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Passing K&B and SWLC but Failing Test

Chris Cralle
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 31, 2009
Posts: 7
I don't know what is going on. (btw, hello all, 1st post)

I've been working with Java doing part time driver development and bug hunting code fixes for several years.
I've read SCJP6 K&B several times, I took the Sun Training classroom course for SCJP (which included 2 vouchers and online practice tests).
The classroom was a good course, but I felt it only covered a small fraction of what I'd been reading in K&B. But it had a few good points.
I took the test once and failed very bad, like 20%. The test was horrible hard with tricked out verbage and craptastic code that one would never ever see in real life afaik.

I redoubled myself and studied hard for another 3 weeks. I can pass the K&B Masters and SWLC A&B test usually around 80%.
So I went back for the real test thinking I was ready.

And failed again, this time at 40%.

Both vouchers now gone and I wondering what my problem is and how to get better before I drop more money on vouchers. I must pass this test.

Part of it maybe, I've learned and always used an IDE with Java and seeing an option on every question of "Compilation Error" is throwing my brain out quack.

What do I do now?

Thanks,
Chris
Sebastian Janisch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 1183
Hey,

if you use an IDE, stop using it for the time practicing. When I started Java I immediately used Eclipse. The thing is that Eclipse is so advanced it shows every compiler error to you and you stop thinking.

Go back a text editor and write lots of code. Also, if you passed the mock exams with 80% I can hardly beliefe you only scored 40% on the real exam. Something else must have gone wrong. Did you have a blackout or were you super nervous ?


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armando fonseca
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2009
Posts: 49
Hello Chris,

Since you are passing the mock exams, I don't think your problem has something to do of how much you don't know about the SCJP's objectives.
What the problem can be is lot pressure to do well or anxiety or fear to fail that stops you to do well during the real exam.
Either way, I think you are already a winner, because the toughest thing to do of SCJP is to have the will to get up when you fail to the ground.
If I where you, I will take as much mock test possible, so get used to to the real exam.
That happens to me, I was afraid to fail after a long time of hard work, but when I sat down for the test, I felt it was just like another mock test.

Good luck, and keep the hard work my friend!

Regards,
Armando.

scjp6-90%
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30752
    
156

Sebastian Janisch wrote:Go back a text editor and write lots of code. Also, if you passed the mock exams with 80% I can hardly beliefe you only scored 40% on the real exam. Something else must have gone wrong. Did you have a blackout or were you super nervous ?

How many times did you take the same mocks? Scores tend to go up over time just from remembering the exact questions.


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Nitish Bangera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2009
Posts: 537

Well use a text editor for practising programs. Practise with more simulators like examlab and inquition which are free. Be cool and study slowly, there is a limit where you can keep the information in your brain. Also the next time you go for SCJP, read the 2 minute drills.


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Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

Chris Cralle wrote:I don't know what is going on. (btw, hello all, 1st post)

I've been working with Java doing part time driver development and bug hunting code fixes for several years.
I've read SCJP6 K&B several times, I took the Sun Training classroom course for SCJP (which included 2 vouchers and online practice tests).
The classroom was a good course, but I felt it only covered a small fraction of what I'd been reading in K&B. But it had a few good points.
I took the test once and failed very bad, like 20%. The test was horrible hard with tricked out verbage and craptastic code that one would never ever see in real life afaik.

I redoubled myself and studied hard for another 3 weeks. I can pass the K&B Masters and SWLC A&B test usually around 80%.
So I went back for the real test thinking I was ready.

And failed again, this time at 40%.

Both vouchers now gone and I wondering what my problem is and how to get better before I drop more money on vouchers. I must pass this test.

Part of it maybe, I've learned and always used an IDE with Java and seeing an option on every question of "Compilation Error" is throwing my brain out quack.

What do I do now?

Thanks,
Chris


Well, since you have been developing in java for so many years now, you have to ask yourself what you wanted to gain from the SCJP. The SCJP helps to understand the core concepts from the ground up. It helps you to look at really bad code that is not indented / aligned with syntax errors. It is very unlikely you will see code like that in a production environment, but then again I have seen worse.

It might just be that your brain is now tuned to looking at good code all the time. You should go back to notepad or a plain text editor. Use javac instead of eclipse / netbeans. Set your own classpath etc etc. Also take many mock exams, which will help you know where you stand.


SCJP 6 articles - SCJP 5/6 mock exams - More SCJP Mocks
Ben Zaidi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 08, 2007
Posts: 151
Hello,

I guess you should first be cool and start using a text editor i believe. I am also expected to sit in SCJP6 exam
in another two months and at times i also feel frustated, but then absorb as much as matter you can remember.
Additionally, i believe solving a lot of mocks will be great. ExamLab and Whizlab,i guess are among the best
simulator programs so try solving maximum mocks you can from them. Hope this helps.


Ben,
--Lost in preparation of SCJP and SCWCD--
"Start writing a new chapter, for if you live by the book you'll never make history." (Ben Sobel)
Narcisa Pantilimon
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 10, 2009
Posts: 3
In my opinion, SCJP exam requires not only to know very well the API and the concepts, but also a very good attention on details (the first question you must put yourself when answering a question having a source code fragment is: Does this code really compile?). Complicated code hides almost every time a syntax error.


SCJP6
Chris Cralle
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 31, 2009
Posts: 7
Thanks all and many for the replies.

Some faults I have.
I learned Java from the top down. I'm not a developer but a systech who got into the role via company downsizing and working with the original developers of the code base. They are now gone and I'm left holding the bag.
I've never had to create a complete app from scratch, always had to either fix/debug/rewrite something already made or make something off a similar base.
I've always been in a IDE. Starting with JBuilder long ago, been in NetBeans for 3-4 years now. Except for runtime, ant, and other things I use command line, but typically when in edit or develop mode I'm in IDE.

I started getting too familiar with the K&B and Sun practice tests. I was remembering the q/a's instead of having to think through them. I tried to alter and switch between them, but it's hard to force yourself to forget a q/a you just saw a few days ago sometimes.

My reason for going SCJP is personal and professional. The company is about to go belly-up and I'm on the market. 90% chance I won't be doing what I'm doing now with Java and I want to be able to obtain this now while I'm still doing it, and have something to show for all the work I've done in Java the past many years. Kind of like a personal going away gift.

I plan on getting the Whizlab/voucher and go for another final test in a week or two.

That and making damn sure I slow down this time. I've gotten to fast with the all the practice tests. When I first starting studying and doing mocks it would take me the full allotment to complete, now I'm to used to the format and will be done with 40-50% time remaining.

Thanks again and hope to post a Passed post some day shortly.

-Chris
Nitish Bangera
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2009
Posts: 537

You will surely pass practising on simulator like Examlab,MasterExam and Inquisition. Also try to get the concepts. If you get a question wrong, learn why were you wrong and try to analyze the explanation. If you don't understand the explanation, then try to code it using the texteditor and still you are not clear then the good ol ranchers are always present to discuss the issue.

Cheers
 
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