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Passed SCPJ2 Exam. Some thoughts (maybe advice?).

 
TonyM
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Posts: 9
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Hi everyone,
I sat for the exam on Friday and received a good passing score. Personally, (unless someone gets 99 or 100% which is pretty fantastic!) whether someone receives 61% or 85% is irrelevant to me. If they passed, that's all that really matters.
I'd like to thank Roseanne Zhang for her great website (http://www.webappcabaret.com/javachina/faq/01.htm) and the pages of info included therein.
I also wanted to thank all the Javaranchers who post their thoughts and experience on taking the exam as this has helped me tremendously in what to look out for. I will now try to do the same to help others.
Based solely on the advice of other javaranchers, I bought JQPlus ($20). All I can say is this was the best way for me to really consolidate my java knowledge into a cohesive and usable form. In addition, the real test was just about equal in difficulty to the JQPlus mocks. I even found two questions which were nearly identical to those found in JQPlus. In short, I doubt if I would have passed the exam without it.
The real exam was about 50/50 code and multiple choice/question-answer. Most of the code was about 10-15 lines long and one around 30 lines.
There were some tough I/O questions regarding File, DataInputStream, FileInputStream and RandomAccessFile. Be sure you know the constructors and methods and how the classes relate to each other (if there is any relationship).
There were quite a number of questions regarding inner classes and their access to variables in enclosing classes, some trick interface questions and some weird anonymous class stuff (stuff I didn't even encounter in JQPlus).
I studied Threads a lot but didn't do too well there. There were lots of questions on them too. Pay special attention to synchronization, race and deadlock issues.
With respect to java.lang, they seemed to mostly test the understanding of the immutability of the String class. These questions were relatively straightforward. Be sure to be familiar with the methods of the Math class too (i.e., what their return types are and how they treat -0.0/0.0 and NAN).
There was only one pretty standard garbage collection question.
As expected, lots of questions on flow control. Look out for labels, break and continue, where you can use them and where you can't. Lots of questions also on exceptions. Know the class hierarchy starting with Throwable.
With respect to java.util, there were the standard questions but one weird question on Hashtable.
Finally, pay close attention to questions which seem to be testing one concept but in reality are testing something else.
My conclusion is that the exam is not about just memorizing facts but more so about how everything works together. Anyway, as everyone else says doing mocks is really important and sometimes the mocks are harder. But on the other hand, don't underestimate the real exam for a second as it's likely to throw some surprise curve balls at any given time.
 
Valentin Crettaz
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Good job Tony
 
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