I prepared for the exam in ~7 days (only last three weekends before the exam, because of my fulltime job I did not get time to read on any weekday) and I will not recommend any of you to do this as It really was difficult. I did not had anytime to practice. Probably I should have postponed my exam by a week but I had confidence that I would get good score (unfortunately did not happen though)
In those 7 days,
- I read each and every word of K&B and solved all the questions in it
- I used Thinking in Java (Bruce Eckel) as a reference book to get more understanding of some topics and also to know some missing points which I am interested in
- I tried to understand each and every concept and never hurried to complete stuff.
- Once I complete a sub topic went back and revised all the topics in the subtopic. If I felt that I was not comfortable with any concept, I re read it until I understand.
- Marked important concepts/some unexpected twists/those which I felt that I might forget with a red pen and made sure I looked at those before exam.
- Considering that I used to read only on weekends, I made it a point to revise all the stuff I read in the previous weekend.
After I read all the topics and felt confident that I would score good (which happened to me on afternoon one day before the exam) . I tried attempting Examlab diagnosis test and got very low % (45). I was completely out of confidence and that's when java ranch helped me. I regained my confidence seeing some people write that real exam is simple when compared to many mock exams.
I spent around 2-3 hours revising all the topics again (from K&B)(this time remembering what I lacked when I was writing the exam, noticing subtle details is very important). Attempted 2nd test of Examlab, As it was already late in night I abandoned the exam without solving 10-15 questions but score was better. I scored 50% without attempting 10-15 questions.
I felt that I seriously lacked practice but was good at concepts, I was able to relate the questions to relevant concepts but was doing some silly mistakes or was very slow or was missing some general tricks used in the exam.
I woke up in the morning, revised answers of both the tests I attempted previous night and thought "OK I read well and I will pass with good %".
I tried to give my best in the exam, reread each and every question for any tricks. I had plenty of time.
Exam was easier compared to Examlab questions. It tests the basics/fundamentals of any concept. If you are clear about those, you can score good % easily. I would suggest give yourself ample amount of time for practice.
It was an awesome experience studying and passing the exam. I had made it a point to score more than 90% in my next certification exam and I know what I missed this time.
Thanks JavaRanch(for regaining my confidence) and ExamLab(for cautioning me)
Joined: Feb 21, 2012
I forgot to thank K&B for writing such an excellent book. It has been helpful in understanding lot of java concepts clearly and in a simple way.