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George Dee-Brown
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Hey rancheros,
I took the exam yesterday after studying for 3 months. I found the following to be the most helpful :
1. Mughal "A programmer's Guide to Java Certification". Chapters 1-14 & 18. I read these chapters twice, answered the chapter questions, did the exercises for I/O and Threads and did the exam at the back of the book. The book has an academic style with precise English and clear instructive examples. If you are going to buy it make sure you get the latest version by checking the publisher's site (www.awl.com/cseng) as my version of the book required over 30 pages of errata ( http://www.ii.uib.no/~khalid/pgjc/jcbook/ ).If I were only allowed one resource, Mughal would be it.
2. Writing, compiling and running code using JDK with TextPad. I got these from the CD that comes with "Core JAVA 2" volume 1 or 2, however they are also available by downloading. The books are average (I only read half of volume 1) but worth the cost to get the CD as downloading JDK can take hours. Setting the TextPad "run" menu to JavaC enables you to run the compiler directly from TextPad.
3. JQPlus sample 1-9, the "Very Tough Test" and a customized test consisting of all (VE,E,T,VT &RB) IO and threads. JQ+ have copied many of the questions without any changes straight from the free Mughal exam engine. It is still worth the $20 for the improved interface and excellent explanations (also the Mughal exam engine just gives an exam % - i.e. it does not tell you which questions you got wrong/right).
4. The Java API http://java.sun.com/products/jdk/1.2/docs/api/index.html. I used this to verify important classes such as Math, String StringBuffer, Object, File, Thread and interfaces Runnable and DataInput/Output.
5. Velmurugan's excellent study notes (velmurugan_p@yahoo.com). Thanks again!
6. WWW.JAVARANCH.COM I checked the "exam results" board regularly which kept me motivated. Also the round-up is the only mock with a sense of humour!
I finished the exam with only 12 minutes to spare and used this time to review questions that I had marked. There were many questions with code (which you can view using the Exhibit button) but few, if any, had more than 15 lines. Only one question required me to enter text (this was related to the contents of a String/ StringBuffer). The I/O and Thread were well covered by Mughal and JQ+. Understanding thread synchronization is important.
There are some questions that are definitely meant to mislead i.e. the exhibit looks like a complicated scenario but actually is about overriding/overloading or even access modifiers.
I read each word of the code before looking at the possible answers. There was a lot more questions on inner classes than I expected.
Other Mocks I found useful:
- JTips1 & 2. For difficult questions on the fundamentals.
- JavaPrepare
- MG1 & MG2.
Mocks to avoid:
- MG3 has a lot of problems which I've told Marcus about.
- JXAM has some incorrect questions/answers
- JCertify - the exhibit code has to be viewed thru a 7 line textarea. This quickly became unusable.
- JavaCaps and the Mughal exam engine - do not tell you which questions you got right/wrong, just an overall score.
I also bought Exam Cram but found Velmurugan's study notes and my own notes written from Mughal/JQ+ more useful. The Cram Sheet is more of a gimmick than a useful pre-exam reminder ( it does not include threads or IO which you are guaranteed about 12-15 questions on). I read the alerts and tips in the week prior to the exam. Also it has a list of 11 "words reserved not currently in use" of which only 2 are correct!
The bottom line is, when you don't understand something or get a mock exam question wrong, write it down. Then write code to test these points. Its also very instructive to copy the code from JTips exam questions and paste it into a .java file in Textpad where it can be compiled.
Good luck!
George
 
Samira Mastali
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Congratulations George.
that is a great score.
Could you please give us your tips ans notes, if it is possible?
Thanks in advance,
Samira
 
Siobhan Murphy
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Congratulations George.
May I ask if you are able to review questions you have not marked, or are you limited to questions you have marked only?
 
Matt DeLacey
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WOW!
Great score.
 
George Dee-Brown
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Samira,
I made 7 pages of hand written notes from Muhgal and questions I got wrong in the mocks. Some interesting points are:
- the(variable); is not valid to chain local constructors
- String s = "G"; int i = 0; s += i; is valid as is s = s + i;
- inherited protected members can be accessed by sub-classes in different packages only when the reference variable is a sub-class.
- array initialization w/bracketed list can only occur w/declaration
- Writer.write() only takes String, char[] and int. NOT char!
- default construtors are assigned the accessibility of the class therefore classes without a constructor and with default accessibility can not be subclassed in other packages.
- String x = null; is considered initialized.
- null can be passed as a parm to all methods taking an object as long as there is only one class at the end of the inheritance heirarchy.
- reference valiables can have the same name as the class i.e. String String = new ("X");
- variables declared inside main are not initialized as they are local to main.
- acquiring a monitor will not prevent a non-sync method from accessing shared resources.

Velmurugan's notes are excellent. If you understand these notes you will pass. (Velmurugan_p@yahoo.com).
Regards,
George
 
George Dee-Brown
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Siobhan,
I did not try to review questions that I had not marked so I cant say for certain. I was reviewing the final marked question when my 2 hours finished!
My guess is that you can review unmarked questions. When you complete question 59 a "review" button appears. When you press this a screen is displayed with 4 columns containing 59 buttons. The marked questions are indicated "M" so I am guessing that you can select unmarked buttons as well.
Regards,
George
 
Dave Vick
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Great score!!!
congrats and good luck

Dave
 
Donald Nunn
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Congrats, George and thanks for all the great explanations and directions for exam prep.
Regards,
Donald
 
shailesh sonavadekar
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congratulations. that is great news. great explaination. it will help many aspirants.
Your Friendly Bartender
Shailesh.
 
Jane Griscti
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Congratulations George
------------------
Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
Velmurugan Periasamy
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Thanks for the appreciation, George.
My study notes can be downloaded from
http://www.geocities.com/velmurugan_p
Best wishes.
------------------
Velmurugan Periasamy
Sun Certified Java Programmer
----------------------
Study notes for Sun Java Certification
http://www.geocities.com/velmurugan_p/
 
George Dee-Brown
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Guys,
thanks for the all good wishes!
Another point I remembered from reading a post by Persy is that it is important to be clear about the difference between pre and post increment.
e.g.
Int x = 0; System.out.println(x++); // will print 0. x = 1.
This may be embedded in 15-20 lines of code which looks tricky but I belive the extra code is there just to distract you from the main point.
good luck,
...George
 
Samira Mastali
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Hi George,
Thanks for your advice.It will help a lot.
Best Regards,
Samira
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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Congrats Gorge and excellent opines.
Can u give me the link for JTips mock exams? And also should i give standard exams of JQ+ or very tough questions only. I gave one and scored 70% yesterday and learning from the mistakes like spelling, uncareful reading etc. In this respect i found J@Whiz easier.
------------------
azaman
[This message has been edited by Ashik uzzaman (edited August 19, 2001).]
 
George Dee-Brown
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Azaman,
the link for JTips mock exams is http://www.jtips.net/index.html.
The standard exams (sample 1-9) in JQplus contain all grades of question except the most difficult that they refer to as "Real Brainers". Once you have taken all 9 samples you have seen 540 questions. Doing the random tests is just going to repeat these questions with some "real brainers".
I would suggest doing all 9 sample tests then running some custom tests with just VT (very tough) and RB (real brainers) especially in the areas you are weakest. Also consider doing this for threads and I/O as you can expect close to 15 question from these areas in the SCJP2 exam.

70% is a good score for your first exam. Dont expect a high score from the JTips exams as they contain tricky question on the fundamentals.
Good luck!
...George
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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Thnx for the link George!
But i m facing hard to memorize all the constructors of I/O. But i have coded using abt all the construcors and IO classes. Still trying to remeber the parameters....

------------------
azaman
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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