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OCP 8 Topics on the exam that are not in the book?

 
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I used the OCP Java SE 8 Programmer II Study Guide book from Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff to prepare myself for the 1Z0-809 exam. I'm now using the Enthuware mock exams to further prepare myself. However after taking the first Enthuware mock exam I got 13 questions about topics that are not in the book.

I asked Enthuware about this in this post. Basically they included those questions because they got feedback from users who took the 1Z0-809 exam and reported getting questions about these topics.

Here is a list of the topics:
  • RandomAccessFile
  • DataInputStream
  • volatile keyword
  • StandardOpenOption enum
  • wait() yield() notify() notifyAll()
  • ResultSetMetaData
  • SimpleDateFormat and Date
  • FileSystem.getRootDirectories and FileSystem.listRoots

  • Note that this list is only after taking one Enthuware exam there might be more topics in the other mock exams that I haven't taken yet. Some topics are also not mentioned in the Oracle Exam Topics list or at least not explicitly. Some things like the SimpleDateFormat and Date classes are mentioned in the book as the old way of doing things that should not be on the real exam.

    I would like to know from users who actually took the exam if they remember getting questions about these topics?

    I also would like to ask the authors of the book how they decided which topics to include in the book? Did they only go by the list of topics as posted on the Oracle site or did they receive more detailed information or actual exam questions?
     
    Enthuware Software Support
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    Thank you for starting a conversation on this issue. Only a very few of the content providers are actually involved in the creation the real exam questions. They know exactly what is and what is not on the exam. The rest have to rely on official exam objectives and the feedback provided by the users. Since this exam is still relatively new, I would expect some tune up to the question bank as we go.

    Another thing is that the exam is known to include new questions and modify exam objectives from time to time. So there will always be some mismatch.
    The good thing is that at least we can react to such changes faster than other providers.

    -Paul.
     
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    To answer your last question first, BOTH. The book is entirely based off of the exam objectives, along with feedback from taking both the full and upgrade exam (4 exams between the two of us). For example, Oracle gave us early access to the OCA objectives while we were still writing that book. Also, no provider receives actual exam questions from Oracle other than when you take the exam.

    While Oracle is free to change the objectives at any time (which we say multiple times in our book!), I'd be very surprised if some of them items in your list make it into the OCP8 exam. We have not seen them any of them times we took the exam. In fact, the ones related to thread handling (wait() yield() notify() notifyAll()) were specifically removed from version 8 of the exam, as the focus is now on the Concurrent API.

    Alternatively, I have seen cases where some test example providers (not thinking of Enthuware actually) recycled questions from the OCP7 test banks, without taking into consideration that these questions may not be on version 8 of the exam. In other words, I've seen OCP8 test exams padded with OCP7 questions. Since we didn't have an OCP7 book, all of our questions are fresh and based entirely off of the OCP8 exam.

    Believe me, Jeanne and I had *long* discussions about every single topic in your list, in part because some of them were in early lists of objectives and later removed. For example, I wrote multiple pages about DataInputStream/DataOutputStream that hit the cutting room floor. No need to have readers spend a lot of extra time on a topic that we know isn't on the exam.

    Since our book came out, we've paid close attention to feedback, on our blog, from the publisher, and in this forum. Anything that we believe is not covered in our book, either because we missed it or (more likely) because Oracle changed an objective is listed on our blog: http://www.selikoff.net/ocp We keep this page updated all the time! If we really believed any of those topics you listed were on the exam, we would have added them already.

    Good luck studying!
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    Thanks Scott for your answer. I want to respect everybody's opinion on this matter. It seems that Enthuware / Paul says that users reported seeing questions about those topics on the real exam that is why they include them in the test bank. Scott says that he and Jeanne did not see any questions about those topics on the exams they took and think they are not on the exam.

    Any feedback from users who recently toke the 1Z0-809 exam would be very helpful at this point. Especially if they have seen any question about those topics or not. I hope we can get some feedback about this from users who have already taken the exam or are about to take it. I will add my own feedback when I'm ready to take the examen which will probably be in 4 - 6 weeks time.

    I want to thank everybody for the responses so far.
     
    Scott Selikoff
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    Oh, one thing I forgot to say... it doesn't "hurt" to study topics that are not on the exam. You might use wait()/notify() if your own projects and that's fine. The exam objectives are about what the writers of Java think are important given the limited amount of time you have to take the exam. It's not in any way a test of the entire Java API.

    That said... some exam objectives were removed because better versions were added to the Java API or exist elsewhere. For example, Files.walk() with lambdas/streams is far easier and more powerful than using DirectoryStream, which is probably why DirectoryStream was dropped from the full OCP 8 exam. Likewise, I know very few people who use DataInputStream/DataOutputStream in every day coding, instead choosing to serialize data to JSON, XML, or even a database.

    In other words, feel free to learn topics outside the scope of the exam! While they won't help you pass the exam, they will broaden your education.
     
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    Most of those topics listed are those that were on the OCP 7 and were explicitly removed on the OCP 8. As Scott said, we watched for topics our book didn't cover on the exam. And we took both the regular and upgrade exams. These topics are nowhere to be found. And I find it highly unlikely that Oracle explicitly removed topics from the objectives only to sneakily add them back.

    I do want to add one point - some exams contain "unscored" questions. If the people who reported seeing these topics had an exam with more than the minimum number of questions, it is possible that Oracle was testing OCP 7 questions by making them unscored questions on the OCP 8.
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    Please note that Paul / Enthuware has updated the question bank for the OCP 8 test exams.

    The question about the topics listed in the first post of this thread are no longer included in the standard tests. They are moved to a separate category so that users can still use them if they want too. This means that when you take the standard mock exams you will only get questions that you should be able to answer if you have followed the book.

    Thanks Paul for providing a very quick solution for this issue!
     
    Paul Anilprem
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    FYI - There are a total of 5 basic questions on two topics (ResultSetMetaData and Map's computeIfAbsent) that our authors swear they saw in this exam. So we haven't moved them out.
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    I updated the test bank and just took the second Enthuware mock exam and this time I got 15 questions that are not specifically mentioned in the book. Although some of them are about classes and topics listed in the exam objectives so it will be difficult to determine wheter they are or are not on the real exam because the exam objectives are not very specific.

  • boolean ConcurrentMap.replace(K key, V oldValue, V newValue) enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1101
  • FileInputStream.ready() enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1794
  • Compiling old source code that uses assert as the name of an identifier, in 1.4 assert became a keyword e.g. using javac -source 1.3 enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1384 and enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1322
  • List#subList enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1877 although you could argue that this is such a basic method a developer should know about this
  • volatile keyword enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1730
  • About what happens when you do a resultSet.getString(“AMOUNT”); when the SQL data type of the column is FLOAT. enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1155
  • IntStream.boxed() IntStream.sequantial() enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1896
  • CallableStatement en PreparedStatement enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1372, enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1356
  • Serialization using readObject(ObjectInputStream is) and writeObject(ObjectOutputStream os) in a serializable class for custom behavior enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1389
  • FileVisitResult enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1219
  • What SQL standard a JDBC compliant driver must implement enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1376
  • Connection.setAutoCommit() and Connection.commit() enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1160
  • Even though it is in the category 14 - Not In Syllabus I still got enthuware.ocpjp.v8.2.1432 in my Standard Test 2. The question is about DateFormat and NumberFormat


  • Of course it could also be that some of the items in the list are actually in the book. I tried to check that by going through the index and the parts of the book that handled the subjects.
     
    Paul Anilprem
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    1. volatile: This is not in the exam objectives but our authors feel this is very important to know about. Any discussion on synchronization is incomplete without it. I can't take them out without approval.
    2. FileVisitResult is miscategorized. It should not be there.
    3. 2.1432 on DateFormat is also a mistake.

    Rest are all good and actually very important.
    -Paul.
     
    Scott Selikoff
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    I don't have time right now to look through them all but off the top of my head...

  • Serialization with ObjectInputStream/ObjectOutputStream are definitely in the book... I think we wrote 6-7 pages on the subject
  • Callable/PreparedStatement is definitely *not* on the exam although if you read our note on page 522, we find it silly that Statement is required for the exam and PreparedStatement is not. In real life, you should use PreparedStatement
  • We cover SQL driver versions extensively in Chapter 10

  •  
    Robbie Gooi
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    Scott Selikoff wrote:Serialization with ObjectInputStream/ObjectOutputStream are definitely in the book... I think we wrote 6-7 pages on the subject


    In the book the Object ObjectInputStream#readObject() and the void ObjectOutputStream#writeObject(Object obj) are covered. The Enthuware question is however about adding the following methods to the object itself that you are serializing deserializing e.g. the Animal class:

    Which as far as I can see are not covered in the book.

    Scott Selikoff wrote:We cover SQL driver versions extensively in Chapter 10


    Yes but the question is about SQL standards such as SQL92, SQL99, SQL:2003 it is not about JDBC 3 or JDBC 4 drivers and how you should load them that indeed is covered in the book.
     
    Scott Selikoff
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    While I doubt these items are on the exam, some of these topics are a bit of a grey area. For example, the "Files" class has almost a hundred methods. We cover the ones that believe are important, have seen on the exam, or have received feedback for on the exam. In other words, the only way the Enthuware and book would be perfectly in sync on every single possible question, is if they we written by the same authors, which obviously they are not.

    While it's certainly possible for Oracle to add experimental questions on some of these topics (as Jeanne pointed out there are test questions on exams that you don't get scored for), it's hard to say whether you really need to know these for the exam.

    Have you read Chapter 4 yet? There's dozens of methods and classes you *do* need to know for the exam, so I'd spend time on those rather than looking for stuff that is debateably on the exam. What I can tell you is that many people have studied from our book, as well as Enthuware, and have passed the exam.

    As I said in an earlier post, the exam can be pretty selective about what it includes. You may see 3 objectives covered in a single question and no where else. You're likely to encounter at least one question on the real exam that you do not know how to answer, either because you forgot, its an experimental question, or it was somehow missed by our book and the Enthuware tests (because its new). If you know the base material really well, a handful of questions aren't going to impact your score significantly.
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    I agree Scott it probably isn't worth the effort to go through all the differences between the book and the mock exams. We should not forget that the majority of the questions are correct. I have to say that with the mock OCA exam there where also small differences.

    Indeed I can't say that I remember all the classes and methods that are described in the book. Probably nobody does, I think it is nearly impossible to score 100% on the real exam. That is also not the goal off course, the goal is passing the exam.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
    Scott Selikoff
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    You should have seen the beta exam.. I spent half my time filling out feedback forms for questions that were completely nonsensical or had invalid answers!
     
    Greenhorn
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    I took exam last week and I can guarantee at least on my exam there aren't questions like mentioned.
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    I took the exam today and I passed with a score of 88%

    Of the topics listed above I got one question about FileInputStream.ready() and another question about the StandardOpenOption enum. I didn't get any questions on the other topics.

    To prepare I took all the enthuware mock exams and was scoring around 75% on the last ones. So the book and the enthuware mock exams definitely are a good method to prepare for the real exam which is slightly easier.
     
    Paul Anilprem
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    Robbie Gooi wrote:I took the exam today and I passed with a score of 88%

    Of the topics listed above I got one question about FileInputStream.ready() and another question about the StandardOpenOption enum. I didn't get any questions on the other topics.

    To prepare I took all the enthuware mock exams and was scoring around 75% on the last ones. So the book and the enthuware mock exams definitely are a good method to prepare for the real exam which is slightly easier.


    That's great, congratulations!
    Thanks for your feedback

    Regarding the topics mentioned above, I would not expect anyone to get a question each on all of them. But out of millions (or thousands) of test takers, some one or the other will certainly get one or two.

    When test takers who get such questions provide feedback that they got a question on such and such topic, we have to listen and make sure other users are not blindsided. No matter whether it is fair on Oracle's part or not, it is the candidate who pays the price. If they get such a question early in the test, they might lose confidence. For this reason, we err on the side of caution, even though that might annoy some people.

    But congratulations to you again, great score
     
    Robbie Gooi
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    I forgot to mention that I also got a question about JDBC updateRow() that as far as I know is not covered in the book. I saw somebody else also mention this on the forum that he got such a question.
    It was an interesting one where the connection was SCROLL_INSENSITIVE and CONCUR_UPDATABLE and there where two resultsets with the same data and the row was updated in one resultset and you had to figure out if the changes of the updated row was visible in both resultsets.

    BTW I understand that what I have seen on a single exam doesn't say a lot about if those questions really are not on the exam at all, because each exam is a different selection of question out of a large pool I suppose.

    It's always frustrating that from all the things you have learned only a small subset is asked on the real exam, but of course you don't know which so you have to learn them all. For example I only got a single question about the ForkJoinPool while I spent quite some time learning the specifics there. I also did not get any question about the daylight saving time. Most questions included lambda's and streams but also tested other topics like File IO in a single question.

    One question had a lambda with a double arrow something like: IntFunction<IntUnaryOperator> test = a -> b -> a + b; that I haven't seen in the book and also not in any mock exams. But those are the exceptions 99% of the exam is in the book and on the mock exams.
     
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    I passed the exam about a month ago, and the only bad surprise I had was with JDBC.
    There were a question with the moveToInsertRow (and updateRow maybe) method, and another one with the setMaxRows method. Maybe there was another trick in these questions, or maybe they were unscored, I couldn't know...
    I didn't notice any other gap. I did all the Enthuware tests, learning along the way the items that were uncovered (although much more superficially) so I may have not noticed something else. I'm pretty sure Enthuware had a question with at least one of these JDBC methods.
    It is definitely not a deal-breaker for me. But spending a bit more time on Enthuware JDBC questions might be a good idea.
     
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