Mike Smith

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since Oct 27, 2008
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Recent posts by Mike Smith

Hi Zach,

Good luck to you with your second try! My biggest problem was lack of time to prepare with the SCJP 1.4 exam. I was between a rock and hard place when I took it, because it was end of life for that particular test...I studied as hard as I could for 3 weeks and took the test the day before it was retired...but it just wasn't enough. I found the actual time allotted for the exam to too short and I had to race through 15 or so questions near the end to finish.

I am not exactly new to java, but as a maintenance developer (versus a feature developer), I just don't get to write enough new code to become adapt at all the subtleties one finds present on the SCJP exam.

I know people that wrote no code at all and have studied the K&B book and passed the exam....so I'm hoping that with enough review time this time around I can get through with a passing mark. Having the SCJP cert won't get me a raise at work, and won't likely do anything to help at all in my current position, but it's a matter of pride for me.

Please let me know your findings with CramMaster. I downeded ExamLab (free from a member here) and I'll also try http://www.javachamp.com/ (ree too) and see if they help.

What would be help just now would be chapter or topic specific review tests to help push the details further into my head before going to the next chapter.
Great Job Cindy, congrats!

It sucks that your employer won't pick up the cost of the exam for you.

Your notes are quite thorough. Thanks for making these available!

I took the SCJP 1.4 back in Nov 08 and got a 49%...just short of the required 52% but only took 3 weeks to study (it clearly wasn't enough!). I am now studying again for 1.6 and agree with you about the mock exams...they sometimes seem overly difficult and I question how helpful they are.

Which mock exams did you take? Sun's Own or some other brand?
13 years ago
Hi Everybody!

Been a little while...longer in fact than I had wanted. Life sometimes gets in the way it seems, but I am determined to obtain my SCJP.

I tried back in Nov. of 2008 to pass the 1.4 SCJP with less than 3 weeks prep. It didn't go quite like I had hoped and i scored a 49%.

Currently studying K&B SCJP guide 1.5 but am planning to take the 1.6 exam in the end so i will study the extra topics in 1.6. I am giving myself 10-12 weeks to prepare this time around which should be better than last time.

What mock exams are you guys finding closest to the SCJP 1.6?

Whizlabs for 1.4 was not very close and I found numerous errors, so unless Whizlabs is MUCH better, I'll likely want something different.

I read the cert FAQ...I know there are many mock exams available, if you passed the SCJP, which did you like best?



Thanks Ankit,

I appreciate the kind words. Starting in January I will begin my review again, this time around carefully reading each chapter in the K&B book, doing the exercises and self tests. Will also purchase some mock exams although in honesty, I think the Whizlab one wasn't the best to prepare with and I will look for something which is more accurate to the SCJP.

Thanks to everyone here for the suggestions I received directly and also for all the informative posts I found!

Best Regards,


Took the 1.4 SCJP on Wednesday Nov 26. I scored a 49%.

Was very disappointed. I studied for several day straight probably 8 hours day. Suspect my biggest issue was in time budgeting. Had to really rush the last twelve questions or so and had left one of the first question unattempted and couldn't get back to to it before time ended.

Call it a lesson learned I guess.

Gonna study up after the holidays and take the 1.5 cert...paying more attention to time budgeting.

Just wanted to provide an update.
Thanks Mani and Brian. I appreciate your insights.

I agree that review alone won't be enough but I have been code a little while now and specifically with threads and composition and inheritance. I will be doing several of the exercises from the K&B book also.

As for obtaining the deeper understanding, I agree, yes, understanding is critical, but given that SCJP 1.4 is dead after the 28th of Nov...I have limited time.

I will be doing the 1.5/1.6 upgrade in the future and will have more time to review and won't be under the gun so to speak at that time.

The Whizlabs tests seem very good...a bit daunting at first actually...but I am working out what areas to review most in, so it's a big help.

Any other tips or suggestions??
Thanks Prateek.

I appreciate the insight. I will admit to not being the best student, and am usually not very good at testing, so your and others' insight will be most helpful to me.
Hi All,

I know, many of you think SCJP 6 is the way to go...I have a free voucher for 1.4 and am wraping up on an advanced course in java. The exam is encouraged in the class and we did not cover IO nor Generics.

Anyway...my plan of attack given limited time:

Going to try for a chapter a day in the SCJP 1.4 guide (Sierra & Bates)...doing all chapter practice questions and exercises...this is going to be tough for me but I know this may give deepest understanding.

I just purchased the whizlabs 1.4 prep kit....they seem to push one to take their mocks until you understand and can answer as second nature any and all questions. I was thinking to use these mocks when I can't read from the book because of time etc...

What would you all suggest? time is a factor and reading each chapter I know will be terribly tedious to me personally...(no offense to Bert or Kathy!!). I tend to be quite anxiousness and have a hard time studying for long periods.

Any suggestions welcome (other than taking a different test version ).

[ November 13, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Smith ]
Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!
I am in the same boat as you are. Posted the following two topics and haven't gotten much in the way of responses as yet:


and also


The first post is more straight and to the point...the second post was perhaps vague as to my concerns so I posted with a more clear question.
I can't get a straight answer from Prometric and I have no idea who I would email at Sun to find out for certain.

I have seen a rather vague message on the SCJP 1.4 page about if using a voucher you take the exam before Nov 28th...but this leaves the question about retakes should one be needed etc.

Prometric was virtually no help....no answers at all.

So...question are:

1. When does SCJP 1.4 expire/die/end it's life??
2. If SCJP 1.4 becomes invalid on Nov 28th, what would happen in a re-take scenario?

Thanks much,

Sorry Bear, didn't mean to break the rules...My real name gave errors as did my second choice. I have corrected my display name now.

[ October 27, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Smith (356) ]
Hi everyone. I am considering taking the 1.4 exam but had a couple of concerns. Hoping you all could provide input and suggestions.

I have worked with java for a couple years now but never formalized my knowledge via certifications. I harbor no illusions that I posses any great degree of knowledge and I have taken a couple of classes in an effort to broaden my understanding and hopefully fill in some of the gaps I had prior to taking the exam.

But, as I understand it, the 1.4 exam is at end of life here very shortly (Nov 28th??). Why am I focusing on 1.4 instead of 1.5? Mostly because my instructor advised us to do so and because I am a little afraid of generics.

Anyhow, I called Prometric to schedule the exam but in doing so, they couldn't confirm the exam expiring on the Nov 28th and could say what would happen if I somehow didn't pass and needed to retake. Very frustrating that they didn't know anything about the exam they administer.

Can you all advise me on the soundness of taking 1.4 versus 1.5 SCJP and what will happen come Nov 28th if the exam is retired and I find myself in need of doing a retake?

Thanks so much in advance.