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Passed SCJP 1.4

 
Marlene Miller
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Yesterday I passed the SCJP 1.4 exam.
On my way to the test center, it occurred to me - I might not get a good score, but the exam cannot take away all that I have learned. It�s OK whatever I get.
In the evening I went to hear a string quartet at the university. I planned it that way. No matter how I do, I can listen to the music and forget about what happened and get my priorities and perspective realigned. So before the concert, I found my seat, sat down and opened up the program notes to read about the performers:
�The Gewandhaus-Quartett is the oldest, uninterruptedly existing string quartet in the world.� uninterruptedly. interrupted(). isInterrupted() InterruptedException. Yikes. Java has followed me here!
As it turns out, I missed one question in the section Fundamental Classes in the java.lang package. So that comes to 98% as they say. I wonder if I should have put quotes around the composite string I had to type in.
Thank you for all the support and advice during my last anxious days before the exam. Did I make everyone else nervous too? Thank you Tom � read the question twice and answer the question.
----
I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to Kathy Sierra and Paul Wheaton for this wonderful site where people of all nations and all levels of knowledge and experience can share and help each other to learn and achieve.
Thank you Dan Chisholm for your incredible mock exams. What an amazing teaching-learning tool to help us secure a deeper understanding of the concepts.
Thank you Jose Botella and Jim Yingst for generously applying your keen intelligence and expertise to help me to understand. Thank you so much for your time. It was fun.
Thank you Thomas Paul and Bert Bates for trying so hard to keep me focused. Thank you for the technical help and practical advice and your time. Thank you especially Bert for your wonderful sense of humor.
A special thanks to my two special study buddies Alton Hernandez and Andres Gonzales. I learned so much from trying to answer your questions and from your answers to my questions.
Thank you Corey McGlone, I aspire to equal your crystal clear explanations. Thank you Kathy for your many insights and extended excursions into what the exam writers were thinking.
Thank you Cay Horstmann, my first Java teacher. Thank you Arnold-Gosling-Holmes, my Java mentors, for the correct and trustworthy explanations and insights. Thank you to my father and my sister for your support.
Thank you Marcus Green & Pradeep Chopra-Whizlabs for your helpful mock exams.
And thank you to all of my victims � all who helped me by asking so many good questions. Thank you Gopal, your questions are hard.
----
I have programming experience in the procedure-oriented paradigm. As you will see, I had to start from the beginning again with OO and Java.
Java teachers:
1. Cay Horstmann, Core Java I&II, SJSU CS151 homework assignments, OO Programming & Patterns (with Java)
2. Arnold, Gosling, Holmes, The Java Programming Language
3. Java Language Specification (& a little JVMS)
4. Doug Lea, Concurrent Programming in Java
5. Joshua Block, Effective Java
6. Andrew Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems (Processes and Threads)
7. Timothy Budd, An Introduction to OO Programming
8. Michael L. Scott, Programming Language Pragmatics
Exercises and mock exams:
1. Dan Chisholm�s mock exams
2. Khalid Mughal, A Programmer�s Guide to Java Certification
3. Bert Bates & Kathy Sierra, Sun Certified Programmer & Developer
4. Bill Brogden & Marcus Green, Exam Cram Java 2 Programmer
5. Marcus Green�s mock exams
6. Bill Brogden, The Collected Hardest Questions
7. Whizlabs mock exams
8. JQPlus mock exams
9. Sun ePractice exams
Other sources of help:
Practice, Practice, Practice, Code, Code, Code
Trying to answer other people�s questions
Advice from the Sun Certification Results forum
I have been looking at Dan�s questions over and over all summer and into the fall. I cut-and-paste every question into my editor, compiled and executed the code. Eventually I could predict the compiler error text or exception. I tried to answer the question without looking at the options. Then I executed the code. Anything that I was unsure of, I researched or made new examples to test. Only then, I looked at Dan�s answer and studied his remarks. Then I found the corresponding rules in the JLS. The strategy here is to be an active participant, to avoid just reading. I kept a log of wrong answers, the almost wrong answers (my choice before looking at the options) and any question that contained something I was unsure of.
I wish I had paid more attention to the mistakes I was making and to the generic feature of a question that results in an error.
I worked through the Whizlab exams twice. I began to develop some strategies, checklists and experience of what to look for. I kept a log of the ones I got wrong and ones I had trouble with.
I developed a consistent style of (theoretically) mistake-free one-pass computing, a way to keep track of intermediate results on paper, when and how to draw pictures for array access, String and StringBuffer compositions, GC analysis and thread analysis.
In the last days before the exam, I worked the three Sun ePractice exams several times and reviewed Bert & Kathy�s exercises and exams. My guess was these two sources represent the kind of questions I would see on the exam. On the morning of the exam, I did some Sun ePractice exam thread questions for warm up.
I had a lot of trouble finishing the mock exams in time. I could either answer the questions correctly or complete the exam in two hours, but not both at the same time. On the real exam I had 12 minutes left to review. I worked straight through instead of marking the hard ones and returning to them later. I figured I would only have time to read a question once. Knowing I would only have one chance, I applied some post-exam advice given by Jeff and Colin in this forum. Look at every option and know why the one you choose is correct and why each of the others is not correct. Before leaving the question, ask yourself, are your sure, are you really sure?
I never had a chance to show that I had finally mastered my nemesis - referencing a instance member from a static context.
Here is my one contribution to the ongoing list of advice

[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Great job, Marlene! I knew you could do it!
Now you can relax and aswer questions for fun!
 
Jim Yingst
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Congratulations, Marlene! (Dare I say "It's Miller time!"?) Well done.
 
Bert Bates
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WOW !!! 98% !!!
Awesome Marlene, just awesome!
All I can say is, I hope you stick around here! Your knowledge is incredible and your posts and answers are amazing.
Congratulations!!!
-Bert
 
Jessica Sant
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very nice done Marlene!
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Congratulations!
 
Andrew Monkhouse
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Congratulations Marlene - fantastic result
Originally posted by Marlene Miller:
In the evening I went to hear a string quartet at the university. I planned it that way. No matter how I do, I can listen to the music and forget about what happened and get my priorities and perspective realigned.

Hehehe - I have gone horse riding before every exam I have taken so that I can be relaxed when I go into the exam.
Regards, Andrew
 
Thomas De Vos
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Many congratulations on such a fantastic score.
Your example of will power and determination will be a great source of inspiration for many SCJP aspirants to follow.
Well done!
 
Marlene Miller
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Here is what I did before the exam Andrew. The night before I told myself, this has to be easier than performing a solo cello recital in public. No one is staring at you. And there is no bow that might start bouncing on the string of its own will spicato-like when your muscles tense up.
In the morning, first thing, I practiced a piano piece I am working on called Fleas. The notes hop about here and there like fleas. Very appropriate for my anxious mood. I set the metronome beat to very slow. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. Calm. Down. Pulse. Pulse. I played the piece until my mind was in control of my hands. Then I increased the metronome beat. Etc. It is a fun piece with a nice melody. This helped me a lot.
Horseback riding sounds like an even better idea. There are a few cows just beyond my backyard. Hmmmm.
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Andres Gonzalez
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Marlene:
�The Gewandhaus-Quartett is the oldest, uninterruptedly existing string quartet in the world.� uninterruptedly. interrupted(). isInterrupted() InterruptedException. Yikes. Java has followed me here!

We can't escape from java . Congratulations, you know I was anxiously waiting for your this post. You deserve it.
Now let's get back and help all SCJP aspirants.
stick around...
 
Marlene Miller
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By the way, the quartet was founded in 1809, but the players didn't look like they were 200+ years old.
 
Andres Gonzalez
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We'll miss your byte code posts.....
 
Marlene Miller
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Oh that's so funny. I'll bet the out-of-scope police won't.
 
Bert Bates
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I like the 'out of scope' posts, they don't hurt my brain so much
I'm serious now Marlene, you'd better stick around or we'll put some bad mojo on you
 
Marlene Miller
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And speaking of out-of-scope, nobody liked my Ten's Complement They even threw it out of the forum. I carefully researched that one so as to get it right. :roll: I thought it would be helpful. Two's complement in our own native base. It ended up in the General Java forum. I am sure those people thought, Uh... WHAT is THIS and WHY :roll:
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Jim Yingst
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I am sure those people thought, Uh... WHAT is THIS and WHY :roll:
And you think that doesn't happen in the Programmer Certification forum?
 
Marlene Miller
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Hee Hee. Ho Ho. OK, you win.
I expect everyone to like foundations as much as I do. That's unreasonable. An orchestra is not made of 100 bassoon players. At work you need only one byte-code nut.
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Barry Gaunt
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Congratulations Marlene!!
BTW you can do it all again in a couple of years.
What's next? EJB Specification 2.0/2.1?
-Barry
 
Marlene Miller
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Hi Barry. It's been a while. I remember you from when I first came to the Ranch. I think you upgraded to the Cattle Drive forum shortly thereafter. I remember two things. You teased me about always quoting the JLS. And you advised people to eventually read a real book on Java, such as The Java Programming Language. I was glad to find a like-minded person.
As for EJB. I hardly know what that means.
What is the world of Java like from your perspective? if you prefer, specifically regarding a good foundation for being a high-quality programmer/designer and a valuable and productive employee - isn't that why we are here? What is your strategy?
[ November 01, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Anupam Sinha
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Congrats Marlene.
 
Marlene Miller
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Thank you Tom, Jim, Bert, Jessica, Ernest, Andrew, Thomas D.V., Andres, Barry and Anupam. I appreciate your comments.
[ November 01, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Marlene, your next step should be to look into servlets and JSPs. Perhaps the SCWCD exam? or maybe just relax and read the Murach "Servlet and JSP" book and take it easy for a change.
 
Gopal Shah
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Marlene you seem to break records everywhere, be it in having the highest number of posts or in getting the highest num of Congrats ...
I will add to the cause ...
To one of the most awaited results in the forum ----->
++++++++++++++++++++++

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
 
Vad Fogel
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Congratulations, Marlene!!!

[ November 01, 2003: Message edited by: Vad Fogel ]
 
Marlene Miller
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You are all so kind. What a treat!
Tom, I am so conservative and unadventurous and narrow-minded. I was thinking C++. Dan is encouraging me to consider XML. JSP? Thank you for the advice. I appreciate all the insight you are willing to offer.
But first things first. My study room is a mess. The house is a mess. My computer is a mess. Notes and papers and books all over the place.
 
Cathy Song
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Hi Marlene,
Congrats..great score..

Your hard work is extremely inspiring. Thanks for your thorough replies to our questions at this forum.
And loads of good luck for all your future endeavors....
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Congrats!
Thank you Marcus Green & Whizlabs (Pradeep Bahat, I think) for your helpful mock exams.

It is Pradeep Chopra from Whizlabs!
 
Marlene Miller
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Pradeep B. I corrected my erratum. It does make sense to me that there are two Pradeep's, because your styles of responses and occasions for comments are different.
 
Alton Hernandez
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Wow !
GREAT SCORE Marlene
I haven't been around lately, but when I finally see your post in the other forum that you had taken the exam, I immediately came to this forum.
I think you had been a great help, not only to me, but to others as well.
I hope you stick around.
Congratulations again.
Al
[ November 02, 2003: Message edited by: Alton Hernandez ]
 
Jeff Bosch
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Congratulations, Marlene! My family had accused me of overpreparation - I should make them read your prep program! I don't think Sun engineers go through so much.
If you do go into C++ (which I am doing here in work, on embedded systems), you'll do great. You have such an amazing eye for detail, and C++ has lots of challenging detail. It's sort of like Java on hallucinogens.
Anywho, again, congratulations, and please be sure to stick around JavaRanch!
 
Marlene Miller
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Gosh, I have so many nice friends from all over the world. Thank you all - Gopal, Vad, Cathy, Pradeep, Alton, Jeff, Bengt, Harwinder, Lalitha.
C++ == Java on hallucinogens? Well, on second thought, what was that Dan said about XML? All of those intimidating words - XERCES, XALAN, FOP, SOAP. What happened to good ole TCP/IP?
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
Jeff Bosch
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What happened to good ole TCP/IP?

Too many people learned how to spell it, so Buzzword Bob's Acronym Emporium had to make stuff up to sell more certification programs!
 
Corey McGlone
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Congratulations, Marlene! Very nicely done.
And as far as that 10's complement post, I liked it quite a bit. However, no one is going to see 10's complement on the SCJP exam, so I moved the post to where I thought it fit best.
Just because I move something doesn't mean that I don't like it (or hold any grudge against the poster). It's my job to help keep things organized. That's what I do.
I hope to see you hanging around in the future. Again, great job!
Cheers!
 
Ajith Kallambella
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Congratulations Marlene!!
 
Barkat Mardhani
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Great job Marlene.
 
Marlene Miller
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Thank you Cory, Ajith and Barkat.
 
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