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A Minute to Learn, a Lifetime of Anxiety

 
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I mentioned this before a long time ago.

I know the answer is "We don't control that, just disregard it".

For all of the online practice exams in the Sybex OCJP books (and probably the others) the suggested time per question is one minute each!

I know, just ignore it, but most people who are ready to ace the tests would have serious trouble finishing 22 of those questions in 22 minutes.

Just making the suggestion as two minutes per would probably avoid scaring the heck out of many prospective test takers, some of whom may be getting scared enough to give up.

Alternatively (or both) make it clear in the books, first learn all the material, then get faster to the point you are quite likely to pass the tests given the tight time constraints, but even then only the "shorter" (not necessarily) easier questions will actually get completed in less than 60 seconds by most people.

I am happy on my first attempt if I can get them on an average of between two minutes and two-and-a-half.
 
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Jesse Silverman wrote:I know the answer is "We don't control that, just disregard it".


Yep. The real exam gives you 90 minutes for 50 questions (a little under 2 minutes each)
 
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When are you going for your exam Jesse?

The only certification I have is the Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate which I got on my first attempt, but the experience was so harrowing that I would probably have the same stress with the OCJP exam, even though I know Java like the inside of my trouser pockets.
 
Jesse Silverman
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Not sure, but since I lose access to the online materials for the Sybex 815 at the end of the month, I am finishing up my final pass of the review for that stuff and going thru Jeanne and Scott's Bonus Mock Exams this week.

The 819 combines all the trickiness of earlier Sun/Oracle Java exams, with a huge scope (only a few things dropped which I knew anyway) and the tightest tick-tick-tick-BOOM time limits ever seen.

When I seem obsessed with knowing things BETTER than the inside of my trouser pockets, this is why.

With a scant 108 seconds per question, it is quite possible to blow the exam due to slow recall despite knowing pretty much everything at a level that would allow you to ace it with say, 160 seconds per question.

I understand the authors don't control it, but a suggested time of one minute per is truly insane, anyone THAT fast should be flying fighter jets, winning Video Game Championships or defusing bombs at the end of Action Movies.  You would have to be going really, REALLY fast.

I got stellar grades on all standardized tests in my Academic Career before beginning work, including finishing the first past before most test takers were halfway thru.

Oracle most definitely rewards/requires high speed, at least on the 819.
 
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My personal experience with SCJP was that I got like 4-5 questions wrong initially. Fortunately I had time to review all answers, and I corrected all of them (at least I think I did, I still got 1 question wrong in the end ).
 
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Ankit, while I am personally quite impressed, as that unambiguously demonstrates solid mastery of the material, the current incarnation of the 819 places a very high value on getting the right answers very quickly.

It seems quite easy for someone who knows more of the material quite well, but tends towards being a bit more slow and careful to be left behind in the dust by someone who knows it pretty well, but is just naturally a speed demon.

It is not clear how much of this is because those hiring people with Certification want speed demons on their teams, and how much of it is accidental due to combining the 815 and 816 into one big fat exam, which they decided not to make three hours long.

Either way, speed and strict time management is now something that everyone but the naturally fastest test-takers need to keep in mind (without causing panic to sink in, which will of course kill one's performance) when it comes to the 819.

That said, even among minor Speed Demons that would find they finished the 819 with time left over, successfully completing the chapter review questions in an average of one minute would mean one could have saved the production team on the Flash series from having to use computers to speed up filmed scenes.  108 seconds requires unflagging focus and forward momentum from start to finish, 60 seconds...feels like you should be on tv playing The Chase against Java Jeopardy Champions, not taking a mere cert exam.
 
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