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IKM Standard Java Test

Damien Gallagher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2008
Posts: 38

Has anyone taken any Java tests supplied by IKM (International Knowledge Measurement).
I would be interested to hear how complex they are compared to say the Java certification from sun

Arjun Srivastava
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2010
Posts: 432

Damien Gallagher wrote:
IKM (International Knowledge Measurement).

what is this all about,who are the organizers,please share it.

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t taker

Joined: Jan 09, 2011
Posts: 1
so that it doesn't come off as a case of sour grapes, i preface my reply with this: i took the ikm j2ee exam back in 2007. although i honestly don't recall whether or not i was presented with a score or grade on completion, i was invited for a face-to-face interview by the employer that sponsored the exam. so, i have to assume i - at least - didn't fail the ikm exam.

i've taken 2 sun certified exams (scjp & scwcd). i've taken 5 or 6 brainbench cert exams (j2ee, java, ooad, perl, jsp, etc). of all of the exams i've listed, ikm's are the only ones whose questions are intentionally badly-worded. it as if ikm's questions are written by somebody who has only a tourist's command of the english language.

ikm seem to take the approach, that because a question is difficult to understand because it is poorly written, then the question must be, therefore, technically challenging. they're wrong! what it really means is, the authors of ikm's questions do not know how to correctly form sentences in the english language. the thing i found the most challenging about ikm's exams is understanding the english language syntax of ikm's questions themselves (as opposed to the programming language syntax).

here is an interesting link that might give some insight into the pedigree of ikm's "subject matter experts":

from a site named, "Future Work At Home Mom"

International Knowledge Measurement seeking Subject Experts

IKM is looking for Subject Matter Experts for Information Technology, Sales and Project Management for a work at home position that you work on your own schedule.

IKM develops questions and tests for pre-hire skill assessments, employee testing, skill audits and certification programs. As a Subject Matter Expert your role would be to come up with comprehensive questions for these assessments. SME are paid by the question and qustion work may be completed at any time...

here's another interesting link (a forum thread about ikm's c++ exam) where one poster talks eloquently about the rationale for ikm's approach:

...If you want to game the test, go to the C++Faq and learn as much obscure syntax as you can, and then go through Meyers and just memorize as many rules as you can. If it's a multiple choice test, most of it is going to be on obscure and useless bits of knowledge, so just cram as much obscure and useless bits of knowledge as you can.

The goal is to get your score high enough so that you get the face-to-face interview. Once you get the face to face interview, then the test is forgotten.

You need to understand what the purpose of the test is. Getting a really high score is useless, since getting a high score on these things just involves memorizing useless bits of trivia...

and one more:

We use IKM and I find it very useful. Every test I have used (J2EE, .NET, PM) is HARD. No one scored 100...

think about that last sentence in that last quote: "No one scored 100". now, scjp is HARD! one of the hardest tests i've ever taken in my life! (but the scjp questions are expertly worded, by native english-speakers i'm sure). nevertheless, i'm sure people have scored 100 on scjp and the like (i scored 90 myself).

if you speak and/or understand pidgeon english, there's a good chance you will excel at ikm's exams. if you're a native english-speaker however, good luck! you're gonna need it!

James Home

Joined: Sep 21, 2012
Posts: 1
I know this is an old topic, but having just come across it I need to add some balance here...

here is an interesting link that might give some insight into the pedigree of ikm's "subject matter experts":

So female developers with the required expertise who have recently had kids should not be allowed to contribute to writing these tests!? What are they allowed to do without deserving your derision, or is it just game over when you reproduce?!

think about that last sentence in that last quote: "No one scored 100"

How is that a bad thing? I scored 100% on the SCJP test, but I can't say there is no better Java dev. Josh Block would presumably also get 100%, but does that make me his equal? By making the questions increasingly hard as you get them right during the test, IKM are trying to differentiate between candidates at all levels, including the top.

I just took the IKM J2SE 5.0 test yesterday and got a result in the 94th percentile. That to me is a better indication of my relative knowledge than being lumped in with everyone else who got 100% on the SCJP. It feels about right from my experience.

As for the questions being obscure and badly worded, I can only assume the tests have improved, as this wasn't my experience. Some of the questions were hard, but I'd say very few were so obscure as to be irrelevant to the average professional.

arulk pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3371
They have not improved. I took one recently, and the questions are very obsolete, badly worded and API driven. Very academic and not practical at all.

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I agree. Here's the link:
subject: IKM Standard Java Test
It's not a secret anymore!