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A word of wisdom about the Exam

Ben Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 40
After taking the exam, I realized I could have saved a lot of time by reading more carefully the list of exam objectives published by Sun. While the exam differed little in overall content from the coverage given by Roberts and Heller and by the Exam Cram, the format of the questions, and the particular areas of emphasis in the exam were reflected more precisely by the Objectives.
For example, where the Objectives called for ability to "write code," I was asked to do exactly that--write a few words of code in the exam. Whereas some of the objectives are generic and obvious, e.g. "write code to invoke overriden or overloaded methods...", others, occupying no less space in the objectives, are extremely specific: "For a given class, determine if a default constructor will be created, and if so, state the prototype of that constructor." It is important to keep in mind, for example, that Garbage collection constitutes an entire objective in its own right, and, therefore, that questions about Garbage collection WILL appear in the exam, even though the subject will take you much less time to master than, for example, the exam objective called "Overloading, Overriding, Runtime Type, and Object Orientation." There may be more questions about Overloading etc., but you get the point.
Think about it. I'm sure that no fewer than 5 guys and gals at Sun sat around for hours and debated the inclusion of each word in the exam objectives. The exam will be structured according to those objectives.
Were I a greenhorn preparing for the exam, I would again use Roberts and Heller and the Exam Cram, with one difference. I would have before me at all times a copy of the Objectives, marked up and scrutinized at every line, and would organize my preparation according to those objectives.
Ben Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 40
Oops, I forgot to mention that I passed the exam (score of 80%).
vivek rai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2000
Posts: 45
Hi Ben,
congrats on passing the exam.
( to give some background ... so that u understand my situation)
I'm new to java and aiming for the exam.. ( have some... err.. 4-5 years experience in c/c++ )
my reason for appearing in the exam is the fact that i'm currently not working in java.. and would like to do in near future.. so i see it as a way of convincing my future employers that 'i know java'. So i'd like to minimize my efforts and maximize the score... ( well.. call me lazy )
Of course, applied form of java in the industry would require me to master stuff like database access, advanced GUI, rmi and all.. but currently I just wanna clear the exam with a decent score, and am preparing for it in my spare time.
I was myself not so convinced about the fact that chapters on painting / events etc. have been added to most prep material ( R&H etc. )..
( ohh.. this is getting too long .. should get back to the point)
1. are u suggesting that those preparing for the exam should skip things like paiting/advanced GUI stuff.. which seem to not to be mentioned in the objectives?
2. what are the portions from R&H that u'd say are avoidable?
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944

All the best for your future endavours.
- satya
Ben Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 40
You ask a very good question. The coverage of painting, graphics, and the AWT in general is good in R&H and you should study all of it. I'll revise my suggestion to read:
1. Become acquainted with the exam objectives. Note the more specific ones. When you come across these in your forthcoming studies with R&H and Exam Cram, pay them particular attention;
2. study the first 13 chapters of R & H (yes, a couple of IO questions appeared on my exam);
3. complement the R & H material with a thorough study of Exam Cram;
4. If you have time, fine tune your understanding of weak points by reviewing, in
light of the exam objectives, material from the Java tutorial, the Java 2 Documentation, and Gosling's Java Programming Language in addition to R&H and Exam Cram.
These are only suggestions. If you have sharp eyes, and pay close attention to what you are reading, R&H by itself is sufficient. The book is very well written. Read the reviews of it in Many have passed the exam using that book alone. I, however, found the other materials useful as well.
I was also new to Java.
Marcus Green
arch rival

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
Whatever else you do, remember to cover the basics of the language such as keywords, casting, inheritance, inheritance, inheritance and inheritance. Know your overloading from your overriding your default constructors, your constructor calling oh yes and anything to do with inheritance.

SCWCD: Online Course, 50,000+ words and 200+ questions
Ben Weaver
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 40
Thanks for that extra suggestion, Marcus. Speaking of Marcus Green, one other thing I forgot to mention: the mock exams! You definitely want to take at least one of them and preferably more than one. First, do your homework out of the books, then, starting perhaps a couple of weeks before the exam, take a mock exam. The mock exams I used were free. The exams I found most useful were Jxam, Marcus Green's exams (all of them--1.1, 1.2, and 1.3), and the exam in the back of Exam Cram, which has an answer key with explanations of right and wrong answers.
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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