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The moose likes Programmer Certification (SCJP/OCPJP) and the fly likes SCJP 5.0 vs 1.4; help please! Big Moose Saloon
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SCJP 5.0 vs 1.4; help please!

John Bruce

Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 2
Hello friends!

In a few months I will be taking the 1.4 exam for my college course, and I have been studying with the 5.0 Study Guide by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. I have a fairly simple, but important question for you:

Throughout the book, certain things are referenced that "used to be on the exam, but aren't anymore" etc. Are statements like this implying the different between the 1.4 exam and the 5.0 exam, or are they saying, in short, that all exams have been rewritten to reflect said change.

To summarize my question, if I was to purchase the Sierra/Bates guide to the 1.4 exam, would everything covered in it still be relevant to the 1.4 exam I would be taking today? (even though it was published 6 years ago)?

Thanks a lot! I hope I can be helped!

Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 15082

If you have been studying with a book for SCJP 5, then why are you going to so SCJP 1.4? You'd better do SCJP 5.

There are some topics that are in the SCJP 1.4 exam but that are not in the SCJP 5 exam. One example is bit-shift operators, which were dropped in SCJP 5.

Note that Java 5 contains new features that are not present in Java 1.4, such as generics, autoboxing, new for-loop syntax, varargs, etc. Note that it's not a good idea to study for Java 5, and then do the exam for Java 1.4. The answer to a question might be different between Java 1.4 and Java 5. For example, some programs do compile on Java 5 just fine, while they will give you a compiler error on Java 1.4 (for example, if autoboxing is used). If one of the choices of an exam question is "This code does not compile", then that might be the correct answer for SCJP 1.4, but the wrong answer for SCJP 5.

If you buy the book for SCJP 1.4, then it will still be relevant for doing SCJP 1.4 today.

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John Bruce

Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks for you detailed response Jesper.

I'll be taking the 1.4 exam due to a pre-purchased voucher that comes with the course fee.

And I bought the 5.0 book without giving it much thought!

Another reason I was confused was that my instructor told me current Java technologies (such as regular expressions) would be on the 1.4 exam........but that was introduced in 5.0, correct?
Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
Hi John -

Wow that's a tricky one! The old 1.4 book is certainly still valid for the one and only old 1.4 exam. And likewise the 5 book is meant for the 5 exam

But the changes between the two exams, and hence between the two books, are SO vast that I would really caution you against trying to use the wrong book for the exam you're taking!

If you could upgrade your voucher for the 5 exam I'd strongly recommend it.



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