Mike, If you are willing to pay some money, then there are at least a few options available to you. I haven't tried any of those so I can't offer an opinion. If you don't want to spend any money, then you could try my mock exam. There are no IO or AWT questions and I recently added collections and wrapper classes. I will be adding the assertions exam this week. The feedback that I have received suggests that my collections exam is not difficult, but the other exams are probably more difficult than the real exam. Some say a lot more difficult.
Dan Chisholm<br />SCJP 1.4<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.danchisholm.net/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Try my mock exam.</a>
Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Thanks Dan. Will give it a shot. Looking forward to the Assertions section.
You're not the first person to mention that R&H don't cover the WeakHashMap. It's possible that the real exam doesn't cover it either. Since the WeakHashMap is a nice option for avoiding the memory leak problem associated with a standard HashMap and because it is only a simple variation of a standard HashMap I haven't done any research to verify its appearance in the real exam. Can anyone out there say with 100% certainty that it won't appear on the real exam? If so, I'll take it out of my exam. My resources for preparing the exam were the API Specification and the book titled, "The Java Class Libraries Second Edition, Volume 1 Supplement for the Java 2 Platform Standard Edition, v1.2." I also read the exam objectives as quoted below.
Make appropriate selection of collection classes/interfaces to suit specified behavior requirements. Distinguish between correct and incorrect implementations of hashcode methods.
To satisfy the first objective I developed some questions that specify behavior requirements and provided answer options that name some of the collections classes. Additionally, I added some questions concerning the collections class hierarchy because an understanding of the collections interfaces and abstract classes provides some clues to the behavior of the concrete classes. There are two ways to learn about the Collections Framework. You can start at the bottom of the class hierarchy and learn about each concrete class within the framework or you can start at the top and first learn about the interfaces and then the abstract classes before moving down to the concrete implementations. I learned using the top down approach. Which approach have you used? As you know, I also added some hashcode questions to satisfy the second objective. Are there any Collections Framework concepts that you feel have been overlooked in my exam? This is a bit of a tangent, but I will also mention that the Java Collections Framework has been used extensively in the development of my exam. The content has been developed in a set of XML files. There is one XML file for each topic. JDOM, with some help from the Xerces SAX parser loads all of the questions from each XML document into a tree that is build using the Collections Framework. Each node of the tree, including the root, is a List. The entire set of exams is represented as a List where each element is an exam with a root element that is represented as List. To build a set of comprehensive exams the Collections.shuffle method is used to randomly shuffle each single topic exam. Next, all of the questions from the single topic exams are distributed across a new set of comprehensive exams. Each new comprehensive exam is then shuffled before the questions are numbered and a letter is added to each answer option. Finally, the Xalan XSLT processor is invoked to produce the html documents that are uploaded to the web server.
I have recently purchased Ivor Hourton's Begining Java 1.4.. Will it cover all these topics you are talking about... Seems like a very good book. Paul Thomas had said good words about it on amazon.com ... Beside this book I am just refereing to free material on net. Do I need another book? Thanks
Joined: Aug 03, 2002
To Dan, R&H just cover the Collections interfaces and a couple of concrete implementations (HashSet, TreeSet, HashMap, TreeMap, Hashtable, Vector, LinkedList). They do not cover any of the abstract intermediate classes. The whole book is minimalistic, just what they think you need to get through the exam, no more. Your mock exams with WeakHashMap and friends, are a <start fanfare> A VERY GOOD THING <end fanfare> because they get one out of the minimalistic mindset. You also noticed that I said that I was "forced" to write an example. That is also a <start fanfare> A VERY GOOD THING <end fanfare>. I normally read my books lying horizontally on my back on the sofa, after 20min or so I go into "enlightenment mode". So for me to get up and write some code to check out this WeakHashMap thing was real action. IMHO, what's important is getting to a reasonable proficiency in Java Fundamentals, passing the SCJP exam on the way. I also hold the opinion that for a "professional" certification the SCJP is too soft. Keep up the standard Dan, don't relax it. -Barry