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Failed SCJP again...advice needed..

Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Hi All,

I have just failed my SCJP (58%) again

My first attempt was lower but this time I believed I was well prepared and
was confident of a good pass result.

I'm not sure what went wrong and I would really appreciate some advice.

My preparation involved reading the K&B SCJP 1.5 book and practicing the Whizlabs mocks. Then I used to go back to the areas in the book which I was scoring low marks.

My scores in the Whizlabs mock exams started off low but I got better after practice. I did pass all my mock exams with scores ranging from
60% to 70% so I thought I was ready this time.

I want to sit the exam again as I have already invested so much effort and time so far.

What should I do to pass and get a good result?

I was considering going back to the book and taking one chapter per week and also doing code for that chapter to really drill in the concepts. Then Whizlab mocks after all the chapters and then focus on areas which I am getting low marks for.

Is this a good way to study?

Can anyone give tips to studying? What has worked for those who have passed?

Is it worth going for the exam again as will employers look at the fact I have failed the exam twice so will think I'm not a good programmer?

Any advice is very much appreciated


My Path to SCJP Certification My Path to SCWCD Certification
Ankit Garg

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9463

You must have learned something from the previous two attempts what is your weakness. What goes wrong in the exams...which objectives are you weak in...I think one chapter per week is way too much after the amount of time you have spent in studying...I have read Khalid mughal book for about 1 month and now I complete 1 chapter of K&B book per day...

Instead of studying the books over and over again, I think you should do more java practice(not mock exam practice but making java programs). This will help you a lot....Don't memorize exceptional cases...try to understand the concept behind them...Just go through the documentation for API related questions...

I told you the way I study...

also I would like to ask everyone are deep questions about the API asked in the exam???
like the String.replace() method returns this reference if the first and second argument are same..or String.trim() returns this reference if the first and last characters are not space characters,Math.min(-0,0) returns -0........ and stuff like that??? I saw these type of questions on some mock exams and I think it is very difficult to know about behavior of methods in the API......

SCJP 6 | SCWCD 5 | Javaranch SCJP FAQ | SCWCD Links
kurt hanni
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 140

do lots of coding, code all possible results that you can think of with each topic.

then take more mock exams to evaluate your weak points. get a different mock exam to get new sets of questions, whizlabs is very good but by now you may already have memorized the questions/answers.

to Ankit, yes you may get questions that are like that, you have to memorize and understand API stuff,


Ankit Garg

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9463

thanks kurt hanni.
abhishek pendkay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 01, 2007
Posts: 184
Because you have not mentioned solving questions or mocks from K&B my only advice would be to solve every single question in the K&B book ... believe me K&B mock exam is one of the best (if not the best) mocks for SCJP
[ August 26, 2008: Message edited by: abhishek pendkay ]

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking which created them – Einstein
SCJP 1.5, SCWCD, SCBCD in the making
Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Thanks to all for your feedback

I didnt do much coding, just some small areas like String comparison etc.

I think I will start doing some more coding on each chapter and mix up different objectives.

Does anyone have some good coding exercises that will help to cover some of the exam objectives?
Mustafa Musaji
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 03, 2008
Posts: 52
You have to do ALOT of coding. That would be my advice from what you've said. I dont think you can pass this exam by just revising the book.

As for examples, think of a simple program to make. As an example, when I was a practicing and couldn't understand equals and hashmaps and generics, I created a telephone directory program. You have to do lots of coding for each chapter in K&B.

SCJP 5.0 - Passed
Siva Sekhar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2008
Posts: 37
dont be upset...
do more and more programs...
Just attempt mock many as possible...
After each exam analyse
which areas are weak and which are stronger...
If a new concept is there just try to understand the logic with your own code...

I think this is your time...go and rock on...
All the best...
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