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My thoughts on today's OCAJP7 Exam - Passed with 91%

Jeffrey Jackson
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 06, 2014
Posts: 8
    
    2
Hi all:

I relied on many of your posts as I was studying for the OCAJP 7 exam, and I took it (and passed it!) today, so I wanted to create an account and share some thoughts. This version of the test had 70 questions in 120 minutes with a passing percentage of 63%.

Preparation:

I spent about 10-12 weeks on and off studying for the exam. Prior to that, I had absolutely no Java experience and about two years' worth of developing in C++. I wanted to teach myself Java since it seems to be the language of choice in industry, so I jumped in.

I used Mala Gupta's text as my primary reference, and it turned out to be valuable for both learning Java as well as studying for the exam. I also liked her fun analogies (buying diamonds in a try block, coffee in a finally block... classic). Be warned, however, that her end-of-chapter sample exam questions and full mock exam were easier than the actual exam. That said, I actually pre-ordered her upcoming book for the next level of Java certifications because of how informative and easy to read it was.

After studying my tooshie off, I also purchased the Enthuware (by Hanumant Deshmukh) set of exams, and I worked through Exams 1-6, skipped 7 (since it was marked as "Advanced"), and then took the Last Day Test. It was a good purchase. Exams 1-6 were HARD, but I learned a lot. I am very impressed by the quality of Enthuware's answers, and I highly recommend you purchase it regardless of your primary test reference, especially since it's only $10.

In terms of difficulty, I would rank Gupta's as the easiest, followed by the Last Day Test, and then Exams 1-6 as the hardest (in some order).

Here were all of my scores:

Gupta sample exam questions after each chapter: 81%
Gupta full mock exam: 80%
Enthuware Exam 1: 81%
Enthuware Exam 2: 78%
Enthuware Exam 3: 78%
Enthuware Exam 4: 78%
Enthuware Exam 5: 78% (notice a pattern?)
Enthuware Exam 6: 75%
Enthuware Last Day Test: 88% <- this gave me hope

I also was caught up in reviewing my incorrect answers relentlessly. In some cases, my mistakes were silly, but usually, I learned something new. By yesterday, I was able to go through Enthuware's first four exams, of which I hadn't taken for more than a month, and nearly effortlessly could correctly answer the vast majority of questions.

The exam itself:

First of all, I had a fly bugging me for the first 30 minutes. That was annoying. I wish you a fly-free test environment.

Honestly, my second biggest fear (first to come later) was time. After having a very consistent ~80% on the various mock exams, I figured that I could answer ~80% correct on the real one, too, and other posts that I read suggested that time was an issue. As I started, though, the first 10ish questions were done in under 5 minutes, the last 10ish questions took about the same amount of time, and I only had to guess on one of those ~20. That gave me a lot of extra time to go back and review the middle 50ish questions. The ones in the middle were largely more detailed, and some required extensive scrolling through code on the screen. I actually finished the exam with about 35 minutes to spare, and I used all but a few seconds of those 35 minutes going over the middle 50ish questions.

A hint: Mark every 10-15 questions as for review. Since I needed to jump back to the middle 50ish questions at the end, it was a lot faster to jump to a question number near my target than to click Previous/Next a bunch of times. A second saved is a second used for thinking.

Make sure you pay attention. Both Gupta and Enthuware taught me to look out for silly compilation errors, but the exam was more sophisticated. You're not going to pass by assuming that you can pick out obvious compilation errors. You'll need to fully understand the exam objectives.

Speaking of exam objectives, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the real exam followed the objectives exactly and thoroughly. My single biggest fear about the exam correlated with my sole issue with the Enthuware product: in Enthuware, many questions contained enums, transient/volatile/synchronized/native, wrapper classes, etc. with Enthuware caveating them as saying that some candidates received those types of questions on the exam. I did not; the real exam went step by step through the objectives, covered them all in-depth, and did not stray away. Of course, the Candidate Agreement prohibits disclosing the test contents, so I can't answer any questions about the contents of questions they asked. If you know the fundamentals specified in the objectives, though, you'll be set. The writers of the exam did a remarkable job making sure that the candidate knows the inside and outside of every objective. The test was extremely well-written.

I walked out of the exam thinking that, if I split 50/50 the questions I narrowed to two answers, I would have received a score in the low 80% range. In reality, I received a 91%. During the exam, I thought that it seemed a comparable difficulty to, or slightly more difficult than, Enthuware's Last Day Test, and my score suggests that as well. It was nowhere near as difficult as Enthuware's Exams 1-6, thank goodness. If you can pass those and understand where you went wrong on your incorrect answers, you'll do great on the real exam.

Best of luck to all of you.
Tiberius Marius
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 27, 2013
Posts: 109
    
    2
Congratulations Jeffrey for passing the exam and for the great score . Thanks for the informative post you made about the exam , i plan to take the exam in less then 2 weeks if i feel am ready and you kinda motivated me to study harder . In the last weeks there ware a few opinions from people that the new exam got significantly harder and it scared/demotivated me a bit (being new to programming before starting)
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3336
    
    8
Congratulations, Jeffrey and thank you for your detailed feedback. It will certainly be very helpful to all aspirants.
We are glad to know that you liked our product. We will incorporate your feedback to improve it further.

-Paul.


Enthuware - Best Mock Exams and Questions for Oracle/Sun Java Certifications
Quality Guaranteed - Pass or Full Refund!
koilraj abraham
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 27, 2011
Posts: 563
    
    2
Congratulations Jeffrey, Really a good score man!


Abraham
EPractize Labs Training Labs => OCMJEA 6 | OCAJP | OCPJP | OCEJWSD | OCEEJBD | OCEJPAD | OCEJWCD
Jeffrey Jackson
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 06, 2014
Posts: 8
    
    2
Paul Anilprem wrote:We are glad to know that you liked our product. We will incorporate your feedback to improve it further.

-Paul.


Paul, I want to thank you and your team for providing an excellent product in Enthuware. Were it not for the detailed answers to the sample exam questions, I would not have been prepared for the exam. The Enthuware exams covered the entire variety of questions and topics seen on the real exam, and for that, I am very grateful. I certainly will purchase your product for any future certifications that I wish to obtain.

I believe that the Last Day Test was the best indicator of success on the real exam. In both, there were difficult questions interspersed with ones so simple that I had to double-take in order to make sure that I actually read the question correctly, and the Last Day Test provided a well-rounded review of the exam objectives. It also took about the same amount of time as a first-pass of the real exam. The sample exams 1-6 did not have that variety but instead focused in-depth on the various topics; as a newcomer to Java, they were essential for my learning. I encourage all aspirants to work through the sample exams to learn the underlying fundamentals and then take the Last Day Test to verify their understanding and receive a proxy (in terms of both time and score) of their true exam results.

As I mentioned in my feedback, my one issue with Enthuware is that many of the questions, possibly up to 10% per sample exam (but not the Last Day Test), were in part or fully outside of the scope of the OCAJP 7 objectives. In my opinion, it would be more useful for aspirants to have the sample exams cover the exam objectives inclusive and then to have an entirely separate section allocated as "Here are some advanced topics that you may encounter in preparing for the exam."

Overall, Enthuware was an excellent and essential product. Thank you for making it available.
K. Tsang
Bartender

Joined: Sep 13, 2007
Posts: 2615
    
    9

Congrats chill out a bit and drink up


K. Tsang JavaRanch SCJP5 SCJD/OCM-JD OCPJP7 OCPWCD5 OCPBCD5
Guillermo Ishi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 28, 2014
Posts: 139
    
    1
Jeffrey Jackson wrote:in Enthuware, many questions contained enums, transient/volatile/synchronized/native, wrapper classes, etc.... The test was extremely well-written.


The the most recent prior exam was a great match to Enthuware; it was extremely similar. Transient, volatile, etc. were in the old test - remember nsa for methods tv for variables - feel free to borrow my out of date memory aid

I don't know about the quality of the new test, because if you ask me most any question about ocajp7 level java, or a little beyond, I can give you the right answer. But I don't know if I could ever pass the test.

Enthuware is something everybody ought to have, best thing going that I'm aware of, and the least expensive. Tremendous value for your dollar.
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 5597
    
  15

First of all, a warm welcome to the CodeRanch!

Jeffrey Jackson wrote:so I wanted to create an account and share some thoughts

A very wise decision! Hopefully you stay around and answer some questions.

Jeffrey Jackson wrote:I relied on many of your posts as I was studying for the OCAJP 7 exam, and I took it (and passed it!) today, . This version of the test had 70 questions in 120 minutes with a passing percentage of 63%.

Congratulations, champion with a great score! Don't forget to add your name (and a link to this thread) to the OcajpWallOfFame.

Your story really confirms my suspicion: having java experience or not doesn't matter. Also the (new) exam format doesn't matter. If you are well-prepared, you'll pass the exam with flying colors! Thanks for sharing your experience in such great detail. This thread will be very helpful for other ranchers/aspirants, some of them are a little worried with this new format. Such valuable post truly deserves a cow!


SCJA, SCJP (1.4 | 5.0 | 6.0), SCJD
http://www.javaroe.be/
Guillermo Ishi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 28, 2014
Posts: 139
    
    1
Jeffrey Jackson wrote:some required extensive scrolling through code on the screen.


What did you discover during the scrolling? Was all of the code needed to get the correct answer, or did it turn out to be a case of "public void static main(String[] args)"?

Jeffrey Jackson
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 06, 2014
Posts: 8
    
    2
Guillermo Ishi wrote:
Jeffrey Jackson wrote:some required extensive scrolling through code on the screen.


What did you discover during the scrolling? Was all of the code needed to get the correct answer, or did it turn out to be a case of "public void static main(String[] args)"?



Just as a warning, the real exam doesn't have the silly, quick errors that you'll find in some mock exam questions. So, yes, you'll have to review and understand the code.
Guillermo Ishi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 28, 2014
Posts: 139
    
    1
^ Yes, That is the difference between the old and new test that I thought. I've taken both.

Any tips for flying through that sheeit? Very time consuming for me. Not good at speed puzzles but good at academics
Jeffrey Jackson
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 06, 2014
Posts: 8
    
    2
Guillermo Ishi wrote:Any tips for flying through that sheeit? Very time consuming for me.


Here's a tip that I figured out while working Enthuware's Last Day Test. Sometimes, the code doesn't matter. Always look at the actual question and answers before you look at the "Given:" code block. As a simple example, they might only want to know which options correctly overload a single function in the big scrollable code, in which case reading all of the code simply wastes time. When I was reviewing my answers at the end, I found some questions where I had no idea what was going on in the code block, because the question they asked didn't require me to look at it.

Moreover, always check to see if "Compilation error" and/or "Runtime exception" are even valid options before you start reviewing code; if they are, you have to pay close attention. If they aren't, then you can focus on other things. Searching for compilation errors takes the most time, I think. If that isn't even an option, then that is a happy question to get!

Long story short, to save time, always read the question and the possible answers prior to reviewing the code. Enthuware did a good job emphasizing this, and their lesson paid off.
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3336
    
    8
Jeffrey Jackson wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote:We are glad to know that you liked our product. We will incorporate your feedback to improve it further.

-Paul.


Paul, I want to thank you and your team for providing an excellent product in Enthuware. Were it not for the detailed answers to the sample exam questions, I would not have been prepared for the exam. The Enthuware exams covered the entire variety of questions and topics seen on the real exam, and for that, I am very grateful. I certainly will purchase your product for any future certifications that I wish to obtain.

I believe that the Last Day Test was the best indicator of success on the real exam. In both, there were difficult questions interspersed with ones so simple that I had to double-take in order to make sure that I actually read the question correctly, and the Last Day Test provided a well-rounded review of the exam objectives. It also took about the same amount of time as a first-pass of the real exam. The sample exams 1-6 did not have that variety but instead focused in-depth on the various topics; as a newcomer to Java, they were essential for my learning. I encourage all aspirants to work through the sample exams to learn the underlying fundamentals and then take the Last Day Test to verify their understanding and receive a proxy (in terms of both time and score) of their true exam results.

As I mentioned in my feedback, my one issue with Enthuware is that many of the questions, possibly up to 10% per sample exam (but not the Last Day Test), were in part or fully outside of the scope of the OCAJP 7 objectives. In my opinion, it would be more useful for aspirants to have the sample exams cover the exam objectives inclusive and then to have an entirely separate section allocated as "Here are some advanced topics that you may encounter in preparing for the exam."

Overall, Enthuware was an excellent and essential product. Thank you for making it available.


Hi Jeffrey,
Thank you again for your inputs. This is an excellent suggestion to separate out the questions on topics that are officially not on the exam into another test altogether. We will work on it asap.

-Paul.
Tiberius Marius
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 27, 2013
Posts: 109
    
    2
Jeffrey I have to ask , how are those questions compared to the average question of the exam ?

http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=303&p_certName=SQ1Z0_803

Also i found the number of methods for manipulation String and StringBuilder in Gupta's book very limited to what i ve seen in other books so i have to ask this as well , did you have things at the exam that ware not included in Gupta's book ? I m asking generally but i imagine the String /StringBuilder methods are the best bet.
Jeffrey Jackson
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 06, 2014
Posts: 8
    
    2
Tiberius Marius wrote:Jeffrey I have to ask , how are those questions compared to the average question of the exam ?

http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=303&p_certName=SQ1Z0_803

Also i found the number of methods for manipulation String and StringBuilder in Gupta's book very limited to what i ve seen in other books so i have to ask this as well , did you have things at the exam that ware not included in Gupta's book ? I m asking generally but i imagine the String /StringBuilder methods are the best bet.


The sample questions on Oracle's website were of comparable difficulty, or probably even slightly more difficult, than the real exam. Get used to poor indentation, though. You'll see that throughout.

I believe that Gupta's book provided good overall background and was imperative for me as a newcomer to Java, but Enthuware provided more in-depth knowledge. As an example, I didn't know until Enthuware that the && and & or || and | operators were both valid, but the formers are short-circuit and the latters ensure both expressions are evaluated. While a simple fact, I missed it in Gupta whereas Enthuware drilled it into me.
Roel De Nijs
Bartender

Joined: Jul 19, 2004
Posts: 5597
    
  15

Jeffrey Jackson wrote:As an example, I didn't know until Enthuware that the && and & or || and | operators were both valid, but the formers are short-circuit and the latters ensure both expressions are evaluated. While a simple fact, I missed it in Gupta whereas Enthuware drilled it into me.

You are correct! The Mala Gupta study guide mentions || and && being short-circuit operators and provides examples of how they work. But about & and | nothing is mentioned besides you can use them "to manipulate individual bits of a number value". So coverage of & and | as logical operators and how they differ from the short-circuit operators is definitely missing. Well spotted! Have a cow for that.

(I notified the author about this missing topic)
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 251
    
    9
Many congratulations, Jeffrey!

With much respect,
Mala


Author of Manning's OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Certification Guide and OCP Java SE 7 Programmer II Certification Guide
Mala Gupta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 251
    
    9
Thanks, Roel. Point noted.

With much respect,
Mala
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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