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Failed SCEA Part1 (56%)

Biswanath Mukherjee
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 5
Hi All,

Yesterday I took SCEA 5 part1 exam and failed by 1 question. I scored 56%. I know many of you would say that I am one of the unluckiest person in the world. But honestly speaking I felt that I did not deserve to pass the exam while taking it. The toughest certification exam that I have faced undoubtedly. Many (at least 40%) of the questions were beyond my ability to judge the right answer.

Though I prepared as much as I could in last one and half month but I felt that my preparation and 6+ year of work experience were not adequate to pass the exam. I have passed SCJP, SCBCD and SCWCD with 80%, 90% and 91% and no surprise that I really like to prepare well before appearing in any exam. Naturally I am really upset with myself but the positive thing is that I would go back and revise the new concepts once again (they are not new now, but not all of us have used all of them for sure) like JSF, EJB3 JPA. I think I may not have done that if I was able to answer just one more question correctly. I am preparing again to retake the exam in next couple of weeks.

I felt the followings about the exam:

1)Most of the questions are two lengthy. So it consumes more time to read and understand the problem; naturally you would have less time to conclude the best solution. I had around 12 min time to review the questions whereas for SCJP, SCBCD, WCD I had 45min to 1hr for review.
2)Sometimes, I felt like more than one solution (different combination of design patterns) fits into a problem equally well. I think even the best architects would propose different solution (for e.g. a set of design patterns) to a given problem, unless the problem is too straight forward to choose one particular strategy.
3)There were a few questions (especially in security section) which I felt very tough. I am not sure if I would ever use those in real world.

Having said all that, I must admit it was my fault for not being able to pass the exams and I am taking the corrective actions. I had read (and understood) to a considerable extend, almost all the books that are suggested for this exam without really focusing particularly for this exam. The mistake that I made was not practicing enough mock exams. I searched through Google and did not find much mock exams on this newer version. I did not buy any of the commercially available one as did not do so while preparing for the others exams which I passed with good scores. I practiced with some mock exams for the old one (051). I felt the real exam of the new version is way too tougher than those mock exams.

I feel a good book written for this exam should be very useful for everyone.
I have started preparing again (rather continuing my preparation). Any suggestion would greatly be appreciated.

For all aspirants for this exam, I am sorry that I could not post a good news for now but please be thoroughly prepared before writing this exam. It�s a real tough one!
Rogerio Kioshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2005
Posts: 689
Just one question? You were unlucky...

But certainly you'll have a better score next time, and then we can use this icon:

I also think we don't have too much available mocks for SCEA 5, especially free ones. I bought Whizlabs mock, hope it helps me passing the exam.


SCEA 5 (part 1), SCBCD, SCWCD, SCJP, CLP, CLS
nav katoch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 246

Hi Biswanath,

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience. I can understand your situation and feelings. But, don't get dishearten. The wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Failure is also a part of our life.

Most of the things are still in your mind and tempo is there too. Bounce back with more energy and success will be there.

Wish you all the best for the last attempt.

Thanks,

Naveen Katoch
John Hall
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 06, 2008
Posts: 15
Hey ,

I really feel sorry for you.
Would like to appreciate for being courageous to post about your failure in part1.

Please share which are the tough sections you found on exam? Any questions on security?

I am pretty sure you will come with flying colors in the next attempt.
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
The problem is mainly with the exam, not the student. Many of the questions are poorly written. The authors of many of the questions think that there is only one correct answer, when there are many possible solutions that make other answers correct also.

This is demonstrates either a (1) limited understanding by the author(s), (2) they don't really care about this issue and would like for the student to pay to retake the exam, or (3) they know about the fogginess of the question and answers and just arrogantly think their answer is correct.

So, the test is tough, but not because of the technical material covered, but how the test is written and presented.

* This analysis is summary of multiple experiences of individuals that both passed SCEA5 and failed SCEA5, and SCEA certified individuals that have not taked the SCEA5 test.
[ September 30, 2008: Message edited by: James Clark ]
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11460
    
  94

My opinions on some of your comments James:

Originally posted by James Clark:
The authors of many of the questions think that there is only one correct answer, when there are many possible solutions that make other answers correct also.

Before Sun releases any exam, they go through an exhaustive beta test period (the SCEA 5 beta was announced in this forum as well as in the Sun forums, and many JavaRanch members were beta test candidates. Based on the results of the exams, some questions were modified to make them clearer, some potential answers were removed where they were considered too close or confusing to the real answers, and some questions were dropped altogether.

Originally posted by James Clark:
This is demonstrates either a (1) limited understanding by the author(s), (2) they don't really care about this issue and would like for the student to pay to retake the exam, or (3) they know about the fogginess of the question and answers and just arrogantly think their answer is correct.

The people who write these exams are experts in their fields who were invited to participate in creating the exams. They generally care deeply about their subjects and want to make the exams appropriate to the level of the certification (SCEA is not aimed at university students - not to say they can't do it, or wont gain from having done it, but lets be honest here: you cannot have the experience to be an architect until you have real-world experience). They do not get any percentage of the fees from the exams, so there is no financial incentive for them to get candidates to repeat exams. They do not assume that their answers are correct - they work as a team to get good questions / answers, and then revisit the questions and answers based on how the beta-test candidates handled them.

Regards, Andrew

Edit: I was not involved in any way with the SCEA beta test program.
[ September 30, 2008: Message edited by: Andrew Monkhouse ]

The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
Interesting opinions and perspectives. Me and a few others respectfully disagree.
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3219
Biswanath, just out of interest, how many years of commercial experience do you have?


Java Interview Questions and Answers Blog | Amazon.com profile | Java Interview Books
peter cooke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 16, 2004
Posts: 314
I would suggest you pay for 1 or 2 practice exams to verify your knowledge.
Better to spend an extra hundred on practice exams than to think you are ready but are not.


CIAO Peter M. Cooke
Biswanath Mukherjee
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 5
I have around 6 years of work exp, working in a world-wide reputed and recognized MNC. For last one year I am working as a J2EE designer/ modeler and closely working with true architects having 20+yrs of industry experience. I feel lucky about it.

Anyways, today I purchased Whizlabs mock exam and wanted to see where I stand. I passed the first full mock exam with 78%. I felt that the mock exam questions are quite easier than the real exam. I finished it in little more than 1 hr whereas in the real one I had only 12 mins to review. But I think if I complete and understand (which is more important) all the questions of Whizlabs definitely it will help me to score some more %age in the real one. That would definitely help me passing the exam but I am not sure if I would be comfortable about the exam.

The part that I felt are real tough in the exam is security.

The parts that I felt were confusing were JSF, JPA. They were confusing because the questions were asking for more than one choices (sometimes 3, 4 even 5!). I was certain ,say, about the first two choices which were very obvious but was confused about the 3rd or 4th one as rest of the options looks applicable, too (may not be the best). I had completed SCJP, SCBCD, SCWCD and some other non-Sun certification with good scores. I have not seen any of these exams are asking so many questions with 3/4/5 possible options. The problem for these type of questions are even if you have correctly chosen the best two options and posses �a different opinion� about the 3rd option then also you are treated incorrect by the exam. I am saying it as different opinion rather than saying incorrect because I feel design decisions are someone�s work experience + ability + opinion. They may not always be identical with others in spite of being correct choice. SCJP, SCBCD and SCWCD contain questions which you either know or don�t know. Like it asks who is highest scorer in the world cup soccer. It does not ask about someone�s decision. Like who should be awarded best payer in the world cup soccer. Someone�s logic should be correct as long as he/ she can justify it. I think SCEA part 2 and 3 takes care of this matter.
giuseppe fanuzzi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2006
Posts: 99
I'm sorry for the result, Biswanath, but only one mistake for passing is a "bad luck".

I've not even take this exam, but it seems that "more one person is experienced, more it has probability to mistake", because his experience takes him to one (maybe best in the real life) answer. Some anserws became opinions...

Moreover I think that the official mock tests must to be nearer to real test, or possibly more difficults than the real one. It has no sense that in a mock test you get 78% and in real test you get 57%. It can be a mislead. it can encourage someone to take the test, but after there is the "hard actuality".

though, thanks for sharing your experience that surely help us


GiUsEpPe (SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, IBM OOAD, SCEA/OCMJEA 5)
Nicolo Fioretti
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 28, 2008
Posts: 5
I feel that next time will be better for you.
Definitively you need just very little more luck to pass !!!
Go on !!!
guillermo urdaneta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 09, 2007
Posts: 38
do not give it up!!
Chaminda Amarasinghe
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 402
Try again man,

You are smart enough to do this,

More importantly, Thank you very very very much for sharing your experience, I think fail experiences are more important than pass experiences for passing exams. pass experiences help to score with high marks.

Thanks again
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9382
    
    2

You should be really brave. Give it another shot!


SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 - Hints for you, Certified Scrum Master
Did a rm -R / to find out that I lost my entire Linux installation!
Jimmy Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Posts: 2187
I would hold off an taking the exam again. It isn't a big deal and you obviously have the knowledge already, and this is the most important aspect. Or, if you have extra cash lying around, feel free to take the exam a second time.
sudheer kiran
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 237

dont give up,and i suggest you to take exam in near by dates.


Sudheer
SCWCD, SCJP 5
Bhanu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2004
Posts: 48
I'm sorry for you !!
Yes - questions were very lenghty and judging the options may vary from person to person based on what they think is right. But in my experience Sun exam questions are never ambiguos. I've done SCJP, BCD and SCEA(95%) all with high 90's.. and to be honest, I've not thought I would score 95% in SCEA until I see the score on PC screen. I think, it's just a matter of judgement when it comes to SCEA test. You need to judge right in the given context without adding your assumptions. It's just JUDGEMENT.

Good luck.. I believe you can do it next time.


Thanks,<br />Bhanu<br />SCEA Step-I<br />SCBCD for J2EE 1.3<br />SCJP1.4
Ghajini Johnson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 21, 2008
Posts: 51
bhanu
do you mean you got 95 in scea5
deepak adlakha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 27, 2001
Posts: 325
Failure in life makes you stronger.

I personally believe that "the journey towards SCJEA" will make you better architect..dont loose heart work on your points and give your best next time.
[ October 16, 2008: Message edited by: deepak adlakha ]
Biswanath Mukherjee
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 5
Hi All,

I have passed SCEA part1 with 71% on last Monday. I read the same recommended books again & again and also completed the Whizlabs mock exams. Probably my mark does not represent the amount of effort that I have put in for last 3 weeks. Surely Whizlabs mock exam helped me in my preparation; though I felt the real exam questions are much tougher than the Whizlabs� mock exam.

The mistake that I made first time was in my approach in preparation. I read all the recommended books to gather knowledge in general which I would be able to use in real life. But Sun�s this exam expects you to remember very subtle things on every aspect on J2EE specially the security and design pattern sections. So I would suggest the following few things:

1.Make short notes (flash card/ cheat sheet) as you read. Revise them frequently.
2.Buy one or more Mock Exam as free mock exams for SCEA5 are not available on net yet. I bought only Whizlabs�. It�s a decent one; though the questions are easier than the real one�s standard.
3.Time management during exam. The exam questions are quite lengthy.
4.Don�t worry about how(implementation); the exams tests you on what(all buzz words) and when (applicable scenario). So no need to concentrate on codes.
5.Read though javaranch posts regularly to keep yourself motivated : -)


One doubt as I take some rest now before going for the part 2; -)

Do the questions of this part 1 exam give an idea of how the part two is going to be? I felt that some of the questions are little away from the problems that we face in real life. Or is it just my perception? :- )
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
congratulations


BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Prasad Marumamula
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 02, 2003
Posts: 2
congratulations !!!


~Prasad M
Rogerio Kioshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2005
Posts: 689
Originally posted by Biswanath Mukherjee:
Hi All,

I have passed SCEA part1 with 71% on last Monday. I read the same recommended books again & again and also completed the Whizlabs mock exams. Probably my mark does not represent the amount of effort that I have put in for last 3 weeks. Surely Whizlabs mock exam helped me in my preparation; though I felt the real exam questions are much tougher than the Whizlabs� mock exam.

The mistake that I made first time was in my approach in preparation. I read all the recommended books to gather knowledge in general which I would be able to use in real life. But Sun�s this exam expects you to remember very subtle things on every aspect on J2EE specially the security and design pattern sections. So I would suggest the following few things:

1.Make short notes (flash card/ cheat sheet) as you read. Revise them frequently.
2.Buy one or more Mock Exam as free mock exams for SCEA5 are not available on net yet. I bought only Whizlabs�. It�s a decent one; though the questions are easier than the real one�s standard.
3.Time management during exam. The exam questions are quite lengthy.
4.Don�t worry about how(implementation); the exams tests you on what(all buzz words) and when (applicable scenario). So no need to concentrate on codes.
5.Read though javaranch posts regularly to keep yourself motivated : -)


One doubt as I take some rest now before going for the part 2; -)

Do the questions of this part 1 exam give an idea of how the part two is going to be? I felt that some of the questions are little away from the problems that we face in real life. Or is it just my perception? :- )


Congratulations!!
Chaminda Amarasinghe
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 402
Congratulation man. i said you can do this
nav katoch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 246

Congrats and enjoy your success!!!

Naveen Katoch
Jigar Upadhyay
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 32
Congratulationss...
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3211
    
    6
Congratulations !


Free SCDJWS 5.0 Study Guide - SCDJWS 5.0 Quiz (How to get SCDJWS 5.0 Quiz)
Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 Web Services Developer Certified Expert Exam Study Guide and Quiz
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14146
    
  18

Bhanu and Prasad M - Here on JavaRanch, we have a naming policy. We want the users of JavaRanch to use a real-sounding name as their display name.

Unfortunately, your names "Bhanu" and "Prasad M" do not comply to the naming policy. Your display name should consist of a real-sounding first name, space, and a second name. Not only a first name, no obviously fake nickname, no initials only for the second name.

Please read the naming policy carefully and change your display name. You can change your name by editing your profile.

Please note that we are taking the naming policy seriously. If you do not change your display name, your account on JavaRanch might be locked.


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Qi Fang
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 31, 2008
Posts: 7
This thread attract a lot of people. I have question about SCEA in north America. Are there many people in this thread from north America?
Anton Golovin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2004
Posts: 476
So you just didn't prepare well enough, my friend. Well, now you know how to prepare well.


Anton Golovin (anton.golovin@gmail.com) SCJP, SCJD, SCBCD, SCWCD, OCEJWSD, SCEA/OCMJEA [JEE certs from Sun/Oracle]
Sharma Ritu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Posts: 261
Congratulations! We are glad to have contributed to your success! We look forward to contributing to your future certification exams.

Best wishes
Ritu Sharma
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Aravind Ram
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 22
Hi Biswanath Mukherjee ,

Firstly Congratulations on passing the exam.

Now that you have cleared the exam successfully, could you please share your experience. Could you please tell me which books need to be studied objective wise. This would be a great help to the SCEA aspirants.

Thanks,
Aravind Ram
Jack Delerousse
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2008
Posts: 4
Congratulations! For tests, I think it's always best to prepare specifically for what's on the test, rather then general knowledge.

I passed the SCEA way back in 2002. On my first, try I actually flunked part 2. It was really, really tough. There weren't many materials around at the time. When the first guide came out, it gave me a much better idea of what they were looking for in Part 2. I revised my submission, and passed with an 85. Usually, I score in the high 90's, and in part 1 I had gotten a 98. But, the subjectivity and lack of guideposts in Part 2 really threw me for a loop.

I wonder how much the content of the test has changed since 2002?
Biswanath Mukherjee
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 5
For Books you can refer to the following discussion:
Books

Almost all of us have used similar set of books. Buy one or mock tests(as there are not many freely available mock tests for this version). Whizlabs is probably the best but real exams are tougher. But it helps, no doubt.


and Jack Delerousse,
The newer version of SCEA is completely different than the old one.
Jack Delerousse
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 11, 2008
Posts: 4
Completely different? Hmmm, to bad. Which is more different, part 1 or 2? I know for part 2 you had to do some UML diagrams for an architecture you came up with - sequence diagram, class diagram, component diagram. What do they want for it now?
Biswanath Mukherjee
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 5
Well I was talking about part 1. JSF, JPA, WS, SOA are included now.
SCEA 5 Exam Objectives

The difficulty level of the exam (part1) has gone up :-)
prathap venkata naga yelugula
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2008
Posts: 243
Bad Luck....!

Next Time Better Luck.

Can you send which area's you didn't scored.then we will give some through put.

Cheers!
Prathap.
 
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subject: Failed SCEA Part1 (56%)