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Essay preparation

Benedikt Grabenmeier
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 17, 2011
Posts: 3
Hi!
Yesterday evening I ended my develpment of my URLyBird program and wanted to submit it. Than I read "When you have completed your assignment and your essay exam, you may submit your assignment to developer-submit_"
So I have to do my essay exam before submitting (its in your FAQ too). But I don't know what I have to do. Must I prepare some kind of powerpoint presentation or print my code? I just don't understand whats the next step.
Hope someone can explain me.
Thanks
Benne
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 4908
    
  10

Hi Benedikt,

Welcome to the JavaRanch!

The essay exam is the 2nd part of the SCJD/OCMJD exam, and requires you to buy another voucher. Then you can schedule the exam in a testing center of your choice and you'll get an exam with just 4 open questions about your assignment (noi multiple choice), just to proof you have developed the assignment yourself and not your neighbour who is a java whizz kid
If you developed the assignment on your own, no need to worry about this exam, it will be a no-brainer.

Kind regards,
Roel


SCJA, SCJP (1.4 | 5.0 | 6.0), SCJD
http://www.javaroe.be/
Kenny Johnson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 01, 2007
Posts: 37
what kind of questions are on the written exam?
Dennis Grimbergen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 04, 2009
Posts: 138

Kenny Johnson wrote:what kind of questions are on the written exam?

I think you don't have to worry about the essay exam, when you wrote the code yourself.
Take a look here: Essay exam


SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 4908
    
  10

The essay exam contains 4 open questions about decisions you had to make during the assignment: 2 big ones and 2 smaller ones. Just like with the other Sun/Oracle exams it is forbidden to make the exam questions public. If you think about your assignment and the big decisions you had to make, you can guess both main (big) questions.

Good luck!
Elchin Asgarli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 222

The questions are mostly about design choice, they ask why did you take a given path instead of available alternatives. It can be for example why did you prefer RMI over sockets, and what are advantages/disadvantages of it. *deleted* I did get the certificate, so seems like they got satisfied with the answer.

This essay exam was the longest one for me, I was done only 5 minutes before the end, when for SCJP and SCWCD I had quite a lot of time left after I completed my exam.

[edit]do not provide actual exam questions, had to delete that part


Personal page, SCJP 6 with 91%, SCWCD 5 with 84%, OCMJD
Elchin Asgarli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 222

Elchin Asgarli wrote:
[edit]do not provide actual exam questions, had to delete that part


Actually socket vs RMI was also in the exam seems like half of the exams do have that question...
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 4908
    
  10

I would be surprised if not everybody gets that question, because that's one of the major decisions you have to make. So with a bit of common sense everybody knows the 2 big questions, so removing them from a post is quiet useless. They are a publicly known secret
Elchin Asgarli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 222

Is it a secret in a way? I always thought the point of the essay is just to verify that its you who actually wrote the code (from writing style for example), and not to test your deep knowledge of alternative solutions, cause alternative solutions you do document in choices.txt. Like I said I just wrote common-sense things as an answer to the question that I posted here before, but I did pass (not sure of the score though, could be 321 or 400). And I just tried to write as much as I could, luckily testing center even found an american keyboard specially for me
Roberto Perillo
Bartender

Joined: Dec 28, 2007
Posts: 2246

Roel De Nijs wrote:I would be surprised if not everybody gets that question


I myself didn't get this question.

Ok, I'm kiddin'


Cheers, Bob "John Lennon" Perillo
SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD, SCBCD - Daileon: A Tool for Enabling Domain Annotations
Elchin Asgarli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 222

If I remember correctly I also did not get this question exactly I did get question about serialization though Or I may have had both... Damn, a lot of things happened since then and/or I have very short memory
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11278
    
  59

Background history: at one time, Sun used to have on their site that the questions would be of the type: did you use RMI or Sockets and why did you choose it. So we have always allowed that one question to be listed here.

Alain Trottier's sample questions are a good resource if you want to have a feeling for the type of questions.

Personally I recommend against trying to invent answers while you are there. If you used a technology because you are familiar with it, then say so. But if you invent a reason then there is a chance that you will get it wrong and fail. Imagine stating that you used RMI because it's been around longer than Sockets and is therefore more stable. Oops. (Just in case anyone is reading this who doesn't know: RMI is the new(er) kid on the block).

I know of at least one person who used Sockets simply because he already used RMI in his day job, and wanted to learn something new. I think that is a very good reason.


The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 5: paper version from Amazon, PDF from Apress, Online reference: Books 24x7 Personal blog
Elchin Asgarli
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2010
Posts: 222

Andrew Monkhouse wrote:Personally I recommend against trying to invent answers while you are there. If you used a technology because you are familiar with it, then say so. But if you invent a reason then there is a chance that you will get it wrong and fail. Imagine stating that you used RMI because it's been around longer than Sockets and is therefore more stable. Oops. (Just in case anyone is reading this who doesn't know: RMI is the new(er) kid on the block).


I completely agree with that!

That is why I really took care of not writing anything wrong, cause that would hurt me big time, so I was extremely cautious.

I had to make up things though, cause otherwise I would have to leave it empty or say that "I did it that way cause I saw it done that way in SCJD book". The question was about Swing table, and I have just used the approach presented in the book, and everywhere else. I have never seen someone to the alternative approach that they were talking about in the question.
Kenny Johnson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 01, 2007
Posts: 37
what do you mean they asked a question about the JTable? That sounds kind of odd, since the instructions state you MUST use a JTable. I don't see any alternative.
David Byron
Rancher

Joined: Jan 20, 2009
Posts: 169

Pretty sure it's inappropriate to describe particular questions from the exam....


SCJD 6, Baroque Potion, G+
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 4908
    
  10

Kenny Johnson wrote:what do you mean they asked a question about the JTable? That sounds kind of odd, since the instructions state you MUST use a JTable.

That's true. It's not about the JTable itself of course (being a must requirement), but about something related to the JTable.

I will lock this thread now because it's simply not allowed to go into further detail.

Short summary: If you developed the assignment yourself, the essay exam won't be a problem at all. It's just used to make sure you actually developed the solution and not your neighbour who happens to be a java guru. How more detailed information (about your code) you can give, the better.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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