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My experience taking the exam

Ariel Ortiz
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 121
I took the SCJA exam yesterday (first beta examination day). It wasn�t too difficult, but I didn�t find it as amusing as Mark Cave suggested in other thread.

122 questions in total. Finished in 2 hours 25 minutes (35 minutes before the time limit). Just got one drag and drop question. The rest were multiple choice. If the question required selecting more than one answer, it stated exactly how many you should select.

This is the approximate proportion of the questions I got:

40% Java Programming
20% UML and OO related concepts
40% All other stuff

�All other stuff� is more or less the following:
7 questions on JSP, Servlets and Web services
5 questions on Enterprise JavaBeans
4 questions on SQL/JDBC/RDBMS
2 questions on JNDI
1 question on RMI
3 questions on MIDP
3 questions on Swing/AWT
2 questions on applets
5 questions HTML/JavaScript
1 question on JavaMail
2 questions on JMS
3 questions on selecting the correct platform (J2ME/J2SE/J2EE)
3 questions on correctly using javac/java from the command line
4 questions on identifying the contents and uses of specific java packages

I found the Java programming questions similar in difficulty as those in SCJP 1.4 but not as difficult as those in SCJP 5.0. On Java 5.0, you should know how to use the enhanced for loop and enumerations. On the J2SE API, make sure you know the use and correct signature of the String class methods in the exam objectives.

UML questions make a lot of emphasis on composition, multiplicity and navigation. You must demonstrate a good knowledge on mapping UML to Java. You should be able to spot UML diagrams with errors. You need to know how to distinguish an interface and an abstract class from a regular class.

Although no specific J2EE API questions are asked, you might require at least some knowledge of the package names involved in these technologies. You should know what the different acronyms stand for.

These are the resources I used in order to for prepare for this exam (I just studied about four hours, since I was familiar with most of the exam objectives):

The J2EE 1.4 tutorial
http://java.sun.com/j2ee/1.4/docs/tutorial/doc/index.html

UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language, Third Edition
by Martin Fowler

I hope this is useful for those taking the exam shortly.

...Ariel
Venkat Vm
Greenhorn

Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 6
Your post, listing your experiences, is very useful.

Thanks

Venkat.
Naveen Punati
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 13, 2005
Posts: 28
Thanks a ton......Oritz... for the useful info...me taking exam on 25th the info is very very useful for persons like me who r having 1 year experience.....thanks once again....
Santana Iyer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2005
Posts: 335
Hi,

I am new to certification, I was told that it is not
necessary to read in depth so no need of Khalid Mughal or
Cath Seirra cert. guide. And so I was reading Sun tutorial
but if qst are like scjp1.4 difficulty level shall I study
Khalid Mughal.

I was studying database, section1,3,4, rmi from sun tutors.

Is it enough.

Bye.
Mark Cave
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 22, 2005
Posts: 92
Hi,

I am new to certification, I was told that it is not
necessary to read in depth so no need of Khalid Mughal or
Cath Seirra cert. guide. And so I was reading Sun tutorial
but if qst are like scjp1.4 difficulty level shall I study
Khalid Mughal.

I was studying database, section1,3,4, rmi from sun tutors.

Is it enough.

Bye.

You don't need to study indepth for this certification. But you need to do so for the other certifications.

For SCJA an indepth Knowledge of the String class and enum is a must. You need a general knowledge of other important packages such as io, util, net, sql and the others. For these packages you don't need an indepth knowledge about their different methods.

Ariel made it clear to what you need to know about String, enum and UML.
I found the Java programming questions similar in difficulty as those in SCJP 1.4 but not as difficult as those in SCJP 5.0. On Java 5.0, you should know how to use the enhanced for loop and enumerations. On the J2SE API, make sure you know the use and correct signature of the String class methods in the exam objectives.

UML questions make a lot of emphasis on composition, multiplicity and navigation. You must demonstrate a good knowledge on mapping UML to Java. You should be able to spot UML diagrams with errors. You need to know how to distinguish an interface and an abstract class from a regular class.


For database and other technologies I think Sun gave a clear statement to what you need to know: "Describe at a high level the ...."
SCJA beta exam objectives
So, you DON'T need to know any specific API for those topics.
Nicholas Cheung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
Thanks for sharing.

Nick


SCJP 1.2, OCP 9i DBA, SCWCD 1.3, SCJP 1.4 (SAI), SCJD 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 (Beta), ICED (IBM 287, IBM 484, IBM 486), SCMAD 1.0 (Beta), SCBCD 1.3, ICSD (IBM 288), ICDBA (IBM 700, IBM 701), SCDJWS, ICSD (IBM 348), OCP 10g DBA (Beta), SCJP 5.0 (Beta), SCJA 1.0 (Beta), MCP(70-270), SCBCD 5.0 (Beta), SCJP 6.0, SCEA for JEE5 (in progress)
Kedar Savarkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 02, 2005
Posts: 15
Hi Ariel and Mark,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. They are of immense help to us.
I have one doubt. For technologies like RMI, JMS, EJB or client -server in general were there any code examples on the exam ?
Mark Cave
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 22, 2005
Posts: 92
Hi Ariel and Mark,
Thanks for sharing your experiences. They are of immense help to us.
I have one doubt. For technologies like RMI, JMS, EJB or client -server in general were there any code examples on the exam ?


I think the following will give you an idea about the nature of the questions. Do you see a common statement "Describe at a high level the ..."

Section 6: Java Platforms and Integration Technologies

* 6.1 Distinguish the basic characteristics of the three Java platforms: J2SE, J2ME, and J2EE, and given a high-level architectural goal, select the appropriate Java platform or platforms.
* 6.2 Describe at a high level the benefits and basic characteristics of RMI and threading.
* 6.3 Describe at a high level the benefits and basic characteristics of JDBC, SQL, and RDBMS technologies.
* 6.4 Describe at a high level the benefits and basic characteristics of JNDI, messaging, and JMS technologies.

Section 7: Client Technologies

* 7.1 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics, benefits and drawbacks of creating thin-clients using HTML and JavaScript and the related deployment issues and solutions.
* 7.2 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics, benefits, drawbacks, and deployment issues related to creating clients using J2ME midlets.
* 7.3 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics, benefits, drawbacks, and deployment issues related to creating fat-clients using Applets.
* 7.4 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics, benefits, drawbacks, and deployment issues related to creating fat-clients using Swing.

Section 8: Server Technologies

* 8.1 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics of: EJB, servlets, JSP, JMS, JNDI, SMTP, JAX-RPC, Web Services (including SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, and XML), and JavaMail.
* 8.2 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics of servlet and JSP support for HTML thin-clients.
* 8.3 Describe at a high level the use and basic characteristics of EJB session, entity and message-driven beans.
* 8.4 Describe at a high level the fundamental benefits and drawbacks of using J2EE server-side technologies, and describe and compare the basic characteristics of the web-tier, business-tier, and EIS tier.

Leon Wang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 18, 2001
Posts: 97
Mark,

I wonder what levels of JavaScript and HTML at exam. Do we need remembering all tags ?
Dave Wood
bronco
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 161
Originally posted by Leon Wang:
Mark,

I wonder what levels of JavaScript and HTML at exam. Do we need remembering all tags ?


No, no, no! That's why it says:


* 7.1 Describe at a high level the basic characteristics, benefits and drawbacks of creating thin-clients using HTML and JavaScript and the related deployment issues and solutions.


You don't have to know ANY tags or ANY JavaScript syntax.


Co-Author of <a href="http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/jswing2" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Java Swing</a><br />Co-Creator of <a href="http://www.sun.com/training/catalog/courses/CX-310-055.xml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">SCJP 5.0</a> and <a href="http://www.sun.com/training/certification/java/associate_beta.xml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">SCJA</a> exams
Ariel Ortiz
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 121
The only code on the exam has to do with Java programming.

There's no XML, HTML, JavaScript, etc. code in the exam. Questions on client and server technologies are at a very high level, for example (these are not real exam questions, but fairly similar):

Under what circumstances would an applet be preferable over a Web application using JSP and servlets?

If you want to store in a RDBMS some information from within a servlet, what Java technologies could you use?

You want to write a Java application that runs on PDAs and cell phones. What Java edition would you use?

You want to implement a Web service using EJB. What kind of EJB would you use?

What does JMS stand for?

Hope this clarifies.

...Ariel
Nicholas Cheung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982

What does JMS stand for?

I guess this will be the most difficult question!

Nick
Santana Iyer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2005
Posts: 335
I am new to j2ee and j2me,
refering to your msgs it seems that
refering to sun tutorial for j2ee 1.4 must be first step and
reading as much as one can about servlet, jsp, ejb

right.

tell me any resource for section 7 and 8.

bye.
Kedar Savarkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 02, 2005
Posts: 15
Hi Ariel and Mark,
The objectives explicitly mention about Enums from J2se 5.0. On the actual exams you guys have given was there any stuff like generics , autoboxing , varargs etc pertaining to Tiger ?
Kai Witte
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2004
Posts: 356
hello,

no generics, autoboxing or varargs, but enums in detail! For example 4 totally different ways to use an enum were provided, and I had to choose the two correct ones. Although I feel safe with enums I was not sure about the answer.

It were not many questions however, and they required detailed knowledge about enums. If time is short I would not recommend to waste it with learning all details about enums.

Kai


Kai Witte's business website Kai Witte's private homepage
Kedar Savarkar
Greenhorn

Joined: May 02, 2005
Posts: 15
Thanks for the reply Kai.
 
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subject: My experience taking the exam