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Rescheduled OCPJP6

 
Myyron Murray Latorilla
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Posts: 65
Eclipse IDE Java Netbeans IDE
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Hi JavaRanch folks!

Just want to share my experience on my preparation for OCPJP6 exam and what led me to reschedule.

I've been using Java for 6 years, now holding a position of Sr. Java Developer. Not adding the experience of using Java in college with thesis created from J2ME.

Unlike in Engineering and other discipline which has a board exam here in the Philippines, IT graduates pursue certifications to prove themselves on their chosen field. So that's why I'm pursuing this certification with an end goal of OCMJD6 (for now).

I decided to take the certification and started to do the preparation last October 27 and take the exam on November 20 (this Wednesday), even created a sprint for this so I can track my progress and account all the task that I need to do and will do. Read K&B study guide (800+) pages and felt confident as much of the points discussed there were already trivial to me. Didn't take the self tests for all the chapters as I was saving those as 1 of my mock exams. Supplemented some points especially those for Scanner, threads, File I/O, Pattern and Matcher, serialization, Navigable, Tree, Linked variants of Collection and Map, with sample programs. I'm using eclipse and not compiling through command line as I find the API code assist and JavaDocs visible in the IDE very helpful, and considering that the points needed to know using the command line is not that much of a concern to me.

After the study guide, I decided to take my 1st mock exam in ExamLab, took the diagnostic test and got 45%. Reviewed the results and took note of "need to review" points. Printed the 2minute-drills of the study guide for my comprehensive reviewer and supplemented again my weak points with sample programs.

Took the 1st practice exam in ExamLab and got 51%. (The 60% ExamLab result -> 90% in actual exam by Devaka is really encouraging for me with these low scores). The exam again introduced new weaker points that I need to review (used the back of the printed 2minute-drills for taking notes of "new" learnings). Printed all tables in the study guide for memorization and attached to my existing printed 2minute-drill. Even pinned this table to my cube in the office for a quick glance and review. Wrote sample programs.

Took the 2nd practice exam in ExamLab and got 50%. New learnings again, and created sample programs. What I'm observing is that for each passing day, I'm forgetting what I've wrote on my sample programs and need to revisit my codes.

Decided to take the study guides's self test and realized that not all was covered in the study guide and that I need to go to more detail on what were discussed. Created sample programs to supplement. I still have 3 chapters self test to take.

Took K&B Practice Exams (this is a different book) Self-Assessment Test 1, and got 8/14. Now I'm really worried that as I only have 5 days to review and still not confident because everytime I take these sample tests/exams (ExamLab and study guide), I get new learnings and made me to create sample programs.

With all of these, I decided to reschedule my exam to December 4 and get myself the confidence I need to get a 90+ score on the exam. And by meaning of confidence, take mock exams and see that I do not get anymore new learnings and have all the points "really second nature" to me. Sample programs and API usage really get embedded to my mind.

Hope you guys out there especially those who are also reviewing get something from what I'm sharing here. Hope I can do it by December 4. Any preparation tips are welcome. Thanks.

Other realization I get from my preparation:
1. "Experience alone does not ensure" you know Java.
2. "Experience alone does not ensure" you'll pass this exam.

Happy reviewing!
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Good luck on your rescheduled attempt!

And totally agree on the last two bullets!
 
Abhay Agarwal
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Best of luck for exam.

I agree with your last two points - having experience in Java and doing certification in Java is different. Even I have experienced the same.

~ abhay
 
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