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Countdown to certification - Will need some advice

Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hello cowgirls and cowboys !

First visit here, this is really a nice site ! OK, I've just finished reading "Java - How to program" from the Deitels. It took me 2 months to read the book from cover to back. Now I'm looking forward to pass my SCJP at the beginning of april.
My background : 4 years in programmation, mainly VB and Lotus Notes (not much OOP programmation).
My objective : pass the exam with at least 80%.
My questions :
1- First and foremost : which cert book to buy ? A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification (Khalid Azim Mughal) or The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide: Programmer's and Developers Exams (Simon Roberts). I've read most of the reviews for those books on Amazon and both seem very good. I can't afford to buy them both, so any advices from people who've been there would be really appreciated.
2- Is it realistic to think I'll be ready in 5 weeks ? I'm a fast learner and I plan to study 50 hours a week. That would be 250 hours of preparation, including the time reading the book, taking the mock exams and reading the posts at JavaRanch (of course !).
3- I took the "Round up" exam 3 times just for the fun of it and never scored below 27. Where would that put me knowing that I haven't read a single line of any cert book ?
4- Are there people out there who are at the same stage that I am willing to form a study group where we could share thoughts and exchange tricks, answers, etc. ?
Ok, mucho gracias for your time !

------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
[This message has been edited by Dave Kay (edited February 20, 2001).]


Dave K<P>"All your base are belong to us"
Tom Pridham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 06, 2001
Posts: 92
Dave,
I just passed the SCJP yesterday. Here is my 2 cents worth:
1. Buy the RHE book (Simon Roberts, et al).
2. Don't start taking mock exams until you have made one pass through the RHE book.
3. On the JavaRanch Rules Roundup game, you should score 100% everytime. Even then, it is a simplistic test and is nothing compared to the real exam!
4. Purchase JQPlus exam simulator. It is only $18.00 and comes with a money back guarantee if you fail the real exam. Follow the regimen outlined in their guarantee as to how to take their mock exams. (website: http://enthuware.com/jqplus/)
5. Try out the JCertify exam simulator so you get familiar with the "Exhibit" button (since the real exam uses an "Exhibit" button to show code snippets. No need to purchase this software, just try the evaluation copy. You can get an evaluation copy of the software at: http://www.enterprisedeveloper.com/jcertify/index.htm
6. Take all the free mock exams you can find.
7. As your confidence builds, start answering questions posted on JavaRanch.
8. Set a concrete date for the exam and schedule it now. That way you have a "finish line" out in the distance!!
Good Luck
[This message has been edited by Tom Pridham (edited February 20, 2001).]
Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hello Tom,

Many thanx for your precious advices !
So, how well did the test go ? Did you pass it on your first try ?
I still hesitate between the Roberts and the Mughal book. The Roberts book includes a CD-ROM and a section on the developer exam (which I'd like to pass by the end of the year). But the Mughal book is supposed to go beyond of what is strictly necessary to pass the certification (see the review in the "Bunkhouse").
What is the advantage of buying the JQPlus exam simulator ? I know there are many, many free mock exams out there, is JQPlus an absolute necessity ?

------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
atin sehgal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2000
Posts: 32
Hi Dave,
I am atin from India , with almost the same objective like u.
---->To Clear Sun certification with aleast 80%
I am using both Khalid and Simon robert.
Tell u frankly, I had first purchased Simon roberts , but I still had some doubts since I was able to score easily in the review question and I was getting over confident as well.

So I got this khaild book and man this book is omething.It has excellent set of review question , mucg tougher than real exam so the level of questions are tough which help in yr preparation....

But on the whole , Simon robert is easy to study because its in a simple and lucid language.But for questiona and additional practice , i suppose khalid is the best
Abt yr 4 th point---> Are there people out there who are at the same stage that I am willing to form a study group where we could share thoughts and exchange tricks, answers, etc. ?

Where r u going to form study group.Online one or what?
I wd like to b associated with such a group.
regards.

Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hello Atin,

Thank you very much for your comments on the cert books. Grrrrrr ! I think I'm gonna have to buy them both. It's not the price of the books that bug me the most, it's mainly the fact that I'll have to read twice as much to pass the cert. I like studying, but I'd like to come back on the job market some day !
About the study group, it would be online of course. I've seen people doing it on this forum.
Have a nice day !
------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
[This message has been edited by Dave Kay (edited February 21, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Dave Kay (edited February 21, 2001).]
Tom Pridham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 06, 2001
Posts: 92
Dave,
I think JQPlus is required. Here's why:
1. The questions are slightly harder than the real exam.
2. The software comes with 590 questions.
3. The questions are VERY SIMILIAR to the actual exam!
I stand-by RHE because from what I've heard, the other book covers more than what you need to know for the test. If you are like me, your noggin can only hold so much information!!
Tom Pridham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 06, 2001
Posts: 92
I forgot to add that I did pass with an 81% on my first attempt.
Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Thanks once again and congrats Tom for you result on the exam !

OK, JQ+ seems to be a good deal. I'll try the trial version and buy it in a few weeks if I like it. Gee, 20 $ US, that must be like 75 $ CAN .
As for the book, I think I'll take my decision ultimately at the bookstore.
Say, how much time did you take to get prepare for your exam ? Is 250 hours a realistic objective ?

------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
Tom Pridham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 06, 2001
Posts: 92
Since you have a programmers background, I bet 250 solid hours of study will be enough to pass the SCJP.
Make sure you write alot of small programs to reinforce what you are studying. That way it is easier to evaluate code snippets on the exam.
Sorry, can't help you with the Canadian money thing. I am originally from Maine, so I have seen alot of that "funny Canadian money"!!
atin sehgal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2000
Posts: 32
Hi Dave!

So when r u planning to start online study group.
I wd like to join that.It wd b a great thing since we can share our queries problems and also study side by side.

Plz do inform me on that thru mail:
saggi_78@yahoo.com

Waiting for yr mail
regards

Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hi Atin !

Maybe we could begin this thing next monday, what do you think ? We could post a message during the week-end to see if there are other greenhorns interested by the project. A group of five would ne nice...

------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
thiru
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 6
Hi,
I am also planning to take exam by march end. I don't have any experience with java/OOP concepts but working as application developer. I also would like to join your discussion forum.can you please reply me at chakratn@yahoo.com
--Thiru
Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hi Thiru,

You can join our group if you'd like to. I'll contact you on Monday by e-mail.
If there are other people interested, contact me by e-mail or on this forum. We are 3 right now, I think we could go up to 8 people. That would be really nice.
Right now, I'm planning to pass the exam on the last week of March or on the first week of April. Depending what is your Java background and when you want to go pass the exam, consider joining our little coop group.
That's all folks ! See ya monday !

------------------
Regards,
Dave
foudental@netscape.net
Dave Kay
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 10
Hi Ersin !

Sorry, I haven't done any mock exams yet. I recommand that you go check this link, it's pretty good. You'll get all kind of advices for the mock exams...
http://www.javaranch.com/maha/_Mock_Exams/_mock_exams.html

Best of luck !

Dave
thiru
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2001
Posts: 6
Hi dave,
thanks, I'm planning to complete first round of R&H by Feb end.Want to take second round in first week of March.I'm even reading Thinking in Java 2.0 for reference.
Will this be sufficient to clear SCJP?
I'm planning to buy JQ+.
Will be waiting for your mail.
Bye
Thiru
Subramaniam Venkatesan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2001
Posts: 48
hi,
I would like to be a part of your group, I plan to do my
jcp in march end or starting of apr.
I would go in for R&H, but we have to read it carefully sothat we
dont miss any points. Khalid is extremely good.. the exercises are the best.there are few points which are not expressed clearly in R&H.. but small letters in the book(Khlaid) is really straining my energy..
subbu
(subs197)
 
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