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SCJP Exam Technique

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So my exam is tomorrow and I'm doing final prep and a few more mock exams.

I've been trying to figure out a good technique that is simple enough to memorise (as if I don't have enough to remember as it is!) and carry out under exam pressure.

I did a mock exam in exam conditions and tried out the suggested technique on pages xxxvi to xxxviii of the K&B book. This technique involves doing 4 passes through the exam. In particular the first pass is supposed to take less that 25% of the time, but if you work that out, it comes to about 36 seconds a question. Now I don't know about anyone else here, but it usually takes me that long to figure out if I should go straight for the "compile fails" option.

Also, with 4 passes through the exam, I feel I'm spending too much time going between questions and so am not able to focus properly. With this in mind, I'm leaning towards 2 passes, plus a final check.

What exam technique are you planning to use and why? If you have already taken the exam, what technique did you use and how did you find it?

One other thing - has anyone taken the exam at a Prometric centre recently? Have they fixed the bug which can erase your answers to drag-n-drop questions if you try and review them? Apparently Prometric only offer white-boards and dry markers (no paper and pencils allowed), so there won't be enough space to write out answers to drag-n-drop questions, as suggested in the K&B book.


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Yeah Andrew,

I completely agree with you regarding going 4 rounds to a question. We get little time to focus on a question. Your strategy seems to be good as you say
2 rounds + review.

What I think, in first round, you may choose the correct answer if you read the question carefully, don't overlook any point and this is only possible when have taken proper attention over a question.

Drag&Drop issue is very horrible. I would also like to know whether that problem has been solved or not.

Andrew Ebling
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Having passed the exam, I thought I'd provide feedback on my planned exam technique, for the benefit of those who haven't taken their exam yet.

My first pass through the questions took longer than I had planned. I then went back for a second pass and checked/completed all of the marked questions. After that I only had 25 minutes left for checking, which meant that I only really had time to check that I had given the appropriate number of answers for each question. I probably could have used another 20 minutes to half an hour for thorough checking.

So my advice would be to make sure you keeping timing under control on that crucial first pass through the exam. I found it took me about 15-20 minutes to really get "warmed up" or "into the zone". If I was doing the exam again, I would probably be more inclined to mark-and-skip any questions that weren't obvious straight away during this initial period.

With regard to the drag-n-drop questions, the situation is pretty much as described in the K&B book, but you do get a warning that informs that you will loose your original answer if you try and review a drag-n-drop question (note: you also get this warning if you have simply viewed the question! I would recommend using the whiteboard to record the drag-n-drop questions and ticking them off once they are complete, or only unmark the question when you have completed it). I suspect I probably dropped most of my marks on the drag-n-drop questions as a result of this basic usability issue. Very annoying.

One other tip - if you are based in the UK and are thinking about using the test centre in Reading, make sure you call them and check that the air conditioning has been fixed or use another centre. It got so hot in the test room I actually felt quite faint at times .

Note to moderators: please leave this thread in this forum, rather than moving it to the "success stories", as I think it will be useful for people who haven't taken the exam yet, who probably don't check the "success stories" forum so much.
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