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Passed it! Extensive list of tips on how to study.

 
Carlisia Campos
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Hi guys,
I passed the exam this past Monday.
Here are my thoughts on how I would go about studying for the java exam if I had to do it again:
Visit these links:
This person has categorized some good studying materials in stages: http://www.geocities.com/kongwenyu/sjpc.html
Here you can measure your mock exam scores against the scores of people who have passed the exam: http://www.jdiscuss.com/Enthuse/jsp/ViewAllResults.jsp
Great resources: http://www.javaprepare.com/
List of more resources: http://www.javaranch.com/gramps/SCJPLinks.jsp
JQPlus is the best (and very affordable - $20) exam engine. This is the one you should buy if you only buying one. I didn't like the one from whizlab (it had many questions on applets and I was getting 75% at a time when on Marcus I was getting 50-60%). It has 300 questions and you can see your week areas: http://enthuware.com/jqplus/
To me paying $75 for the Sun exam was worth it. If anything it gave me a good idea of the style and level of difficulty (it's pretty similar to the real thing) of the real exam. I pretty much only used it the day of the exam before I went in. I went through every question checking my answer. It has I think 290 questions. http://suned.sun.com/US/catalog/courses/WGS-PREX-J025B.html
The free practice exam from Sun is here:
https://tmn.sun.com/WLC/servlet/GuestLoginServlet?id=programmer
Good mock exams: http://www.jtips.net/index.html
Marcus Green excellent mock exams: http://www.jchq.net/
Velmurugan excellent study notes (you're not going to learn from these, but they are an excellent and concise review material) http://www.geocities.com/velmurugan_p/notes.html

Books I used:
-Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide (RHE) - If you are not very experienced with Java, this is the book for you.
-A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification - Mughal - Very hard book. Twice I wanted to give up the exam after reading this book and taking the exercises in it. However, it is excellent, it throughly explains the concepts. There are some chapters in it you don't need to study though (applets, painting, others).
-Java Exam Cram - Excellent and concise. With the topics less known to me I often read this book, THEN I read RHE, THEN I read Mughal. This was the best approach.
My recommended strategy:
First read the books and learn the material, take the exercises in the books. Have a notepad and take notes of the topics and you don't know in a way that you can study them from you notes. I recommend going through one book, then start taking JQPlus, then pick up another book and focus on the areas where JQPlus tells you are week. At this point, I had discarded my first notes and started a new notepad, this time with less topics that needed my attention. After you're done with the second book, start taking some mock exams. At this point you should have a very good idea of your week points. So get cue cards and write what you don't know by topics with a full explanation, including examples, one for each topic. For example: methods, inner classes, variables, one for each i/o class, one for each layout manager, etc. Go through these EVERY DAY at least once. If you think you'll end up with more cue cards then you're able to read in one day, you should still be focusing on studying the books instead of doing the cards or taking mock exams. Once you're working with the cue cards and doing mock exams, write on new cue cards those questions that you get wrong on the mock, even (and specially) if they are the ones you know that you know. You might end up with card of repeated topics, but that way you'll end up reading the topics you're having trouble with twice at least. When you start getting those right you can take them out of the stack. Save your best exams (Marcus, Sun, JQPlus Random) for the last days before the exam. Being able to immerse myself in the mock exams and the notes (not watching tv, not doing anything else) for the last 2 days before the real exam was crucial.
Someone at JavaRanch gave a really good tip on studying for layout managers and i/o: read the J2SE documentation. You need to know the classes hierarchy and the methods that they inherit and create. When you're studying this topic and the book presents you a class, have the documentation near and go through the entire class.
Know the fundamentals.
Also, try and participate in the JavaRanch discussions. If there are questions you don't want to answer that's fine. If there are questions you can't answer that's not a good sign. Searching for the answer and answering questions that you don't know are a good way of engraving that in your head.
I coded, but didn't code as much as generally recommended.
My scores:
JTips 1: 38%
JQPlus Ramdom: 61%
JQPlus Test 3: 51%
RHE Exam 1: 62%
RHE Exam 2: 68%
RHE Exam 3: 66%
Marcus 1: 73%
Marcus 2: 68%
Sun Certification - Passing score: 61%; my score 74%; studying time: 3 months; java experience before start studying: 3 months; my next step: study for the SCWCD while I look for a job in Boston.
I would not have done it without all the info on JavaRanch. It was really helpful to know where I was and where I should go, based on everyone's comments and suggestions. I too always wanted to have my name on this section, and am very happy I've made it! Guys, I was smiling all the way home after the exam.
Ah, one thing to comment about the facilities: The computer had Win3.1 (never thought I'd see this again in my life) and a 10" monitor. I couldn't see the question and the code at the same time, it was very annoying and time consuming to go from one window to another.
--Carlisia
 
Carlisia Campos
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I just remmembered: I got at least 7 questions on threads. That's 11% of the questions! And they were the first ones to come around.
 
leena rane
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Hearty Congratulations,
Thanx for the tips,
All the Best for SCWCD
 
Puneet Narang7
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Congrats Carlisia,
Thanks for the GREAT TIPS.
Puneet
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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Congrats Campos and nice tips prepared for SCJP-aspirants!

To me paying $75 for the Sun exam was worth it.

I couldn't understand why $75? I had to pay 150$ for the Sun exam voucher and more than $50 for bank charge, center charge and others....totally more than $200
Would u explain? Well, i welocme u in SCWCD forum as that's also my next plan.....

------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!
 
Carlisia Campos
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To me paying $75 for the Sun exam was worth it.

I couldn't understand why $75? I had to pay 150$ for the Sun exam voucher and more than $50 for bank charge, center charge and others....totally more than $200
Would u explain? Well, i welocme u in SCWCD forum as that's also my next plan.....

[/B]

$75 for their exam engine, in other words, the Sun version of JQPlus.
See you at the SCWCD forum soon Ashik.
 
Muhammad Farooq
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Congrats Carlisia.
Thanks for ur great tips and all the very Best for SCWCD.
--Farooq
 
Jane Griscti
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Congratulations Carlisia

------------------
Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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Yah Campos, i was also thinking that. Anyway welcome to SCWCD forum.
Another comment, i had JQ+ and J@Whiz and i prepared well for the exam and there were so many mocks avlbl in the net that i did not get enough time to finish all the mocks (i did not think necessary also)....i gave only 3 of J@Whiz and 6 of JQ+. I don't think more than one mock exam simulator is necessary if u have Khalid Mughal and RHE. What do u think?


------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!
 
Carlisia Campos
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Originally posted by Ashik uzzaman:
Yah Campos, i was also thinking that. Anyway welcome to SCWCD forum.
Another comment, i had JQ+ and J@Whiz and i prepared well for the exam and there were so many mocks avlbl in the net that i did not get enough time to finish all the mocks (i did not think necessary also)....i gave only 3 of J@Whiz and 6 of JQ+. I don't think more than one mock exam simulator is necessary if u have Khalid Mughal and RHE. What do u think?



I agree. I took 1 exam from JWhiz, figured out it wasn't as good as JQPlus, went back to JQPlus but didn't even have enought time to take all the JQPlus exams by the time I felt I was ready to pass the exam, which was what I was aiming for.
--Carlisia
 
Angela Narain
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Congratulations !
Was wondering ,what type of questions were there on the Threads topic. More of scheduling or thread basics ??
 
Padmaja Balaji
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Congratulations !
Padmaja
 
Percy Densmore
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CONGRATULATIONS Carlisia!
Job Well Done
Personally I benefited by having both JQ+ and JWhiz with 600 ques each. They are different which is good to expand your thinking about certain concepts. Marcus recommends both as being good value for your money.
Wish you well

------------------
Percy Densmore
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
Carlisia Campos
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Originally posted by Angela Narain:
Congratulations !
Was wondering ,what type of questions were there on the Threads topic. More of scheduling or thread basics ??

Thank you!
I would say that half of them were not basic. There was one I could not even begin to imagine what the answer could be, and it was nothing like what I had seen about threads. I don't remmember specifics about the questions.
 
Karen Michelle
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Congratulations, Carlisia! Thanks so much for the tips!
Cheers!
Karen
 
Elizabeth Lester
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Hi Carlisia,
Congrats on passing the exam.
I also had a testing experience that was not so great (I discuss it here).
You should let Prometric know of your experience as well!
Good luck with the SCJD,
Liz
------------------
Elizabeth Lester
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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