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OCAJP - 8 Journey and Preparations

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Hello all ! here I am again , speaking about my certification!

So I recently passed with 88% and here is how I did it  

 - Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff's study guide
 - Code ranch
 - Java ranch
 - NetBeans IDE
 - a little bit of JLS
 - stackoverflow.com
 - general browsing from sites on the net
 - Enthuware Package

I used this guide completely as my main book to prepare and must say it was very helpful ! Really an excellent book to prepare from, especially for people who have no experience in working with Java on real time industry projects ! But its important that you have a prior knowledge of OO concepts and very basic Java before hand. The way the content has been presented , tables, diagrammatic explanations, very precise and exam objectives oriented content , the review questions are great !  
I downloaded the book by Kathy and Bates for OCAJP 7 as a reference, but never used it   except for a small doubt in switch case. My main study guide was quite sufficient and I thank the authors for this book , a lot of things from this book have been very useful and helpful to me in the preparation !    

The next important source for my preparation is this wonderful and fabulous forum of course ! I haven't attended any coaching for this exam and have no prior experience working . I have only experienced very basic programs involving for loops and condition statements and arrays in college. Nothing to do with the in depth and detailed aspects of Java as in the certification. So I had a lot of doubts which were answered so beautifully and sometimes instantly by the members of this ranch ! I can't thank this portal enough, but will take the opportunity to do so now :

My sincere thanks to Jeanne, Henry Wong, Roel de Nijs, Pete Letkeman, Stephan van lust, Campbelle Ritchie, Mike Roundtree, Liutauras vilda , Paul Anilprem, Tobias Bachert, Daniel Cox. I can't remember any more names , so kindly excuse if  anyone has been missed out. Thanks to each and every one who helped me out. Thanks to Pete for instant replies often .
Special thanks to Henry Wong and Roel de Nijs !! Many of Roel's explanations and articles and Henry's have been very very useful and informative , which may not be available in books too. Sharing such knowledge with others free of cost is really appreciable !   Hearty Thanks to Roel to be replying almost every post , even though late but very correct advise !

JAVA RANCH : This site has very good explanation of many concepts especially String pools and intern . The exact way it happens and the way it is to be understood is explained here. So people preparing, please use this site too !

NETBEANS IDE : Since I have been using the command prompt and notepad in college, and have an idea about the way the compiler shows errors, etc, and also have some practice with using NetBeans, I preferred NetBeans IDE since its easier to code and correct mistakes. Those who are totally new, do not do this as advised by others. Your very first practice on java must be on the text editors. I did also use the command prompt and text editors for practising some code related to packages, imports, etc.

And definitely java must be installed on your system for your preparation because practising lots of SNIPPETS OF CODE IS A MUST !! Not just the book code, but more important is the little code samples we practise . Its very good to get a lot of doubts when studying any programming related stuff and trying all that out in the form of code . So practising your own code and asking yourself every kind of wierd question is a great way to learn !!

JLS : I had to refer to the JLS when at times I tried to understand something veryyyyyyy DEEP    Its useful as well as sometimes confusing , so be careful in using the JLS if you are not very experienced with Java and be careful not to get confused, if so, come to the ranch and ask for an explanation immediately ! But then , JLS is always the best source of information if we know how to use it correctly !

STACKOVERFLOW AND OTHER WEBSITES : I have referred to other sites on google to get some answers. stackoverflow has been one them that has helped me. Again, everything on stackoverflow and other sites may not be always right, so make sure you verify it twice or thrice !

ENTHUWARE PACKAGE : And then coming to the most important part of it all ! I used the Enthuware mock exams package for practising ! LIKE EVRYONE SAYS, I ALSO SAY THIS : ENTHUWARE IS GREAT ! For me , it represented the same level of difficulty as the real exam. And apart from just being an aid for the certification exam, this package is also FANTASTIC in providing a lot of extra knowledge which is useful for both certification exam and otherwise also ! So one can learn a lot using this ! Thanks to the makers of Enthuware. It has super exhaustive explantions for each and every question along with a provision to raise doubts if the explanation is not clear or view the discussions of others users , on a particular question. Try your best to score 75+ or 80+ on all enthuware standard tests , which will guarantee you a pass on the real exam ! Go though every answer even if it is correct , its mandatory ! note down all extra points in a separate file or document and revise them before taking each mock test.


- first, study everrything thoroughly and practise the review questions after you complete a chapter.
- clear doubts then and there without keeping anyting pending
- after the entire material is completed, do one complete revision again .
- start the foundation test and standard mock exams and review all the explanations properly
- allow one day atleast inbetween 2 mock exams for proper review and revision of extra points. (this may not be needed for experienced or well versed programmers)
- if you feel, you are not in touch with the study material during the mock period, you can go through a chapter a day , maybe before or after you complete the review of one mock test.
- do not take mock exams continuously without reviewing all the answers' explanations and learning from your mistakes and weak areas.
- ensure that you show improvement through every consecutive test. a decrease in few marks from one test to another is fine but there should not be more than a decrease of 10 marks.
- in Enthuware, take the LAST DAY TEST 2-3 days before you take your final real exam. review the answers of this too. DO NOT give too much gap between this and the real exam. Just finish the real exam in 2 days after your last day test so that everything is fresh in mind.
- do not get tensed while taking any exam. if a question is long or complicated, mark it and do it last. do not waste time to solve a question.
- if you are running out of time , try to use the options to figure out the answer for a question by eliminating out surely wrong options and info on number of right options to be selected.
- And in the Enthuware, for every question in the standard tests, the exam objective it belongs to and its level of difficulty is displayed. there is an option to hide this. Since this will not be present in the real exam , I suggest , hide it while doing the mock tests too so that it may not influence your way of interpreting or analysing or answering a question or even prompting you to mark a question to do it later.
- Do the questions only based on your perception of how tuff you think it may be and what all to be ware of in the question based on your knowledge and the details given in the question. Often , the difficulty level specified will not match what you may feel about it. hence, hide the difficulty and section at the time of taking the exam so that it mimics the real exam completely.

3. EXAM RESULTS PRE - REQUISITES : A day or 2 before you take the real exam or even much before , as per your wish, allot a little time to create a pearson vue account and a cert view account. get your cert view account authenticated so that its all ready to view results after you have completed the real exam.  the instructions to create these accounts can be found if you google . make sure that the pearson vue account that you use to make your payment at the exam center, is the one linked to your cert view account that is authenticated .


Lilou Laure
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refer to :
my scores

to know about my scores on Enthuware and a little more on what I felt about the real exam that I took , if it could be of some help .
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Hey thanks for the kind shout out Lilou.

I'm just glad a was able to help out. I find that once I have to explain the my answer to a problem that I learn the answer better.
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Congratulations, Lilou! Thanks for sharing your journey in detail. This will definitely help others.
We are also glad to know that our material was helpful in your preparation.

All the best for your next endeavor!
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Congratulations, Lilou! You got great score. My best wishes for your next exam preparation.
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