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Completely read and summarized Mala Gupta's book: what now?

 
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Hi everyone,

I've been preparing for OCAJP 8, and I'm using Mala Gupta's OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Certification Guide. I have read and summarize the whole thing, and now I'm gonna get started with practicing questions.

I'm not sure where to start though. The book contains Twists in The Tale (questions within the chapter), Sample exam questions at the end of the chapter and Mock exams at the end of the book. I also bought the Enthuware mock exams. Aside from that, there's of course some online resources.

What do you think would be a wise way to start practicing code? I've thought about replicating all coding examples from the book and see what I find. Would you recommend this? Any other steps to be taken in your eyes?

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Shane
 
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Hi Shane -

I've included a lot of examples in the book. I'd recommend you write, compile and execute it.
As mentioned in the Twist in Tale exercises, please try to execute the same piece of code, with small changes here and there. It will help to get a hang of how even small changes can completely change the output of any code.

Attempt the same exam questions at the end of each chapter. They reinforce concepts and find missing links too! :-)

Its good to attempt complete mock exams after you are done with the individual exam topics.

All the best to you for your exam. May you pass it with flying colors!

With much respect,
Mala
 
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Mala Gupta wrote:Hi Shane -

I've included a lot of examples in the book. I'd recommend you write, compile and execute it.
As mentioned in the Twist in Tale exercises, please try to execute the same piece of code, with small changes here and there. It will help to get a hang of how even small changes can completely change the output of any code.

Attempt the same exam questions at the end of each chapter. They reinforce concepts and find missing links too! :-)

Its good to attempt complete mock exams after you are done with the individual exam topics.

All the best to you for your exam. May you pass it with flying colors!

With much respect,
Mala


Hi Mala,

Thanks for the advice! I hadn't thought of slightly changing the code yet. That'll be very helpful.

Thank you for the book as well. I love it.

Regards,
Shane
 
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Shane Jensen wrote:What do you think would be a wise way to start practicing code? I've thought about replicating all coding examples from the book and see what I find. Would you recommend this?


Learning a programming language is like driving a car: you don't learn how to drive a car by just reading a book, you have to get your hands dirty. During your preparation you should definitely write a boatload of small code snippets, preferably using your favourite text editor, javac (to compile your code) and java (to run your code). On the exam you need to assess code snippets, spot compiler errors, select the correct output,... (without an IDE). Each code snippet in the study guide should be the starting point to do plenty of experiments (change access modifier, change return type, add throws clause, mark an instance method static or final, and so on). And before you compile (and run) the program, you try to predict what will happen after you made the changes. Then you compile the program (and if it successfully compiles, run it as well) and see if your expectations/thoughts were correct.

Shane Jensen wrote:Any other steps to be taken in your eyes?


Once you feel confident about your Java knowledge and think you are ready to take the actual exam, you should use Enthuware mock exams to verify if your gut feeling is not fooling you Regarding the (Enthuware) mock exams, I always provide the same advice. These exams offer excellent value for money! I would use them solely to monitor your progress and get an objective indication of your readiness to take the actual exam. So you should only take the first test after you have studied and you think you are ready for the exam. You should of course take the test as it were the actual exam, so with the time limit and don't use anything else but paper and a pencil. You have already taken the first test but didn't share your score. And the score is quite important. If you consistently score 80+ on the different mock exams, you'll probably pass the actual exam with flying colours. So you have a good solid knowledge about the exam topics and can go through the incorrect (and correct) questions, read and learn from the explanations. Then you can repeat the material with some extra focus on your weaker topics for a few days and take the next exam.
But if you score less than 80+ on the exam, you need to do some additional studying for a few weeks, because you still lack the required knowledge to pass the exam. And taking more mock exams will generally not provide you this knowledge. So you might want to study a course, read another study guide, write lots of code snippets, and so on before you take anpther mock exam. If you want some mock questions to practice your knowledge a bit, use the questions from the study guides (most of them have practice questions with every chapter and offer one or more mock exams as well) and/or the questions from the mock exams you have already taken. But don't use another mock exam, otherwise you have wasted this mock exam and can't use it anymore to monitor your progress and have an indication of your current readiness for the actual exam (because only first attempt scores will count).

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
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