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This exam..

Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

Hi..

I actually just want to vent a bit,you know what this exam does to you.
So I have decided to go for the 1.5 exam because the cost in ZAR translates to 42% of one months salary for me and I can't risk failing.

You know this exam is really tough.To give you an example.I did 3 semesters of Computer Science at university(in Java) before I decided to quit and study on my own.

The last exam I wrote at varsity was "Data Structure and Algorithm"..We had to be able to design array-lists,linked-lists,doubly-linked lists and queues- from the ground up.I got 63% for that semester.
So when I left I thought: hey!..why not do SCJP?And I went and bought a copy of K&B.

It was really enjoyable reading through the book the first time,I found myself wondering why they didn't give this book to us at varsity(maybe after completing basic OO courses)Perfect.A Java Bible

I studied the book for 3 weeks.Very solidly(between 5-9 hours a day.Everyday),before attempting the Master Exam for the first time.
To my dismay I got 17%!!I was surprised because I thought I had understood a fair chunk of the topics.One month later of religious studying(because I wasn't working or going to school,see)I had managed to get a record-breaking 45% on the master exam.
Hmm...and the only topics that I wasn't clear on was enums and inner classes.All the other marks lost were due to not having memorised every method in the book.
This really disencouraged me and I didn't study for 5 or 6 weeks.
Anyways,about 2 weeks ago I started getting the urge to study again.
So I have.But this time I'm not going to spend long-hours doing it.
I'm only going to study when I feel relaxed and when I am actually interested in doing the work.After about 1 weeks worth of studying I got a 33% on the Master Exam.
So all in all I think I'm improving considering that it took me over a month the 1st time to score 33%.

But I really do think that i will take this exam once I can score 55% for the Master Exam.That will probably take me 2 months.And I think I'm going to do SCJA in the meantime...just to build-up my confidence and re-pique my curiousity of the language again.Then I should be motivated.

All this and I'm a trainee php/javascript developer.If my boss knew that most of my day is spent studying Java...I wonder what he would say.But that's irrelevant...Once I get my SCJP,I will leave this company and their php/javascript,non-mvc,legacy software and get a job writing EJB's or Servlets.


===>SCJP 1.5(72%)<===
==>SCWCD1.5(76%)<===
Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952
Hey man, Only one solution is for you, make lots of program on every topic, and name your .java file the purpose of your program, I used to do it like "AnonymousInnerClassCannotHaveStaticMethod". Though it is a very long name, but it has benefit, in long terms you will know the purpose of your program.
Even make topic specific package while programming like: innerclass, garbagecollection, instanceOf, localclass etc... that will help you a lot.

You cannot only read book and give lots of mock tests, thats not the way to prepare and grasp the concepts, if you make programs, and write down comments in programs and what you learned in the comment, it will help you remembering the concepts in long terms. It will make your base solid. Though I am a java developer, I used to do these things. Even I am very active in javaranch and see lots of source code, like how TreeSet's add() method works, how TreeSet used TreeMap internally. If you see source code of java apis, it will clear all your doubt.



3 months ago without studying K&B book, I used to give enthuware 1.4 exams, couple of times I failed also, sometimes I got 60-65%. Then I took the K&B book, read it completely in 7 days, did lots of practice and programming and still doing lots of mocks and programming, now my average score in any new exam is 75%.
I gave all whizlabs 5 exams, in diaganostic I got 70%, in practice exam 1 I got 56%, in exam 2 I got 79%, in exam 3 I got 76%, in exam 4 I got only 64%, in final exam I got 76%.

Then I gave master exam and I got 82%. After that I downloaded devaka examlab, in diaganostic I got 73%, in practice exam 1 I got 65%, in exam 2 I got 71%, in 3rd I got 76%, in final I got 75%, still I am getting new concepts in every new exam.

Whenever I get any doubt in any mock, I jot down the question number and after exam I make programs on the doubts and clear my all doubts. I usually get 70-75% in all mocks. Recently I given 2 exams on enthuware 1.4, in first exam I got 78% and in second exam I got 98%. I am looking for lots of mock exams. I have made 355 programs while my practicing, and it is still increasing.
Only one thing can make you a better programmer is lots of coding.
[ December 22, 2008: Message edited by: punit singh ]

SCJP 6
Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

I always forget to mark which topics I must revise on questions I get wrong...I must do that.I have written a lot of small java programs...I just find it tedious to write boring classes
-that use FileReaders/Writers to read and write text
-inner classes...What is the point of writing inner classes if you have no need/practical use for it(yet)?

At least I enjoy making little programs that use serializable,collections and regex.That is enjoyable.
I think I'm just bored of the K&B book now.I have read it at least 5 times.
I'd like to get a copy of Khalid Mughal's book as that seems to be quite interesting.Unfortunately I don't know the title and he has written several books....
Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952
No donot read any book now, just do mocks and practice, jot down your weakness and read only that topic from the book.

If you read lots of book, you will get frustrated. Try to enjoy every topic.
FileReader, inner class all are useful in real life. Swing API uses inner and anonymous classes heavily....

Just do mock ups and practice, make your small diary or notes, jot down concepts you cannot remember in that note in your language. It will really help you.
Mustafa Musaji
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 03, 2008
Posts: 52
Hi Duran, I would strongly recommend taking Punits advice. I took SCJP5 in the summer and passed. Whilst studying I must have written well over 60-70 classes all organised in to package subjects just like Punit. I read the book twice properly and a third time as a reference. Then I started playing around with the code I had written. As I went along I made comments in the code when I realised how something worked. Breaking it, trying to fix etc.

Reading the book will give you a very small amount of the knowledge you need. Writing small code samples and tinkering with it yourself will give you more and then doing mock exams will give you the rest.

Mocks will give you give ideas of what to experiment with in the code that you have written. It is tedious sometimes, but its all practice. Even if you think you know how to write FileReaders, do it again to make sure.


SCJP 5.0 - Passed
Asanka Kodippili
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 09, 2008
Posts: 21
hey Duran,
i stumbled upon your post in a moment of frustration. I have 5 days to my exam (taking the 1.6 version on 2nd Jan 2009) and i'm constantly failing mock exams with scores around 52%, 53% . I did not know what to do and just typed on this forum search "5 days to exam". and it returned this post.

after reading punit's advice given to you , i think the advice is better suited to me than you :-) i just checked the number of programs inside my Java\MyCode folder and found a shameful number of 10 .java files :roll: No wonder my scores never went above 55%.
Am i too late Anyway, i just wanted to thank you for this rather negative but turned positive thread. It helped :-)


SCJP6 (81%)
Favorite quote from K&B with regard to exam prep : "What matters most is not WHAT you know, its WHEN you know it "
Devaka Cooray
ExamLab Creator
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 29, 2008
Posts: 3166
    
  47

Hi Asanka,

It's better if you can extend your exam date for another 10-20 days, so you can be well-prepared for the exam. (And yes, hard coding is the key to pass the exam).

If you can't extend it, because of the expiration date of your voucher, try to exchange your voucher with someone else.

Warm Regards,

Devaka.


Author of ExamLab ExamLab - a free SCJP / OCPJP exam simulator
What would SCJP exam questions look like? -- Home -- Twitter -- How to Ask a Question
nav katoch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 246

Devaka is right and do what he says. As you also know that the three hundred dollars is too much money for the certification and if you fail, you will loose your confidence too. Take your time and build confidence by doing more practice on mock exams.

Good luck!!!
[ December 27, 2008: Message edited by: nav katoch ]
Treimin Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2008
Posts: 757
Originally posted by nav katoch:
As you also know that the three dollars is...


Are you sure that it is three dollars
nav katoch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2008
Posts: 246

I am sorry. It's $300. Thanks Treimin.
Asanka Kodippili
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 09, 2008
Posts: 21
My problem is that my next semester at university (SLIIT-3rd year) starts on Jan 1st. I find it quite hard to study for SCJP once course work begins. I followed a SCJP prep course in dec 2007. and also did an introductory java as part on my uni course in the beginning of this year. i've been trying to take this exam since June this year. I cannot postpone it any further..that would mean i'll never do it.

My voucher is a retake voucher. If i fail , i have the chance to retake my exam before May 2009.

Do you guys still think i should postpone. I already postponed this once. My first scheduled date was 18th dec :-( I have made no improvement since then
Asanka Kodippili
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 09, 2008
Posts: 21
hi ranchers :-) just wanted to say that i took the scjp 6 exam today and passed with 81%. Thank you all for the advice & guidance during moments of doubt. and i learnt so much from just reading the posts .
Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952
Congrats
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8829
    
    5
Hey Duran,

you said:
All the other marks lost were due to not having memorised every method in the book


Wow! I find that amazing! I guess I should ask for clarification on that statement - do you mean, literally, 'methods'? As in methods in the API?

Thanks,

Bert

p.s. I guess what I'm wondering is if you used the word "methods" very loosely, for instance maybe you were lumping in language features too?


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Mahi Mohana
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 17
Hi Asanka,

Congratulations for passing and with a good percentage. I want to take the exam in the next week.
I have not decided to take SCJP 055 or 065. I know there are only few topics more like Console and NavaigableSet.. in SCJP 065 compared to SCJP 055. I found the pass percentage is increased by 6% in SCJP 065. but I have a doubt that whether level of toughness could be more in SCJP 065. If it will be of same level as 1.5 then I want to make an appointement for 065.. else I want to go for 055. Right now I have no time to prepare.

Thanks in Advance
Asanka Kodippili
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 09, 2008
Posts: 21
Hello Hima , in my opinion if you are able to pass mock exams for scjp 5, you can definitely pass the scjp 6 exam as well.
I practiced mostly with mocks designed for the scjp 5 exam, for scjp 6 i only had the 3 MasterExams provided with K&B book. I did not notice such a difference in level of difficulty, i think both exams are in the same level. Yes, the pass mark is higher and there are a few new topics. In my exam i got only 3 questions from the newly added topics . So if its a question between the two versions, by all means, do SCJP 6
Mahi Mohana
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 17
Thanks Asanka for the immediate reply.. Then sure I will go for SCJP 065.
K. Tsang
Bartender

Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 2503
    
    8

Hi all, I passed my SCJP5 few months ago now but my journey was frustating at times. My every first attempt, having review for the exam intensively for 2 weeks or so just from study guides (did not read K&B back then), I got like 41% on the real thing. Then I decided to do the review the practicable way (writing programs). I used JavaRanch's College Drive assignments as my base and doing practice tests and such. Even testing out practice tests' questions to see why the answer is indeed the answer. Then when I think I'm ready, by the way (I still haven't read K&B at this point), I took the exam again and got 54% (thats like 3 questions off from passing). I was mad then. Then I turn to K&B and another 2 weeks or so, I attempted it again. Finally passed better than I expected (77%). So I guess K&B is indeed one of the key.

So practice and understanding why the answer is the answer is the key. If your concepts aren't crystal clear (especially the basics like declarations, flow control) you will have a tough time understanding the rest like API and threads.


K. Tsang JavaRanch SCJP5 SCJD/OCM-JD OCPJP7 OCPWCD5 OCPBCD5
Treimin Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2008
Posts: 757
Hi Hima,

Your display name "Hima LastName" is not valid due to our Naming Policy. Please take a time to change it.
Mahi Mohana
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 17
Hi Treimin, ok now I updated my name. Can you tell me what is that title displaying under every person's name.. say for me "bartender"?? Just curious to know.. Thanks
Treimin Clark
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 12, 2008
Posts: 757
Hima Pothana wrote:Hi Treimin, ok now I updated my name. Can you tell me what is that title displaying under every person's name.. say for me "bartender"?? Just curious to know.. Thanks


Yes, read this.
Mahi Mohana
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 03, 2009
Posts: 17
ok, Got it Thanks
Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

This is ridiculous now...


I'm getting 80%, 80% and 60% for the 3 master exams respectively....
But only because I've done them so many times.!Also, Mike Meyers Inquisition for SCJP 5 seems a little too easy.
I'm going to write on friday..

This week I'm going to give ExamLab a million times and do all the questions in the K&B book.
And,isn't it ridiculous that var- args can accept multiple arrays?!
Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952
And,isn't it ridiculous that var- args can accept multiple arrays?!


What you want to say? Who said you?


Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

Give me a minute while I find the example in K&B..maybe I read it wrong..
Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

Doh!
It was a var-args array parameter
ie

Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952


Ya that is possible, what is ridiculous with this code?
Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

Nothing,seems fine
Punit Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 16, 2008
Posts: 952
Good boy, so when are you giving your final exam?
Duran Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 598

Friday...
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: This exam..