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Bill Graf
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I started Java earlier this year with no previous programming experience by enrolling in a 10-week course. I have taken some mock exams and have scored around 55-60%, and didn't pass the Brainbench test when I took it. I was wondering what would be a realistic timetable for passing SCJP, and any advice for doing so.
Thanks!
 
Theodore Casser
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I hate to say it, but I don't put much stock into the Brainbench exam for 1.2.
For starters, their emphisis is a little bit different and they incorporate (if memory serves - it's been almost six months since I last took their exam) questions on some of the packages not tested on the SCPJ2 exam.
My company tried using it as a gauge as to who was ready to attempt the SCPJ2 and who wasn't, and it turned into a horrible disaster. It's good as a test-taking practice, and I imagine that it will give you some idea in your head of where you might be weak on Java, but... as an indicator of readiness for the exam, it leaves something to be desired.
As for timetable, well... that's something each person has to decide for themselves. I've been writing serious code in Java for about a year (I was solely an ASP/HTML jockey before that), and in retrospect, I wish I'd had another three or four months before I'd taken the test so I could have felt more secure about it. My company gave me five days warning that they wanted me to take the test, so I crammed and that's how I managed to pass - a coworker who tested at the same time as me with just as much warning and more experience didn't pass.
General rule: write code and study until you feel comfortable, and then do mocks and decide if you're really ready.
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Theodore Jonathan Casser
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java2 Platform
IBM Certified Specialist - WebSphere Application Server, Std. Ed, V3.5
 
Charlie Swanson
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I was getting around the same scores as you are getting about a week ago.
What I did different was:
1. if you have a question get it answered.
2. Use JQ plus on a section by section bases.
3. I read "Thinking in Java", and when I finished a chapter
I did most of the exercises at the end of the chapter followed
by the JQPlus exam on that section.
When I took the exam, I would start out with the easy tests
and build up to the really tough tests.
4. I would every so often take tests of everything I had
studied so far, taking a more difficult test each time.
If I found an area of weakness, I would study it.
5. I would help people in the Java certification salon a little
each night.
6. One thing I found is that I find it hard to memorize data.
If I understand something, I don't have to memorize.
A few things you will have to know rote, but not much.
 
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