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Head First Servlets & JSP Frustration

Ken Severn
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 17
I'm preparing for the SCWCD exam. I'm using the Head First Servlets & JSP ... book recommended here. I previously used the Sierra/Bates book to prepare for and pass the SCJP exam. I'm finding the Head First book frustrating because they routinely throw new material at you in the mock exam questions. In the previous book, I used the mock exam questions to determine how well I digested the material. Now that standard is gone, because there is new material there. I makes me wonder if I'm ready to proceed to the next chapter or not.

This frustration came to a head after I trashed the Chapter 11 exam. I worked diligently on that chapter, making flash cards, memorizing them, reviewing the chapter, adding more flash cards, etc. Okay, I confess, part of my frustration is the fact that this exam covered some material from earlier chapters that I forgot (I'm picking up where I left off some months prior). I can see some value in that, but this too prevents me from getting a good feel for how well I know this chapter's material. Here's some representative Chapter 11 Mock Exam question numbers:
1 - Material from a previous chapter.
8 - Material from a previous chapter.
9 - Spec 9.11 <resource-ref> not covered in chapter.
11 - Spec 9.7.1 not covered enough to answer question.
14 - Spec 9.7.2 not covered.

What's the best strategy here? Do I have to complete the whole book and take the final mock exam in it's entirety before I know if I'm on track or not? Will there be more new material on the final mock exam? If it's not in the chapter, should I ignore it even if I blow the exam?

(the book intro states: "If there's a chance that this one picky detail might be on one question on the exam, but the effort to learn it isn't really worth it, we might skip it, or cover it only very lightly, or only in a mock exam question.") Part of the problem is that details are mixed in the questions. I may understand 95% of the information on the question, but have to guess on one of the options because I need to "check all that apply." Then, I get the whole question wrong.
Christophe Verré
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14687
    
  16

I'm finding the Head First book frustrating because they routinely throw new material at you in the mock exam questions.

I've already heard about that. Don't pay too much attention to it. Keep on reading, and do the mocks when you've studied the whole book.

If it's not in the chapter, should I ignore it even if I blow the exam?

Not being able to answer these chapter mocks won't make you blow the exam. You'll have plenty of chances to do more mocks. If they are disturbing you that much, leave them for the moment.


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Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8813
    
    5
Hey Ken,

Let us know specifically which questions covered new material!

Thanks,

Bert

p.s. The general rule at JavaRanch is that it's okay to copy a mock exam question into a thread, just be sure to always tell us where you got the question from.


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

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 17
The question numbers are listed above. I'm using the first edition.
Ken Severn
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Posts: 17
Thanks Christophe! I'll plow forward and see where I'm at when I complete the book.
 
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