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SCWCD Certification Update News

 
Bert Bates
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Hello SCWCD Candidates!
Well, we just finished creating the all new and improved SCWCD 1.4 exam. (Probably not its real name ). I have a bunch of news, all of which is, at this point, pretty reliable, but no absolute guarantees... we should be getting the absolutely reliable info in the next week or so, so I think the following is pretty solid, and you should be able to plan using this info, but NO GUARANTEES!!!
1 - If you want to take an easier test, then rush right out and take the current SCWCD exam. The new exam is REALLY FRIGGIN' HARD !!! This baby is going to be WAY harder than the current exam, YIKES!!!
That's actually good news though, because when you pass the new exam, it'll be current technology, and EVERYBODY will know how hard the exam is - the certification should really be worth something
2 - There should be a beta starting in January, it'll probably be 5 hours long (ugh!), and have 160 questions.
3 - There should be an upgrade exam for the currently certified - probably $100.
4 - The new objectives should be available soon.
5 - The new exam IS based on:

Servlet 2.4
JSP 2.0
JSTL 1.1
6 - Did I mention that the new exam will be really hard?
7 - We hope to have sample mocks, chapters, etc, starting in January, probably not much before then, but, you never know
Hope that helps, and we'll keep you posted!
Bert
 
Alan Ford
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Thanks for info. We realllllly miss you & K.
Please visit and help (especialy since exam will be soooo easy)
thanks
 
Seid Myadiyev
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Bert, thank you for the info!
Can we still avail of free vouchers for Beta exam and take the 5-hour test?
Thank you!
Seid
 
Pradeep bhatt
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5 hours
 
Celinio Fernandes
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I plan to pass the exam on January, I still haven't read anything related to the new exam. I am worrying, how different is it from the old one ?
What am i supposed to concentrate my studying efforts on ?
 
M Bala
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Is that means, once new exam is annouced, the old exam will NO longer exist to enroll?
 
Manish Hatwalne
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I am also interested in taking the beta, can I?
- Manish
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Oh 160 questions within 5 hours...
32 questions / hour
It's average about 1 question in two minutes... I have never taken 5 hours exam in my life before.... Now I have to face it... Anyway, I'm in the middle of nowhere, then just go ahead....
 
Vishwa Kumba
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
There should be a beta starting in January, it'll probably be 5 hours long (ugh!), and have 160 questions.
Any refreshments & drinks served in the exam?...
 
Faisal Khan
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where can we get information on the upgrade exam?
 
Pradeep bhatt
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Any refreshments & drinks served in the exam

Some pizzas as well
 
rashmi date
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Hi Bert,
thanks a lot for the g8 info.i am planning to give my exam in jan.i dont know what to do now?
 
Bert Bates
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Interesting points, that have come up before...
The final exams tend to be something like 70 questions in 2 hours, which is a little less than two minutes / question. We kind of pushed Sun to increase the time on the beta from 4 hours to 5 hours. It will be around 160 questions, so in order to keep the time / question about the same they're almost agreed to add the hour. I think with 5 hours you might actually get a few more seconds / question, but Sun really hopes that the beta candidates will take time during the exam to comment on questions that seem especially good or bad or hard or easy, or that in some way stand out. So if you factor in time for a few comments it should end up being pretty close, in terms of time / question.
As far as refreshments, don't count on it, however you can take breaks, although I'm pretty sure the clock will keep ticking!
But for sure it is a LONG test - the 4 hour SCJP beta just about killed me
Also, based on past experience, the current exam will probably be available for quite some time, so in reality there isn't a big rush to take the current exam - it'll be around.
Bert
[ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Bert Bates ]
 
Vad Fogel
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Hi Bert, how long do you think the current version of SCWCD will be available? Is there any hope it'll be up for awhile concurrently like SCJP 1.2? Thanks for your info. :roll:
 
Bert Bates
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Sorry, yes, I do believe there will be a long overlap period when both exams are available. My guess would be (and it's just a guess!!), that the two versions would both be available for at least a year.
 
Vijay S. Rathore
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What is the criteria to participate in Beta?
Are the vouchers still there or are they over?
 
Vad Fogel
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Sorry, yes, I do believe there will be a long overlap period when both exams are available. My guess would be (and it's just a guess!!), that the two versions would both be available for at least a year.

Thanks for your response, Bert! I'm preparing for the current SCWCD, but as far as my present knowledge, I'm still behind. Hopefully, as you said, the old exam will be around for long enough for me to take it.
[ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Vad Fogel ]
 
rashmi date
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Hi All,
first of all thanks a lot for updating us ont he newer version ...i am planning to appear for the exam in last week of Jan.so the older version of the exam will be still available for me???or i have to appear for the beta version?/???
 
Bryan Basham
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Hello ranchers,
Kathy, Bert, and I (along with several other item writers) all agree
that this will be a harder test (assuming the hard questions don't
get dropped after the Beta).
Having read everyone's questions I would like to take this opportunity
to respond.
First, there might be some confusion about the "5 hours" piece of
information. The *Beta* test will take five hours, the real test
will likely only be 90 or 120 minutes and contain only 60 questions.
[This info. is not final and will depend on the Beta results.]
Second, as Bert mentioned *both* the current exam and the new exam
will co-exist for a while. See Sun's cert policy at:
URL=http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/register/certification.html]Sun's cert policy[/URL]
There were also several requests to find out *how* to get on the
Beta list for SCWCD. I do not have details now, but I promise to
send another post to this forum when I find out.
Finally, someone asked "what is different" between the current and new
exams. While there are numerous minor differences, I have listed the
major differences below:
* less tag trivia (there still is some, but we have eliminated
all TLD tag trivia, still some on web.xml)
* filters
* more on JSP technology
(EL, "JSP documents" XML JSP pages, new custom tag mechanisms)
* JSTL core library is included
* less knowledge-based questions and more performance-based
This last point is subtle and important. The current exam is far too
skewed towards questions like "What is the HttpServlet method name that
handles an HTTP GET request?" The multiple-choice type exams tend to
lean an item writer to these types of questions. This item writing team
did their best to avoid this type and create more performance-based
questions.
Performance questions come in many forms. For example, the question
might start with a scenario and then ask how to solve a given design
problem (such as selecting the appropriate web attribute scope or a
design pattern to solve the problem). Other performance-based questions
will show you a chunk of JSP or servlet code and ask you what the
result of the code would be.
One of the reasons the item writing team feels that this will be a harder
exam is that the time to need to "process" a question will be longer because
the perf-based questions require more thought (and reading) to process.
We feel that this makes for a more realistic exam. We hope that you
will agree.
Cheers,
Bryan
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Hi Bryan Basham,
I have filtered the beta exam objectives with the current exam objectives and found out that there is not that much difference in Servlet part of the exam...
Is it possible to follow the current study guides about the Servlet part for the beta test? Since the major difference is in JSP portion, is it for possible to pay attention more on JSP and less on Servlet part for those, who are pretty good in Servlet part of the current exam...
 
Theodore Casser
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Actually, I like the idea of the beta having an extra hour. One of the things I had problems with when I took the SCBCD beta was that I never felt like I had enough time to enter comments and still get all the questions answered.
(That, and I know not to use the test center I used last time. Bah. Rat finks with their old computers that crashed fifteen times...)
That all being said, I'm looking forward to the new beta..
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Theodore Casser:
[QB]Actually, I like the idea of the beta having an extra hour. One of the things I had problems with when I took the SCBCD beta was that I never felt like I had enough time to enter comments and still get all the questions answered.
[QB]

What if we answer all of the questions and later comment each question? I think it's a better approach, if we feel like we do not have enough time to finish all in 5 hours....
 
Theodore Casser
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Originally posted by Ko Ko Naing:
What if we answer all of the questions and later comment each question? I think it's a better approach, if we feel like we do not have enough time to finish all in 5 hours....

That's a matter of personal preference, I suppose. They don't require your commenting, but I think it's helpful to them (which is the idea of the beta).
I usually just jot notes on ones that seem problematic or odd to me. And in those cases, I find it's easier to comment on them immediately after having done them, while my impressions are fresh - I would like, though, to see perhaps an additional survey or something at the end for general impressions.
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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Good to know about the new exam. I would like to update only if I get a free upgrade voucher or my company bears the voucher bill.
 
Kathy Sierra
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Howdy,
So Bryan Basham speaks... he's the guy who heads up that whole exam, both the previous and the upcoming (New! Improved! Now with Harder Performance-based Questions!) version of the exam.
(And we also managed to bribe him into co-authoring the study guide with us. And since Bryan lives strategically near a Krispy Kreme store, well, we have a lot of meetings at his house. If you don't know about Krispy Kreme, they're a special kind of donut. Cold, they are nothing special. But hot--oh man--to die for. But I digress...)
While the objectives in some parts of the new exam may appear similar to the current exam objectives, the way in which the questions are written is completely different from the current exam. So some of the content/knowledge may be the same, but what you have to do to answer the questions correctly will be more involved and, as Bryan said, subtle in the new exam.
I have to say the new exam is very very cool. I was the weak link in that team, but Bryan is really a guru in that technology (he also wrote Sun's advanced course for Servlets/JSP) and the infamous "Soccer League" application we use at Sun. And better still... the exam team included the guy who wrote the JSP spec!! And a guy from the new J2EE 1.4 Blueprints team, and who is also going to be the next lead on the Servlets spec.
We don't know much about the upgrade exam yet, except that it will be a pool of questions from the new exam, and focused most heavily on the *new* objectives and content added in the new specs.
We will post info on the beta exam here!! (Should be soon). You will have plenty of time to prepare, and Bert and Bryan and I will be making cheat sheets similar to what we did for the SCBCD exam, to help you go through the beta. At Sun, we want people as prepared as possible for the beta exam, so that we get the best results. Of course the best thing you can do now, if you want to take the beta, is to go through the specs.
There's a book I can recommend, although I haven't read it all, called Pro JSP (one of the co-authors, Simon Brown, is a bartender here). The Servlets/JSP specs do not seem quite as detailed or helpful as the EJB spec, so you really do need to supplement with more info unless you're willing to do a LOT of experimentation.
Also, remember that the objectives for the exam are not considered final until AFTER the beta, although the beta questions are 100% based on the objectives we have now. But in beta, it is possible to lose an entire objective (not likely), or to refine one slightly. I wouldn't expect much of a change, though.
Stay tuned... things are going to get fun
cheers,
Kathy
 
Vijay S. Rathore
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Hi Kathy,
I am repeating my questions again as I think I haven't got the answer yet.
What is the criteria to participate in Beta?
Will the opportunity be available in near future to register for beta or it is already over?
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Vijay Rathore:
Hi Kathy,
I am repeating my questions again as I think I haven't got the answer yet.
What is the criteria to participate in Beta?
Will the opportunity be available in near future to register for beta or it is already over?

You will understand everything, if u see the following thread...
http://www.coderanch.com/t/167026/java-Web-Component-SCWCD/certification/Sun-Seeking-Experts
 
Adam Till
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Hi All
I have a bit of a gripe about this new exam. I don't think that multiple choice questions are any good for those that take them.
The reason for taking these exams is to provide evidence to potential employers or current employers that you have the required knowledge within a particular subject matter. The approach to taking multiple choice exams is different to say a practical test. You can learn the subject matter without doing much practical work and pass the exam but when it comes to practical application of your skill you would then struggle.
I believe like the SCJD exam with its practical element is the best format as you learn so much more. I know the best approach to taking these exams is to do practical work while you are learning the subject matter, but no books that I have seen actually lead you to finally develop an application i.e. give you practical tests at the end of a chapter or say the whole book.
I'm sure this wont change the mind of Sun, to include a project but would those people writing the books include more practical tests and not just multiple choice questions.
I am about to do the SCBCD course, does anyone know of a book that has practical tests in it?
Regards
 
Theodore Casser
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Originally posted by Adam Till:
The reason for taking these exams is to provide evidence to potential employers or current employers that you have the required knowledge within a particular subject matter. The approach to taking multiple choice exams is different to say a practical test. You can learn the subject matter without doing much practical work and pass the exam but when it comes to practical application of your skill you would then struggle.

I disagree on the point of the exam.
The point, I feel, is to establish a baseline for what you do and don't know. To take the SCWCD or SCBCD, you just need the SCJP - another multiple-choice test - to prove you have the requisite knowledge of the langauge. It's not a test of how well you program or how well you can apply the material, but just that you know the material. That being said...
Sure, it would be wonderful to have a practical exam for these two. I think (and this is just more my thought on it, from watching how four programmers in my office tackle the same problem) it comes into a harder realm to grade, though, since there's a lot that can vary on implementation, moreso than with the SCJD.
And, just to point out, even you commented that the point of these upper level exams is to show you have the knowledge - not that you can apply them. There is an SCEA with a practical level to show that you know how to architect an application, and would hint - to a point - that you have understanding of the proper toolkits, just like SCJD proves ability to apply the knowledge demonstrated by the SCJP test.
My $0.02.
 
Bryan Basham
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Originally posted by Ko Ko Naing:
Hi Bryan Basham,
I have filtered the beta exam objectives with the current exam objectives and found out that there is not that much difference in Servlet part of the exam...
Is it possible to follow the current study guides about the Servlet part for the beta test? Since the major difference is in JSP portion, is it for possible to pay attention more on JSP and less on Servlet part for those, who are pretty good in Servlet part of the current exam...

Hello Mr Naing,
Yes, I think it would be appropriate for you to concentrate on the new JSP portions of the exam. However, it might be a good idea to quickly study the new (and old) event listeners as these questions have been revamped and are significantly harder.
Good luck,
Bryan
 
Bryan Basham
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I am going to start a new thread called "Programming-based exams" to discuss Adam and Theordore's questions about multiple-choice exams. let's chat in that thread.
-Bryan
 
Gustavo Torreti
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Originally posted by Bryan Basham:
I am going to start a new thread called "Programming-based exams" to discuss Adam and Theordore's questions about multiple-choice exams.

It's over there:
http://www.coderanch.com/t/167193/java-Web-Component-SCWCD/certification/Programming-based-exams.
Shall we continue this part of the discussion over there, then.
[ December 19, 2003: Message edited by: Gustavo Torreti ]
 
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