This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
I have been constantly studying k&b book. I don't know where I am going wrong. When I study the concepts, I am able to understand it but when it comes to solving programs, self test exercises I get several questions wrong. Today I gave the diagnostic exam from exam lab. I just got 26%.
I am very much disappointed. Can anyone please help me on this? What should I be doing to score high?
it is easy to preach than to follow. But I will preach anyway (taken from one of my posts earlier):
# Identify your weak points first and try to improve on them.
# My experience is that your Reading Comprehension skills are as important as your java skills to attack each question. You need to come up with a way you are most comfortable in reading and trying to understanding a question. Given the intentional way in which all the code is bunched together in a few lines this is very diffucult. You need to master this art. Devise a strategy. Sometimes it helps to quickly glance the answer first before reading the code. Sometimes it helps to start reading from the main function. It depends. This is one part unfortunately no book seems to teach i.e. how to best attack a question.
# Use drawings and pictures for certain questions to solve the problem (for example how many objects are eligible for garbage collection). Sometimes writing things down can quickly clear up the confusion you have
# While learning, try to program as much as you can i.e. don't simply read the K&B book. When you study a concept in the book, immediately write a sample java code, compile and run it. Experiment with the code to see what happens under different scenarios. Just reading the theory will make you happy, but writing the code will make you smart Remember the SCJP is an exam that is more geared towards someone who is already an experienced Java programmer (that is the built-in assumption). So writing code provides you that much additional experience.
# Don't get stuck in a particular question with an ego of wanting to solve it. Remember the exam is timed and all questions carry the same weightage. So you have to use your time smartly. The questions are randomly distributed and easy ones are mixed with the most difficult ones. So attack the easy ones first and ensure that you cover your bottomline. Use another round to come back to the more difficult ones and even use another round to come back to the most difficult ones (about which you have no clue). Using one's time wisely is very important (as it applies to any other exam). It is good that you can navigate the questions back and forth - take advantage of it!!!
# Learn the art of elimination. it is powerful, particularly for some questions like Threads (where they ask for how the result will look like). You can eliminate few obvious choices and quickly work on the rest of them to choose the right answer.
# And finally always always revise all questions and learn from your mistakes, take notes and enjoy learning from your mistakes !!!
I don't yet because i haven't done my exam yet, but following so many posts, i think so you should devise a strategy to solve
mock exams. ExamLab is a tough tool, it's like the 100th step. You can't reach the 100th step in one go.
I would like to point out. Build your strength by solving things from ground up. Don't directly jump on ExamLab. First pick intermediate
mock exams. Like for example start from Javabeat and javachamp. Complete them. Check where you made the mistakes, then pick
up simulator like Enthuware, pick a couple of exams from it. Then move towards first K&B master exam. Then back to enthuware, solve
a couple and then fiddle with Inquisition, then K&B second master exam. Now you must be a bit more relaxed and prepared for tips and
tricks. Now try to give ExamLab diagnostic exam. Back to enthuware, solve a couple from it, return to ExamLab, solve another exam.
Study yoiur weaknesses, improve on them. Then back to enthuware. Keep switching.
In this way you will know where you are lacking. Focus on those areas. At the end of the day, take ExamLab as a learning tool, note down
where you are mistaking. Clear your concepts by asking doubts on ranch. There are experts available to answer your each and every doubt.
Make best use of this forum.
Don't get discouraged, but remember, try to devise a strategy for your mocks even.