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Just took the IBM 000-142 assessment test for $30 - and passed.

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I am glad I did. The test questions are very similar in nature to the bank of 98 sample questions available from several commercial sample exam vendors. Do note, the 98 questions bank (identical one) is available from many vendors. The questions are the same, the simulator interface is different. I have been studying for XML 142 using the commercial simulator for some time now and in general it is very helpful. The problem is that 98 questions are not enough in contrast to the Whizlabs SCJXXX simulators with hundreds of questions. To assess my preparation level I took the IBM assessment test.

Some of the questions were almost identical to the sample bank questions, at least used the same XML fragments which is helpful in a time stressed test if you know the question subject fragment. There were at least 3 different questions regarding the class hierarchy of SAX2 and DOM2 including questions regarding the DOM2 Event Model - which was a surprise to me. There was one question regarding XForms - something about using a date input field and using a browser specific date control, and one XQuery question related to fn:distinct-values((item,item,...),collation).

There were NO wise ass questions asking you to choose 'false' statements and no questions asking about which XML fragment will NOT validate - only which fragment WILL validate. There were 14 questions regarding transformations some present a parametrized template where the question gives the initial values of the parameters and asks what is the result. These questions were not as complex as the 98 questions bank of the same nature.

Many questions just deal with what you would do to provide the best XML solution for a given situation. Such for example, what is the correct way to transfer binary data via XML including the option that it is not possible at all (wrong). These questions deal a lot with when it is appropriate to perform transformation on the server side and when on client side - and if done on server side - is it still possible to send to browsers just portions of the required data (such as CSS and JavaScript files). Many questions deal with RDBMS related solutions with distinctions between XML aware databases and regular ones and how to model and constraint XML data to fit in relations (see ID/IDREF key/keyref and unique).

In view of my experience I recommend the 98 questions bank (google it) and taking the IBM assessment exam which is similar - it also lets you deal with the time constraint (49 questions in 90 minutes). You may be surprised - but it's very little time. You need to identify your strength and weaknesses and not waste too much time figuring out what an XSL template does or doesn't and just guess the correct answer and move on to many other easier questions. There are many easy questions. I recommend: If you know the answer fill it in and forget about it. If you have doubts, mark the question for review and move on to the next easy question. Finally, go back to the tough ones and prioritize the ones you can actually get right. Guess the rest - eliminating what you identify as wrong (bad syntax, invalid or dumb) answers.

Good luck

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