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Why Sun lowered the passing score for SCJP Platform 1.4

 
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Hi
I posted my question regarding this on sun web site. I got the reply yesterday from Steven Moore, Senior Certification Program Manager. This is what he has to say

Your concern regarding the passing score of the new exam (SCJP 1.4) poses an
excellent question, but let me alleviate your fears that we might be lowering
the standards we demand of Java software professionals -- we have in fact
increased the standards.
One can not simply compare the passing scores (often referred to as the "cut
score") of the exams without considering the overall difficulty of each exam.
The new SCJP 1.4 Exam is a more difficult test of Java Programmers' skills and
knowledge than the previous version. For example, an individual who on average
would score 61 percent (36 of 59 questions) on the 1.2 exam and pass right at
the cut score would on average score a 52 percent on the new exam (32 of 61
questions). Looking at candidates who have taken both versions of the Java
Programmer exam, scores are consistently lower across the testing population.
This new passing score was computed by placing beta candidates within general
groups - experts, minimally qualified candidates, and those without the
knowledge or skills to perform the job. We statistically identify a score
(often referred to as the borderline) that allows those candidates with the base
level of acceptable knowledge and skills to pass right at the borderline. Those
candidates who are close to the base level of acceptable skills and knowledge,
but still need work in one or more areas of the job will fall below this
borderline score and fail. As proof of the increased difficulty of the new exam
version, even recognized Java Programmer experts often scored in the 70 to upper
80 percentile range. Those passing the SCJP 1.4 Exam with a 52 percent will
have definitely earned their certification title.
So, we concur with your concern and desires to follow the industry trend of
increasing the demands on IT professionals, and have developed an exam that both
reflects the changes in the job role and more accurately tests real world
knowledge and skills. We have done this by including more complex, real world
scenarios in the exam, and by focusing more on questions that require
application of candidates' skills versus simply stating their knowledge.
Therefore, the passing score on the SCJP 1.4 exam actually reflects an increase
in the standards expected of Java Programmers, not a lowering
[ August 23, 2002: Message edited by: Kripal Singh ]
 
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Where on the Sun web site is this discussion?
 
Kripal Singh
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it is not a discussion on sun web site . I posted it as a query from "contact us" link and got the reply back by email .
 
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It's nice to know this from the official source. It would be helpful if they actually include it in the official FAQs.
- Manish
 
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Moving this to the Prog cert forum...
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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