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Hello,
I would like to get a high score in the exam (preferbly 90% plus).
I'm thinking about buying a book, maybe "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification" (Has good reviews), but I am torn between this book and "Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide" (because it's by Sun).
If you've read either please tell what you think, I've been programming for several years and have been learning Java for about a month.
Cheers Nick.
 
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These two books seem to compare along very different lines. In the CJ2CSG, we focus on understanding the subject areas completely, but also bring in a number of subtleties that could prove troublesome on the exam. Naturally, having access to things at Sun means our book emulates the exam closely. We're also quite careful not to overlap into the actual exam, for obvious reasons.
We also have several automated tests available on CD, so you can simulate the timed environment of the test.
Khalid's book is regularly praised on this site for posing sample questions that are much, much harder than the ones on the exam. This is a good way to test understanding, and may be a better approach if your focus is the highest possible score. I'm sure someone who's used the guide could tell you more about it, but if you're into "overtraining," it seems like a clear choice.
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
Nick Hanlon
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Hello,
Thank you for your prompt reply, I find it difficult to take advice from the author of a book as they will obviously wants to make a sale! I do appreciate you help though. "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification" is also supposed to have more than is required for the exam. Does the Sun book have the API ref re-printed in it like a lot of books, I find the on-line API a lot better making re-prints useless (Like the one in my "Java in a Nutshell ed3")
Cheers Nick.
 
Michael Ernest
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Nick - if I were interested in a sale, I wouldn't have bothered saying a thing about Khalid's book. I think if you'll read what I said, I've mentioned the benefits to buying either one.
Not everyone in the world is after your wallet, kid.
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
Nick Hanlon
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Oops! erm, sorry I haven't read your message properly like you said. I though the whole message was about the Sun book. Reading it again I see you recommend me t'other book, as I am into learning more than I need to. You see it's 1:30am over here and my eyes & brain are a little tired and un-focused. My appologies for offending you.
Thanks Nick.
 
Michael Ernest
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Consider it forgotten. Best of luck to you.
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
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Michael
You must be a very confident man to mention Mughal and Rasmussen's book like that! I bought both books and thought your book was much easier to read than M&R's. It was written in a very nice style. However, I did rely on Mughal and Rasmussen for all the cramming one needs to do for the exam.
Nick
RHE's book has the advantages that it also covers the Developer's exam, and one of the lead authors of the exams, is co-author of this book.
Siobh�n
 
Nick Hanlon
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Hi,
Well after sleeping on it, I think I will buy the "Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide" book from Sun, I will be wanting to move onto the Devlopers Exam so I would end up buying this book anyway, I'm sure it will contain enough to get my 90% plus. I did a mock on www.Javaprepare.com and got 63% and I havn't covered objective 9 or 10 ye, I'm finding it a little difficult to get Collections to stick in my mind. anyway i'm off to Amazon.
Nick.
 
Michael Ernest
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Hi Siobahn -
You're right, I am confident, and not the least bit fazed by competition -- that's good for test candidates, and there's plenty of them out there looking for help.
I'm very proud of the work in RHE. I'm also mindful that no single book works for everyone, so mentioning "cram-style" books doesn't seem risky to me at all. Those books address a readership that Simon, Phil and I don't have as close a feel for -- after all, we're experienced programmers, but paid as instructors and course developers these days.
Multiple perspectives are good! We just tried to create the best book we could from the perspective we offer.
Regards,
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
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Hello Nick,
just thought u might be interested in this. b4 u dash off to amazon.com and pay a high price for the book, it is also available for much less. u can compare prices at http://www.mysimon.com and a lot of other sites
since everyones looking to save money(no pun intended), hope u find it useful.
~SM
 
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Also, check out www.bestbookbuys.com
Compares prices on books using most major sites (Amazon, Fatbrain, BookPool, etc)

Originally posted by S Masood:
Hello Nick,
just thought u might be interested in this. b4 u dash off to amazon.com and pay a high price for the book, it is also available for much less. u can compare prices at http://www.mysimon.com and a lot of other sites
since everyones looking to save money(no pun intended), hope u find it useful.
~SM


 
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Don't forget you can always buy a book using the Bunkhouse links ... that way JavaRanch gets a few cents
------------------
Jane Griscti
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
 
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Hello Ernest, i passed the SCJP couple of days ago and found ur book very helpful, really!! But about Khalid's book it was better to score in the 90s and i read ur book first and then khalid's book, that was harder. U targetted the mass examinees and Khaild rather targetted the high scorers. So both of u have done gr8 job for us so that we can choose among these two according 2 our need or we can read both (like me). so many thnx to u three and Khalid, Rasmussen also....
I m now preaparing to start ur Developer's section of this book. AFAIK, khalid has not published any on SCJD. So thnx to u three for remembering us in this section also.....

------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer For Java 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!
 
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Hello Ernest!
I am very happy with your style of presenting the material and the amount of information you have given. I am glad I bought it.
But I have a complaint here. I am wondering why you are maintaining such a poor Errata. I have an old version of your book. You maintain the same errata for every edition of the same book. How come!! All the page numbers have changed. and it is not possible to find what you are asking us to change.
Inspite of my complaint I am least bothered about the errata as I know they are minor ones and I think I can catch them. But I would appreciate any improvement in its maintainance.
I also bought Khalid's book. It is good. But took me too much time for correcting the errors from the errata.
Thanks Ernest!
Hi Nick Hanlon,
Regarding Buying the books, I advice you to buy both books as they are great. No question about it. I first bought RHE (suggested by friend SCJP2) and upon reading the posts here and reading reviews at various places I bought Khalid's book (which is equally good). That is fine. I guess.
good luck.
 
Nick Hanlon
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Hello,
Thank you all for your advice.
Nick
 
Michael Ernest
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Hello Ashik -
I agree with you 100% about what RHE and Khalid are useful for. I'm sure my publisher would love it if I said RHE was better than Khalid but, alas, that ain't my style. If you can profit from using both, all the better.
Hi Chandrashekar -
I must confess, we had NO idea that people would pore over our material and find so many inconsistencies. It's not simply embarrassing, it's time-consuming to address them! In the first edition, we had two changes at the last minutes, both with nasty consequences. One, the editorial style of the book was changed. That broke a lot of our code format, which had to be fixed in the galleys under tight deadline. If that wasn't tough enough, a different printer was selected for producing the book. Let me just say you'll never appreciate how much can go wrong in editorial and printing until it does. Yeesh.
Most of my time these days is spent teaching, so it's not that easy to carry RHE everywhere I go and confirm/refute reported errors. I for one can't carry both editions around. That limits of course the errata we can handle in a timely fashion.
But I think the real issue is why Sybex chooses not to maintain errata for both editions on their site. You're a paying customer -- let 'em know they need to earn your repeat business!
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
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HI,
I was about to reply to Azik that I was just using RHE ( and I am getting more out of it on each reading ) and I don't feel in the least like a mass examinee !
But I see that Michael Ernest has accepted your comments.
I hope to get 90% 'cos I know the stuff I'm asked on the day. (I'm tempting fate here, I know )
I don't recall seeing any score predictions on the cover of ANY book.

Terry Doyle
 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I'm also mindful that no single book works for everyone, so mentioning "cram-style" books doesn't seem risky to me at all.


Yes, no book can prevent you from being certified with good percent, if you really want to, even "cram-style" books Bill Brogden's Exam Cram was the only book I used, and I passed with 94%. (Very good book, by the way) If you want high percent, Khalid and Rasmussen's book seems to be the only one, positioned for "elite" reader, other books are more democratic But do not rely on books too much, what really matters is to take as many mocks as you can and analyze your mistakes. Fortunately, most of them are free (I mean mocks are free ).

Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Let me just say you'll never appreciate how much can go wrong in editorial and printing until it does. Yeesh.


I bet, when someone complains about broken code, Michael retaliates: "why don't YOU write a book?" Yes, unfortunately, these are authors, who are in charge for everything... Do you have discussion forums where you can complain about us, readers?
 
Michael Ernest
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Complain about readers? Geez, I hope not, unless I want to complain that RHE has too many of them. *That* problem I would be happy to complain about.
The makeup of RHE readers is no different than any other audience. Each member comes with their own expectations, and we do our best to say which of those expectations we can fulfill.
Sometimes it's annoying to hear RHE criticized for not being "as good as" the Khalid book, or rather, not being more like it. (Incidentally, if you happen to have both books, examine the table of contents for each one and you'll see why Khalid's publisher is not a group we're real happy with.)
We never wanted to help people to "ace" the exam. I surmise from many posts here that plenty of people really like the brain-teaser approach to exam preparation. Some mock questions take that method a step further and pose code that's poorly written -- weird constructor chains, broken recursion mixed in with overrides, etc., etc.
There's nothing wrong with that -- it just misses the points Sun intended in the first place. We didn't write RHE to test one's ability to read faulty code, but rather to learn to read what's missing in code that renders it faulty. If yuo can do that, you know what's wrong with language usage when you hear it, and not just when you study it carefully.
The same problem for learning a cultural language as well as a computational one -- the final step in mastering a second language comes when you move beyond recognizing the language as analogous to your own to just using it when you need it. In RHE, we figured we'd be talking to people who already could parallel Java to their previous experience. We simply didn't think anyone brand new to Java would take certification seriously -- it is, after all, an industrial certification, not an academic one.
It's professional programmers we wanted to take to the next step, and we say as much in the very beginning. We still want all our readers to learn from the experience, and to remember what they learned. Passing the SCJP exam, at least in my eyes, was simply a motivation, not the point of the exercise itself.
I'm happy for people who set their sights at 100% and come close to achieving it. That said, there's less to be said about perfection than improvement. Perfection is pass-fail, but improvement is a solution that scales forever.
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
[This message has been edited by Michael Ernest (edited September 02, 2001).]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Sometimes it's annoying to hear RHE criticized for not being "as good as" the Khalid book, or rather, not being more like it.
If you like Khalid book - enjoy it! But why do we need 10 Khalid books in the market? By the way, check your IQ before buying Khalid book - there is a chance you may not get much out of it. Mapraputa, for example, did not buy Khalid book.
We never wanted to help people to "ace" the exam. I surmise from many posts here that plenty of people really like the brain-teaser approach to exam preparation.
Because it's the most effective way of preparation? I know that when I read a chapter about Java (especially if it is well written ) I think: "aha, this is easy, I understand everything". That's only when I start to answer questions, when I realize how much I *do not* understand. Another positive effect: if I only read something, I will forget it soon. But when I come across a question that puzzles me, I will remember it much longer.
From a less practical point of view, I would compare some mock questions with a mathematical way of investigation a function by looking at its points of extreme. There is a typical usage and there are some "extreme cases" which are outside of normal practice and which are often in our "blind spot". We cannot say we know a function behavior if we only look how it behave at a part of its domain; we have to investigate all inflection points etc. My favorite mock questions are like that.
But then, I am from a math background, so do not listen to me too much
Some mock questions take that method a step further and pose code that's poorly written -- weird constructor chains, broken recursion mixed in with overrides, etc., etc.
Some mocks are just badly written, and there isn't much else to say about them. But I suppose if a questions was designed to illustrate some extravagant point, it may clash with a good programming practice, yes. Generally, I feel that a set of skills SCJP exam tests (and develops) is somewhat perpendicular to "good programming practice", not the opposite, just different. Hopefully, complementary. It introduces a shift from a task-centric approach we use when we program to a language-centric approach. The main exam concern is formal correctness of code. Such otherwise important issues as effectiveness or readability get only peripheral attention, if any.
Of course, when people without a good programming background start to prepare for SCJP exam, some mock questions may be more confusing than useful. One may say that SCJP exam was not designed for novices in the first place, but due to my observations in this forum, this never scares them away
 
Nick Hanlon
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Hello,
I have CJ2CSG by RHE and have found it very good, it has made me realise how incomplete the free online tutorials are, although i would still seriously recommend reading online tutorials, by learning the same things again from differennt angles has made them stick in my mind, as said above doing as many mocks as possible and finding your weaknesses deffinitely will improve your knowledge a great deal, also it will give you the confidence to put asside the things you already know allowing you to concentrate on thoughs you don't.
When I started learning java I bought O'Reilly's Java in a Nutshell and Java Foundation classes, these books are only 236 & 136 pages long after you exclude the API ref (the on-line one is more complete and better) they will teach you the java fundermentals if you are from a programming background (which I am) but each chapter only really skims the surface of each subject, hmmm, the way the book teaches if fine but it needs to be fuller in content so it is more than a one week wonder(s). Sorry wandered of the certification subject here!
Anyway RHE's book is good but more questions at the end of each chapter covering all or most items would be better (excellent).
Good night,
Nick.
 
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Hi,
which would be the best choice: Khalid OR Heller.
My preperation insists full & in depth coverage of Heller and then trying Khalid's exercises only.
------------------
Rajeev
195 Indrapuri Indore
INDIA
 
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I got a copy of Kalid and started to reead the chapter on inner classes. Because of my low IQ, I find that chapter quite challenging. Anyone has the same experence? Is it better to read some other books first before Kalid? Which chapters of Kalid is easier?

Originally posted by Rajeev GV:
Hi,
which would be the best choice: Khalid OR Heller.
My preperation insists full & in depth coverage of Heller and then trying Khalid's exercises only.


 
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Hi, I recommend you to use "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification", it covers deeper and wider topics than real exams. For every objective, the book also gives very detailed illustration. You don't need to read everything at time of preparation like Swing, Javadoc.
I use this book and got a score of 90+.
Good luck!

------------------
Guoqiao Sun
Sun Certified Programmer for Java™ 2 Platform
Try my mock exam¹ at my homepage.
 
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Hi,
Can anybody help me on this?I have the old version of RHE book ?
Should I buy the new one?I like this book and I think it covers evrything briefly.
Regards,
Samira
 
Ashik Uzzaman
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I don't think u need the new book as i had both the editions. But for those who r buying for the first time, ofcourse should buy the new one....anyway Samira, stick on the tools and seriously analyze the exercise questions after reviewing a chapter. Hope u good luck in ur exam.....

------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!
 
arch rival
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Excellent to see posts from Mr Ernest, one of the 3 authors of one of the most respected Certification books on the market. The good thing is that there are no "bad" current books on this topic.
I have seen Michaels comments in the past about the similarities between K&R and RHE and I have very briefly sat down and compared the two. Whilst the two inevitably contain a very similar table of contents, as they are based around the exam objectives the two books are not overly similar. If I am missing anything here Michael you can email me directly at mail@marcusgreen.co.uk.
Michael Said
I must confess, we had NO idea that people would pore over our material and find so many inconsistencies. It's not simply embarrassing, it's time-consuming to address them! ..... Let me just say you'll never appreciate how much can go wrong in editorial and printing until it does. Yeesh.

Marcus commented
Some customers will always be more picky than others, no matter how hard you try some glitches will always slip in. Even if the authors get it right, there is quite a long train between your keyboard and the hand of the consumer. To give another example, my mock exam1 has been on the web for over 2 years. I get many many spurious error reports but even now, every few months I get a report of a genuine ambiguity, or (less frequently) an error. RHE (and formerly RH) was always good value for money.
Self interested plug for 2 New Books
There is a new versions of the Coriolis Exam Cram and Exam Prep books out, even got as far as the shelves of UK bookshops. Exam Prep now makes it more clear what topics are on the exam and what are not and has a renewed emphasis on I/O and Threading, new mock questions (and probably other great features I can't think of just now).
You can now buy a neatly printed and bound version of my 238 page Tutorial for a mere $US19.00 inc shipping, under the new name of CertKey for Java2. See the links at http://www.jchq.net. Developed with the help of thousands of eagle eyed browsers on the web and concentrating narrowly and strictly on the objectives of the exam. All edited and printed from within Sun Star Office, so see it can do complex jobs.
The new question database
The old version of the database on the real exam seems to have contained more "surprise" questions, remember the old MediaTracker question that threw so many people? I am not aware of any of these wacky questions on the new version and it seems that they have ironed out most of the ambiguities. As the creator of so many mock questions I know how hard this is.
Web Components
Does Michael have any input/comment/feeling on the Web Component Exam?
Again, most excellent to hear from Michael, good to know he follows what the "consumers" are thinking.
Marcus
------------------
http://www.jchq.net Mock Exams, FAQ, Tutorial, Links, Book reviews
=================================================
Almost as good as JavaRanch
=================================================
[This message has been edited by Marcus Green (edited September 05, 2001).]
 
Michael Ernest
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Web Components
Does Michael have any input/comment/feeling on the Web Component Exam?


He does not. Michael would rather see the Developer Exam provide the option of using a) RMI b) Servlets c) JDBC or d) Jini to complete the project. Then we could say 'Certified Developer' and include a specialty. I suspect there would be a lot of flocking towards Web Components that way anyway.
I'm unimpressed with industry mania over certifying every little thing a programmer with proper foundation can do with time and motivation. I don't think we really need certified Java Web developers, or JNDI developers, or Swing developers, or whatever. I think that could very well happen, and I'm not out to stop it if it does -- but when I hire, I look for foundations, not specialties. On-the-job learning is what it is, and I often wonder if specialty certifications are simply used to imply experience, when all they can really test is aptitude.
------------------
Michael Ernest, co-author of: The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
 
John Mills
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Who are the authors of the book you used?
Thanks.

Originally posted by Guoqiao Sun:
Hi, I recommend you to use "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification", it covers deeper and wider topics than real exams. For every objective, the book also gives very detailed illustration. You don't need to read everything at time of preparation like Swing, Javadoc.
I use this book and got a score of 90+.
Good luck!


 
Anonymous
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Khalid A Mughal & Rolf W. Rasmussen. Go to this url to read more about it www.javaranch.com/books.jsp
// Mathias
 
This. Exactly this. This is what my therapist has been talking about. And now with a tiny ad:
how do I do my own kindle-like thing - without amazon
https://coderanch.com/t/711421/engineering/kindle-amazon
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