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need some advice how to prepare for essay exam

joel smither
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 01, 2005
Posts: 31
Hi all,
I'm getting to ready to submit my work and the next step of course is to take the essay exam. Can anyone give me advice on how to prepare for that exam? I'm not sure what I should be studying......
Eric Chang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 27, 2004
Posts: 113
Having just took the exam two days ago, I can honestly say that no one should sweat it whatsoever. If you know why you chose to do certain things, and how you did them, you will fly right through it. You will want to know the advantages and disadvantages of what you chose to use. In the end, just going over your code once more to make sure you know how you did something, and then going over your choices.txt should make life very easy for you.
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11280
    
  59

Hi Joel,

I second Eric's comments.

From the JavaRanch SCJD FAQ:

The reason for the exam is quite simple: Sun need some way to prove that you wrote the code that you submitted. The logic (as I understand it) works like this: When you go into the testing center, you must provide identification to prove who you are. You will then be asked four questions that can only be answered correctly by the person who wrote the code. If the answers you give match the code you submit then the assessor can be reasonably certain that you did write your submitted code.

Since the questions on the exam are based on the code that you wrote (for exampe: did you choose RMI or Sockets for networking) it is highly unlikely that you could fail the exam unless you didn't write the code. This appears to be Sun's view as well, as they only list the following three possible parts of the SCJD assignment:
  • Programming Assignment (CX-310-252A)
  • Essay Exam (CX-310-027)
  • Programming Assignment Resubmission (CX-310-252R)

  • So just re-read your design choices document before you go into the exam, and try and think of the reasons why you wrote your code the way you did.

    Regards, Andrew


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

    Joined: Jan 05, 2005
    Posts: 247
    Do you have to explain why you choose RMI or sockets?

    I picked RMI as I am farmiliar with the technology.
    I've never really used sockets.
    I don't know the advantage and disadvantage of either
    Frans Janssen
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 29, 2004
    Posts: 357
    Originally posted by Kris Reid:
    Do you have to explain why you choose RMI or sockets?

    I picked RMI as I am farmiliar with the technology.
    I've never really used sockets.
    I don't know the advantage and disadvantage of either


    Hi Kris,

    I got a question along that line, so it would be nice to have an answer to that question.

    Your reasons for chosing RMI sound already quite acceptable to me. You could add fancy words as "time to market" for not using sockets (learning costs time, is money. et cetera).

    I had done something with sockets before, but not with RMI. Nonetheless I had chosen RMI, but I have presented unfamiliarity with the subject as a disadvantage, since it cost me more time and I may not have used the full potential of advanced feautures of RMI that I am unaware of.

    (Hmmm, I almost feel like I am doing the whole essay again here )

    Frans.


    SCJP 1.4, SCJD
    Steve Taiwan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 01, 2003
    Posts: 166
    hi joel.

    I took my essay exam on Feb 5.
    Before taking the essay exam, I asked myself "What parts of the assignment are most important?". Then I found, I thought there should be 6 questions which will be most likely to be asked. So 3 of these 6 questions did appear in the essay exam.
    It is not difficult to answer 4 questions, please memorize your choices.txt.
    Don't worry about the essay exam. It is pretty easy.


    Steve Taiwan<br />SCJP 1.2, SCJD 1.4, SCWCD 1.3, SCBCD 1.3, OCP 8i DBA, SCEA
    Frans Janssen
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 29, 2004
    Posts: 357
    Originally posted by Steve Taiwan:
    Don't worry about the essay exam. It is pretty easy.


    Eh yes. I forgot to mention that.

    Frans.
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11280
        
      59

    Hi Kris &

    Originally posted by Kris Reid:
    Do you have to explain why you choose RMI or sockets?


    You may (or may not) get a question about RMI or Sockets on your exam - obviously we cannot tell you what the real exam questions are going to be. Some questions may be of the type "How did you cater for xxx", and some questions are going to be of the type "Explain your reasons for choosing xxx or yyy". If the question asks you to explain your reasoning then obviously you are going to have to provide an explanation .

    Originally posted by Kris Reid:
    I picked RMI as I am farmiliar with the technology.
    I've never really used sockets.


    That sounds like a reason to me . As Frans mentioned, this can be a deciding factor in real life, especially when there are specific time constraints in getting your product (assignment) delivered.

    Originally posted by Kris Reid:
    I don't know the advantage and disadvantage of either


    For your own benefit you should really spend some time trying to find out the advantages and disadvantages of any major design decision you make. Again, this applies not only to this assignment, but also to real life. You will be a much more rounded developer if you can see the alternatives and can make decisions based on which alternative is best for a specific situation. This is especially important if you want to become an architect.

    Some topics you might want to read: "Sockets vs. RMI" and Anybody interested in a sockets discussion ?". There are other related topics in this forum and on the net as well.

    Regards, Andrew
     
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