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How to Deal with Changing Objectives

Bert Bates
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8801
    
    5
Hi Guys,

What was true for Sun will certainly be true for Oracle... these certification exams are dynamic! What this means is that occasionally the exam objectives will be slightly refined. The second thing that remains true is that the goal is to deliver the same test on a worldwide basis. This isn't as easy as it sounds. In theory, when the exam's objectives are modified, those modifications *should* be reflected at every exam center in the world. In practice, this is never implemented perfectly. So here's some advice:

1 - Be aware of any recent modifications to whatever certification you're pursuing.

For instance the SCJP/OCPJP exam has, somewhat recently, removed the serialization objective and also the fourth concurrency objective (which was focused on wait / notify). If you know about those changes, and apply the information from the earlier paragraph, that can lead you to this:

2 - Be aware that you *might* still get questions on recently removed objectives.

Again, in theory this shouldn't happen, but the reality is that it does. I would surmise that encountering *legacy* questions would tend to happen more in more remote or less trafficked test centers... that's just my surmise.

3 - Be aware that the mock exams you use might be slightly (or not so slightly), out of date.

We get a lot of questions on the certification forums concerning mock exam questions on topics that are no longer current. I know it's true of questions from the K&B book, and I'm sure it's true of other mock exams. The safest thing to do is to have the current set of objectives, and the prior set of objectives be your guide. If a mock question is on a topic that's not on one of those two sets of objectives, you can be confident that it's just an out-of-date question, and not worry about it.

4 - None of the mock exams you use will be perfect.

hth,

Bert


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Rana Asif
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 26, 2011
Posts: 18
Thanks for information, really appreciated...
Adisankara Sastry
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Joined: Jan 12, 2006
Posts: 5
Thanks for the information.
Joseph Mokenela
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Joined: Jan 18, 2011
Posts: 59

Thanks very much Bert, much appreciated...
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3253
    
    2
Also, do not be allergic to questions on topics that you think are not on in the exam. For two reasons - first, it is better to know something than be surprised in the exam and second, knowing more than required is not going to harm you but will only help you with your real objective, which is to either get a job or to excel at a job. So rather than spending time on proving to yourself that something is really not on the exam, it would be wiser to spend that time in learning that topic anyway, imho.


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Damilola Okuboyejo
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Joined: Aug 21, 2009
Posts: 12
good one bert
Mala Gupta
Author
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Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
Bert Bates wrote:
2 - Be aware that you *might* still get questions on recently removed objectives.

Again, in theory this shouldn't happen, but the reality is that it does. I would surmise that encountering *legacy* questions would tend to happen more in more remote or less trafficked test centers... that's just my surmise.


When I appeared for my SCJP exam, the co-ordinator at the exam center (New Delhi, India) told me that they will download the exam from the Sun, only after I walk into their center with the exam voucher, ready to start with the exam. Hence, I always believed that this is the practice that is followed all over the world. If yes, no exam center should 'serve' an outdated exam to a candidate.

If candidates are still writing exams with questions on exam objectives that are no more on the latest exam version, the exam centers are, perhaps, using a stored local copy, than requesting the latest exam from Sun/ Oracle.

cheers
Mala



Author of Manning's OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Certification Guide and OCP Java SE 7 Programmer II Certification Guide
gary fluitt
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 22, 2010
Posts: 1
This is Gary from Oracle.

Bert is absolutely correct. The exams have always been somewhat "dynamic". From time to time we find it necessary to retire an objective from the exam. I don't believe we've ever added an objective to a live exam, just taken away.

When we retire an objective, the questions associated with that objective are retired also. If you find that we have left a question in the test that belongs to a retired objective, the best thing to do is to comment on the question in the test while you are taking it. Your comments stay with your answers and it helps us identify if there are any problems with the exam. You can also let us know by emailing suncert_ww@oracle and we will investigate.

There should be no stored legacy exams at any Prometric test center. As Mala said, the exams are downloaded just prior to your test session, and then they are wiped from that test center server afterward. That said, there are seven language version of the Programmer exam, and two JDK versions with multiple forms of each, so there are dozens of versions of the Programmer exam. We try to keep them all in alignment, but misalignment does occur.

As Bert advised, "be aware of recent modifications..."
The best way to do this is to check the Oracle certification pages for your specific exam and review the objectives there. This is the most up-to-date information on exam topics.






julianna beatrice
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 01, 2007
Posts: 1
hello! As I'm planning to be certified in Java SE 6, I recently bought SCJP 6 Study Guide (by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates) to aid me in passing the exam. I have started reading the book and with the recent changes in the certification path, I have a couple of questions in mind.

1. The books says that there are 72 questions in the exam and the passing score is 65%, however when I checked the oracle website it says that there are only 60questions with 58.3% passing rate. What should I expect on the actual exam.

2. With the recent changes in the certification path, is the book still at par with oracle's objectives for the exam Are there major changes to the exam objectives?

I would appreciate your reply.

Thanks so much.
Dennis Grimbergen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 04, 2009
Posts: 140

julianna beatrice wrote:1. The books says that there are 72 questions in the exam and the passing score is 65%, however when I checked the oracle website it says that there are only 60questions with 58.3% passing rate. What should I expect on the actual exam.

When I did my SCJP in november 2009, I had 60 questions and the passing score was 58% (I was confused too, because I expected 72 questions and 65% pass score).

julianna beatrice wrote:2. With the recent changes in the certification path, is the book still at par with oracle's objectives for the exam Are there major changes to the exam objectives?

The books is still perfect study material Good luck with your preparation.


SCJP, SCWCD, SCJD
Paul Rothery
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 28, 2011
Posts: 1
Hi,

Hope I'm not repeating a question but haven't been able to find it anywhere and this seems like the right thread.

I am studying for the exam and have been working through the SCJP exam (Sierra/Bates) book. Great book. My question is about the scoring on the exam. In the book it states that if you answer all of the questions "at least you won't lose points for the lack of an answer". I think I read on the Oracle web page that you are deducted one third of a point for each incorrect answer. Does that also include unanswered questions?

Thanks

Paul
Gursewak Singh
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Joined: Jan 09, 2011
Posts: 79

Thank you sir..
Ash Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2011
Posts: 71
Paul Rothery wrote:Hi,

Hope I'm not repeating a question but haven't been able to find it anywhere and this seems like the right thread.

I am studying for the exam and have been working through the SCJP exam (Sierra/Bates) book. Great book. My question is about the scoring on the exam. In the book it states that if you answer all of the questions "at least you won't lose points for the lack of an answer". I think I read on the Oracle web page that you are deducted one third of a point for each incorrect answer. Does that also include unanswered questions?

Thanks

Paul


are you sure 1/3rd is deducted for each incorrect? ca anyone else please confirm??
O. Ziggy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 02, 2005
Posts: 430

Ash Gill wrote:
Paul Rothery wrote:Hi,

Hope I'm not repeating a question but haven't been able to find it anywhere and this seems like the right thread.

I am studying for the exam and have been working through the SCJP exam (Sierra/Bates) book. Great book. My question is about the scoring on the exam. In the book it states that if you answer all of the questions "at least you won't lose points for the lack of an answer". I think I read on the Oracle web page that you are deducted one third of a point for each incorrect answer. Does that also include unanswered questions?

Thanks

Paul


are you sure 1/3rd is deducted for each incorrect? ca anyone else please confirm??


Is this true?
Arjun Srivastava
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2010
Posts: 432

Bert Bates wrote:in theory this shouldn't happen, but the reality is that it does. I would surmise that encountering *legacy* questions would tend to happen more in more remote or less trafficked test centers

Mala Gupta wrote:
If candidates are still writing exams with questions on exam objectives that are no more on the latest exam version, the exam centers are, perhaps, using a stored local copy, than requesting the latest exam from Sun/ Oracle.

Yeah,that's why always choose the prestigious test center for sake of good environment and latest exam.


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James Elsey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 21, 2007
Posts: 228

Can anyone give me a link, or a list of the things that have been pulled from the exam currently? I notice Berts' post mentions serialisation and wait/notify being removed, but that post was some time ago.

Can anyone give me an updated list? Planning to take test before Christmas 2011.

Thanks


Kind Regards, James. OCPJP 1.6 || My SCJP / OCJCP Study Notes
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Helen Ma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2011
Posts: 451
Hi, is inner class or static inner class part of the new OCPJP 6.0 (IZ0-851) objective now? According to KB, Chapter 8 Inner class is not part of the objective. But I checked the Oracle official site, it is included in objective 1.
So, studying chapter 8 is good enough for the exam?
ricardo reyes
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 26, 2007
Posts: 5
julianna beatrice say:
1. The books says that there are 72 questions in the exam and the passing score is 65%, however when I checked the oracle website it says that there are only 60questions with 58.3% passing rate. What should I expect on the actual exam.


Well, IMHO, it is better to be prepared for 72 questions and expect 65% passing rate. that way you are much prepared than expected. I too have brought K&B book during my review (SCJP 5) and i expect then that there are 72 questions. When i reach the 60th question, i was still in the mood for another 12 questions before I rest my mind.... but lo and behold.... it just end.... and I passed.

this means, there is no harm in expecting 72, than expecting less than what is actually there.



Mohan Prasath
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 25, 2011
Posts: 38

Thanks for your information


With regards,
Mohan Prasath
sridhar chandramouli
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posts: 6
Hi, been a long time visitor to this forum and have gained a lot from it (thank you) but haven't ever posted before.

A few weeks ago I signed up to take the Java SE 7 Programmer II beta exam in late May but now Oracle have moved the end date for the beta forward to 12-05-12. I'll call my test centre tomorrow to check what happens to my registration and whether i'll be able to move it forward. A part of me fears that I'll have to forfeit the registration fee as it's a heavily discounted beta exam and they can pretty much do as they please but I hope this isn't the case. If anybody knows what happens in a situation like this please let me know.

Passed the Java 7 SE Programmer I exam last month, due in no small part to the great questions and answers on this forum. Thanks.


Rahul mir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 31, 2012
Posts: 38

Thanks for the information.
 
 
subject: How to Deal with Changing Objectives
 
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