Hallelujah, after a little over a month of studying I finally took the test and passed! I was actually surprised that I received a 90% though. On Dan's exams, I was scoring around 65%. On Marcus' exams, I was scoring around 80%. Oh well, no complaints here.
Here's some advice for future test takers: 1) TAKE EARPLUGS! I did. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to concentrate. It was pretty loud in there. I felt sorry for some other test takers without earplugs. 2) If you're studying with the Heller & Roberts book, do yourself a HUGE favour and work through all of Dan's mock exams after you finish that book!!! I have no idea how I would have done without working through Dan's exams. I might have squeeked by with a pass, or I might have failed. Dan, I owe you bigtime! Your exams are amazing, and if anyone can do well on them, expect to do well on the exam. The Heller & Roberts book is good, and it really got me off on the right foot, but view it as a place to start and not a place to finish the study process. 3) Try a lot of code samples on your own. Reading books and doing mock exams help, but what really saved my bacon on at least 8-10 questions was the fact that I had tried something very similar myself and seen the result first hand. I'm sure there are one or two people who can get 100% before coding a line of Java in their life, but for the rest of us, practice really does make perfect. 4) Don't rush. Near the beginning I felt like I was running low on time, but I ended up finishing (and reviewing all of my marked answers) in about 1h:25m. I just happened to have the most difficult questions right off the bat! I would have gone through some of them a third time but I had to use the washroom.
Anyways, sorry for rambling. The test wasn't as hard as Dan's exams but did feel very similar to Marcus'. So if you go through those you'll be fine.
By the way, anyone know how long it takes for the 2test.com site to update your history? I wrote the test earlier this afternoon and just checked my history and it said the test was still pending...?
By the way, I forgot to thank everyone at JavaRanch!! Without this site, I would have been eaten alive. A big thanks to JR, everyone here, and Dan and Marcus obviously. What a great community we have here.
Thanks for your advice. I'm planning to take the SCJP exam in a week. I've been going through Java Ranch only for a couple of weeks, and i'm really amazed. I am taking the Marcus mock exams right now and came to know from your post about Dan'a mock exam. I did not notice that in the mock exam list so far. Though i see that in the list i just wanted to confirm it. Are you talking about Dan Chisholm 's mock exams?
Thanks for the name check Ken and congratulations on passing. Vinodhini, yes he means the one and only Dan Chisholm (http://www.danchisholm.net), huge numbers of questions to freely browse online, or buy his book for convenience and portability.
Like Marcus said, Dan Chisholm is correct. I probably spent an hour or two per day for three weeks answering all of the questions I could find on his site and going over the answers until I understood. All of my areas of weakness were pretty evident, so I turned to the Java Language Specification for certain things.
I used the Heller & Roberts book for studying, which left me pretty vulnerable on Dan's tests. I can't stress enough for anyone who is stuck with the Heller & Roberts book to refer to the Java Language Specification on Objects & Classes. The book makes some pretty glaring errors, and doesn't cover even cover 30% of what you should know for the exam. I'd also refer to the tutorial on the Sun website for information on the Collections framework, and check out the API docs on the Sun website for info on the Math class as well as String and StringBuffer. I also went over the Thread API doc about 15 times. Just don't forget the basics, especially declarations (of arrays, multidimensional arrays, etc).
Then right before the exam I went through Marcus' mock exams, which gave me a good indication of my weak areas. It must have worked because I scored higher on the real exam than Marcus'.
Thanks Marcus and thanks Ken. That helped me a lot. since i'm new to this environment i just wanted to do the name check. I finished all of marcus's exams and they are really amazing(I did get 80% ). Now I'm heading on to Den's exams.