This week's giveaway is in the Android forum.
We're giving away four copies of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons and have Godfrey Nolan on-line!
See this thread for details.
The moose likes Developer Certification (SCJD/OCMJD) and the fly likes Extremely worried about essay exam Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons this week in the Android forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Certification » Developer Certification (SCJD/OCMJD)
Bookmark "Extremely worried about essay exam" Watch "Extremely worried about essay exam" New topic
Author

Extremely worried about essay exam

Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
I just took the essay exam and I am afraid I came off sounding like I didn't know what I was doing. The exam not only asked me questions about approaches and technologies I used (which is fine), but it asked me about approaches and technologies which I didn't use (which worries me).
There were two such questions and for both of them I could give no better answer to why I chose one over the other except: "Because I don't know the other." For example, one of the questions was about TECHNOLOGY 1 vs TECHNOLOGY 2. I went with TECHNOLOGY 2 because I don't know TECHNOLOGY 1 so well, and I wasn't in a position to argue the advantages vs disadvantages very well. The assignment instructions said I wouldn't be penalized for my choice of either so I didn't worry about it!
There was another question relating to XXX and I was asked why I chose one approach over the other. I wasn't even aware there was another approach I tried to expound on the other essay questions as much as I could; in fact, I wrote 8-9 paragraphs on the other two in a frantic attempt to compensate. But, is there still a possibility that Sun may think I am cheating?
[Phil: edited to conform to Don't Post Real Questions rule. Sorry about that.]
[ April 21, 2004: Message edited by: Philippe Maquet ]

SCJP 1.4, SCJD 1.4, SCBCD (Preparing!)
Jacques Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 319
Hi Min.

There were two such questions and for both of them I could give no better answer to why I chose one over the other except: "Because I don't know the other." (...) and I wasn't in a position to argue the advantages vs disadvantages very well. The assignment instructions said I wouldn't be penalized for my choice of either so I didn't worry about it!

You wouldn't be penalized for using one over the other, but you see, the thing is, they want to test not only that it was really you that did the assignment, but also your knowledge and what you based your design choices on.
If you were not able to indicate to them why you made a specific choice, they might feel that you don't have the required knowledge to obtain the certification.

There was another question relating to the table model and I was asked why I chose one approach over the other. I wasn't even aware there was another approach I tried to expound on the other essay questions as much as I could; in fact, I wrote 8-9 paragraphs on the other two in a frantic attempt to compensate.

Yes, I also got a table model question that I wasn't expecting. I was only able to give 1 or two advantages / disadvantages between the two approaches. I felt insecure about my answer, but it was apparently enough because I did not lose any points in that area.

But, is there still a possibility that Sun may think I am cheating?

No I don't think so, although they might feel that you didn't do enough homework.
From reading quite a lot before hand, I was aware that they were going to ask those kind of questions and I had prepared for it.
So, IMO, I think it might be a problem, but I could be wrong. If I remember correctly, you have to score 70% for the exam part to pass.
Good luck Min. I really hope they don't hammer you too much for that.
Let us know what happens.
Jacques
[Phil: edited for the same reason as above]
[ April 21, 2004: Message edited by: Philippe Maquet ]

Jacques<br />*******<br />MCP, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100

Are you saying that my answers to the essay exam may be used to evaluate points for my General Considerations section? As I understand it the essay exam is worth no points and is only there to make sure you really did the project.
You wouldn't be penalized for using one over the other, but you see, the thing is, they want to test not only that it was really you that did the assignment, but also your knowledge and what you based your design choices on.
If you were not able to indicate to them why you made a specific choice, they might feel that you don't have the required knowledge to obtain the certification.

Maybe they don't feel I have the required knowledge in terms of RMI or sockets, but it's not supposed to matter right? According to the instructions: "Your choice of RMI or serialized objects will not affect your grade", so doesn't that mean I could've based my choice on the flip of a coin or whether my sister had cheerio's or applejacks for breakfast?
Another fear suddenly gripped me. If I have to resubmit, it's only a resubmission for my project and I'm not allowed to do the essay exam over again. How would I show Sun that I've "done my homework" the second time around (if it comes down to it)?
[ April 20, 2004: Message edited by: Min Huang ]
[ April 20, 2004: Message edited by: Min Huang ]
Jacques Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2003
Posts: 319
Min

Are you saying that my answers to the essay exam may be used to evaluate points for my General Considerations section? As I understand it the essay exam is worth no points and is only there to make sure you really did the project.

Well, perhaps you are correct, but I understood the exam's purpose to be two-fold, as I explained before.

Maybe they don't feel I have the required knowledge in terms of RMI or sockets, but it's not supposed to matter right? According to the instructions: "Your choice of RMI or serialized objects will not affect your grade", so doesn't that mean I could've based my choice on the flip of a coin or whether my sister had cheerio's or applejacks for breakfast?

Nope I don't think so. 'Cause if that's how you make design choices in the real world, it's worrying.
But seriously, your "choice" won't effect your grade, but your reason for the choice, as far as I understand it, will most definitely effect your grade.

Another fear suddenly gripped me. If I have to resubmit, it's only a resubmission for my project and I'm not allowed to do the essay exam over again. How would I show Sun that I've "done my homework" the second time around (if it comes down to it)?

Good question. I didn't even know/remember that the essay exam could not be done again.
Perhaps you should go to the Sun certification pages and check out the details there again.
Maybe some of the other guys can comment too...
Stressing doesn't help any though. Let's hope the grader has a good day when he marks your assignment and doesn't nail you for it.
[ April 20, 2004: Message edited by: Jacques Bosch ]
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11404
    
  81

Hi Min & Jacques,
I always understood that the essay exam was just to check that you did the work yourself, however I can see that it might be used to validate your choices.
But back to the original question " is there still a possibility that Sun may think I am cheating?" - I really can't see this as being a problem. As long as your assignment and your exam answers match up, you should be fine.
Regards, Andrew


The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
Min Huang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 17, 2004
Posts: 100
Well, I guess I'm more relieved now. As if there's anything I could do at this stage anyways
amchi gelo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2002
Posts: 75
I took the essay exam this morning, and the questions were along expected lines.
While developing the assignment, there were some instances when I changed my design plans mid-way back and forth to best fit a situation. In the exam, I couldn't remember which one I ultimately settled for , luckily, i went with my gut feeling and it turned out to be correct.
There's a clear danger of the grader thinking you didn't do something yourself even if you did if you don't remember exactly what you submitted.
So now whats the next step?


Sun Certified Web Component Developer 1.4<br />Sun Certified Java Developer 1.4<br />IBM Certified Associate Developer - WebSphere Studio, V5.0 (285)<br />IBM Certified Specialist - IBM WebSphere Application Server, Adv Single Server Edition for Multiplatforms, V4.0 (158)<br />IBM Certified Solutions Expert - IBM Websphere Studio V4.0 (487)<br />IBM Certified Specialist - IBM Visual Age for Java V4.0 (283)<br />Sun Certified Java Programmer 1.2
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Extremely worried about essay exam
 
Similar Threads
Christian: AJAX vs WebStart?
What time should I take the essay exam after uploading the assignment?
Wide & Shallow VS. Narrow & Deep
Microsoft vs Sun certs
Using Unreferenced vs a daemon thread