File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Programmer Certification (SCJP/OCPJP) and the fly likes Help!!! Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Certification » Programmer Certification (SCJP/OCPJP)
Bookmark "Help!!!" Watch "Help!!!" New topic


CH Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 42
Hi guys/gals,
First of all, I have to admit that I am very envy of you who has passed their exam with great score!!! I really like to join the 'same community' as you in getting my programmer certification. However, I am having some BIG issue here.
I basically finished A Programmer's Guide to Java (by Khalid Azim Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen) and Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027) (by none other than Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates) but whenever I do the mock exam, I either failed or just managed to pass with the lowest score. I am worry that I have not fully covered everything for the exam.
I followed most of the advice posted here in doing my study. Study hard, memorise all the important fact. Try out some simple program. But I still don't have the confidence for my exam. Just feel so worry that I could have just failed the exam.
Guys/gals, I really appreciate if anyone of you could give me some help here. I have study for this for almost 1 year (could be more than 1 year) but still don't have the guts to go for it. Really shame of myself.
dennis zined
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2003
Posts: 330
Hello CH. First ask yourself,what was the reason for getting the low score. Did you simply forget the concepts behind the question asked? Or is because you misunderstood the question? If you've simply forgotten, I would suggest that you revisit your study notes and make adjustments. There are some areas of Java that you have to memorize (keywords, data type ranges, etc) but there also some that doesnt need memorization and you just need to understand the concepts (overloading, overriding, polymorphism, etc). If you misunderstood the question, then you need to probably need to read/think about it twice or thrice before answering.
Also, I would advise you to try out as many mock exams you can.
Jessica Sand and Kathy Sierra, author of the popular book "Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java2", has very good pointers on how to prepare for the exam. Follow this link:
Good luck.
[ Jess fixed the link (there was a "." at the end that was causing the topic not to be found) ]
[ November 24, 2003: Message edited by: Jessica Sant ]

SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4
Jessica Sant

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Originally posted by CH Lee:
I followed most of the advice posted here in doing my study. Study hard, memorise all the important fact. Try out some simple program. But I still don't have the confidence for my exam. Just feel so worry that I could have just failed the exam.

The best way to build confidence is to take some mock exams and see how you do! Then you'll be able to figure out what sections you need to study more. So you can go back and study them -- and try another mock exam to see if you've improved. Once you can consistently score an 80% on the mock exams -- you're good to go.
Check out our FAQ for some mock exam links: What are the mock exams available?
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
Hi CH!
Thanks for using our book to help you study! You mentioned that when you take our mock you just barely pass. There is a problem with the exam simulator software, it says that you need to get 80% to pass, and it only gives you 90 minutes instead of 120 minutes. (OK I guess that's two problems .)
We have received a LOT of feedback saying that the mocks in our book and on the CD are VERY close in difficulty to the real exam. The passing score for the real exam is 51 or 52%, so if you're getting 80% on our mocks I think you're in good shape to pass the real exam. If you want to totally ace the real exam, and get a 90-something score, then you'll have to study some more.
If you've taken the simulator errors into account, and are only getting around 50% on our mocks, then I agree with Jessica. Determine which areas are your weakest and focus your studies there. We do know that several areas tend to be the trickiest for most of the candidates:
- threads
- inner classes
- garbage collection
Also remember that if you're getting 50% in 90 minutes, the extra 30 minutes could really help. I know I used every microsecond of time they gave me when I passed the 4 hour long SCJP beta, and every second counted for me!

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
CH Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 42
Hi everyone,
Wow!!! What Jessica said is very true!!! I guess after a few tries with the mock exam (please get me wrong in saying that they are not good), my confidence level really hits rock bottom!!!
Another thing that plays around with my mind is hand-on experience. I am pretty sure that most of everyone in JavaRanch are seasoned Java expert but I am not. I am just someone interested in Java or interested to get a piece of action in Java programming. Over in Malaysia (where I am staying), it is pretty hard to get a Java project. Only big firms are wiling to spend in doing Java projects. As for me who don't have to chance to work in big consulting or software house, I don't really get exposure in Java programming. Having said this, I think the trend is picking up soon. So my question is: is hands-on experience in Java project very crucial to pass the exam?
I am currently still reading a lot of notes and tips that I can get my hands on from the Internet but I am kind of a 'visual guy'. I need to make notes and draw visual diagram to understand a lot of stuff. Better still if I could get some project to do (on-the-job-training?). This is the best way where I can find myself learning fast.
Anyway, I appreciate all your feedback and hopefully I can bump into more materials that can help me in my study. Really like to put Java exam to rest asap (at least the programmer exam).
P/S: you guys really make me envy with your score in SCJP exam. I hope I can achieve those 90+ number else I dare not post my score up here.
CH Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 42
Somehow I forgotten to include this in my previous message (maybe I am too excited).
Can't believe that Bert actually responded to my message. Thanks Bert!!! Hopefully I won't let you down. (No worry, if I fail the exam, I won't mention that I use your book )
BTW, my main weakness is always Thread. All these years, I have not been actively involve in Thread programming, kinna like a taboo to me. Does anyone of you have some good and simple example that can help me to understand Thread?
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: Help!!!
jQuery in Action, 3rd edition