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Getting desperate while preparing for SCJP, please suggest

wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
Hi, guys,
It's a shame to say this, but I know I have to.
I learn Java by myself 2 years ago, and have done some small projects with it, feel quite all right about it. After I graduated from University, I have been looking for a job, but no good thing happened, so I decided to go for some certificate so that my CV look stronger. I thought I am OK with learning new stuff, and Java is not terribly new to me, but......
I have been preparing for the SCJP exam for a few weeks, have gone through the K&B book cover to cover (about 20 to 30 pages a day, took me about one month to finish the book), and made quite some notes based on that. When I did the exercises after each chapter, I made many mistakes, sometimes bacause I didn't get the concepts right, sometime merely because of being careless. I felt bad but tried to learn from the mistakes.
After this, I tried to do the 3 master exams. The first one failed miserably with 50%. And when I looked at the answers, I feel even more frustrated, how could I make these stupid mistakes. I read the notes I made out of the K&B book to prepare myself for the second one, which turned out to be 59%. I saw some progress and tried to hunt down more mock exams (mainly from the mock exams list of JavaRanch, haven't tried the ExamLab simulator yet, I tried many times but I can't download it, errors keep coming up, and they are down for upgrade these days) and learn from them, actually, the real exam should be the day after tomorrow, I tried the third master exam today and failed again with 57%, so I have to reschedule the exam to give myself one more week. Sometimes I just can't get away with those pitfalls and wierd syntax, and they always manage to come up with more wierd syntax and more pitfalls.
Then I came here again, seeing you guys clearing the exams with 80% or 90% within 2 or 3 weeks......So I wonder if there are things that I should do and I haven't done yet.
Any advice is much appreciated!!!

Abhijeet Ravankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2009
Posts: 62
The real exam is much simpler than the simulator/master exams in the book. Much simpler. Try to solve as many [mock exams] as possible. That way you can get an idea of the variety of questions asked. You are bound to do well then. All the best!


[HENRY: I am sure this user meant "mocks" and not the other thing]
Meghna Bhardwaj
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2007
Posts: 109
HI,

I am in a similar situation, I am also about to sit the exam I did the K&B exam first and that was good, since I had done the Diagnostic first 2-3 times while preparing at home, and the questions in the Master exams are the same ones, so I got a great score
of 92%. The I got confident and did the ExamLab Practice Exam1, I got a terrible score of 43%, failing miserably! I also ran out of time in ExamLab! Then I did the free Trial of Whizlabs with only 28 questions and I got 80%, so that is not bad. However I am really not sure where I am...as ExamLabs seems much too difficult for me right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions at all...as to how I can judge my readiness for the exam? I am going to be doing the Bonus Master Exam that comes with K&B very soon. Any ideas please suggest!!

Thanks
vikky agrawal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2008
Posts: 65
hey guys i am in same situation.
which mock exams are you talking about ??? actually i`ve lost my cd which comes with K&R book.

is there any master exam in that ?
now i am trying examlab and it seems hard to crack>>?
what to do?


scjp 6
http://algorithmsea.blogspot.com
wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
Abhijeet Ravankar wrote:The real exam is much simpler than the simulator/master exams in the book. Much simpler. Try to solve as many [mocks] as possible. That way you can get an idea of the variety of questions asked. You are bound to do well then. All the best!



Hi,
Thank you for the reply. But do you really mean that the real exam is much easier than the master exams that comes with the K&B book? because some of the fellows in my office say the real one is "slightly simpler" but basically not much different from the master exams in the K&B book in terms of difficulty. Or could you explain in which way the real one is simpler? (e.g. I heard that they will tell you how many options to choose in the real one, but I am not sure about this).
Thank you anyway.
Wei
wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
vikky.ag agrawal wrote:hey guys i am in same situation.
which mock exams are you talking about ??? actually i`ve lost my cd which comes with K&R book.

is there any master exam in that ?
now i am trying examlab and it seems hard to crack>>?
what to do?


Man, you need to get the CD back, there are two mock exams in there (also known as "master exams"), and if you go to their website and register, there is a third mock exam available, I think they are pretty official and valuable.
vikky agrawal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2008
Posts: 65
wei luo wrote:
vikky.ag agrawal wrote:hey guys i am in same situation.
which mock exams are you talking about ??? actually i`ve lost my cd which comes with K&R book.

is there any master exam in that ?
now i am trying examlab and it seems hard to crack>>?
what to do?


Man, you need to get the CD back, there are two mock exams in there (also known as "master exams"), and if you go to their website and register, there is a third mock exam available, I think they are pretty official and valuable.


hey wei i`ve lost that cd and i can`t find it..
how to get that cd contents?? i`ve K&B for scjp 5..
actually i m thinking to give scjp 6 next week ..
please help me..
K. Tsang
Bartender

Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 2627
    
    9

Hello all, preparing for the SCJP can be tough. Doing mock exams is indeed one way. But understanding why the answer is correct and the underlying concepts are more important. And yes given all my mock exams or practice questions on the web, the real exam tends to be easier. So to determine your readiness ... you should able to get 80% or higher consistently in those mock exams.

The whole idea of the SCJP is really testing you if you can compile and execute Java code in your head. That's why people tend to call SCJP "walking Java compiler" or something similar. Good luck.


K. Tsang JavaRanch SCJP5 SCJD/OCM-JD OCPJP7 OCPWCD5 OCPBCD5
wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
vikky.ag agrawal wrote:
wei luo wrote:
vikky.ag agrawal wrote:hey guys i am in same situation.
which mock exams are you talking about ??? actually i`ve lost my cd which comes with K&R book.

is there any master exam in that ?
now i am trying examlab and it seems hard to crack>>?
what to do?


Man, you need to get the CD back, there are two mock exams in there (also known as "master exams"), and if you go to their website and register, there is a third mock exam available, I think they are pretty official and valuable.


hey wei i`ve lost that cd and i can`t find it..
how to get that cd contents?? i`ve K&B for scjp 5..
actually i m thinking to give scjp 6 next week ..
please help me..


Man, I don't really know where you can get the content other than extracting it from the CD itself, I think it's a good idea to ask your friends who purchase this book
but you can still get the bonus mock exam by registering on the website (the URL is on the back of the book)
wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
K. Tsang wrote:Hello all, preparing for the SCJP can be tough. Doing mock exams is indeed one way. But understanding why the answer is correct and the underlying concepts are more important. And yes given all my mock exams or practice questions on the web, the real exam tends to be easier. So to determine your readiness ... you should able to get 80% or higher consistently in those mock exams.

The whole idea of the SCJP is really testing you if you can compile and execute Java code in your head. That's why people tend to call SCJP "walking Java compiler" or something similar. Good luck.


Yeah, I agree that understanding the underlying concepts is important, which I have contributed a big proportion of my time doing it. But the thing is SCJP is supposed to be tricky and sometimes even you know the concepts, you are not necessarily able to see the pitfalls and apply your knowledge to solve the problem.

And I agree with the walking compiler metaphor. Although some of the questions are indeed examinating knowledge that is essential to a java coder, there are things in the exam that can be done by the effort of an IDE or at least the compiler, I don't see why they would make such questions out of a programming language that is supposed to be easy-to-use......But as we can't do anything about the objectives, we can only study hard to crack it......
Abhijeet Ravankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2009
Posts: 62
Yes, I think that the real exam is simpler than the one in K&B book.
The number of correct options are also given.
The time is more than sufficient.

Read the book twice (or like what you feel). Search for good scjp questions on google. I tried to write many simple and short programs, especially in generics, collections, serialization, (and DateFormatter, Locale, Currency, etc etc). There are always drag-n-drop questions from these fields. And a lot of them (believe me!). And they are very scoring, if you can write simple short programs with them, you will do absolutely fine. They are also very tricky. Like for some classes, you cannot directly create instance by new operator. You have to use factory methods. So they try to write small problems in the areas mentioned above.

Try to browse through different types of problems.

Best of luck!
Santiago Bravo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2008
Posts: 226
Try to learn from mock questions that you got wrong. This will help you understand your weaker areas and points to study on


Santiago
My Path to SCJP Certification My Path to SCWCD Certification
Kieren Dixon
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 30, 2009
Posts: 27
The actual exam is really, really, really easier than the K&B mock exams, so long as you understand the concepts.

Here's my story:
I have not used Java much, only on a few applications, so i did not have much knowledge of the syntax and never used Collections/Generics before.
I read the K&B book at the beginning of the year so i can get SCJP. I made notes on everything that i did not know.
After reading the book i began Uni semester and did not have much spare time so put off my studies for SCJP.
During mid-semester break (2months later) i read the K&B book again, looking over my notes and removing everything i could remember and making some new notes.
I didn't have time to study mocks so i put the actual exam off while focusing on uni work again.

After 4more weeks and nearing the end of uni i made a booking for the exam because i wanted to start applying for jobs and have the SCJP on my cv.
In the two days before the exam day i spent 27hours cramming study in.

I re-read (skimming over) chapters 7-10 because those were the most difficult for me since i have never used any of the topics myself.
I then done the chapter questions for all chapters, this is probably the 4-5th time i've gone over them so i have memorised a few of the answers by now.
Some of the questions i still got wrong though, but about 90% correct from them questions.

I then did mock exam A and B (from K&B) both open book mode and I think i would have achieved about 50%.
I did A, B, A, B open book mode. Second time around i got most of the questions correct.
Then after 5hours sleep and being up studying for the last 11hours i had to do my exam.
86% (62/72)



So as you can see i did not put as much effort in as a lot of other people but still passed with a good mark (even though mark is irrelevant).
The most important thing i would say is understanding the concepts. If you get a (mock) question wrong, make sure you understand why you got the question wrong even if it takes you 10minutes.

I had the promotional second chance offer so i was not too worried about failing when i went in. I understood all the concepts but the thing i was worried about when heading to the exam was syntax, primarily for collections.
However there was only a few collections questions (maybe 4) and i think 1 generic-specific question when i did my exam. Maybe im just lucky though that my weekpoints did not come up.

Don't stress and good luck




vikky agrawal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 18, 2008
Posts: 65
hey guys it`s really true that the original exam is much much much simpler
all they ask is basics ...
i posted in this thread that
hey guys i am in same situation......

but when i read some posts that the real exam is much simpler and they asks only basics
then i tried to solve the mock exam without worrying about score and spotted my mistakes
then i learned that where i usually tend to make mistakes and tried to improve that area
then sat for the exam(scjp 6)and now i got 79%...

so don`t be depressed just don`t consider mock exam result and try to improve where you make mistakes
in any mock exam..
cheers
wei luo
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 14
guys,
Thank you all for your replies, and I am trying my best to learn for the exam. There is an urgent project going on in the company, and I have to give it a higher priority, so I have to postpond the exam to the end of the month......I will have to do some review of the notes I made, and try to nail down some mock exams (the ExamLab download site is up and running again, good new for every one who is preparing for the exam).
Many thanks to all of you again for your help.
Wei
Durai Murugan
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 24, 2009
Posts: 16
Hi All, I need to write the SCJP5 exam. I got the voucher, while trying to register from a Prometric center, the tool asks me for a MySUNID. Who will have this MySunId? and whom to contact for the same. Prometric center is saying Sun offical centres will only be able to give the MySunID, When I call Sun center they are saying prometric centers are the one can give that ID. Any who has an exact idea of who will be able to give the MySun ID/ should I generate my self?
Amelia Ma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 09, 2009
Posts: 33
Kieren Dixon wrote:The actual exam is really, really, really easier than the K&B mock exams, so long as you understand the concepts.

I had the promotional second chance offer so i was not too worried about failing when i went in. I understood all the concepts but the thing i was worried about when heading to the exam was syntax, primarily for collections.
However there was only a few collections questions (maybe 4) and i think 1 generic-specific question when i did my exam. Maybe im just lucky though that my weekpoints did not come up.

Don't stress and good luck



very encouraging story. thanks! more important, where can i get the promotion?


Hi, this is Fat Louie. Please feel free to contact me at goFatLouie@yahoo.com
Ankit Garg
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9321
    
  17

where can i get the promotion?

The thread is more than 5 months old. The promotion might not be valid now. Still you can call your prometric center to check if the retake promotion is still there or not...


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