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Passed SCJP 1.4: Couldn't ask for more !!

 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Hello friends
I just came back from the test centre after taking my exam. You'd be really surprised (but not as much as I am) to know that I scored 100% !
I'm still in a state of 'sweet' shock ! Thank you Java Ranchers for making this dream come true for me.
I'll write a detailed note later on my entire experience from preparation to finally taking the exam.
Thanks again everybody.
Cheers
Harwinder
[ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Harwinder Bhatia ]
 
Lakshmi Saradha
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Congrats Harwinder!!!
 
Milind Rokade
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hello Harwinder
YEAH! gr8
you have done relly good woork.
I am also appearing for the SCJP.
But still i don't know as what time it will take me to cover the sylabus.
will like to know as what prior knowledge you had about java and what time did you take to appear for he exam. What are the fees in Indian rupees.
will ask you more querries later
Milind
 
Rashmi Tambe
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100%!!!
gr8 score...congratulations !
 
Vad Fogel
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Wow Harwinder, awesome score!
Well deserved congrats to you!
 
Anupam Sinha
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Congrats Harwinder.
 
Jeff Bosch
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100%!!! Shocking!!! Amazing!!! Stupendous!!! (In other words, congratulations!)
 
Bert Bates
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Whoa!!!
Fantastic!
Congratulations!
You better stick around the ranch and spread some of that awesome Java mojo of yours!
Bert
 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Hello everybody
Thanks so much ... Lakshmi, Milind, Rashmi, Vad, Anupam, Jeff and Bert.
Finally I've been able to assimilate my happiness and get to write about my experience.
About me
1. I had absolutely no Java experience when I started preparing for the exam.
2. I do have programming experience in C, C++ and many other languages. So, I wasn't really new to Object Oriented methodology.
Preparation time
1. About 5 months total duration - 3 months casual, 1 month serious and about 2 weeks really intense !
Books
1. Khalid Mughal for SCJP 1.2
2. Kathy & Bert for SCJP 1.4
3. Java Complete Reference Programming
(I just posted my detailed and entirely *personal* opinion on the 2 books on the certification forum)
Mock Exams
1. Dan Chisholm (all 27 exams)
2. Marcus Green (all 4 exams)
3. Khalid Mughal's mock
4. K&B Master Exams (both exams)
5. Javacertificate.com (all exams)
6. Valentin Crettaz
7. Java Prepare
8. Bill Brogden
9. Java Ranch Rules roundup
Other Resources
1. JLS: One complete pass.
2. Java API Specification (of course)
Real Exam
1. Very similar to K&B Master Exam
2. About 15 questions were above average difficulty.
3. About 5 questions were HARD .. really hard, especially couple of thread questions. I spent about 18-20 minutes on those 2 thread questions. Trust me, after attempting the first 20 questions, I was telling myself "Harwinder, you'd be lucky if you could get 80% here".
4. About 10 questions were really really simple. In fact I couldn't believe they could make it to the exam !
5. Plenty of questions with compilation and runtime errors as the correct answer.
6. Separate 15 minutes for a survey of 9 questions.
7. The 2 hr timer starts ticking on additional 3-4 survey questions. This seemed very unfair to me eventhough it takes only about 2 mins to answer them.
8. The exam software was Windows based and was pretty stable and intuitive ... no problems there.
Acknowledgements
Thanks a lot, Khalid Mughal & Rasmussen for your wonderful book.
Thanks so much Kathy and Birt for your book, your assistance on this forum and your liveliness (I really enjoy your witty comments ). I must say you both are wonderful people.
Thanks so much Dan Chisholm. Your mocks definitely helped boost my score by 15%.
Thanks to all Java Ranchers, especially to my study buddies (at least I believe so) Marlene Miller, Vad Fogel and Cathy Song. If it was not for Java Ranch, I would have scored 60-65% and would have been happy with my score.
My Journey over the past 5 months
(for those wandering souls who have nothing better to do ):
I started preparing for the exam around July this year. I started with a basic Java programming book (Complete Reference) and then moved on to the certification book. Khalid Mughal was the only certification book I read for the first 3 months (started really sloooow). I was planning to write the exam in October and my target then was to get about 75%. This was before I discovered Java Ranch (got the link from Khalid's website). I registered on the Ranch on Oct 18th and slowly started getting the hang of things around here and started participating in the forum. First person who really caught my attention was Marlene Miller. I was so impressed by her knowledge, her comprehensiveness on the subject, eagerness to help others and her dedication towards her goal.
As I started hearing about people scoring 95% and more, it seemed as if nearly 95% of Java Ranchers score 95% or more marks. In fact, to be honest here, I really started doubting these results. But anyhow, as a result of all this, I raised my goal to 90% too !! I came to know of K&B's book and Dan's website through Java Ranch.
As I became a regular here, I was inspired by more people, especially the exam aspirants like Vad Fogel and Cathy Song. I was so impressed by their perseverence and their desire to go into the root of each problem. I was spending an average 2-3 hrs everyday on Java Ranch.
Slowly each one of them (Marlene, Vad and Cathy) passed the exam and I was left alone and almost lost my focus. Then I ran into some issues in my personal life which distracted me for a while. I didn't study for about 2-3 weeks. Finally, beginning of Dec, I decided upon a date (Dec 15) and started preparing again. I must have studied for atleast 100 hrs in last 2 weeks (to make up for the time I lost earlier), spent absolutely no time on the ranch, attempted about 1500 mock questions and took the exam on 15th. Before going into the exam, I thought I was 2 weeks short of preparation.
Anyway, that's about it. I'm shifting my geographical coordinates, getting married, switching jobs and still hope to stay around
Cheers
Harwinder
[ December 16, 2003: Message edited by: Harwinder Bhatia ]
 
Marlene Miller
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Harwinder, Wonderful! Congratulations!
Cathy. Vad. And now Harwinder. I've been waiting for you. Now we have all graduated.
I wish you the very best. Let us know what your plans are.
Marlene
 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Hey Marlene ! Thanks a lot.
I'll keep you posted and hope to stay in touch.
Btw, I forgot to acknowledge Marcus Green for his wonderful set of exam questions, especially www.examulator.com, which I had been visiting quite regularly for the past 3 months or so. Thanks Marcus !
Cheers
Harwinder
[ December 16, 2003: Message edited by: Harwinder Bhatia ]
 
Vishwa Kumba
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Congratulations!
You join the elite group, that is most talented, hard-working and lucky...
Do stick around in Javaranch to help/motivate the others...
Cheers,
 
Vishy Karl
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Congratulations man,
keep it up !!!1
 
Mohit Goyal
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Cheers great score
well it can't get any better than this. I don't know whether to congrat u or to envy u. Bcoz i missed my century by just 1 question .
I always liked ur replies which showed that u had clear understanding of the topics. so this wasn't unexpected.
Congrats again for the magical 3 figure 1
 
Sagarika nair
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Congrats Harwinder.You were extremely helpful especially the shift operations I couldn't have understood better if not for the explanations from the ranchers.U really deserve the score!
cheers,
Sagarika.
 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Thanks Vish/Vishy/Mohit/Sagarika.
Mohit, it's so easy to miss a question or two out of 61. It doesn't mean you didn't know the answer. I'm sure if I take the same test again with the exact same set of questions, I may not be able to get the same score. We need a certain element of luck and probably I was a bit lucky on that day I think we should just celebrate that we've passed and forget about the score now !!!
Cheers
Harwinder
 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Hello Sagarika
Shift operators used to be my weak area and I took it up as a challenge and put lot of effort into it and it became one of my favorite topics
But strangely enough, I can't recall any question on shift operators in my exam Even if there was one, it couldn't be anything out of ordinary.
Do you remember any in yours ?
Cheers
Harwinder
[ December 17, 2003: Message edited by: Harwinder Bhatia ]
 
Thomas De Vos
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This is just more as great.
This is awesome.
This is terrific.
We are pleased that the website has contributed.

[ December 18, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas De Vos ]
[ December 18, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas De Vos ]
 
Sagarika nair
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Hi Harwinder!
You r right .There weren't any extraordinary shift op questions.But you know it's a nice feeling to go into the exam hall knowing that you haven't missed any topic.That way knowing Shift operators was extremely helpful and also just for the sake of information also it is good to know better about a weak topic right?So that's where u have helped in a great way.
Good luck,
Sagarika.
 
Vivek Nidhi
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Wow Nice score and thanks for the wonderful tips
regs
Vivek Nidhi
 
Harwinder Bhatia
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Thanks Sagarika and Vivek.
And thanks a lot Thomas for your wonderful site.
Cheers
Harwinder
 
Jayant Kulkarni
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Hi Harwindar,
Congrates..100% really good figure.
I have great confusion reagdring shift operators.
Can you send me some clarifiction on this and any reference that you have referred.?
Please cc to my email id also tcs_prashant@yahoo.com
Thanks in advance.
Jayanta
 
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