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Difficulty in the K&B Books

Torsten Oppermann
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Joined: Dec 22, 2010
Posts: 62

Hello ! I bought both books from K&B (Study Guide and the Practice Exam). I have finished the Study Guide now (actually read it twice each chapter) and barely scored 50% in all self tests... does it make sens to start the practice exams now ? i feel like im a million miles away from taking the exam is the real exam harder or easier ?

thank you in advance


OCPJP 6 - 93%
Mala Gupta
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Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
Torsten,

If you scored around 50% in the self tests, you didn't get the hang of the concepts. I recommend that you take note of the questions, which you answered incorrectly, and the related concept. Re-study these concepts and try and get your hands dirty with a lot of code. It will help you to retain the information longer. Attempt the exams again and compare the results.

The real exam won't be harder than the one in K&B book.

cheers
Mala


Author of Manning's OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Certification Guide and OCP Java SE 7 Programmer II Certification Guide
Torsten Oppermann
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Joined: Dec 22, 2010
Posts: 62

Thank you Mala !

So i have to study even more My original plan was to take the exam in the end of april... i better delay that..

thanks again
Ikpefua Jacob-Obinyan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 31, 2010
Posts: 394

Torsten Oppermann wrote:

Thank you Mala !
So i have to study even more My original plan was to take the exam in the end of april... i better delay that..
thanks again

Ikpefua wrote:

Hello Torsten, Mala's advise is VERY good!. In addition while you're studying you have to keep writing codes over and over again, if possible keep aside IDE's and do 'Raw Coding', I mean in your file system create your .java files compile them from the command lines with the -javac flag and run them with the -java flag, keep up this practice, at the beginning it is VERY fraustrating, but trust me with time you will get over the fraustration and dominate java. If you have doubts, try and resolve the doubts if you still cant find a solution come to javaranch, 'search the topic first' to see if a similar problem has been treated before and if not bring it here as a 'new topic' and we will put our heads together and resolve the problem.

The questions that you got incorrectly should NOT bother you, what should bother you is revise those questions and UNDERSTAND why you got them wrong it is all a part of your learning.

I have PERSONAL experience with the real exams and in comparism to the mock exams Mala is also correct, I can even CONFIRM that the real exams is SLIGHTLY easier than the self tests and mock exams.


OCPJP 6.
In Your Pursuit Towards Certification, NEVER Give Up.
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
Torsten,

Don't be disappointed! I am sure you will earn this certification with a good score, pretty soon!

cheers
Mala
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
Well said, Ikpefua!
Here's a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.


cheers
Mala
Torsten Oppermann
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Joined: Dec 22, 2010
Posts: 62

thank you very much for all those motivating words

in fact ive been coding a little bit with only a text editor and the command prompt (but probably should do even more)

I will be very happy if i pass, even with a mediocre score

i´ll let you know!
Achilleas Achix
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Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Posts: 123

Torsten Oppermann wrote:thank you very much for all those motivating words

in fact ive been coding a little bit with only a text editor and the command prompt (but probably should do even more)

I will be very happy if i pass, even with a mediocre score

i´ll let you know!


Tosrten, hello, i get about the same results as you, besides being an experienced java programmer,
it seems that the usage of the command line and the writing of many programs is the only way to go.
I wrote about 28 programs up to now (chapter 6 included) but i guess this is not enough.


OCPJP 6.0
Torsten Oppermann
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Joined: Dec 22, 2010
Posts: 62

i actually wrote over 20 programs only for the generics&collections chapter and indeed this was my best chapter with over 70% correct at the self test
Rahul Sudip Bose
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Joined: Jan 21, 2011
Posts: 637

Dont worry , even i am facing similar problems...2 readings and still dont remember all the stuff. Postponed the final date too.

Good luck and become a SCJP soon...
rb


SCJP 6. Learning more now.
Ikpefua Jacob-Obinyan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 31, 2010
Posts: 394

Torsten Oppermann wrote:
i actually wrote over 20 programs only for the generics&collections chapter and indeed this was my best chapter with over 70% correct at the self test.

Ikpefua wrote:

Good job Torsten! I have written at least 500 programs (NOT an exaggeration). You have to adquire a solid dominance in Oo Concepts, since java is Object Oriented. In my experience with the real exams MOST of the questions came from *****Oo Concepts, ****Generics and Collections, and ***Api Contents. The other questions will be evenly more or less spread arround the rest.

Keep up with the tests and REMEMBER not to WORRY about the QUANTITY of questions you got wrong, instead WHY you got them wrong. Understanding WHY you got a question wrong,
is a FUNDAMENTAL aspect of learning. Keep your head up and keep mooving on!

Cheers!
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
Retain information longer by creating and attaching little weird/ funny stories/ images with a concept that you are trying to remember. Here's an example:

http://www.coderanch.com/t/534298/java-SCJA/certification/Labeled-statements#2426850
http://www.coderanch.com/t/534298/java-SCJA/certification/Labeled-statements#2427048

cheers
Mala
D. Song
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 28, 2011
Posts: 3

Torsten Oppermann wrote:Hello ! I bought both books from K&B (Study Guide and the Practice Exam). I have finished the Study Guide now (actually read it twice each chapter) and barely scored 50% in all self tests... does it make sens to start the practice exams now ? i feel like im a million miles away from taking the exam is the real exam harder or easier ?

thank you in advance


Hey Torsten, I just took the test (and passed!). Like you, I too used the K&B Study guide and Practice Exams.
I'm sure you will do well. I found that the books prepared me for the exam very well. Make sure to take advantage of the free practice exams on the CD of the Study Guide book! Those were very helpful in gauging my readiness for the test.


SCJP
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
D. Song,

Congratulations to you!

I would be helpful to other certification aspirants, if you share your score with the K&B book, comparing it with your real score.

cheers
Mala
Rodmar Conde
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 09, 2010
Posts: 11
Hello,

I'm preparing to take the SCJP exam also. I have read K&B book and scored about 60% in average. I haven't write any study code until now. I have 5+ years of professional experience with java and write code for work everyday.

I don't understand very well the purpose of writing study code on every chapter, is this only for "new to java" people or it does in fact has a benefit? I understand very well what the book says, that's why I haven't written any code. I think I scored 60% because the questions are hard.

I underlined the things that I didn't know before reading the book. My plan is to read again only the underlined pages, and then go over the mock exams on the CD. After that, I will take the exam. But, again, I don't have plans for writing study code. What do you think? Am I loosing a key point on taking the exam?

Cheers.


SCJA | SCJP Semi Study Guide in Spanish
Achilleas Achix
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Posts: 123

Rodmar Conde wrote:Hello,

I'm preparing to take the SCJP exam also. I have read K&B book and scored about 60% in average. I haven't write any study code until now. I have 5+ years of professional experience with java and write code for work everyday.

I don't understand very well the purpose of writing study code on every chapter, is this only for "new to java" people or it does in fact has a benefit? I understand very well what the book says, that's why I haven't written any code. I think I scored 60% because the questions are hard.

I underlined the things that I didn't know before reading the book. My plan is to read again only the underlined pages, and then go over the mock exams on the CD. After that, I will take the exam. But, again, I don't have plans for writing study code. What do you think? Am I loosing a key point on taking the exam?

Cheers.


Sooner or later you will see that even in K&B book, there are a lot of questions that are *NOT* covered in the book, but those questions are pretty valid and could happen in the real exam, and the only way to formulate or strengthen your own theory on those matters is to write your own code.
Nevertheless, most of the time this is short-term memory, after 1 month i doubt anyone would remember the rules of when to box/unbox/widen/narrowing/etc....
So if any code is written, then it has to be done within reasonable time frames, and not much earlier than the actual exam.
That's why crash courses are for anyway. Bombard you with info to make it to the test, even if you don't remember a thing 2 months later.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8804
    
    5
I'd like to have you guys tell me directly (in a post on this forum), about questions that aren't covered in the book!

Are you talking about our mock exams or someone else's? If you're talking about someone else's mock exams, then you should be aware that a lot of mock exams cover topics that you won't see on the real exam - that's okay.

What would be a big problem to me is if you feel like there are questions on the real exam, or in our mock exams, that we didn't cover in the book!

Thanks,

Bert


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Achilleas Achix
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Posts: 123

Bert Bates wrote:I'd like to have you guys tell me directly (in a post on this forum), about questions that aren't covered in the book!

Are you talking about our mock exams or someone else's? If you're talking about someone else's mock exams, then you should be aware that a lot of mock exams cover topics that you won't see on the real exam - that's okay.

What would be a big problem to me is if you feel like there are questions on the real exam, or in our mock exams, that we didn't cover in the book!

Thanks,

Bert


I already gave an example of where the book alone does not cover 100% of the situations (box/unbox->widen/narrow) as a hands-on test would.
What i wrote, is pretty much what you guys (in the book) advocate : WRITE YOUR OWN PROGRAMS AND TEST BY YOURSELF.
So i fail to see any inconsistency in this.

Why would the book, explicitly encourage the writing of as many programs as possible, if by reading the book alone would suffice to pass the exams?

And even if the book cover everything, then (again) this would hardly take full effect if the person didn't substantiate the theory of the book with hands-on examples
and verification.

We are saying the same thing, actually.

PS
Maybe, since the native tang of many of us is not english, (i am greek) some times misunderstandings happen.
(Another price we have to pay in the road to "multiculturalism" ?? self- )
D. Song
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 28, 2011
Posts: 3

Mala Gupta wrote:D. Song,

Congratulations to you!

I would be helpful to other certification aspirants, if you share your score with the K&B book, comparing it with your real score.

cheers
Mala


Thanks, here is how I studied for it:
I went through the book once, taking the test at the end of every chapter and scoring an average of about 50%-60%. I wrote a few test programs to validate some questions and doubts. What was very helpful was searching this forum for specific questions that I thought had the wrong answers.

About a month later, I went through the book again (about a week before my scheduled test), this time making flashcards of concepts that I thought were important. Of course I did much better on the tests at the end of the chapters. I think I scored about 80-95% on all of them. Make sure you really understand why you got the question wrong, make a flashcard for it if you need to. Just writing it down will help you lock it in.

About midway through my second go at the book, I started taking the exams on the K&B book CD (this was about 4 days before the exam), I did about 30 questions of the first test on the CD and scored about 58-60%! This was depressing, but I knew that I'd do better after finishing my second go through of the book. After finishing the book (the second time, along with the end of chapter exams) I retook the first test on the CD (72 questions) and scored about 75%.

It was now two days before the exam and I started to go through the K&B Java OCP 6 Practice Exams (separate book). Man, the first 14 question assessment test rocked me. I only scored 9! I took the second assessment (also 14 questions) and scored a 7! Indeed the second one was harder than the first. I reviewed some of my flashcards and slept on it.

Now it was only one day before the exam and I took the 60 question "Practice Exam I" of the same book (K&B Practice Exams) and scored 39 out of 60 correct (65%). I was now wishing I had a few more days to take the other practice exams in the book. The 3 hours was sufficient, but I used every minute of it.

I decided to just go through the second test on the K&B Study Guide CD (open book mode to learn the answers right away) and felt I got about 70% of them right, I don't know for sure because I wasn't keeping score.

On the day of the exam, I felt that I could pass.

So the OCPJP exam's passing score was still 58% and I scored an 88%! I really have to thank Bert and Kathy. The books almost over-prepare you for the test. I really found the test much easier (especially because the actual test tells you how many answers to pick instead of "choose all that apply"). But I would have it no other way, the study material covered MUCH more, as it should. I got the to the end of the exam in about 2 hours with two or three "marked questions" that I skipped. I had plenty of time to review and ended the exam with almost 30 minutes to spare. (note, I didn't take a break though, the proctor told me that the time would continue ticking if I did, so I opted not to)

Another note, it's true, the OCP exam still resets the drag and drop answers! But they do give you a pop-up warning saying that it will be cleared if you continue. Be sure to write your answers down if you want to review it later. BTW, to my dismay, my center gave out dry erase markers with laminated sheets, but it was fine. I asked for 4 sheets b/c they said I couldn't erase what I wrote. The dry erase worked better for stack/heap drawings because you could easily erase (yes i did erase some lines) the lines from the stack to the heap if the objects became out of scope.

D. Song
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 28, 2011
Posts: 3

Bert Bates wrote:I'd like to have you guys tell me directly (in a post on this forum), about questions that aren't covered in the book!

Are you talking about our mock exams or someone else's? If you're talking about someone else's mock exams, then you should be aware that a lot of mock exams cover topics that you won't see on the real exam - that's okay.

What would be a big problem to me is if you feel like there are questions on the real exam, or in our mock exams, that we didn't cover in the book!

Thanks,

Bert


Bert, I found the books to be very thorough. I was about to say that I don't think you guys missed anything but I just remembered that you guys didn't cover the "volatile" keyword in depth. I don't recall any questions that involved "volatile" in the Study Guide end of chapter or CD exams.
I'm not going to say the "volatile" modifier was on my OCJP test (because I signed some kind of NDA), but IF it were on the OCJP, it may be an area in your book that might deserve an additional sentence or two describing how to use it.
But all in all, thank you for writing such a thorough and fun to read book. I really did enjoy the humorous way you presented much of the material.
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 248
    
    9
D. Song,

Thanks very much for sharing your detailed study plan. It will be very helpful for the other cert aspirants.

Once again, congratulations on earning this certification. 88% is a very good score!

cheers
Mala

 
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