Thanks to all who have contributed "pearls of wisdom" to this site! I just got back from the SCJP and scored 96% (57/59). I never would have approached that score without this site and the contributions made by those who have gone before me. The mock exams were also very helpful in pointing out some of the more subtle rules in Java, so here's a very public THANK YOU to Marcus Green and others who have taken the time to put very pertinent information out on their web sites. I know there are some of you (like I was yesterday), thinking "yeah, yeah, yeah, now tell me about the test!" So in the spirit of Leena Rane,(aside: Leena, your email was an inspiration to me since I could tell you knew so much more when you took the test than when I read your post two days before I took the test!) here's my two cents... If I had to take it again, I would study more, not less. Though I did find most of the test VERY straight-forward, there were a couple of questions that tested the very limits of what I had studied for the test. I missed one question on Threads and one on Exception Handling. Coming home from the test, I thought I knew for sure which two questions I missed, but after looking at my API, I think I guessed right! Hmmmmmm.....which ones did I miss? java.io.* -- you have to know the constructors of the main classes. I know there's a lot, but at least one of my questions required knowing a unpopular constructor for one of the more popular classes. Remember the "is-a" relationship rules -- if you need an OutputStream, and you have a correctly constructed BufferedOutputStream, a BufferedOutputStream "is-an" OutputStream! Threads -- you have to know the methods of the Thread class. Not just yeild() & sleep(), either, I was asked about one method I had never seen before (in a mock exam OR my RHE). Checked my API, though, and sure enough, it's right there! AWT & Events -- know your default layouts and how & when components are resized. GridBagLayout is fair game. Event listeners are mostly very easy to remember, but you do need to know the pattern to add them and how to make an anon class to implement them. I got a question on the only listener pattern that I would consider "tricky." (I'll leave that for the reader to figure out...) Exceptions -- know the whole heirarchichal scheme under Throwable (there is a branch not included under Exception). Understand which statements are executed when an exception is thrown, whether or not it is caught, whether or not there is a "catch" statement, whether or not there is a "finally" statement. Collections -- I hate to say it, but you have to learn both the conceptual reason for each interface, AND the special attributes of some of the concrete classes that implement them. I wasn't asked about all of them, but I was asked about one, so I expect they are more out there in the random test question generator! Other -- know your operator precedences and arithmetic promotion rules. As many have mentioned before, there are a couple of topics that can be mastered relatively quickly during preparation. Get these down and you will be able to skate through several problems on the exam with a cursory look. Overriding and overloading; can't call instance members from a static method; top level classes can't be private; valid class/method/variable names; Java keywords; Strings are immutable; arrays are initalized at creation; etc. To study, I bought RHE. I almost bought one of the commercial exam generators (I learn best from testing), but eventually relied on the free mock exams and did fine. The only advice I have on the mock exams is to be careful not to let them lead you into studying stuff you don't need to know for the exam. Learn the objectives and make sure you know those concepts cold. Good luck to all. Thanks again to everyone who is helping on this site. Matt Burba Sun Certified Java Programmer!!!
Congrats Matt !! excellant score all the best for your future
posted 18 years ago
** Oh my gosh, Leena Rane just congratulated me... ** Thanks to all of you! Again, I appreciate your contributions to this site -- they were invaluable. Muhammad, since you asked, now I'm looking for a job. Any ideas? Eventually, I think I'll start to work toward the Developer exam, but don't want to pay the $400 it costs by myself...hopefully my next employer will pick up the tab!
Excellent score and excellent suggestion about not letting mock exam questions bait you into studying irrelevant material. I was tempted several times during my study to go astray. Many mocks give Graphics questions that are deeper than the real exam objectives. You can waste a great deal of study time in the Graphics class if you try to learn it in great depth.