This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
The new test sounds like a great idea, since that whole part of Java development has been missed by the certification tests. I thought it was also very interesting to read that they are "examining very carefully" moving the SCJP exam to adaptive format. Does that mean it would be more like the Developer's exam is currently? And of course, changes to the programmer's certification test means that old certifications need to be upgraded: more money for Sun, and more work for us poor developers! They said their recertification requirements would be "incredibly responsive and respectful" towards those they affect, but I guess we'll have to wait and see...
I think the adaptive format means that the test decides which questions to give you based on your earlier responses to questions. For example, if you answer question #1 correctly, then the question you get for #2 will be more difficult than if you had answered #1 incorrectly.
Does anyone have information to indicate a requirement to re-certify. For instance if you are Java 1.1 certified, you are still certified. The modifications for the Java2 exam were extreemly slight. Marcus
Microsoft has been using an "Adaptive" format for certain tests for several years. I created an adaptive version of my test applet that got used in a lot of Exam Crams and Preps from Coriolis. The basic idea is that it "homes in" on your skill level by changing the difficulty of questions. The way I set it up was to track skill level for each of the major classifications of questions so you might get hard questions on one area but easy ones on another. The US Army supposedly pioneered this kind of testing since they administer so many. Creating a test like that takes a lot of work (and statistics) because you have to expose the questions to a lot of subjects to quantify how difficult they are. If you answer several questions at the top level, the system decides you know your stuff very quickly so the tests are short. It can also decide quickly that you will never pass. Bill
What this news means is that The SCJP test will be adaptive which means the pool of questions is very large and the test statistically measures your level of skill for each subject by comparing your answers to sets of questions that are different levels ( Hard, medium and easy ) So on IO there may be say 60 questions and 20 are hard, 20 medium and 20 easy etc...
And the best news of all is that there will be a JSP and Servlet test !