Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!!
That's me! I rushed into this exam - OCPJP SE7 Programmer II
I completed the Programmer I part in May and found it very easy. I had prepared for the SCJP6 exam, but then switched at the last moment to the SE7 (Programmer I) version.
I was in a hurry to complete the certification, so I took the risk of losing the exam fee, and maybe I would pass.
I feel like a lab rat. I think that not many people have taken the exam.
My exam experience:
Firstly, the exam is 90 questions long in 150 minutes. This gives you less than 2 minutes per question. The questions are not trivial. Mostly you need to figure out complicated code, so 2 minutes per question is very tight. I didnt finish in the time, and some of the questions I didnt do accurately because of the time pressure. And then I started panicing, so my performance went even further down
The standard of the questions was quite high, I found them similar to the questions in the K&B6 book.
I used the K&B 6 book for preparation, as well as the Java tutorials on topics such as NIO and JDBC. I referred to the Objectives for the exam on the Oracle web site. I found that there were many questions in the exam that werent in the Objectives. My preparation was definitely insufficient. The biggest gap in my knowledge was on Concurrency and Concurrent collections, and all collections. Even the questions about classes, abstract classes, interfaces which I should know by now, were very tricky. There were a lot of questions about different kinds of File STreams and wrappers of Streams etc.
There were also some questions with typos, like missing line numbers.
For me, the easiest questions were on JDBC , Location, generics, and design patterns.
I'm not going to rewrite this exam in a hurry. I might go for the SCJP6 exam if I want the certification. I wont do this exam again until I've read the study guide (which is not available). Maybe I'll wait until end of next year to rewrite
Joe Harry wrote:Any idea as to why the JDBC API is added as part of the exam?
Almost every project you work on has some back-end repository you need to communicate with. I think it's crucial for people to have a mediocre understanding of the basics on this topic.
I believe there should be a whole lot of other topics to be added to the exam, i.e. networking.
Joined: May 15, 2012
My opinion about the programmer I exam is that it was too lightweight, and the 804 exam was a monster. Topics such as jdbc api and Location could be moved to the 803 exam instead of the 804 exam. These topics are necessary for most developers, but not complex to understand.
Joined: May 15, 2012
Exam topics that were'nt in the Objectives:
Transient variables and object serialization.
Mostly the Objectives were lacking in detail, rather than omitted, such as "Use streams to read and write files" - this was a monster section in the exam- as much as 10% ofcthe exam.
Recently passed out SE 6 exam and thought SE 7 could be easier. Thanks for sharing the very valuable information. I wish you all the best in case you are going to re appear for the exam.
PMP, OCJCP 6
Joined: May 15, 2012
To prepare for this exam you need the entire k&b 6 book. Maybe you can leave out only the sections on garbage collection and the last chapter. But k&b is not enough. The sections on parsing,replacing, and tokening strings,; collections, threads, concurrency, file streaming are not sufficient in k&b 6. Also you need to understand the new stuff - jdbc, nio2.0, project coin, bundles, design patterns. I even got a question about DOS file attribltes, whether they were read only, or could be set. In my opinion, 90 difficult questions in 150 minutes is ridiculous.
Also, when i wrote the exam there seemed to be a bug in the review mechanism of the exam, so i wasted time in not being able to find the questions i had marked for review.
I would be interested in the experience of anyone who has passed the exam.
Did you use any exam practice tool such as epractize by any chance? I am preparing for SE7 Programmer II and you really got me scared . Let me know if you used any practice tool and if you found it helpful.
I wrote this exam back in the beta period, and yes it is difficult. The beta was 150 questions in 180 minutes (brutal), so what I remember should be taken with caution as 1/2 or fewer of the questions I answered are on the real exam.
Of course the obligatory questions on new Java 7 features (switch with strings, diamond syntax, and multi-catch/try with resources). More emphasis on the exception handling than the other new language constructs.
I seem to remember a lot of questions on string manipulation, the new files classes, and the design patterns, not much on JDBC.
You need to be able to ensure the code compiles, method signatures match in the case of overriding, and other general tricks.
Need to be comfortable with inheritance: interface, class, or both, and know some of the corner cases of inheritance (can I declare variables in an interface, what happens if I define the same method in two different interfaces/interface and class, which version of the method will be called...)
Know your files/path classes, what you can and cannot do with them, and the signatures for some of the method calls.
Know your atomic datatypes, and be able to identify if code is or is not thread-safe.
Don't remember if this was the OCJA7 or OCJP7 exam, but you might also need to play around with enums and establish what you can and cannot do with them.
Several questions where I thought "I never thought to try this, so I have no idea if the code would compile".
I used Mikalai Zaikin's OCPJP7 upgrade review materials (see this thread) and the Oracle tutorials for the exam objectives to bone up on my Java 7. The upgrade materials are generally good but do not include everything listed in the exam objectives. I code mostly in Java at work.
I didn't have any problems with the review mechanism of the exam, although I did find it rather annoying that I could not highlight text with the mouse.
And yes, I passed.
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. ~Robert A. Heinlein