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Passed OCA with 71%

 
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Hi there,

I'm Stephan and passed the OCA just 2 weeks ago scoring 71%.

Background:
"Learned" some Java (6?) at university some years ago in the usual superficial 'academic' way which leaves you utterly clueless and confused without being entirely aware of it...
So let's just say I started at -1 rather than 0. :-D

I took 5 weeks to prepare for the OCA in full time. And wow!!! It's amazing how much I learned during this time!

Lessons learned:
- I finished very early (28 minutes left) and perhaps just wanted to get it over with, so I didn't recheck my marked answers and clicked on "submit". How stupid! I am sure I could have achieved a much higher score... :-/
- The laminated erasable sheet of paper provided by the test center was awful and the marker didn't work so well. So I tried avoid using it... Next time I'll ask for real pen and paper.
- My nearest test center is ~150 km away. Perhaps I am not the kind of guy to take road trips right before an exam. Next time I'll consider booking a cheap hotel the night before.  

Results:
Oracle provided me with the topics in which I failed. I have to say that I feel rather comfortable with these topics, so I reckon I must have fallen for some evil trick questions on top of my impatient folly described above. I'll revisit these topics just to be sure.

Material used:
01. Finegan and Liguori's "OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide" (Oracle Press)
02. Enthuware
03. "Core Java Volume I" by Cay Horstman

[discovered only 3 days before the exam, only watched some parts:]
04. "OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I (1Z0-808) Complete Video Course" (LiveLessons) by Simon Roberts.

Conclusion:
I can only recommend all of the material above.
Finegan and Liguori's Study Guide was a very good read.
Enthuware is priceless!!!
Only wish I had discovered Simon Robert's video tutorial sooner. He's awesome.


Next:
I am preparing for OCPJP8 right now. I purchased the brand new Oracle Press "OCP Java SE 8 Programmer II Exam Guide" by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates and Elisabeth Robson.

Planning to take the next exam in around 6-8 weeks... No early surrender this time, I promise ;-)

 
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Congrats. Most centers give you lamination sheet/marker these days. While they aren't required to give you pen/paper, they are required to give you a *working* marker. I always test mine before the exam starts and ask for a different one if it is subpar.

Good luck on the OCP! It's a lot harder to take your time studying.
 
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Great job.

If your next challenge is the OCP certification then you may want to check out the OCP Wall Of Fame find here
https://coderanch.com/wiki/659976/OCPJP-Wall-Fame.
By reading the stories you see what resources and strategies others have used. This could save you time, money and frustration.

By the way you may want to add your story to the OCA Wall Of Fame https://coderanch.com/wiki/659980/Ocajp-Wall-Fame when you get a few moments.
 
Don't count your weasels before they've popped. And now for a mulberry bush related tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
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