This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
I'm a college freshman majoring in CS. I learned Java during my last year in high school, and haven't touched it during my first semester in college. This semester I decided to pick it up and to (hopefully) get some certificates.
So I began to prepare for OCAJP 7 with Mala Gupta's book on Jan 31st. Here's what I did:
Read chapter 6 on 31st (because I felt this chapter most interesting);
Read chapter 1 and 2 on Feb 1st;
Read chapter 3 and 4 on Feb 2nd;(did a lot of reading on weekend)
Read chapter 5 on Feb 3rd;
Read chapter 7 on Feb 4th;
Took mock exam(chapter 8) on Feb 5th and got 72%. I was sad because Mala mentions the pass score was 77%;
On Feb 6th, I decided to find more mock exams on line, and I found this forum, which then led me to enthuware. Also I found in this forum that the new cut-off line is 63%. I took the first mock exam on enthuware and got 64%(barely passed).
On Feb 7th, I took the second mock exam and got 72%. I felt confident and planed to register the exam on next week. Then I find out that, in order to fit into my class schedule, if I don't register for the exam on Feb 8th, I have to take it on March, which is kinda late. After consideration I decided to take it on Feb 8th anyway.
So this morning I got up early and took the first half of the enthuware "unique" test (don't have enough time to finish all of it), and got 55% right. I felt awful and was regret that I wasted $245. Whatever.
Then it comes to the real exam, which I passed with 85%. (the cutoff is still 63%)
Sorry for the long story. Here I'll share some info for those who haven't taken the exam yet.
The real exam was much easier compared to those on enthuware. Consider this: I marked ~30 questions on each enthuware exam, and I only marked 2 questions on the real exam. I sometimes found questions on enthuware quite convoluted, and am not sure what they were testing about. However, the real questions were straightforward. Also, the real exam really tested on the "basic" understanding of materials. Although there were some "memorizing" stuff(i.e. different methods of StringBuilder and ArrayList), most questions tested on quite simple concepts. Mala's book covers almost 100% of the test. If you understand every (well, almost every) sentence in Mala's book, it takes 10 secs each to answer ~15 questions on the exam. Also, someone mentioned in another thread that the questions are sorted based on their difficulty level. I didn't see this pattern. Also I don't think that Oracle put up a question that has no correct answer (or maybe there is but I can't tell).