I just got back from taking the Java programmer certification exam a little while ago...and passed! What a relief! Thanks go to all of you that provided advice these past several weeks. Here is a summary of how I passed: - took Java course at work about a year and a half ago - after attempting to briefly study sporadically during the following few weeks, barely looked at any Java for the next year and a half (although I did work a while on Java servlets, JDBC etc for an upcoming web site which I plan to complete in the future, the programmer certification does not test you on these advanced topics) - took a sabbatical from work this summer (in part) to get down to business because the long hours of overtime were preventing me from exam preparation - studied the first 4 weeks or so using "The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide" by Roberts/Heller/Ernest - during those first 4 weeks or so, took the javaranch Rules Roundup game about once a week, consistently resulting in "Spiny Cactus" or "Hood Ornament" - after the first 4 weeks or so, took the three Marcus Green mock exams, consistently scoring about 50-60% (also attempted to take other mock exams available on the internet, but usually the English in those exams was so poor I could not understand many of the questions, or answers for that matter) - after the first 4 weeks or so, retook the javaranch Rules Roundup game a few times, consistently resulting in "Hood Ornament" or "Silver Spur" - studied HARD the next couple weeks or so using "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification" by Mughal/Rasmussen, due to consistent advice from javaranch that the Roberts/Heller/Ernest text had numerous errors/inconsistencies - retook the javaranch Rules Roundup game several times, consistently resulting in "Silver Spur" or "Lucky Horseshoe" - purchased the JQ+ mock exam engine for $20 - took the JQ+ exams (one or two per day) and studied answers to all questions after each exam, until consistently getting 70%+ - retook the three Marcus Green mock exams two days before the REAL exam, to make sure that I was ready (I consistently scored about 80%, and since I was interested in a passing score on the REAL exam rather than a near-perfect score, I felt ready) - retook the javaranch Rules Roundup game that same day with a score of 97% - during this entire process I prayed regularly! - took the REAL exam and passed with a score of 71%! - although I plan on posting more advice in the future, for now, note that the testing area I took the REAL exam at this morning was much more noisy that I had expected - I was used to taking exams in my quiet home office - someone's cell phone even went off a half hour into the test even though pagers/cells were supposedly not allowed (I didn't report it, but would have been tempted to had I failed the exam) - best wishes to you!
Congrats Erik for passing! But i m very strange abt the noises in such n exam hall in US man! ------------------ Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim) Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform --When you learn something, learn it by heart!
In response to Donald Nunn's question concerning how long I used JQ+ to study for the test, my response is approximately one and a half weeks. The JQ+ mock exam engine has 9 standard mock exams, which the writers suggest taking one at a time (and studying all answers to at the conclusion of each test) until you start passing them (I took the first 5). In addition, once you start passing the standard mock exams, the writers suggest taking the random mock exams until you start passing them (I took 5 of these as well). The random mock exams, as opposed to the standard mock exams, randomly take questions from the JQ+ mock exam engine's pool of questions, rather than asking you specific questions like the standard mock exams (note that with each specific standard mock exam, the questions are asked in a different order each time to help prevent recalling answers to questions you were already asked). The JQ+ mock exam engine pool contains about 600 different questions, so when you take the exam several times, you will probably see some of the questions more than once, but the writers were clever in the way they worded the questions so you probably will not remember answers to specific questions. In other words, if you study the answers to questions after each test, you will get in the habit of actually knowing why a certain answer is correct rather than memorizing answers to specific questions which you will not get on the real exam. When it is time for you to take your Java knowledge and skills to the real world, you want to really know Java rather than going through the motions. One way of cementing these skills and knowledge is to do some Java programming on your own, especially programming in those areas which you find more difficult. One more thing: the JQ+ mock exam engine also allows you to take mock exams on specific areas of Java, in the case that you need to strengthen a certain area, but I did not take advantage of this option (I was too eager to move on and take the REAL exam).
CONGRATULATIONS Erik! Job well done! I got JQ+ months ago and it is great, but I was getting too familiar with it. To get a fresh batch of questions I recently got JWhiz after I saw Marcus Green recommending to someone to get both programs. Both for $50 is good value. I needed a fresh challenge to break this plateau I was sitting on and it's working Wish you well.
------------------ Percy Densmore -SCJP2 Die Hard Student
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