCJP test.
The questions take a lot less time and I was left with about 25 minutes when I finalized my test session. <--j2ee phrases still manifesting brain cavity

I am typically a slow test taker and I used every second in the SCJP test, but this one allows plenty of time. I went through each question in sequence and I only marked a couple for check back later. Even the questions that seemed really long, they usually had a sneaky element that when noticed, eliminated the need to go through all the code.

The test only had 2 or 3 questions that referenced material not found in HFSJ and I was able to deduce the answers on these anyway. Two questions were relating to variable attributes in tags, and one referred to EJB DD entries. One was on the namespace XML Doc stuff. All but one of the Pattern questions were very simple, and they felt like they were freebies. I didn't like the security questions in that they were kind of subjective, but I suppose my guesses were correct as I scored 100% on WebAppSecurity. I missed a few EL questions with those "" inside the map brackets and setProperty questions--so review those too.

Which reminds me---on MANY of the questions it seems like it may be more productive to work backwards, crossing out answers that are impossible. Knowing how many answers to pick is so useful in this test that I almost felt naughty, ;-) like I was getting away with something. In any case, this makes your guesses much more likely to be correct. Sometimes, it can save you time if it's a long question, but time is never an issue anyway.
It's still nice to work backwards after you've selected your answers to verify your work.

I hope this helps you future SCWCD takers.

And Lastly but DEFINTELY not Least-ly.
HUGE thanks to Kathy and Bert!!! The book HFS&J is absolutely, spot-on, direct hit, take-no-prisoners, completely focused and exactly-what-we-need-to-pass this test. I also learned a lot, too.

I commend you for un-professionalness in putting the book together as you did. It made it easy to read, learn and remember. I loved all the little thought/conversation bubbles.

Dave Seligson
Christophe Verré

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688


[My Blog]
All roads lead to JavaRanch
srinivas marasu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 290
Congratulations Dave Seligson!!That's greatScore!
Thanks for sharing your experiences and preparation!!
anil kumar
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Joined: Feb 23, 2007
Posts: 447
Congrats ...


Anil Kumar
Vassili Vladimir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2007
Posts: 1585

Vassili ...
SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 1.4, SCJA 1.0
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 10032

I'm glad that my hints helped you. Good luck with your other certifications.

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!
Timothy Sam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2005
Posts: 751
why do I get an error when I watch this topic?
[ September 21, 2007: Message edited by: Timothy Sam ]

SCJP 1.5
Jim Yingst

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Should be fixed now.

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Remko Strating
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 28, 2006
Posts: 893

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

Joined: May 30, 2007
Posts: 42
Congrats, Thanks for sharing your experiance.It will help me in clearing scwcd.Iam planning to take it befor 15/oct.
Dave Seligson

Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Posts: 17
You're welcome Sundar!
I got a lot of help from all the people at JavaRanch and I'm
glad I could return the favor.
I say "good luck" to you for your test on October 15th, but
if you've taken all the right steps, you won't need luck.
You'll have confidence which is better than luck :-D
(Though luck is still good)
So good luck!
Dave Seligson
SCJP 1.5, SCWCD 1.4
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Cleared SCWCD with 92%
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