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84% hurrah! plus some thoughts/tips

 
Mikey Warren
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Passed this morning with 84% - woo hoo !
- Just thought I'd share this with you.
Thanks Java Ranch. I visited this site quite a bit whilst studying and found the Rules Roundup and groups like this one and the Mock Exams Questions helped a lot. I haven't contributed to any of the groups before, but thought this would be good time to start - so here's a few thoughts that may be of interest to anyone studying for the exam.
The studying:
It took 12 weeks of studying in evenings/weekends (I program in C++ at work) from knowing no Java to passing the exam. Knowing C++ definitely helps, but its still quite a bit of work if you're not using Java in your work. One thing I would say you must do if you're going to take the exam is get Sun's objectives. For some reason I couldn't find them the first few times a visted Sun's website and came to the conclusion that there weren't any official objectives, luckily I tried searching for them a couple of weeks ago and found them that way http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/exam_objectives.html#programmer. I was suprised at how specific they are - they proved invaluable in the last couple of weeks revision. I found IO and AWT particularly daunting, but by focusing on the objectives and drawing out diagrams of the related classes I managed to get 60% and 75% respectively on these (woo hoo !).
I used Syngress/OSbourne "Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Study Guide" which gets bad reviews on Amazon, but I found it generally OK (I'd try one of the other exam books that gets better reviews though if I was doing it again) - the website has corrections, and a chapter on io which is missing from the book. I also used Peter vander Linden's "Just Java 2" which is brilliant - I think you'd probably want to have done a bit of programming before using it but it was perfect for me. For mock exams I did all of Marcus's, which were good - thanks Marcus (my scores ranged from 59% - 79% 3 or 4 weeks before taking the real one) - make a note of questions you get wrong and try them again a couple of weeks later (this saves doind the whole exam again which takes about 2 hours and starts to get boring as well as hard work the 2nd time). I also did the 10 example questions on Sun's site(10/10), the rules round up several times, (there was always one cow that wouldn't go in) and I paid for the JQPlus exam simulator (I got 71% on the random test) which I'd recommend - although I did feel that some of the questions were outside the objectives. Don't rely on any one mock exam to prove you're ready for the real thing.
The exam:
I'd heard that there was always more than enough time, so I started very slowly and carefully, half way through the exam I had only answered half the questions, and was planning on reviewing some of them - so had to speed up a bit - there is enough time, but don't do what I did and take that as meaning you can afford to take no regard of the time - if you're not sure about a question mark it and come back to it at the end.
I got one question that I felt sure only had one correct answer, but the exam indicated that there were two, I went back to it and after rereading it a dozen times suddenly realised what the 2nd answer was. I had heard that if there isn't a correct answer you should leave it blank, but I'm not sure if this is true - the introduction to the exam didn't mention this, so I think I would make a guess.
There was a complete mixture of questions ranging from easy to tricky, but I don't think I got any questions that I felt fell outside of the objectives. I think it is a fair test that you have a good understading of the basics, but I imagine that it would be quite possible to be a quite experienced Java programmer and fail it.
OK thats it - I'll post my results on the http://www.jdiscuss.com/Enthuse/jsp/ViewAllResults.jsp site, so I can see my name up in lights.
thanks Mike + good luck to anyone else studying for the exam.
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Dave Vick
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Good job Mikey, nice score too. thanks for the detailed comments too. I'm getting set to schedule my est in a week or two and your comments were helpful - I'm going to go actully [b]read[/] the objectives now
What is the web site for the book you got with the i/o chapter on line? I'm pretty weak in I/O too and could use another reference - is it free for anyone or do you have to have bought the book?
Thanks
Dave
 
Mikey Warren
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The website for the io chapter is :- http://www.syngress.com/solutions/whitepapers/javaio_whitepaper.htm
I'd recomend trying to write a few example programs - that cover the objectives, and also draw out the class hierachy's for InputStream/OutputStream, DataInput/DataOutput, Reader/Writer, noting what constructors there are, and the sort of methods there are for each class and try to understand how that relates to the programs you've written. Also make sure you know what the File class does - its separate from the others and pretty easy to understand.
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Donald Nunn
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Congrats, Mike and thanks for the exam study details.
Donald
 
Sean Casey
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Congratulations Mikey!
 
Jane Griscti
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Congratulations Mikey, thanks for the informative post
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Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
Snylt Master
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Congratulations Mikey. Thanks for the links. Pretty good.
Good luck.

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Preparing for the Java 2 Certification exam
 
Vanitha Sugumaran
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Congratulations Mikey, Thanks for sharing your experience and the links. All the best for your future.

Vanitha.
 
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