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passes new exam with 94%

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Hi everybody!
I have just returned from the exam. I realize that considering a new test all information about my humble person becomes desperately important , so I decided to give more details.
I do not have CS degree, I have BS in math. I worked as a computer programmer 11 years, mostly with database applications. I never programmed in Java before, this year I took 2 semesters of Java-for-first-year-students in college and after that decided: why not to get a certificate? I went through JLS and Bill Brodgen's Exam Cram, these were the only books I used. After finishing Exam Cram I took a test from this book, and scored around 75%. Then I found Java ranch... I did all mocks from Maha page, I browsed through this conference... It took me about 2 months of preparations, estimated 4-5 hours every day (after two semesters in college, which some practical experiemce but not so much theoretical knowledge).
Yesterday I took Marcus Green exam3. I had his 1st and 2nd exams before, but I've never tried exam3, I saved it for the last day to measure my scores. It took my one hour and one minute to finish the test, than I spend 28 more minutes for revision. I corrected one answer (from right to wrong ). Marcus Green said that I had 7 questions answered wrong. I agree that 3 questions were defenitely answered wrong. About others: one of questions had a wrong answer given on exam page, what was confirmed by Marcus himself. Two more questions had wrong answers (which means my answers were correct) as I could tell having made a research in Java Ranch. I posted my doubts about the last question yesterday, I can say that at least it is controversial. So finally my score on Marcus Green exam3 is between 93 and 95%.
Now about the real exam. It took me 1 hour and 28 minutes to answer questions, I had only 12 minutes for revision. I had a lot of questions on language fundamentals, 7 questions on threads, 5 on I/O, 2 on collections (very simple), 2 on events, 2 on layout managers and I cannot remember any questions on AWT classes (components, containers and so on). No questions on MediaTracker, Socket or String append.
I bet one question was directly from Sun's examples!
I had no fill-in questions, mostly multiple choices. Sometimes it looked for me that all variants are wrong, or more than specified number are correct. A lot of questions (80-90%) had code, sometimes 4-5 lines, usually 6-10, one example had 30.
Difficulty level. My personal impression that generally questions were more difficult than Marcus Green exam, but it may be stress-related impression. We need more tacker's responses to have correct picture. Questions were not abi.. ambiquio... I never knew how to spell this word... They were good worded. They were not tricky. I feel that probably each section has 1-2 very basic simple question, 1-2 �advanced� and rest ot them of average difficulty. So if you are not determined to answer ALL questions and get 100% you do not need to have detailed knowledge of Java classes, constructors, and methods.
I had no �advanced� questions like conversions from interface to array or static initializer's. Sun seems want to test us on �typical� situations.
I had 100% on all sections, except:
Flow control and exception handling � 85%
Overloading, overriding, Runtime and object orientation -�85%
Threads � 85%
I answered 56 questions correctly.
Paul asked people to estimate how much of their scores belong to Java Ranch. I would say in my case it's about 20%. I had different kinds of studying experience, but nothing can be compared to this conference in effectiveness and positive emotions I had. Thanks to all moderators, Maha Anna, Ajith, Jim, Rahul Mahindrakar, Jply, Vivek, Sathvathsan Sampath, Jane Griscti, mohit joshi, Sanjeev Verma, all others who posted such profound messages to our benefit, with whom I had fun to discuss my doubts, to everybody who asked question and had to tolerate my answers... I remember my teachers used to say that they receive more from their students that they give them. I always thought it's just a polite formula, but now I can say the same! When I thought about somebody question, it helped me so much to clear my our understanding! Folk here ask questions which would never come into my own head. So you all guys contributed to my result, even those who think they ask �stupid� questions!
I am sorry for unusually (for me) long post, it is my 100-th message to this conference, and I seems decided to make it of the same length as all my previous messages combined together...
Mapraputa, SCJP

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Surya Bahadur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2000
Posts: 88
Hi Mapraputa Is,congrats on scoring such a high score on new exam format.
Marilyn de Queiroz

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9043
Congratulations, Mapraputa, and thank you for your very informative comments. I am very happy for you. I hope to join you (being certified) before very long.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Ahmed Nasir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 57
Hi Maraputa
Thanks a lot on a very good description of your preparation and the new format of exam. I personaly appreciate it, and am sure all the people wondering about how the exam is gonna be would agree with me that you did very well.
We further hope that you will be available to help us out on our doubts and questions.
I wish you all the best in your furture endeavours in your career.
Thanks again
Jim Kilthau

Joined: Oct 06, 2000
Posts: 14
Nice going Mapraputa. I took the exam today and got totally
"spanked" with a 33. I'm making the quantum leap from COBOL to Java and have just studied out of books. I was prepared to have 120 minutes to do the exam and had been timing myself for 2 minutes per question. In the end, I came up short about 20 minutes. I would have failed anyway, but racing through the final 15 questions killed me.
About the content of the exam, you said that you had no fill-in questions, I had three of them (results after a 'for' loop and also substring concatenation). This leads me to believe that there is not "one" exam, but possibly random-generated questions. Does anyone have information about this?
For anyone considering taking this exam... here's a rough breakdown on the questions I ran into (as memory serves :
3 re: string manipulation (concatenation)
2 re: stringbuffer
4-5 re: subclassing
2 - inner classes
3 - overriding (need to be able to spot Ok signatures at a glance
3-4 - overloading
1 - AWT question
2-3 re: arrays (understand the effects of storing references
also proper indexing)
2-3 involving wrappers
many of the rest were fundamental syntax questions. Strongly
suggest that you can "quote" chapters 2 & 3 of the Nutshell book.
I think that, in order to do well on this exam, you MUST have the fundamentals down pat, otherwise you'll squander the 90 minutes, like I did.
Also you must be able to correctly assess 'for' loops (i++ and --i) immediately, as there are many of them in the code examples.
Now, let me ask you... since I only scored a 33%, why would you bother to listen to any of the above?
I'll retake the exam in two weeks and, hopefully will pass this time.
mohit joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 243

Congratulations Mapraputa Is.
I think your score is more significant in the context of changed exam database, that mean that you must be facing mostly new questions and solving them, rather then finding questions from mock exams.
By your well researched replies, I got an impression that you are one of those who had already cleared the exam and are helping out others. Congratulations once more.
Sanjeev Verma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 24, 2000
Posts: 87
Dear Mapraputa
This is great news of very high significance (at least for me as Iplan to give my exam on the coming 11). Now I have a source of inspiration, which was sadly lacking with no inspirational posts in the past few days. Beleive me, it was really thrilling to see your post.
Once again, great news !!!
Vivek Nambiar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 63
Heartiest Congratulations
Sathvathsan Sampath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 03, 2000
Posts: 96
Mapraputa - Thats a real score !
My heartiest congrats to you
In fact, I was about ask you why you hadn't taken the exam yet coz from many of your postings I was quite sure that you were ready for the exam and going to crack it.
It was good fun discussing some of the topics here. Also, I agree cent percent with you in the opinion that trying to answer a question improves ones understanding to a great deal.
Hope to catch you soon in the developer's forum and guess u'll stick around this place


- Sathvathsan Sampath

- Sathvathsan Sampath
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Congratulation Mapraputa .
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your experiences in studying and taking the exam. I'm hoping to be ready to write by the end of October and I was beginning to worry about the new exam format. You're information puts my mind at ease .
Also, many thanks to Jim for posting. As to why we should pay attention to what you posted when you only got 33% ... it's 33% more than I got and experience is always the best teacher; second best is sharing someone else's . I'll really focus on fundamentals now! Best of luck on your next attempt!


Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Vidya Sajeev

Joined: Jul 18, 2000
Posts: 14
congrats, Mapraputa !
good show!
Aru Ven
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2000
Posts: 199
hard work always pays........
Arpitha Reddy

Joined: Oct 04, 2000
Posts: 20
Congratulations Mapraputa !
Can you please give a break up of the questions ? What did you feel most difficult..that is .... if at all you did.
Ray Hsieh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2000
Posts: 59
Wow, wow, wow, Mapraputa!!! That is totally !!!
And that is even -er, considering that the questions you solved are entirely new questions!!!
[This message has been edited by Ray Hsieh (edited October 08, 2000).]
Ahmed Nasir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2000
Posts: 57
Hi Jim.
Thanks. You did a great favour to everybody who is gonna go for test soon. We definitely rate your evaluation of the exam very high. I guess your evaluation is more serious as you yourself gonna have to go for it later. So thanks a lot again and keep in touch. I have failed the exam once in july and scored 51% when tha required passing score was 71%. Now I feel that I can read and understad the code a little better but still to go for the exam I need another 2 weeks concentrated and committed study.
So anyway, good luck to you
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Hi everybody!
Now, when I recovered from exam stress, I can give more correct evaluation. In general, I think questions did not become more difficult. I had this impression because
1) All posts in this conference reported lower scores comparing with old version of exam, so when I went to the exam, I expected it to be more difficult
2) The first question I got was confusing. I had to choose two method declarations, which prevented method from ActionXXX being performed. I had 6 options with method declarations. Some of them were incorrect and would not pass the compiler. If you cannot make a method compile, you cannot apply any action to it, including ActionXXX, right? Worse, all of other choices would prevent ActionXXX! So I was totally confused, what should I choose? Finally, I decided to chose options, to which compiler would give explicit message �actionXXX cannot be performed�, and reject other options, to which compiler would not object and which could give you illusion that actionXXX is performed. I did not get 100% on this section, so I am not sure my answer was correct.
All that made me think that exam is more difficult than I expected. But later I realized that it was wrong impression, most of questions are simple, I was just not lucky receiving weired question first.
I will try to give beter idea about question difficulty, I do not know how much information I can reveal, if moderators decide I told too much, they can always nicely delete this message.
Ok, there were 3 categories of difficulty:
1 Simple
Smth like �choose range of values for one of integer primitives�
Or �define parameter #n if program was called as:
Java progamName param1 param2 param3...
2. average difficulty
You will have piece of code and asked to define the result. There are a lot of such questions im mocks, and I feel that on real exam you will get simpliest of them, not tricky, typical syntax.
3. �advanced�
By advanced I mean something you do not typically use in your programs but requirements expect you to know, like System.exit() in try-catch statement, or
strange label name for �for� or �while� cycle.
I got only few such questions, I suspect questions in Sun�s database are ranged, and situation when John Unlucky will have only hard questions while James Lucky gets only simply will never occur. Hopefully. �Advanced� questions can reduce your scores about 10%, so do not worry too much. If you are well trained on average questions, you will defenitely pass and even with not-so-bad scores.
mohit joshi: your impression that Mapraputa already cleared the exam, was false, I only pretended!
Sunitha Sounderrajan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2000
Posts: 36
hi Mapraputa,
That was a really coooooool score! Congratulations...You should be enjoying a happy weekend now!!!
Way to Go Mapraputa!!!
Sunitha. S

Ajith Kallambella

Joined: Mar 17, 2000
Posts: 5782
Totally awesome and very !!
Congratulations Mapraputa and best wishes

Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect. Open Group Certified Master IT Architect. Sun Certified Architect (SCEA).
bindu john

Joined: Oct 04, 2000
Posts: 15
Hi Mapraputa
Congrats .Best wishes for your future programs
Nandini Krishnan

Joined: Oct 09, 2000
Posts: 2
Way to go! Are you planning to go for Developer Certification?
Good luck!!
Prasad Ballari
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 149
Mapraputa ,
Congrates,Best of luck for next exam

Joined: Oct 09, 2000
Posts: 1
Jim Kilthau

Joined: Oct 06, 2000
Posts: 14
One bad question. One of the first few questions I got on the new exam involved a code sample. I was queried as to what the resulting output would be on line 24. Line 24 was BLANK!!! None of the answers would have been appropriate as line 24 generated nothing. I had to guess that the result they were looking for was from the first line above the blank. Of course I can't know if this assumption was correct.
This was a big problem for me as, I knew that this was a new exam, and since it was so early in the test, I began to doubt the accuracy of the questions. Losing a couple of points here was not that big of an issue, but the anxiety that I felt did throw me off a bit.
Also, after reviewing the % results of the different categories of the exam, I devised a simple chart which showed the possible %'s that could be generated by a particular number of questions. I did this so I could approximate the number of questions in each group. Some of the %'s on the results sheet could not have matched any reasonable range of questions, unless they "rounded down". Gee... give me a break guys
Good luck to all, Jim

Joined: Oct 09, 2000
Posts: 5
Congratulations Mapraputa
You have done a good job explaining regarding the real exam experience.Even I was looking forward to put some stuff about new version.Working on it right now.
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: passes new exam with 94%
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