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Passed SCJP 5 with 79%

 
Bob Damiano
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With 17 minutes to spare in a freezing cold room!

Thanks to everyone on this forum. It was a huge resource. Now I'll return some of the favors I've gotten...

My experience:
I'm a long time senior C++ programmer. In my previous job I did some Java for about a year. Lately I've been getting interested in Java again (mostly for j2ee) and I figured how hard could it be to get this scjp thing! ha!

I bought the K&b book. My work pattern was to read a chapter, do the exercises, experiment, take the self test. get totally clobbered by it. get very depressed and move on to the next chapter. Repeat until book finished.

After finishing the book, I went back and looked at everything I missed. Reviewed, learned, wrote lots of code to really drill it in. After 2nd pass through the tests in the book, I was doing much better.

Next step - every mock exam I could find. Tip: when doing the mock exams, you are tempted to look for a hint online or write some code to try something. Don't do it. If you're not sure... leave it blank and miss the question. What's most important is the questions you miss, not the ones you get! It's fun to get a high score in a mock exam but totally useless in terms of preparing you. Make a list of concepts that are not clear that caused you to miss the question. Then learn them.

How hard was it?
It was easier than the self-tests in the k&b book, but slightly harder than the examulator mock tests.

Overall I was probably doing in the high 50% in the book self tests, but I was averaging around 90% in Examulator. Id say the mock tests that I got the closest score on were the three Marcus Green exams right here on Java ranch. I think I was doing around 76% on those.

One concrete tip: Be clear on Generics and collections. There were a surprisingly high number of questions to do with them. It was my weakest part of the score. I got a little complacent with them because the mock exams did not stress them nearly as much.

Anyway, I'm relieved. I'd done nothing with every waking minute for the last month or so except prepare for this exam. Thank you again everyone.

-Bob Damiano
[ October 24, 2008: Message edited by: Bob Damiano ]
 
Bob Ruth
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Congratulations and thank you for the description of your method of study. I can really take some encouragement from you.
 
Tuna Töre
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Congrulations for your score....
 
Krishnaraj Govindaraju
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congratulations

[ October 25, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
Joe Harry
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Congrats!
 
anil kuchana
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congratulations Bob
 
arulk pillai
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Congrats. Keep applying what you had learnt.
 
Bob Damiano
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Originally posted by arulk pillai:
Congrats. Keep applying what you had learnt.


Thanks everyone. By the way the Java/J2ee Job Interview Companion was also a great help in preparing. It's a great book even if you're not looking for a job.
 
Krishna Srinivasan
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congrats!!!
 
Anton Golovin
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Bob, your being a C++ programmer decisively answers the question about what kind of programmer you are. C++ is top-of-the-line.

What prompted you to look into the Java world?
 
Ninad Kulkarni
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It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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