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Missed 28 out of 90 on the full test in the Gupta J7 book. What should I do?

 
Ted North
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Hey all,

First off, I am incredibly bummed I missed so many problems after dedicating so much time to studying OCAJ7. From what I calculated missing 28 problems is about a 69 with rounding; if each problem is worth 1.11. Is the real exam somewhat easier? Should I wait and study more so I can zip through the test with more ease or am I ready?

I did not have time to answer the last 14 problems so I missed all of those. I think I was spending too much time on problems because it is stressful and brings back memories I do not have from fighting in the third martian war against the mongoloid hoard and because I do not have the concepts of Java programming firmly in place so that I can immediately answer problems without so much uncertainty.

What can I do to step my java programming game up so I can ace this OCAJ7 SE Programmer 1 exam?

Respectfully,

Ted
 
K. Tsang
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Time management champ. You left the last 14 questions not answers and got 14 wrong totaling 28.

From mocks you should "consistently" get in the 75% mark or higher to be ready. Despite the real exam tends to be a bit easier than mocks (that's what people say).

Do review the ones you got wrong and those concepts you found hard to grasp. It may just be you don't what concept the question is asking by reading it the first time.

Good luck.
 
Ted North
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K,

Thank-you for the reply. I guess I will just keep studying and try to focus more on time management as you typed. Thanks again for the reply.

Regards,

Ted
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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One suggestion is to write down why you got each question wrong. Then you can look for themes of what to study more. This helps with the getting more questions right. I'd actually recommend writing a sentence for why each one is correct too in your case. Seeing themes there will let you answer faster. It will teach your brain what to look for.

As far as time management goes, skip a question if you can't answer it in under a minute (or 30 seconds or whatever you feel is appropriate). The test lets you flag these for later review. That way, you at least get to see all questions and don't miss an easy one late in the exam. Finally, if you do wind up with questions left at the end (which should be the hardest ones), guess. Never submit the exam with unanswered questions. Even if you have a 20-25% chance of guessing right, it adds up.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Let's do some math. You missed 14 questions, because you ran out of time, so from the questions you answered you actually scored 62/76 which is 81.5% and that would be enough to pass this exam. So no reason to be bummed.

Now you have to know why you ran out of time and missed 14 (possible easy) questions. Maybe it's because you don't have a solid grasp of some concepts of the java programming language (e.g. overriding, overloading,...). Maybe you have to spend too much time to decide if the code compiles or not. Maybe it's something else. When you know the reason(s) why, you can tackle them.

Jeanne's suggestion (to skip question which you can't answer in a given time) is an excellent one which I use myself too. That way you'll never miss any easy-to-answer question.

Another important suggestion: don't take the mock exams too often, because otherwise you'll get questions correctly by memorization instead of by knowledge. And that might represent in a deceptive score.

Good luck!
 
Ted North
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:One suggestion is to write down why you got each question wrong. Then you can look for themes of what to study more. This helps with the getting more questions right. I'd actually recommend writing a sentence for why each one is correct too in your case. Seeing themes there will let you answer faster. It will teach your brain what to look for.

As far as time management goes, skip a question if you can't answer it in under a minute (or 30 seconds or whatever you feel is appropriate). The test lets you flag these for later review. That way, you at least get to see all questions and don't miss an easy one late in the exam. Finally, if you do wind up with questions left at the end (which should be the hardest ones), guess. Never submit the exam with unanswered questions. Even if you have a 20-25% chance of guessing right, it adds up.


Jeanne,

Thank-you for the thoughtful feedback. I am going to try your test taking strategy so I can get through all the questions in the time period of the exam (2 hours and 20 minutes). Also, I will try writing a sentence even for the questions I get right when I review the exam. I already write down an explanation in an Open Office document (an excellent open source java project) of what I missed when reviewing mock exams.

I appreciate your expert feedback Jeanne.

Warm Regards,

Ted
 
Ted North
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Roel De Nijs wrote:Let's do some math. You missed 14 questions, because you ran out of time, so from the questions you answered you actually scored 62/76 which is 81.5% and that would be enough to pass this exam. So no reason to be bummed.

Now you have to know why you ran out of time and missed 14 (possible easy) questions. Maybe it's because you don't have a solid grasp of some concepts of the java programming language (e.g. overriding, overloading,...). Maybe you have to spend too much time to decide if the code compiles or not. Maybe it's something else. When you know the reason(s) why, you can tackle them.

Jeanne's suggestion (to skip question which you can't answer in a given time) is an excellent one which I use myself too. That way you'll never miss any easy-to-answer question.

Another important suggestion: don't take the mock exams too often, because otherwise you'll get questions correctly by memorization instead of by knowledge. And that might represent in a deceptive score.

Good luck!


Roel,

I appreciate the interesting and helpful reply. Also, that is awesome how you recalculated my score based on the numbers of questions I actually answered and obtained correct answers on. This is something positive I can think about and feel accomplished.

I think I have problems answering quickly because I am still not entirely fluent with the java programming language. Plus, studying tricky java problems for the 2 hours and 20 minutes of the test strains the power of my brain to focus. Also, I probably have test taking anxiety - which is just the sheer psychological stress of taking a timed test.

Finally, I think you are correct about taking too many mock exams too often as this will become incredibly easy to answer after becoming familiar with the mock test. I have already taken all the Enthuware exam's twice and the Gupta full test twice.

Thank-you again for the response. This probably helps me figure out what I need to do to ace the exam.

Warm Regards,

Ted
 
Ted North
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Thanks for the help everyone sorry to sound mental when describing the crap that goes on in my brain when taking a tough java exam.
 
Aki Mohan
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In my case, my problem was I always had 30 mins to spare and never ever revised the answers lol. Ted, never try to put a lot of time in any question because in the real exam we always tend to double check our answers and in the end we have to hurry to answer all questions or the time runs out.
I scored 70% in the mock test and when I checked the answer explanation, most were silly mistakes and I should have revised my answers.

I always tend to take more time in the exceptions topic as it could get very tricky and always made mistakes in that topic. Funnily in the real exam I didn't make a single mistake in that topic instead I made in the topics which is relatively easy. So, my point is check in which topics you flunked or taking more time and revise it again but don't neglect the easier topics. Always keep those notes(given at the back of the chapter) on the top of your head. Good luck mate!
 
Ted North
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Aki,

Thank-you for the interesting reply. I took your advice and some others and zipped through a different practice exam to complete the entire test and then had about 50 minutes to look over specific problems and step through all the code for each option.

For this last exam I scored an 86 and had never taken it before! It was one of the Kaplan exams that you can buy through the test bundle pack when signing up for the exam on Pearson Vue. This exam was strange in that most of all the output statements especially ones involving integers and math used the C style of formatting with output statements like System.out.format("%d", 3); I think this style of formatting is discussed more in the SCJP 6 book by Sierra and Bates.

Good luck on your upcoming exam.

Regards,

Ted
 
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