Right now I am preparing SCJP 310-035 exam using WIZLAB simulator and K& B book. Some of the questions are asked by WIZLAB, I couldn�t see find information in the book. (I.e. IdentityHashMap), Pls let me know, am I missing anything or it�s ok.
I am also using Whizlabs for preparation. Not all of the questions appear to be part of the exam objectives, although I think that a very high percentage of them are. In some instances, I felt that there is some ambiguity regarding whether something could be tested and I decided to take the safe route and learn the material. I also bought the Sun sample exam questions, in part, so that I could test whether I was preparing correctly for the SCJP or taking a lot of unnecessary detours.
If I recall correctly, John mentioned in an earlier posting that he was surprised by one of the questions when he took the SCJP. So, I will go into the exam with the expectation that almost anything is possible.
The class IdentityHashMap is part of the Java Collections Framework (JCF), and the exam objectives for SCJP 1.5, regarding collections say:
Write code that uses the generic versions of the Collections API, in particular, the Set, List, and Map interfaces and implementation classes.
Hence, are you guys sure it would be incorrect if this class appears in a question?
After all it is an implementation of java.util.Map.
The only reason I see for this class not to appear in the exam is to avoid possible confusions to the students, since IdentityHashMap actually violates the contract of java.util.Map.
But If I were you, I would study it anyway. [ May 06, 2006: Message edited by: Edwin Dalorzo ]
Joined: Apr 26, 2006
Perhaps Bert can answer best your question regarding the likelihood of IdentityHashMap appearing on the 1.4 exam, which is the exam that Raghu is apparently preparing for. I have not seen any reference to IdentityHashMap in his SCJP 5 book and you appear to be referring to the SCJP 5 exam, but then again, I don't expect any one book to mention every possible thing that can be on the exam. Can you share your SCJP experience with us? Were there any questions or topics that proved to be surprising when you took the exam?
Joined: Dec 31, 2004
Probably my strategy could be different from the strategy of others, because when I started to study for the certification I actually did not know anything about Java, although I had been a programmer quite a long time with other technologies, I had never written a line of code with Java when I first started to study.
Something important is that I was not taking the certification to get a job or to show off to my friends what a great programmer I was or to get a salary raise. I simply wanted to learn Java, and I needed a sense of direction, so I decided to use the certification objectives as my north.
It took me between 6 and 8 months to be ready. But as I told you, as my real objective was actually to learn Java very well I sometimes spent a lot of time working on learning things that I knew that were not going to be in the certification exam.
1) Programmer's Guide to Java� Certification, A: A Comprehensive Primer, Second Edition by Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
2) Java 2� Programmer Exam Cram� 2 (Exam CX-310-035) by Bill Brogden, Marcus Green
I used the first one the most. I read every chapter and practice and verify every single assertion on the book. When I finished reading the book the first time, I did it once again, and once again after that. At the end I read the whole book like three times.
I did not use an IDE like Eclipse or Netbeans, instead I used an editor named Programmers Notepad, it is a simple open source editor like Textpad.
This way I forced myself to really learn the API. As the editor does not have intellisense, I had to do an extra effort to learn the import path of the classes I used and I had to remember the method signatures and I had to compile and run the code from the command line. All that helped me a lot.
Actually I still do that today when I am learning a new API.
Then I learned to use every single class and method signatures in the java.lang package, except for those of reflection. And I did the same with the Java Collections Framework (JFC), including some classes that other believe that will not be part of the exam like IdentityHashMap or WeakHashMap.
I actually took the javadoc API and reviewed, in the tree structure, every single class,one by one, until I was aware of every method, its purpose and how to use it.
Then I suscribed to the JavaRanch. At the beginning it helped me a lot to ask questions and after my understanding started to grow it help me even more to try to reply to some of them. Even today when I see a question whose answer I do not know (which happens very often) I try to do some research to find the answer. Hence I think JavaRanch is an excellent source of motivation for me.
When I saw many people quoted the JLS for some answers I decided I had to read the JLS. Hence I bought the Java Language Specification 2dn Edition (JLS), the JVM Specification 2nd Edition (JVMS), Java Programming Language 3d Edition and Effective Java by Bloch.
I took my time to read the most important aspects of those books. And at least the JLS I read it completely, practicing every single thing I thought I did not know and trying to understand every single assertion on the JLS. And I read a couple of chapter of the JVM Specification also, and the chapters I found useful in Effective Java like those about cloning, equals, hashCode, and Comparators.
When I realized that I was almost ready I bought Whizlabs simulator and after the third time I read the certification book I started to work on the simulation exams.
I wrote down every single mistake I made in the exams and try avoid those traps on the next mock exam.
I worked very hard on the multithreading objectives above all, although at the end it was the topic in which I got the lowest grade in the real exam. A week before the exam I customized Whizlabs to work just on those aspects I thought I was week.
And then the I took the real exam. Modesty apart, I had to say that I had studied so hard that I found it easy in that moment.
I am currently working in SCJD, and as with the previous exam, I am taking my time to master every API before starting to work on my assignment. At the same time I am part of a group of colleagues from College who is studying for the SCJP 1.5 and that's why I come over here from time to time.
My most important recommendation is: take your time to master every topic and do not schedule the exam until you feel you are indeed ready to pass it.
Joined: Apr 26, 2006
Thank you for sharing your approach to preparation. Your use of a simple editor is a great idea. In retrospect, I would probably have been stronger with classpath and runtime issues if I hadn't relied on an IDE as much as I did.