I passed SCJP 1.4 with score of 86. My success is attributed to 1) Sierra&Bates book and 2) the Javaranch and its members. I am very happy. However, on the other hand I am concerned about how much value the SCJP cert. really has. Although getting a score of above 90 or even 80 is not easy, I think the passing score of 52 (i.e., 31 of 61 questions answered correctly) is set a little bit too low. It really does not need a lot of effort to just answer 30+ questions correctly. I�d like to know how many people in percentage actually failed in their first try in this test.
Cathy when the test first came out, I think the passing score was 80%. Alot of people would fail it the first time from what I heard. Folks would take off 3 months for work so they could get a high score. Overtime the required score went down and down. The fact that someone gets certified and passes the test is an accomplishment. First the person had to learn the language and other OO concepts. Plus have experience in writing java applications. Then when you look at the the amount of material you have to memorize it is a lot. In someways I found prepartion harder than preparing for a college physics final. You have to exert alot more effort to pass the java cerification than to get a A on a college physics final. On the college physics finals you were allowed to bring in a formula sheet. With the java exams you only have your head. In addition to the memorization you have to be fast thinker. To be able to look at a code segment that you have never seen before and compute answer or figure out that you have a runtime or compilation error in a very fast amount of time. If I was hiring anyone I would not be concerned about the score. Why because I know what it takes to pass the exam and a lot more it to get a high score. I would know that the person who passed put forth some effort to sit down and study. I would also know that they did not cheat because the exams are proctored. I also know that people are verified before they take the exam. I also know that they have agreeded to the integerity principles in the Sun agreement. I also know that they are very interested in Java and would not come into a project to rewrite it in another language. One of the big reasons why certification has become so important is that sometimes college students cheat. Corporations found out and they decided do something about it. Certification is something that gives you a way to know your skill level. You should be happy with your results.