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Questions/Concerns on taking OCAJP7 as a Newbie to Java  RSS feed

 
Blake Edward
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My situation is kind of interesting. I am a career changer at a new job and I have HTML/CSS experience. I have some JavaScript and Flash experience, but really very little. At my new job, some of us (managers included) see a need for Java programmers down the road so I volunteered to start the learning process. I like learning new things and I like a challenge and the prospects of a new career; and that's what I'm getting.

I was approved for the Oracle Java SE7 Fundamentals class by my company (I pay and they reimburse when the Certification test is passed, this fiscal year... and I know that just a certification does not make a programmer, experience does...) so I could get the "hands on" portion of the requirements. It seems that this class is rarely mentioned around these here parts but it is a requirement for certification. Here are my questions:

1. I have been studying hard since September (When I was approved by my company), and before that I was dabbling and writing simple programs. I have gone through the week long "hands on" class as well. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I felt like I had gotten to point where I wasn't always looking in from the outside, but had finally stepped inside some of the concepts that are required of a programmer. I have been taking the Enthuware tests and some of them really humble me (fail) while others I get only close to 70%. I have the new "OCA Java SE7 Programmer I Study Guide" (which I have read and am now rereading along with Oracle's "Java, A Beginner's Guide") and took the first 90 question quiz on the cd rom and scored around 80%. So, what is the difficulty level of the actual exam? Is it like the Enthuware tests, which at times I find very difficult or is it like the test Oracle provides in the study guide, more concept and theory based, and at times requiring some rote memorization?

2. Also, I have scheduled my exam for late December. So I'll be taking it in about 4.5 weeks. Aside from the Enthuware tests, the books I have mentioned and just writing code... is there anything else you would suggest? I feel the pressure, and don't want to let anyone down at work. I don't have difficulty with the concepts, but my mind doesn't always work well as a compiler, at least not yet.

Thank you!
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Blake,

I don't have taken the OCAJP7 exam, so I can't compare the difficulties between the different resources (books, mock exams,...) and the real exam. But I have some experience with the OCPJP certification exams.

Unfortunately your mind has to work for quite a few questions like a compiler. So you have to spot compiler errors (using a variable out of scope, illegal method override, illegal method overload, wrong syntax, invoking a method which isn't accessible due to limited access modifiers,...). If you can spot these issues, these questions are the most easy ones: just check "Compilation fails" and proceed to the next one. You also have to spot when a code sample might result in a runtime exception (class cast, null pointer, index out of bounds,...). Almost all questions with a code sample have "Compilation fails" and "A runtime exception occurs" as possible answers.
The actual exam always mentions the number of correct answers you have to pick. I know some mock exams don't mention this valuable information (which in my opinion is a good thing when you are preparing because you have to evaluate each answer), but on the actual exam the number of correct answers is always mentioned, which makes it a bit easier for the candidate (because even if you don't know, you know how much answers you have to pick)

Good luck!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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