Upto SCWCD 1.4, Head First was playing an important role, it was like read it(book), hit it(exam).probably that may be correct.
from 1.5, Head First only helps you 50%, remaining 50% are specs, API and lots of practice.
I am having 3 years of exp in Java, working on Struts, indirectly using Servlets and JSP, with this over confidence i left out specs and practice. I just programmed 2 examples from each chapters.
I belive with my experience and preparation i would have cleared 1.4 exam, i was pretty confident. with same confidence i took 1.5 exam, in exam center i felt questions bombarded me, literally died, bangging my head , lots of confusion, twist questions, API questions, lots lots lots, which i missed in my preparation and which was not convered in Head First.
So guys, dont depend only on Head First blidly. The time you spent on reading Head First, equally you have to spend on specs, APIs and practice.
Strongly i can say, 1.4 and 1.5 syllabus/objectives might be same, but prepration and strategy should be entirely different.
Donno why people who failed are not sharing their experiences ?
SCJP 1.5 - 90% m lovin it..<br />Now Confused b/w OCA n SCWCD
Joined: Feb 04, 2008
i dont oppose any book, i just put on my experience. what ever the book you buy, it may just make you start, remaining it all depends on your preparation. Head Fist is a very good book, i dont say that is sufficient to pass(SCWCD 1.5), in that case none of the books in market is sufficient, you need extra preparation, as i specified, parallely you try to look into APIs and Specifications. Practical knowledge is key to pass SCWCD 1.5.
I thought I must point out for the benefit of everyone that till very recently there was only one edition of Head First Servlets and JSP available in the market, which had been written targetting the older SCWCD 1.4 exam. This exam has been discontinued recently and in March 2008, the 2nd edition of the Head First Servlets and JSP book was launched, which targets the newer SCWCD 5 certification exam.
I hope this clears up the confusion about which edition of the Head First book and which version of the SCWCD exam are being referred to in the previous posts.
Thanks for posting Kumar, you are confirming what I have long suspected, the exam is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult and even someone with commercial experience needs plenty of study. Check out my site, study and give it another go and let us know the result. Good luck with your studies.
Bryan and I worked with Sun to create new questions for the new SCWCD exam. Our opinion was that we replaced some of the easier old questions with tougher new questions, but that the new questions we about as hard as the hard old questions.
That said, I'd like to ask you how you did on the final mock exam in the book? For instance is it possible that you barely passed the mock exam in the book - getting the easier questions right and getting the harder questions wrong?
The reason I ask is that I'm pretty sure that Bryan and I would both contend that if you did really well on the old book's mock exam, you should be able to pass the new exam.
If that's not true, we'd really like to know, to see what we need to fix!!
Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
First , I would like to thank Kumar for sharing the valuable experience. I think you were in hurry to pass the exam but don't worry ,you learned lot of thinks ,next time exam will be easy to pass for you.
OMG,Mr. Bert is here,nice to see you Mr. Bert.
I really love your style of writing the book but the old book HFSJ 1.4 has lot of errors,thank god those errors was fixed in HFSJ 1.5.
I think if we read carefully the HFSJ 1.5 book and do practice well according to the same,we can easily clear the exam.
best regards, omi
Back to Java , again.
Joined: Feb 04, 2008
i think there are lots of question asked, i will reply one after the other:
Marc, I got very less marks in session and EL topics, and average marks in JSTL. This is lack of practice,Specs and API knowledge. In 2 of the JSP topics i scored full marks. This is because of Head First and bit goes to my experience on subject.
Mukul, I took 45 days to prepare, twice i read Head First(not enough practical). about old JSTL Tags, nothing covered out of Head First. What ever the question i saw in exam you can find the similar type of description in Head First, but but but, Head First covered very basic, not in advanced as I faced questions in Exam.
Bret, Pleasure to see your mail and please to reply to your queries, I scored reasonably well, with 62% in Final mock of SCWCD 1.4. i assumed if i score atleast +10 marks more in real exam, that could be sufficient. I carry forwarded the same confidence to exam center, couldn't suceeded. I wrote final mock just the day before i faced exam. In your question, you were asking 'really well', is that mean above 80-90% in mock, with my preparation i would have not scored more than 70% in the final mock of book. Will this not be sufficient? In the previous posts people were saying that, they scored 60% in final mock and they got 80% in real exam, stating it's +20 formula. I attened the real exam with same idea. it went almost in reverse for me. I have no negative comments on your wonderful and fabulous book Bret, it's simply magnificient. If you observe in my previous posts, i was keep on emphasising on practicing, API and Specs, due to lack of these knowledge i couldn't clear my exam. Finally i can say one point Bret, my memory power is good enough to remember things, in that confidence i read your book twice, i can definitly say there are some topics which were not covered in depth in your book, such sort of questions appeared in final exam. that worries me about SCWCD 1.4 book. Totally depending on your book(1.4) and writing 1.5 exam would be very difficult. I can say confidently we can clear 1.4 but not 1.5.
Omi, yeah, you were correct, i was bit hurry to pass the exam. but i didn't miss a single topic of Head First 1.4 book. I read twice.
Still i can say one point, by reading Head First 1.4 book we can clear the exam very easily, BUT you should have good knowledge of APIs, Specs and very good practical knowledge. Thats all i can say.
NOTE: None of the above comments are about SCWCD 1.5 book, i prepared using 1.4 book and appeared for 1.5 exam.
I thought so from my guess that, you might have faced bigger problem in JSTL+EL+TAGS combination of the exam. You see, that is the crucial part of the new exam, atleast from my angle. Rest, JSP, Servlets Beans, deployment descriptor are the one's in which we usually have practical coding experience or atleast good familiarity. I am concentrating on this combination right from first day since I found them little complicated and tricky.
But Hey, as Omi says, its very important for us that you shared your experience.
from 1.5, Head First only helps you 50%, remaining 50% are specs, API and lots of practice... So guys, dont depend only on Head First blidly. The time you spent on reading Head First, equally you have to spend on specs, APIs and practice.
Well, if it's a condensed set of specs and API listings you're looking for (i.e. all the ones which actually matter) and a thorough knowledge of how the various tags and libraries come together alongside core JSP and EL, I'm told my book will help you there. At least this review (see Step 2) says exactly that. If you do pick up a copy, do let me know how you get on a second time round!
What about custom tags?I could not find any good tutorials on BodyTag class.
I wrote a whole chapter about (classic) custom tags and another on tag files; I always found custom tags a bit tricky myself, so I put some pretty diagrams in there too which I found really helpful to explain all the steps (like calling setters, iterating, skipping over the body content, discarding that body etc.) You can pretty much use those four diagrams to study the entire section on tags - at least I think so... [ April 30, 2008: Message edited by: Charles Lyons ]
Charles Lyons (SCJP 1.4, April 2003; SCJP 5, Dec 2006; SCWCD 1.4b, April 2004)
Author of OCEJWCD Study Companion for Oracle Exam 1Z0-899 (ISBN 0955160340 / AmazonAmazon UK )
You said that the exam focuses on: - Spec's and API I took a look at some topics in the spec's (especially JSTL) I found that most of the stuff are covered in HFSJ. Can you give more info on what is not covered in HFSJ please
- API... I thought that HFSJ covers the required material for the exam. there are many methods in each class. I read few pages of Manning book and noticed that there are efw extra methods covered there. Does this mean that we need to memorize API for covered classes? Is it enough to focus and memorize methods mentioned in HFSJ as long as we know (and memorize) where each method comes from?
- Death Potion!! (Tags EL) you said that these topics were covered on the surface in HFSJ compared to what appeared in the exam. Should we look for another book (other books including HFSJ1.5 of course)? Or is it enough to try every possible weired idea that pops in our heads about these topic and see what output we get, and try to understand them of the old HFSJ. I mean, were some of the questions outside the scope of HFSJ? sometimes the answer is there but we need to think about it and understand the topic well, which one questions were?
I read HFJS twice memorized (i hope) XML documents and after I saw your post I started thinking that may be I am not ready for the exam! scary stuff out there.
thanks Charles,I am going to get your book to my home. I read the reviews of the book , pretty good.
best regards, omi
Joined: Feb 04, 2008
Mukul, You are correct, the bigger problem was JSTL+EL+TAGS, i have no experience in my real time, i never worked on them. Head first was giving just a basic info, saying what is what ? We have to practice extra, all weired ideas that stricks in our mind while reading Head First, to clear the questions on these topics in exam.
Musab, You raised very good points:
Can you give more info on what is not covered in HFSJ please
noticed that there are efw extra methods covered there.
there were couple of questions, which was asking to choose the methods(2) of that class/interface. Big Bounce. I never saw those methods in HeadFirst emphasising at all. if you refer APIs frequently you can clear them. i am pretty sure i would have not cleared them. no were in Head First they emphasised on them(methods).
Does this mean that we need to memorize API for covered classes?
not everything, but most of them. which were not emphasised in Head First as well.
Should we look for another book ?
No, no need, not at all. not required.
Or is it enough to try every possible weired idea that pops in our heads about these topic and see what output we get, and try to understand them of the old HFSJ.
Absolutely Correct, this is what i am doing now. If you are good enough in this, it's moore than enough. you can even score good marks.
scary stuff out there.
No need to scare about anything, if have completed Head First twice, simultaneously covering APIs and Specs, and practiced your wiered ideas, that's more than enough.
Did you read Hanumanth Deshmukh(2nd edition)? Any of the questions covered in this book is closer to realtime exam?
Thanks Sravanthi Preparing for SCWCD 1.5
Joined: Feb 04, 2008
I heard about Hanumanth Deshmukh book, but never tried to look into that, i belive Head First is more than enough, more over i have no time to refer multiple books.
I started my preparation again, i am looking into 'Mikalai Zaikin' notes, parallely going through Head First as well.
Mikalai Zaikin notes is very straight forward and short, it's very much suitable for my requirement and i am looking into only BANG parts of Head First(third time) and doing lots of practical.
Joined: Mar 27, 2003
more over i have no time to refer multiple books
Why not? Unless there's a very close expiration date on your voucher, there's surely no point in rushing the preparation, missing bits, then failing the exam because of a lack of solid knowledge? Personally, I'm happiest sitting an exam when I feel I know everything in depth (usually it turns out I don't, but it's beneficial to at least feel confident!). Speaking from experience too, most people I know get the best knowledge from consulting different resources as each presents topics in different ways, and there are usually gaps (and/or errors) in every resource which are filled (corrected) by the others. My advice for everyone studying for anything is to take plenty of time (if possible) and try to study as much literature as is available, in as many forms as possible.
Doing the SCWCD shouldn't just be about passing the exam either - it should show you know the ins and outs of the Web container and can therefore build solid and reliable applications. Again, taking time to try practical examples, understanding the way they work and questioning (and answering) why some things don't seem to work the way you'd expect is all valuable knowledge to take away from the studying process. Anyone not doing that is almost certainly missing some detail or other, or worse neglecting an important concept.
This is why studying is key even for those with years of experience: it helps to fill in all those gaps where you never had the time to say "hey, I wonder why that doesn't work like I think it should?" but instead just found a quick workaround. [ May 01, 2008: Message edited by: Charles Lyons ]