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Ben Power

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Recent posts by Ben Power

Ankit Garg wrote: try to answer drag and drop questions in the first try so that you don't need to review any of them...



Yeah, this was a pain for me. It's a long and fairly difficult exam, and you are not likely to remember what you answered if you return to the d/d questions after getting to the end of the exam.

Make sure you have a strategy for these going in. Another way to do it is to write down your answer on the markerboard that the test center provides (or enough of the answer so that you remember what you did). Whatever strategy you use is fine, as long as you have one.
The short answer: no. The long answer: here in the US, these are several of the major factors in grad school application (someone speak up if I miss any):

- The GRE exam. There is a general GRE, then there is a CS-specific additional exam (usually called the CS GRE). This is one of the biggest factors in grad school entrance. Virtually all graduate schools require it, and your score is vitally important. Just like cert exams, there is a wide range of study material geared specifically for the GRE.

- In combination with the GRE, your undergraduate study is the other biggest factor. If you scored well on your courses (in the US we say 'graduated with honors,' meaning your GPA was >= 3.5 out of 4.0), this will be a help with the more selective schools. Even a 3.0 GPA is a help. Usually they will need a copy of your undergraduate transcripts, so they will evaluate in part based on that. If your undergrad scores are good, and your GRE scores are good, you stand a good chance of being admitted to most schools.

- The application/interview with the school. You may have to submit an essay with your application as well. The interview (if the school does one) is very important. The interview/essay are the place to mention SCJP, but even then, I would say that it matters little in comparison with your undergrad GPA, the GRE exam(s), and any professional experience you have. But if you are short on experience, you might bring it into play.

The problem is, software development and APIs are not really the core of computer science (as you may know, since you hold an BE CSE). Schools will be more concerned with your skill in mathematics, algorithms, engineering, logic, etc, than they will be with your Java skill. The certification would carry minimal weight compared with other factors. I would say it's not worth it if that's the only reason you're getting it.


Here's the biggest thing about applying to a program: decide on a short list of schools you want to go to, call their admissions office, and speak with an admissions counselor. They will guide you through the application process. If you made high scores in your undergraduate and GRE, you may want to consider schools such as MIT, Stanford, and the like. However, they are very, very expensive, and if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, try one of the state-funded schools (University of Utah, for instance, is a well-reputed computer science school - one of the top 50 in the nation, if I'm not mistaken - but it's state-funded, so it is much cheaper).

Good luck,
Ben
Hehe, I think I deserve a joke at my expense after posting such an opinionated answer.... I don't think I have enough experience to make such a broad generalization. My apologies for the rudeness.

Perhaps I should say that the resources I used were often unhelpful (I didn't like MasterExam, for example - I didn't do well on it, but I did pass the actual exam).

I do think that, in general, the K & B questions were fairly good. The difficulty level is similar to the exam, and the questions are well thought out.
I found that the mock exam drag and drops were poor questions (although many mock exam questions are poor questions). But they're worth doing anyway. I'd do some to get a feel for them, and then the actual test will be easier.

The biggest help I could give with d/d questions is making sure you eliminate all impossible answers (for instance, is this variable still in scope if I drop it here? Is this a syntax or logic error to drop this here? Is this a proper use of the API?). Best of luck.
Remember that a variable pointing to an Object (such as String, or Thread, or fill in the blank) contains only the location in memory where the object is stored. So str2 doesn't contain the actual object, it only tells you where to find the object.

As Ankit pointed out, == only compares the contents of the variable - in this case, the location in memory where the String object you created is stored. Two strings that contain the same characters might be separate objects, and thus would have different locations in memory. So then, when you compare their memory locations, it returns false, even though the strings are "meaningfully equal."

The Object class has a method called equals() that String overrides. It checks to see whether the strings contain the same data. Try changing it to this:



Also do see the articles Ankit linked to. This is a key concept to understand for any Java programmer.
It's a good score, no doubt. But passing is passing.

Better IMO to 1) list the cert, and 2) write some great code and have a website on your resume where they can view samples.
The code for the TreeSet version looks excellent.

The difference is that subSet() takes two Objects as its arguments (that is, two objects actually IN the set), and subList() takes the int value of the indeces. It looks like you've got a good handle on the syntax as well. Looks good!
In an ArrayList, you need to use the index value to generate the sublist, not the actual Integer value contained in the object.

In this code, I changed only the subList() invocation.



generates this output:
[1200, 1350, 1490, 1550, 1845, 2010, 2100]
[1350, 1490, 1550]


Could you post code of your HashSet/TreeSet that works? I might be able to help more if I saw that. Keep in mind that HashSets and TreeSets are not Lists.
Great job, Charles!

Ben
12 years ago

Ulf Dittmer wrote:start with Muffin



This looks interesting to me as well, but the link to the zip file is dead. I checked sourceforge, and the latest package is ten years old. Is there a more up-to-date repository out there? Or did I miss something?

Ben
I took the SCJP 6 yesterday and barely made it... I was under time pressure because I took it for a university class, or else I would have loved to take a few more weeks and get my goal of 90%.

Unfortunately I bombed the section on threads - I think I studied the section ineffectively. Most of the questions were on thread behavior, and I worked hard on wait/notify/notifyAll and some other topics that I had no questions about.

But oh well, pass == pass. Or pass.equals(pass), depending... ;) The road goes ever on and on. I'll finish my Bachelor's degree this spring, then I'm planning to take the SCJD.

Ben
12 years ago

Raju Champaklal wrote:you will get clear after practicing other chapters like oops and stuff



This is so true. For me, I went through the book, then went back to the beginning and everything made so much more sense. The key is, you have to do a lot of writing code while you work through the book. As you do this, things will start to come together in your head, and then declarations/OOP/etc will make a lot more sense the second time through.

I was on a time crunch for my exam, but I would have done much better had I had time to go in detail through the book 2 full times. Still, the things I did go through twice were the areas I did the best on in the exam.

Rohan Kayan wrote:I am planning to go for SCJP6 upgrade exam please let me know which study material should I start with ??



Rohan,

Generally, the Sierra/Bates book is recommended for anyone preparing for the SCJP. See this thread for the usual reply to this question.

Being an upgrade candidate, you may not need to spend months preparing, but I'd recommend going over the book in detail. There are some things added to the exam, and some things taken off it (for instance, bitwise operators are no longer on the exam). I earned my SCJP yesterday, and I can tell you the test expects you to know details of every single category. K&B's book will definitely help you get those things reviewed and brushed up.

Also, you might want to look at some of the q/a in this forum. You may benefit by answering some questions as well. For me, answering people's questions always helps me more than asking my own questions.

Good luck,
Ben
Thanks, as many others said, this has been really helpful as I attempt to organize my thoughts for the SCJP (tomorrow!).

Ben