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OCAJP7 exam cert away from graduating

 
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Jason Hodges wrote:So what is the advice if you fail the first Standard and second Standard Enthuware mock? I get that studying and coding a lot is beneficial but how does one go about getting the test taking experience and speed if it is advised to not push forward with the Enthuware exams? Thanks


The Enthuware mock exams are a really good indicator to monitor your progress and readiness for the actual exam. If you consistently score 80% or more on the mock exams, you'll almost guaranteed to pass the actual exam. But you'll only get a trust worthy score if you take the exam for the 1st time and you use the time deadline (just like on the actual exam). If you don't have a solid knowledge and a great understanding of the exam objectives, your score won't improve drastically by just taking the mock exams. That's why I would not take all exams one after the other.

If you want some test taking practice there are several things you can do:
  • use the mock exams of the study guide (e.g. K&B7 offers two full OCA exams and mock questions at the end of each chapter)
  • use the mock exams of Enthuware which you took already to create a mock exam with a number of random questions
  • when you have studied and prepared for 2-3 weeks and you feel you have improved, take a brand new Enthuware mock exam to put your knowledge to the test


  • Best of luck!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:**UPDATE** I have scheduled the exam for August 24th.


    I assume you postponed your exam to a later date. What's the current status of your preparation?
     
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    As far as notes go, I have copy/pasted a lot of the question explanations from Enthuware into a text file. It includes things I forgot, test taking tips, and so on. You can review it before you take a mock test or the real one. It would probably be better to actually type them rather than paste them.

    There's an on-demand mooc on either edx or coursera called "Learning how to Learn". It gives really, really good study tips. You do need to get away from it for it to sink in, just like you need a good night's sleep. A lot of people find it beneficial to get away from the mental thing for a few minutes and do something like running.
     
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:

    Jason Hodges wrote:**UPDATE** I have scheduled the exam for August 24th.


    I assume you postponed your exam to a later date. What's the current status of your preparation?



    Hello Roel, I have rescheduled it for Monday, September 28th. I am still approved to walk in graduation on the 26th since this is my last class. As for my preparation, I am studying daily, trying to code as much as I can, watching video tutorial courses, reviewing the questions I've already tested on in Enthuware and the Oracle mocks.
     
    Jason Hodges
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    I took a first attempt at Standard test 3 in my Enthuware this morning. My score has improved but I still have a way to go. I finished in 117 minutes with a score of 49%. I had three questions marked when I finished that I had time to review. An observation I made was that analyzing each question and developing reason, whether correct or not, seemed to be a bit easier. Now I will take the next few days to thoroughly go through each of the questions to understand my strengths and weaknesses.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:I have rescheduled it for Monday, September 28th. I am still approved to walk in graduation on the 26th since this is my last class.


    Great news! That should reduce a bit the pressure of the exam.

    Jason Hodges wrote:I took a first attempt at Standard test 3 in my Enthuware this morning. My score has improved but I still have a way to go. I finished in 117 minutes with a score of 49%.


    Aah, some improvement! So that proves the hard work is finally paying off. From now on, the only way is up Keep up the good work! And keep us posted of your progress, so we can give you some advice if needed.
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    One trick that can get you some points when you're stumped is eliminate the answers that you know are wrong. You might eliminate all except the right one. This advice from a website on taking the ASE mechanics test.
     
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    There are a lot of small details that can get overlooked easily in a test situation, when normally you would swear that you knew that. It's one thing to know basically how "continue" and "break" work, but on the test you'll likely have a "try", "catch", "return", "if" thrown in with the "break" and the "continue". That is where just a basic knowledge of information can make your thought process muddled. Those are the kinds of questions that I have tended to struggle with, and also, learning java while having this test as a goal isn't always the best way to go about it. I personally have struggled as well with test prep and just never feel real confident.

    After all the time I have put into studying for the test and still feeling like I was missing something, I started reading "Java, The Complete Reference" (for JDK 7) by Herbert Schildt. The first part of this book basically mirrors the knowledge needed on the test. What is really making my synapses pop is the straightforward examples and explanations of things that I thought I knew. Some real learning is going here, mainly because it is supplementing what I already kind of know with definite examples and well explained concepts. You might want to check this book out and see if it works for you as well. there are over 1000 pages here, but only around 300 will be necessary to read and it is a quick read. Anyway, I have found this book very helpful to me and thought I would mention it.

    Keep plugging away. You will pass this test!
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    ^I don't know that book but the author has a reputation for being "Clear, lucid, but not actually true." I don't think anybody can be enough of an expert to write a thousand pages on every major language.
    http://www.seebs.net/c/c_tcn4e.html
     
    Blake Edward
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    It's an Oracle book. I think what I like is just the clear explanations and examples of the material I'll see on a test, yet it isn't in a test prep book. It's longer, more concise, and assumes that I might be a beginner. It's main function is to define the syntax and workings of the language and Part I is more or less the info on the Associate level Java exam. It is connecting some of the missing pieces in my head without talking above me or making assumptions about my level of expertise. It's expensive, maybe not for everyone. Coding is a great way to study, but you won't be coding on the test and eventually you just have to sit back and make the connections in your head using a scratch sheet to pass this thing. As far as the "...not actually true" part of your statement, my fave study book had errata in it because like you said, no one can be an expert on all this stuff. I think it is a good book, really just a reference book, but it's something worth reading if you need something more than test prep.
     
    Jason Hodges
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    **UPDATE**
    I am still scheduled to take the exam Monday. I have been continually studying and coding out problems I am still rough on. I have the Standard mock 5 and 6 as well as the Last Day mock of Enthuware left. I will have the entire weekend for a non-stop cram session. If any of you have any final words of advice, encouragement, or whatever else...please share.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:If any of you have any final words of advice, encouragement, or whatever else...please share.


    I'll limit myself to listing some topics with tips/advice about time management, answering questions, spotting compiler errors and so on. I'll list here a few of them (but there are plenty more):
  • how do you manage your time during the exam?
  • Any tricks about how to manage the 120 min for so many question?
  • A humble request for your process
  • Bad Experience with OCA 7 exams
  • Need some help after scoring 40% on OCA Exam 1 (K&B7)
  • Preparation advice for Certification Exam


  • Best of luck!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    I'll limit myself to listing some topics


    Roel, as soon as I read these first few words I pictured you in an epic movie scene shouting "don't do it man! You haven't even passed the mocks exams.."
    I realize the odds are against me but I can't keep avoiding the inevitable.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:Roel, as soon as I read these first few words I pictured you in an epic movie scene shouting "don't do it man! You haven't even passed the mocks exams.."


    Sounds like I can expect my first Oscar nomination. So proud!
     
    Blake Edward
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    I think you are going to do it this time!
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Blake Edward wrote:I think you are going to do it this time!


    Thank you Blake, I appreciate the encouragement. I just finished the Enthuware Standard 5 mock with a score of 61%, using 7224 seconds (over by 84). I marked 23 questions, 11 of which I got incorrect. These will be heavily studied to determine why I got fubared. I'm pretty sure I scored a bonus study day before the weekend as well. Unexpected but very welcomed.
     
    Jason Hodges
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    I just want to thank everyone that helped with my preparation for the exam.
    I just received my results from Oracle and I passed with a 63%! I am OFFICIALLY Java Certified but the bigger goal of being a college graduate has just became a reality. At 34 years young, working full time and being a husband as well as a father to two boys. Today is AMAZING!
    I"m thankful especially for a comment @Roel De Nijs had left someone explaining his tip to double check a question you think is too easy. One of the very last questions I was trying to answer had two different primitive variables declared centered in some busy code. The lines of code masked a tiny little swap on the variable declarations that I caught doing my 'double check'. I thought the question was about something else and then spotted that little sly move. Glad I did, that one would have most likely been the slip that cost me the pass.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:I just received my results from Oracle and I passed with a 63%! I am OFFICIALLY Java Certified but the bigger goal of being a college graduate has just became a reality. At 34 years young, working full time and being a husband as well as a father to two boys. Today is AMAZING!


    Awesome news! Congratulations Jason! Now it's time to relax a bit and have a well-deserved (or 2 or 3). And if you want to spoil yourself have a Belgian beer, our beers are the best of the world You must feel great now and your two boys will be very proud of their dad. Well done!

    Jason Hodges wrote:I"m thankful especially for a comment @Roel De Nijs had left someone explaining his tip to double check a question you think is too easy. One of the very last questions I was trying to answer had two different primitive variables declared centered in some busy code. The lines of code masked a tiny little swap on the variable declarations that I caught doing my 'double check'. I thought the question was about something else and then spotted that little sly move. Glad I did, that one would have most likely been the slip that cost me the pass.


    It was your perseverance to keep going for months and always studying and improving your knowledge that got you this great result. But I'm also glad to hear one of my comments contributed a tiny bit to this magnificent ending of your daunting journey!

    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    That's what I was really hoping to hear. Congrats!
     
    Blake Edward
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    Way to go! I knew you would do it.
     
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    Congratulations ..!! It is indeed exciting.
     
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