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To Ranch With Love

John Dell'Oso

Joined: Sep 10, 2002
Posts: 7
I assume its a tradition to write one of these..here is my version
Usually when I give an exam, the first thing I do is speak to a lot of people who have given the exam. I then decide on how I should go about studying the subject, from this info that I gather. If I dont get good info I dont take chances and dont give the exam....
When I had planned to give the JAVA exam, I didnt know a single person whom I could speak to about how the exam is, frankly what is the difficulty level of questions, etc.
For all those who are new(that is if this is among the first 25 posts you read) to JAVA Ranch., let me tell you this is your guide to gather the information I just spoke about ( this is, ofcourse only one of the many benefits that Java Ranch offers -- ie, a reliable senior colleague)..
If you are planning to give the exam you are probably one of the following:
1)New to Programming
2)Coming from a specialization in some other computer or electronic or electrical field and just know a few terms. (eg,IF YOU SPEAK ONE OF THESE LINES- all I know is Java is based on OOP Concepts, C++ has something like pointers, there are things like 'if - else' statements which transfer me or stop me from entering somewhere or something in braces etc...or some similar line.)
3)Learnt Java, but not with an intention to give an exam, when I see the syllabus, a number of topics have not been covered by my tutor..what should I do ? Am I still in a position to consider taking an exam..
4)I know Java (or C++), I have worked on it for several years. and I need to just get a certification to help my job prospects.
5)All I want to do is pass the exam...
If you are any of the 5 above or close, read on or else skip this long and boring advice (I guess maha, Ajith, and Tony would be scrolling the bars down)
To tell you in hours, you need approx, 400 hours..the reason I always put it in hours is because you can then decide how many hours in a day have you got..I put in 450 hours of Java in a month. It is my humble suggestion that you start off by reading only the begining theory pages of any fat and detailed book on JAVA (this must be a beginners book and not EXAM CRAM or Roberts etc)...try to digest words like object, variable, etc...
Repeat this for your first 25 hours (that means you can go thru it atleast 5 times...AND IMPORTANTLY (just as Herbert always says) READ BETWEEN THE LINES.. use your imagination relate it to the diff. things you have come across in your life..and try to anticipate what is programming.....lets say fro eg.. you are reading the concept which mentions of the multitasking feature... recall you had once opened so many window Applecation at the same time, and all of them seemed to work simultaneously...something of that sort ...stare at the wall in front of your desk and try to think like a Computer(I intentionally am not using the word compiler here for obvious reasons). Studying for the exam alone(200 hrs) is not difficult, but studying Java and at the same time studying for the exam is BIT(450 hrs) difficult. So my sincere advice if you are a beginner, by a good book, if you are not sure and cant decide between two or three books post out a quesion here.... and you should get perfectly trustworthy replies within 5 hrs. The moment you buy the book STICK TO IT...EVEN IF YOU FEEL IT IS A HORRIBLE MISTAKE; TRUST ME, IT CANT BE THAT BAD...I say this because there are times when you might feel that this 'X' book is good, then at a later period realise its not better than 'Y',after which you may see a post which says that 'Z' is an excellent book...ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR MASTER BOOK...ANY BOOK ON JAVA EXAM 2 COVERS MORE THAN 60 % OF THE COURSE, USE THIS TO GET YOUR INITIAL 60 % score..you are now 10 -12 % from passing...but you see that the questions up on the mocks are not in my MASTER BOOK...ok , no problem, pick a chapter, and select the topics which are not mentioned in your MASTER, make a note, saying for further topics see so and so book pg. No. so and so...If you realise this is the basis of OOP , you have a master book , and you are using this book to 'call' other additional books you need to study...ALL THIS MUST BE DONE WITHIN 250 HOURS..donot forget to divide the entire subject into chapters ..(eg, I had divided the entire course into 16 chapters.) the next 100 hours are to do coding....its cool if you have done no coding except for those examples in the book, but thats ok only upto 250. Now you need to "burn" your machine...start of by writing simple codes..and make THEM large...as you REVISE thru the chapters...the last 100 or so hours must be spent in 1) Mocks, MARCUS IS A MUST DO, IF YOU ARE ONE DAY AWAY FROM THE EXAM AND HAVE NOT DONE MARCUS, BURN THAT MIDNIGHT OIL AND MAKE SURE YOU DO IT, IT WILL PAY FOR SURE. This I picked up from Maha, copy-paste, all the answers you got wrong or felt you wouldnt be able to attempt, and make a seperate Note-pad File on your computer. This you will go thru during the last hours...
the exam is not tough...but you to be sure you need to atleast pass in Marcus( even a 71 %) is OK , if you intend to give the exam soon. There are some quesions which are very simple,( e.g, which are valid identifiers) and some which are difficult ( which according to me is 10 questions definately not more)..the no. in the middle will determine your knowledge of JAVA to a certain depth..which I think is not really THAT much.
TIME : should not be a problem, I never believed I would finish in 1:35 mins (INFACT EVEN THAT IS A RECORD HIGH) eventhough so many people put up posts..I take time to digest the questions , and would prefer checking it 3 times then and there rather than coming back, without worrying about coming back. I never felt this could be so true BUT IT IS....TIME IS AMPLE
MY FIRST BOOK : Balgurusamy, JAVA 2 A PRIMER (an excellent book for the first 25 hours....)
THE BOOKS THE MASTER CALLS : Jaworski, and Exam Cram
AND FINALLY my NOTEPAD file : a collection of over 100 questions I have been making mistakes....
AND (this is the last I promise) : a post titled 'TRAPS TO BE AWARE OF....' on java ranch....If 80% of these traps are known you are all set to go....
One question to the moderators...is this the longest message by a sinlge person...any prizes ?
MY STORY : 450 hrs, in one month, 88% , paper difficulty level I felt as compared to what I anticipated(as seen from the mocks, mostly MARCUS, I DIDNT DO KHALID) was only 70 % . Lots of coding, if you are looking over 90 %. AND TRUST ME 100% is possible...I was only looking for a score above 71 %...It just goes to prove, that I studied a little more... which is by no means a regret...
JDummy(no more)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
hi JD!
Just went thru your letter..it's very helpful.Jd I have some confusion about SC exams...I've already posted a letter but received no reply yet..could u kindly check it out please?
Anyway, thanks again for your suggestions!!Bye!
Suma Narayan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2000
Posts: 136
Congratulations!!! JD.
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Thank you so much and I am taking exam soon.
chetan nain
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 21, 2000
Posts: 159
jd, thanks for the valuable and comprehensive input.
i gather you referred to jaworski for your cramming sessions. how did you find the book? please let me know as i plan to refer the same for the exam.
thanks and congratulations
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Jaworski is a good book, I think you can confidently go ahead to consider it to be your master book. but then make sure you supplement it with something else. If you are lookng for a great score(>93), you might have to see some other books too...for between 75-85 % , make sure you read the book atleast three times and know ALL the questions thoroughly...
and btw the mocks can also be a good supplement if you do all of them twice....
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
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