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Am I ready (v. 1001)?

Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Hi,

I know this question is asked here a hundred times a day
(so far I have just been reading other ppls postings),
but now I myself feel like I have to ask it.

I am studying for the SCJP (first for the SCJP 1.5, now I switched to 1.6)
for about 10 month now - even though it's said it would be possible in 2 month or so. Well, I am working full time, and sometimes I even have a life, the SCJP stuff is REALLY hard, and I would like to get a score of 90+, 95+ would ne NICE! :-)
What I've done in the past 10 month (in this order):

- read Sierra & Bates SCJP 5 4 times ( the book is REALLY fucked up now! ;-)
- took all mock exams 3-4 times
- read another (bad) SCJP book for the SCJP 1.4 and 1.5
- wrote down all stuff I wasn't so sure about
- Made some cards and studied the stuff I had to improve on
- bought Wizlabs 1.5 Simulator and did all its tests, re-did the test I failed.
- bought Entuware 1.5 Simulator, did all its tests, studied the questions I failed.
- worked some time with Eclipse, played around with the API classes I did't know so good (Wrapper, String, StringBuffer, Calendar, Locale, DateFormat, NumberFormat, Console, NavigableMap & Set...),
- bought the Entuware 1.6 Simulator and did all tests containing the new 1.6 stuff, plus topics I still have to improve.
- read the new Sierra & Bates SCJP 6 book and did all it's mock exams.

About the mock exams, I think they are REALLY hard, and I have to concentrate a lot not to miss something, so much that so far I was never able to do one test without taking a break - in fact it takes me an entire weekend day (e.g. 11am - 19pm) or 5 working days with 30 minutes each day.
Therefore I also never did the S&B final mock exam, because you can't pause them.

Anyway, here are all my scores so far:

My wizlabs 5 scores:
69%
71%
53% :-(
71%
74%
75%
87% (incorrect questions)

My Enthuware 5 scores:
76%
76%
72%
78%
69%
72%

My Enthuware 6 scores:
74%
79%
73%

My scores of the S&B 5 Mock exams:
First time (all together): 57%
Second time: 67 %
Third time: 81%

My score of the S&B 6 Mock exams:
70%
BUT:
chapter 10: 33% :-(
chapter 7 (generics!!!): 44%
Chapter 3: 62%
Chapter 9 (Threads): 65%
Chapter 1 (Declarations): 67%
The other chapter's mock exams are above 70 percent,
from what I've read was enough.

I don't know if I already start to forget the things I knew before, after such a long study time, or if the S&B 6 Mock exams (some were altered / added) just got a bit harder (or if before I just had memorized the answers to well), but I don't like the fact that I once scored 81%, and now I only got 70%..

Next I am planning to repeat the generics and development questions, and then I guess I just have to somehow manage to do the S&B Final mock exams at once, without taking a break.

Anyway, the longer I study for this DAMN exam, the more hopeless I get - my colleagues must already think I am stupid (and so will you!), last October I said I will take the test in december, then I said January, then February, and from the on only "when it's done".

The damn thing is - the SCJP tests so many things you hardly ever need when programming, like the development stuff of chapter 10 - using Eclipse, Maven and so on, this console stuff is all done for you, so why in hell should I bother knowing EVERY detail of it???

But I wouldn't really like it if I took the SCJP and would get a score below 90% - it's expensive, so I don't want to do it twice, plus besides all the expierence I gain by studying all these details - another reason of course is to gain an awesome score to show off in interviews and to impress colleagues! :-)
...But how could you show off if you studied 1 year for a 2 month exam and then you get a score below 90%?!

:-(((

Shit. I am hopeless. SCJP - the never ending story...

Thanks for your thoughts.

Marcus
Quirino Gervacio
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 09, 2008
Posts: 23
Wow. Judging by the number of resources you've studied and acquired, the exam must be really hard.

In my case, I'm also working full-time (8am-5pm). I bought S&B SCJP6. If I'm not wrong, I received the book on 1st week of September. My inconsistent study hours is 7pm onwards (mostly 2 hours only) on weekdays and on weekends, it all depends if I'm in the mood. If not, I'm out with my girlfriend or just playing Warcraft on GArena.

I think what scares you is that, you had so much preparations and it doesn't make sense for you to fail or even get <90% in this exam. Stick to your promise, take one last pass, drink, get laid, have fun then schedule your exam.

If you passed then got 95%+

If not, at least you tried... then re-take
[ August 17, 2008: Message edited by: Quirino Gervacio ]

SCJP 6.0
Vyas Sanzgiri
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 16, 2007
Posts: 686

Do the exams as they should be!


===Vyas Sanzgiri===
My Blog
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8879
    
    5
Hey Marcus,

I have a slightly different perspective on some of the things you said...

First off, it's great to get a great score on the exam, but a pass is a pass, and your ceftificate does NOT include your score, so no employer ever has to know your score.

I can say that the exam creation team didn't put API stuff in the exam to force you to memorize stuff, at least not in the long run. The idea behind the API topics is to get you to be familiar with using the API and also with how some of the common design approaches in the API work. Honestly, I don't remember the detail of some of the API that's in the book, but I do remember that certain areas might have some "gotchas" that I should review if I need to use that part of the API.

I'd also recommend that you review the K&B mocks from the perspective of memorization. In my opinion the real exam is much more about concepts than it is about memorization, and I know we try to reflect that in our mock questions. I suspect that other mock exams might emphasize memorization more, just to be on the safe side, but I'd say that if you really study the K&B mocks you'll find that it's rare that a question is really about some bit of API trivia. We hope that API related questions are more about being familiar with important aspects like object creation and the intent of classes -for example: "what makes sense for a class that implements List?"

Finally, we have a LOT of people debate the topics we cover in chapter 10 (classpaths and JAR files, command line arguments, and so on), but EVERYONE on the exam creation team agreed that even though IDEs typically handle this stuff for you, you'll be a LOT better programmer if you understand and can predict what the IDE is going to do.

hth,

Bert


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

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Hi Bert, thanks for your reply, however, I think you misunderstood what I wrote, My posting was supposed to be more focused on "am I ready / if not, how could I get more ready?"

Anyway, about the development stuff - well, everything new is about memorization - the only difference is, how hard is it to memorize it -
for me personally, I can tell you, I can't get this development stuff in my head - often, SUNs logic doesn't relly make sense to me - Java files are found in the current directory, while class files are not automatically - WHY in HELL?! I failed on these questions the first time, then I memorized it (by failing), the next run I did know it, now, after a few month again, I forgot it and failed again. The logic to me seems so...

Also, you wrote in the book "you don't have to memorize the command of how to build a jar file" - yet in the mock exams, there IS a question about it (question 10, "if the current directory.... by invoking jar -cf.... which pathnames will be in the file" - to be able to answer this question you must have memorized that "myApp" at the end tells the jar command to jar all stuff in this folder, and whether or not the folder name itself will be part of the jar, or not.
And I really don't know why I should know this - when I want a jar file, i make a zip file of the class files I need and rename it to *.jar.

Also, about the generics & collections stuff - I just can't memorize a think about the new Navigable classes:

For my logic, the ceiling and the floor are the things on top / bottom of a room, so these should be working absolute - yet these are the methods that include an element that is equal. Also, for me, "higher" is on the TOP of the collection, so this should be the "most important stuff", the stuff that has been sorted on top. Yet here again, it's all the opposite - top is bottom and bottom is top. I guess I will remember this for the next something weeks, and then again, it will be gone. I just hope I will be able to remember it in the SCJP test - well, the more I write about it, I guess this helps! ;-)


Last but not least - the printf Method and it's c style logic (did I mention I hate brain farting c? ;-) kills my brain.
Also, Calendar, DateFormat, NumberFormat and Locale.
They have methods like getInstance / getDateInstance - and I can never remember the difference (if there is any?) - then you can pass it a Locale instance and a constant telling it whether you want the long, short or default style, and you HAVE to remember which one's first - locale or style, I always get these things mixed up.

NumberFormat, File, Scanner, BufferedReader, FileReader, all these classes -
for example - which arguments can you use to instantiate a Scanner object?
You say you don't have to memorize this stuff, yet if you don't, and you see an object like Scanner beeing instantiated, how would you know if that's correct, or not?!
---
Anyway, Bert, thanks for 2 great books (well actually way more, I have all HF books too! :-)
.... even though I wish the SCJP 6 book would have been written in less of a rush (cmp. http://www.coderanch.com/t/269968/java-programmer-SCJP/certification/new-new-SCJP-book)

... and back to my original question -
Am I ready? What else could I do to get ready?
Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Marcus!
Even scjp exam's learning curve seems much steeper once you've spend some time with this stuff.
Currently I am having a problem as It really becomes hard to concentrate on all 72 questions at a time(with revision for 3 hours)
regarding the api classes, I can only say that hard coding(with a simple editor and command line compilation/running) would be necessary for you.
Anyway, Good Luck
Nikos Pougounias
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2008
Posts: 110
I think you are ready.

Just do it.


Nikos' Java blog
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

can anybody give me some link for good questions on Generics and Collections...I have also been studying for SCJP since 1.4 and am now planning to give 6.0. So I don't want to delay my exam anymore and give it by the end of this month. Generics and Collections are the topics that have been hauting me..


SCJP 6 | SCWCD 5 | Javaranch SCJP FAQ | SCWCD Links
abin joy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2008
Posts: 35
dude,you have worked very hard for the exam..give it a try..and be confident...
Sid Murrey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2008
Posts: 58
Hey, I have studied for 1.5 months and have never reached such high scores in the mock exams as you did! I was also a bit worried about the real exam, but after having read that the real exam is a bit easier than the mocks I was confident again. I passed SCJP 1.6 with 76 % last tuesday.

So, you have prepared very very very well and I would take the test right away if I were you. Be sure to really follow K&B's suggestions on how to answer the questions in the exam (described in the Study Guide before chapter 1).

Just do it!
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Sid, so what were your mock exam scores before you did the SCJP?

I've read (in this forum for example) you could gain 10-20 percent more then what you got in the mock exams - well my last score of the K&B SCJP 1.6 was only 70% if you could them all together, so I would get a score of 80-90%, however, I want a 90%+, better 95%+ score... -
that's what worries me and keeps me from taking it right away...


P.s.: Thanks for all the nice encouragement!

Marcus
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
P.p.s.: What worries me most - so far I was NEVER EVER able to do a single MOCK exam (72 questions) at once, without a single break.
:-(((
Igor Lichs
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 08, 2008
Posts: 15
Hello mate,

You will be fine, and you ARE ready.

Take the exam!!


SCJA
sumi rankan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 07, 2008
Posts: 46
Hi Marcus ...from what you have written,it looks like you have prepared very well.just take one mock exam to make sure you can sit through the whole exam without a break.I think you will do better than fine....All the very best....
doug rosenberg
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 31, 2007
Posts: 29
They probably don't let you surf the net while you take the test so it will be less distracting. Since your results are on the line it will have you to focus when you take the actual test.


SJCP 6.0
Sid Murrey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2008
Posts: 58
Marcus, it ranged from 30% to 60%.
Like the others I would suggest you reserve an afternoon to simulate the real exam. Turn off any phones, applications and tell everyone that you are not to be disturbed. Place a bottle of water next to your computer and take the mock exam as you would do in the real exam. Pause only for the toilet.

Then you know what you can expect in the real exam and won't be as frightened.
The most important part is, don't be discouraged if your mock exam score is lower than you are expecting. One does mock exams for _learning_ the stuff.

I would set a date for the exam just the minute you are reading this post.

Anyhow, like Bert pointed out, the real score does not really count. Since you prepared so well, your colleagues will know that you know the stuff very very very well. If they are still making "fun" of you somehow, then I consider this a very destructive work atmosphere.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14280
    
  21

lichs, please check your private messages. You can see them by clicking My Private Messages.


Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 8 API documentation
Nipuna Perera
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 19, 2008
Posts: 7
Hey Marcus,

Have faith in yourself!!! You cant succeed in anything unless you have faith in yourself. Just look at the stuff you have done so far. I dont see any reason why you cant get a 100% at the exam.. Have faith in yourself and go do the exam. I'm sure you will get the marks you need. I know some of my friends who got like 70 - 80% in whizlabs going on to get more than 95%. One of my friends came out with 97%. And dont worry about the fact that you couldnt do the mocks in one go. You have more than enough time for the exam. Believe me. You'll be left with enough time to revise even. You cant be more prepared than what you are right now. So i suggest you do it faith is the key!

Hope this helps!


SCJP 5.0
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Thanks for all the nice words.

However, after reading http://www.coderanch.com/t/423070/java-programmer-SCJP/certification/fail-SCJP I decided to also read "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification, Second Edition". Let's wait and see - I hope it gives me (even) deeper insights of Java - after all, the exam is not only about improving your score, but also your knowledge of Java.
I've just ordered the book, meanwhile, until I can get my hands on it, I will further try to improve my knowledge of Generics, Threads and the development stuff...
Let's wait and see, if I will do this exam in 2008, or whether it will be 2009 by then...
Sid Murrey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2008
Posts: 58
Why don't you just take the bloody exam now? :-) I would not invest anymore time in training, move on!!
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

Marcus I think you should go for the exam....I am sure you will get a very good score on it....I have read that book and I think you might not find many new things on it as you have already studied a lot....
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Well, I got the book yesterday, so I will at least partly read it.

Also, there are still a few topics I don't feel comfortable with, especially:
Collections - super, extends and Generic Types
Some special features of Enums
Static import
Development stuff (java/javac on the console...)
Threads - which methods have to be in a try/catch, which have to be synchronized, which have to be synchronized and in a try/catch.
OO - execution order of static / non static initalization blocks in a huge class
hierarchy ( C extends B extends A and each class has several static/non static initalization blocks + constructors...)
[ August 27, 2008: Message edited by: Marcus Moreno ]
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

well enums are not explained clearly in K&B(I feel this way)....

the khalid mughal additional chapters(available online) are good on enums(again that's what I feel)..read them for enums, static imports, generics etc....
Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Originally posted by Ankit Garg:
well enums are not explained clearly in K&B(I feel this way)....

the khalid mughal additional chapters(available online) are good on enums(again that's what I feel)..read them for enums, static imports, generics etc....


Hi Ankit,

Are the Khalid Mughal chapters free online? If so, do you have the link?


Thanks


Santiago
My Path to SCJP Certification My Path to SCWCD Certification
Mustafa Musaji
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 03, 2008
Posts: 52
Marcus,

You're situation was very similiar to mine. I spent a long time studying saying I was going to do it and I think eventually I got it in to my head I had to know EVERYTHING by heart. I spoke to a friend who told me to buy the exam and then book it a week before I wanted to take it. That week made me study and do lots of mocks. I wasn't getting great marks but I did pass with an average score.

Basically, I think you've been studying for so long it's confused you. Buy the exam. Book it for 2 weeks time and basically start from scratch. Don't confuse yourself and be confident. I think you are ready.


SCJP 5.0 - Passed
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Well, now I've read the entire Khalid book "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification, Second Edition".

It didn't cover a lot of new ground compared to the KS & BB book, yet still, it explains a few things in way more detail then the KS & BB book - when this was the case, it often explained things in more detail than probably necessary for the SCJP exam, however they helped me in getting the big picture. The KS&BB book tries to fooks 100% on only the SCJP topics - however I think sometimes even for just the exam it's quite helpfull to know a bit more about why a feature is like it is.

What I liked especially was that it often said things that might seem "obvious", however when you study a new topic you always guess "that must be the way it is (because it's sooo obvious)", but it still helps to understand new topics if they are explained in detail.

E.g. I always wondered why the "ternary operator" was called a ternary operator - this might seem obvious if you are a native english speaker, however, I always guessed it had something to do with the 3 parts it consists of, yet I was never sure about it - Khalid explained this in detail, probably because he is also not a native english speaker.

For every new topic the book gives a big coding example, what I disliked a bit was that it used these examples intensely to explain certain issues - in this way: if you look at 1) ..l. look at 5) look at 7) look at 100)
and so on, and the coding example often was on a completly different page - this makes it impossible to just read the explanation, you are forced to turn the pages over and over again...

Now I am reading "Java Generics", this book is quite short, I hope to have finished it within a few days - and I hope that this will cover the few open questions I have about Generics and Collections.

Also, I've bought "Java Concurrency in Practice", to get more background information about Threads and stuff. From this book, I've already read quite a few pages, but it doesn't seem to help for the SCJP exam - it seems to cover more advanced topics of concurrency isssues.

When all this is done, I guess I will use this forum to post a few questions to the remaining questions I may have, then I will do some final mock exams in one go without taking any break, and finally THEN I should be ready.

I know you guys told me to just do the exam - however I've decided I will only once in my live do the exam, and I will only once study the topics it covers. As soon as I am a certified SCJP, I am sure I will go to more advanced topics, so I think studying for the SCJP is also a chance to once and for all cover all basic Java grounds, to lay down a solid base on which I will always be able to count on when studying more advanced topics - I mean it's like architecture - if you don't know the basic's you probably will never properly understand everything else, hm?

Also, the more I study all this SCJP stuff, the more I begin to realize how much there still is I (would) have to study. Java has so many subtleties, and like everything, seems to have more exceptions to the rules then rules itself.
Without knowing all these subtleties, you might come to the completly wrong conclusions, in the end...

I guess it's good to know as much Javs subtleties, as possible - don't you agree?

Cheers,

Marcus
probably SCJP 6 in 2012! ;-)
[ September 06, 2008: Message edited by: Marcus Moreno ]
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

Hmmm.. Looks like we are up for a party as Marcus is going to get 273% marks in the exam...
Sid Murrey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2008
Posts: 58
You sound much more confident than before, great!
I agree that a solid foundation of a programming language will help you in the future. Although, be aware of the fact that to actually program in the language of choice will teach you much much more than any book can.
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Believe it or not, I have still not done the exam... :roll:

What I have done in the meantime:

I've read (the main parts of) "Java Generics", "Java Threads", "Java Concurrency in Practice", "Generics FAQ by Angelika Langer", some chapters of "Thinking in Java", a tiny bit of "The Java Language Specification".
I've done all SCJP 6 Master Exams (without a break, each took me about 3 hours ..phew..)
I have even to admit with all the debate about dumps, I searched for them myself, found a pretty good one for the SCJP 5, and 1-2 crappy ones for the SCJP5/4 - and I did these 3, but I had removed the answers before hand.

Now in the Master Exams I scored 70%, 71% and 69%, and in the dumps I had about 90%. In case they were real (which I still doubt, especially as I am going to do the SCJP 6), there are still at least 5 % missing for a great score of 95%+.

Now, to finally get such a score, I guess I will practice some more with compiling and running Java on the raw console (K&B Development Chapter 10) - that's still my weak point, along with Generics, and than there are some special questions I here and there, I still have to improve on.
In November, I will even take 2 weeks off work, and I will (also) use this time for my final SCJP preparation - so if everything works out, I might actually do the SCJP in december - that's about 14 month after I started studying for the SCJP...

phew! This exam's a really hard one...
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

Marcus the exam is not hard. Just go for it. Sometimes too much of preparation is also hazardous.

And which dumps you are talking about???
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14280
    
  21

Originally posted by Marcus Moreno:
... I have even to admit with all the debate about dumps, I searched for them myself, found a pretty good one for the SCJP 5, and 1-2 crappy ones for the SCJP5/4 - and I did these 3, but I had removed the answers before hand.

Do you understand that with "dumps" people usually mean illegally copied questions from the real exam? And that if you are using dumps, you are engaging in an illegal activity and that you are cheating? And that we do not allow discussing these kinds of things on JavaRanch?

There are plenty of legitimate free and commercial mock exams available. You can find a list in the FAQ. Please do not use illegally copied materials.
Efesa Origbo
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 02, 2008
Posts: 15
Hey Marcus,
I honestly think you should give this exam a shot. December is not too later, particularly if you do't have any time constraints.
I personally think you'll ace the SCJP exam by as much as 95%, but my fear is if you concentrate too much on that, you just might become too scared and then miss it all together.

all the best.
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Jesper,

First of, I doubt there are any "REAL" exams online.
Anyway, read my opion about "dumps" here: http://www.coderanch.com/t/417626/java-programmer-SCJP/certification/found-some-one-cheating
(somewhere in the middle).

Efesa, thanks for your support. Well, maybe I am already ready to score a 95%+ - but who cares - my first goal is to gain the most Java experience I can - and second to get a great score. I will only have this one "chance" in my live. After I got the SCJP, I will move on to other topics. So imho I should use this chance to properly study the entire SCJP topic, and only when I feel I am truly ready, I will do the exam - now there is really very little missing I think - about 4 weeks, and I will do the exam.
Then, let's see what kind of score I will get...

Marcus
sudipto shekhar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 02, 2008
Posts: 823

Keep up the positive attitude and take the exam.
You can do it.

All the best.



Regards, Sud.
SCJP 5 ScjpFAQ JLS
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14280
    
  21

Originally posted by Marcus Moreno:
First of, I doubt there are any "REAL" exams online.
Anyway, read my opion about "dumps" here: http://www.coderanch.com/t/417626/java-programmer-SCJP/certification/found-some-one-cheating
(somewhere in the middle).

We know for certain that there are real exams online. Bert Bates, the author of the famous book who worked on the real SCJP exam himself, sometimes finds them. There's no reason to doubt.

Let's not have a discussion again about your opinion on dumps. The rules on JavaRanch are that you cannot offer or ask for dumps, and if you want to participate on JavaRanch you must follow the rules.
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
To clarify: I did neither offer nor ask for dumps...
I said I found something that claimed to be a dump - You said Bert found one's where he, as one of the SCJP authors, knows are real. So in your words, Bert definitely was engaged in an illegal activity.

Please, let's stop this, imho it's silly. I alway respected this board's rule, and I always will. Mmmkay?!
[ October 18, 2008: Message edited by: Marcus Moreno ]
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9307
    
  17

Take a Chill Pill Marcus. This conversation is getting really hot...

Actually everyone is fed up with these D**P. So whenever anyone uses the word D**P, then everyone thinks that he/she is cheating. So everyone should use either the word Mock exam or D**P to stay out of troubles.
Marcus Moreno
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 17, 2008
Posts: 58
Today, after about 14 month of preparation (while working full time),
I did the exam - I knew I wasn't prepared as much as I wanted to be,
but I also knew I now just HAD to do it, as this damn exam has already taken sooo much of my time, and all this studying started to wear me down, so I knew I just had to pass it SOMEHOW.

As it was to be expected, I passed, however much worse then I had hoped:
84% only!

Anyway. It's over now. I can now officially call myself an SCJP 6.0!

For others let my story warn you, that even a very intense preparation doesn't guarantee a high score! If I would do it again, I guess I would have taken the test much much sooner. Imho the test was actually quite or I should better say easier then I had thought it would be - there were MANY beginner or default questions that were more or less unrelated to a specific SCJP book chapter. Only a few concurrency questions, only a very few Collections / Generics questions and so on. Most was just "plain java".
I got:
91% Declarations, Initialization and Scoping
72% Flow Control
90% API Contents
100% Concurrency
90% Collections Generics
54% Fundamentals

In other words - I guess I RULED the hard topics and I sucked in the easy ones!!! :-(

If you want to ask me what I will do next - I will def. take a BIG break!
PHEW!!!

Maybe in (quite) a few months, I will go for the SCWCD, well at least I've already got the first(this one I've even read already..) and second edition of the Head First book...

Oh, another thing that might be of interest for you:

Imho the test started with easy general questions, then there were some harder ones that were actually related to the book chapters, and at the end there again were some standard questions - to me it seemed like they put all the hard questions right into the middle of the test, which made it easier. Also, the topics were put nicely together, not randomly mixed.
Also, there actually WERE a few question(s) regarding garbage collection - unlike what was announced for the SCJP 6 exam. Last but not least, there was HARDLY any difference to the SCJP 5 exam I guess - there were only 1-2 questions regarding the new topics.

Oh, and one more thing - I did my exam in an offical prometric test center. The room was nice, clean and silent, however the monitor was quite small 15' or 17' and no modern TFT but a very old monitor that was more radiant than a nuclear plant! They did not give me any REAL paper but just some kind of foil sheets that you had to clean when they were full. Water was only available outside. The time was more then enough, in between I took several breaks, one for about 10 minutes, which helps to re-gain some much needed concentration.

Oh and just one more minor detail - I had 61/72 questions correct, which gives a score of 0,847222. However, seems like they do always round DOWN (because I got 84%) - unlike what the simulators seem to be doing.
Something I did not appreciate too much was that the time started to count down when you still had to read the fine print - which then made me just skip it and sign it (I wonder what the f**k I have agreed on...)

Last but not least - the K&B SCJP 6.0 book is exactly what you need for the exam.

Hope this helps. If you have any further questions (that I am allowed to answer without violating the non disclosure contract) feel free to post them.

P.s.: Thanks a lot for all the support of the great javaranch community! I hope my posts will also help others like your posts helped me!

Cheers,

Marcus
[ November 12, 2008: Message edited by: Marcus Moreno ]
Rosana Leonard
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 24, 2007
Posts: 4
I haven't visited the Ranch in a long while, and so happened upon this post. It was refreshing to read about your journey, Marcus...congratulations!

Do you recommend SCJP 6.0 instead of 5.0? Is it a lot more difficult than 5.0?

Thanks.

Rosana
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14280
    
  21

Originally posted by Rosana Leonard:
Do you recommend SCJP 6.0 instead of 5.0? Is it a lot more difficult than 5.0?

The difference between SCJP 5 and 6 is small - see How is the SCJP 1.6 exam different from the SCJP 1.5? in the FAQ. I'd recommend doing SCJP 6 - there's really no point not doing the newest version of the exam.
 
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subject: Am I ready (v. 1001)?