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1.2 or 1.4? Which is harder to pass?

 
Stephen Batsas
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Dear Ranchers,
I passed the 1.2 exam in feb this year. A collegue at work just sat 1.4 last week and passed with 52%. He is claiming that he didnt study and still passed. I argued that if the pass mark is lowered (62% in 1.2 vs 52% in 1.4) that is in the candidates favour. I can only deduce that the 1.4 exam is easier to pass. And also taking out I/O and awt which contain alot of api means less to study. What do you think ranchers?
I am interested in your thoughts on this.
Regards
Stephen Batsas
 
Valentin Crettaz
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Please have a look at the following discussions:
Latest From Sun 1.4
Why Sun lowered the passing score for SCJP Platform 1.4
 
Kathy Sierra
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Howdy all,
I helped develop the new 1.4 exam (wrote many of the new questions, and worked on the review and beta team to correct them). The new test is extremely challenging. Removing AWT and IO does not make the exam easier -- because so many of the other questions have gotten more subtle and intense. There are no more people passing than there ever were, because this is all carefully controlled by the beta testers to ensure that the pass rates (how many people pass relative to how many people actually take it, and that the RIGHT people pass) are consistent with each new exam.
So, the exam is still really difficult. But my advice is to take the new 1.4 exam rather than the old one (which will be going away soon). Becuase it isn't THAT much harder than the 1.2 exam, and you don't have to worry about the AWT and IO topics, so you can focus your study on the rest of the objectives.
I'm back at the Ranch after a long, long, long break. I will try to answer questions on this certification forum whenever I can. I work with Steve Moore and Evelyn, and often the responses posted here from them have come from me to them anyway, so I figure we can save a step and I'll just hang out here myself!
 
Ron Newman
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What can you tell us about the 1.2-to-1.4 "upgrade" exam? Sun isn't very forthcoming with details.
 
Shishio San
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Nice to have you back Kathy
 
Kathy Sierra
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There aren't any details about the "upgrade" because it isn't happening yet. I would not expect it for quite some time (many months). From what I know, thought, you'll probably like it. The concept is to have a much shorter exam, focused primarily on the *new* things that have been added (so in this case, Assertions, more Collection questions, and more on hashCode() and equals()) but there will also be a smattering of fundamental questions to make sure you've done some Java (or at least some homework) between your last exam and the time you take the new one. Those fundamental questions should be about *useful* things that as a Programmer you should be expected to still be familiar with (as opposed to some of the stuff on the exam that � once you pass � you'll never use again in your programming career ; )
Again, I wouldn't expect that upgrade exam anytime soon.
cheers,
Kathy
 
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