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Passed SCJP 1.4 with a spiffy score of 81%

 
Adam Altmann
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Just got home from the testing center...
I answered 50 out of 61 questions correctly for 81%. Here's the section analysis:
Declarations and Access Control 62%
Flow Control, Assertions, and Exception Handling 66%
Garbage Collection 66%
Language Fundamentals 70%
Operators and Assignments 100%
Overloading, Overriding, Runtime Type and Object Orientation 100%
Threads 100%
Fundamental Classes in the java.lang package 83%
The Collections Framework 100%

Now, I was shooting for 52%, and was hoping for about 70%, so I can't complain. I actually felt that I might have gotten more correct, as the questions didn't seem as difficult as the prep questions I've done. I also had enough time to go through the questions twice, so I did. I didn't sleep well at all last night, so that might have played a part in missing some things I might have otherwise caught.
I spent a good deal of time on exception handling, threads, inner classes (with much time spent with anonymous inner classes, which I don't remember seeing on my exam...which doesn't mean they weren't there...I've skipped right over them a few times in practice), and especially the collections framework, as I felt those were my weakest areas. I was thankful for the collections questions I got,as I knew that I knew them. I'm miffed at my Garbage Collection score, but happy with the Threads score. All in all, I'm exceptionally pleased...though looking back, I have no idea what I got incorrect.
I doubt I would have done so well without this place, you folks are great.
How I studied:
I used the Sierra/Bates book almost exclusively. I read through the entire book once, then went through each chapter and took notes in a notebook. Then I made out 3x5 "flashcards" out of just about everything in the chapter. I retained a lot of information just by writing everthing out by hand twice. I have other java books, so if ever something wasn't clear I'd turn to them as backup. I did the Rules Roundup about eleventy billion times, at first I was doing horribly, but by the end I would rarely miss a question. Once I "finished" the book, I went to work with the flashcards. I'd take a handful of them at a time, and go through, placing a pile off to the side of the ones I knew without question. I kept cycling through them in this way until I knew them all. I also made sub-piles of flashcards from topics I knew I had trouble with. By shuffling the cards together randomly in stead of keeping them in sections (by chapter, etc), it really forced me to remember java as a whole, instead of just one part of it at a time. I also went back to the book to read some chapters every so often.
Anyway, I've passed it...and I truly want to thank everyone here.
Now I'm going to go take a nap.
 
Adam Altmann
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PS - I plan on shooting for the SCBCD next. I'm wondering, however, if I should shoot for the SCWCD first. Any opinions? Are they equally difficult? Which will give me a better chance at landing a job? Thanks again.
 
George Thomson
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congrats,
 
Satish Avadhanam
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Hi Adam, Congrats. I saw your post last night and it seems that you did'nt worry much as you said
Originally posted by Adam Altmann:
PS - I plan on shooting for the SCBCD next. I'm wondering, however, if I should shoot for the SCWCD first. Any opinions? Are they equally difficult? Which will give me a better chance at landing a job? Thanks again.

There is a newer version of SCWCD coming out soon in a couple of months. So maybe you can wait on that and its more challenging than the current version. As far as SCBCD, its purely conceptual exam. If you are working in J2EE then it depends on your area of work, or else both are equally helpful
Congrats again & Good Luck for next step
 
Bert Bates
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Adam -
Spiffy indeed!
Congrats!
Bert
 
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