I actually just want to vent a bit,you know what this exam does to you.
So I have decided to go for the 1.5 exam because the cost in ZAR translates to 42% of one months salary for me and I can't risk failing.
You know this exam is really tough.To give you an example.I did 3 semesters of Computer Science at university(in Java) before I decided to quit and study on my own.
The last exam I wrote at varsity was "Data Structure and Algorithm"..We had to be able to design array-lists,linked-lists,doubly-linked lists and queues- from the ground up.I got 63% for that semester.
So when I left I thought: hey!..why not do SCJP?And I went and bought a copy of K&B.
It was really enjoyable reading through the book the first time,I found myself wondering why they didn't give this book to us at varsity(maybe after completing basic OO courses)Perfect.A Java Bible
I studied the book for 3 weeks.Very solidly(between 5-9 hours a day.Everyday),before attempting the Master Exam for the first time.
To my dismay I got 17%!!I was surprised because I thought I had understood a fair chunk of the topics.One month later of religious studying(because I wasn't working or going to school,see)I had managed to get a record-breaking 45% on the master exam.
Hmm...and the only topics that I wasn't clear on was enums and inner classes.All the other marks lost were due to not having memorised every method in the book.
This really disencouraged me and I didn't study for 5 or 6 weeks.
Anyways,about 2 weeks ago I started getting the urge to study again.
So I have.But this time I'm not going to spend long-hours doing it.
I'm only going to study when I feel relaxed and when I am actually interested in doing the work.After about 1 weeks worth of studying I got a 33% on the Master Exam.
So all in all I think I'm improving considering that it took me over a month the 1st time to score 33%.
But I really do think that i will take this exam once I can score 55% for the Master Exam.That will probably take me 2 months.And I think I'm going to do SCJA in the meantime...just to build-up my confidence and re-pique my curiousity of the language again.Then I should be motivated.
Even make topic specific package while programming like: innerclass, garbagecollection, instanceOf, localclass etc... that will help you a lot.
You cannot only read book and give lots of mock tests, thats not the way to prepare and grasp the concepts, if you make programs, and write down comments in programs and what you learned in the comment, it will help you remembering the concepts in long terms. It will make your base solid. Though I am a java developer, I used to do these things. Even I am very active in javaranch and see lots of source code, like how TreeSet's add() method works, how TreeSet used TreeMap internally. If you see source code of java apis, it will clear all your doubt.
3 months ago without studying K&B book, I used to give enthuware 1.4 exams, couple of times I failed also, sometimes I got 60-65%. Then I took the K&B book, read it completely in 7 days, did lots of practice and programming and still doing lots of mocks and programming, now my average score in any new exam is 75%.
I gave all whizlabs 5 exams, in diaganostic I got 70%, in practice exam 1 I got 56%, in exam 2 I got 79%, in exam 3 I got 76%, in exam 4 I got only 64%, in final exam I got 76%.
Then I gave master exam and I got 82%. After that I downloaded devaka examlab, in diaganostic I got 73%, in practice exam 1 I got 65%, in exam 2 I got 71%, in 3rd I got 76%, in final I got 75%, still I am getting new concepts in every new exam.
Whenever I get any doubt in any mock, I jot down the question number and after exam I make programs on the doubts and clear my all doubts. I usually get 70-75% in all mocks. Recently I given 2 exams on enthuware 1.4, in first exam I got 78% and in second exam I got 98%. I am looking for lots of mock exams. I have made 355 programs while my practicing, and it is still increasing.
Only one thing can make you a better programmer is lots of coding.
[ December 22, 2008: Message edited by: punit singh ]
-that use FileReaders/Writers to read and write text
-inner classes...What is the point of writing inner classes if you have no need/practical use for it(yet)?
At least I enjoy making little programs that use serializable,collections and regex.That is enjoyable.
I think I'm just bored of the K&B book now.I have read it at least 5 times.
I'd like to get a copy of Khalid Mughal's book as that seems to be quite interesting.Unfortunately I don't know the title and he has written several books....
If you read lots of book, you will get frustrated. Try to enjoy every topic.
FileReader, inner class all are useful in real life. Swing API uses inner and anonymous classes heavily....
Just do mock ups and practice, make your small diary or notes, jot down concepts you cannot remember in that note in your language. It will really help you.
Reading the book will give you a very small amount of the knowledge you need. Writing small code samples and tinkering with it yourself will give you more and then doing mock exams will give you the rest.
Mocks will give you give ideas of what to experiment with in the code that you have written. It is tedious sometimes, but its all practice. Even if you think you know how to write FileReaders, do it again to make sure.
i stumbled upon your post in a moment of frustration. I have 5 days to my exam (taking the 1.6 version on 2nd Jan 2009) and i'm constantly failing mock exams with scores around 52%, 53% . I did not know what to do and just typed on this forum search "5 days to exam". and it returned this post.
after reading punit's advice given to you , i think the advice is better suited to me than you :-) i just checked the number of programs inside my Java\MyCode folder and found a shameful number of 10 .java files :roll: No wonder my scores never went above 55%.
Am i too late Anyway, i just wanted to thank you for this rather negative but turned positive thread. It helped :-)
It's better if you can extend your exam date for another 10-20 days, so you can be well-prepared for the exam. (And yes, hard coding is the key to pass the exam).
If you can't extend it, because of the expiration date of your voucher, try to exchange your voucher with someone else.
[ December 27, 2008: Message edited by: nav katoch ]
My voucher is a retake voucher. If i fail , i have the chance to retake my exam before May 2009.
Do you guys still think i should postpone. I already postponed this once. My first scheduled date was 18th dec :-( I have made no improvement since then
All the other marks lost were due to not having memorised every method in the book
Wow! I find that amazing! I guess I should ask for clarification on that statement - do you mean, literally, 'methods'? As in methods in the API?
p.s. I guess what I'm wondering is if you used the word "methods" very loosely, for instance maybe you were lumping in language features too?
Congratulations for passing and with a good percentage. I want to take the exam in the next week.
I have not decided to take SCJP 055 or 065. I know there are only few topics more like Console and NavaigableSet.. in SCJP 065 compared to SCJP 055. I found the pass percentage is increased by 6% in SCJP 065. but I have a doubt that whether level of toughness could be more in SCJP 065. If it will be of same level as 1.5 then I want to make an appointement for 065.. else I want to go for 055. Right now I have no time to prepare.
Thanks in Advance
I practiced mostly with mocks designed for the scjp 5 exam, for scjp 6 i only had the 3 MasterExams provided with K&B book. I did not notice such a difference in level of difficulty, i think both exams are in the same level. Yes, the pass mark is higher and there are a few new topics. In my exam i got only 3 questions from the newly added topics . So if its a question between the two versions, by all means, do SCJP 6
So practice and understanding why the answer is the answer is the key. If your concepts aren't crystal clear (especially the basics like declarations, flow control) you will have a tough time understanding the rest like API and threads.
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Yes, read this.
I'm getting 80%, 80% and 60% for the 3 master exams respectively....
But only because I've done them so many times.!Also, Mike Meyers Inquisition for SCJP 5 seems a little too easy.
I'm going to write on friday..
This week I'm going to give ExamLab a million times and do all the questions in the K&B book.
And,isn't it ridiculous that var- args can accept multiple arrays?!