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K&B 7 - inches from the finish line! - and a request for info...

 
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Hi Guys,

After more than two long, hard years, K&B 7 is inches from completion. We're sorry it's taken us so long!

I have a favor to ask... Do any of you OCA 7 or OCP 7 certified programmers remember some specifics about taking the test at the PearsonVue center? Here are some questions about your experience:

1 - What kind of writing devices did they give you? pencil and paper? whiteboards? nothing?

2 - Were you able to mark questions and return to them later?

3 - Were you able to freely move back and forth between questions? Were there any restrictions on returning to questions you'd previously seen or answered?

4 - Did you have to do any surveys in addition to taking the test?

5 - Did the software have a clock to tell you how much time you'd spent and how much time was left?

6 - Could you take a "bio-break"? Just one?

7 - How quickly did you get your test results?

8 - How quickly did you get an actual hard copy certificate?

Anything else about the actual test taking you'd like new tell new candidates?

Thanks!!!

Bert
 
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From my 1Z0-805 Upgrade to Java SE 7 Programmer exam I took on May 2013 in Kraków, Poland.

1. An A4-sized whiteboard and a marker.
2. Yes.
3. Yes. No.
4. No. I had to show my ID and then sign some agreement (don't remember exactly what it was )
5. I don't remember if it showed time spent but I am sure it showed remaining time.
6. Bio-break? Like to pee? Nope. It was not allowed.
7. Something about 15 minutes. I had to check on certview.
8. Something about 4 weeks. Note that nowadays you have to specifically request a hard copy.
 
Bert Bates
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Ah, one more question

9 - Were you allowed to take a drink in with you?
 
Paweł Baczyński
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9. I don't know. I guess it would not be a problem. I didn't ask.
 
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Congrats on nearing the end.

I took the OCP 7 beta in early May 2012 and the OCA 7 in late May 2012. This was my first time taking the Java Programmer cert. I hadn't been properly motivated to before.

1) I took the exams at different testing centers. My local one (for the OCP) gave me physical pen and paper. The one (that I will never visit again) that I visited for the OCA gave me a ONE SIDED erasable markerboard.

2) Yes, I was able to mark and return to questions.

3) I was able to move freely among questions. No issues reviewing questions.

4) For the beta, there was definitely a survey. I don't remember for the OCA.

5) Yes, there was a counter with remaining time.

6) I didn't ask about taking a bio-break so I don't know the rules.

7) For the OCA, I got the results immediately at the testing center. From other threads in this forum, that doesn't sound like it happens anymore.

8) For the OCA, it took two weeks for the hard copy cert to arrive.

9) None of the centers I've been to have allowed bringing a drink in with you. Some don't even let you bring in your driver's license.


Experted from my OCA blog post: (I was floored that this happened. I've been to a number of testing centers for various things and had assumed there were minimal standards. I complained to PearsonVue after this experience.)

And finally, why you should visit a testing center in advance
I took the SCEA and Java Programmer part 2 exams at my local testing center which I am happy with. They provide you with pen/paper and a detached room from the office to take the exam. The only distraction is if there is another person in the room with you and he/she stops and starts at a different time. They take care to be quiet.

Then there was the center I was at today. They gave me a *one sided* erasable markerboard to write on. But that’s within their rights. If you want paper, you should call and ask. The exam was held in what looked like a closet. A small table with two computers and poor ventilation. It was hot! And no soundproofing. I heard everyone who walked into the office while I was there. Which included an irate customer who had computer troubles and was dissatisfied with the speed at which they were fixing it (this went on for 10 minutes) and another potential customer who was inquiring about training. It was loud enough that I had to hold my ears to think. Which doesn’t go well with using a mouse to select answers or trace code on paper.

I wanted to take the exam today because I was off work today. And I figured minimizing the time between part 2 and part 1 would give me less time to get out of the habit of looking for details in exam questions. It was the right decision. But I wouldn’t recommend “Horizon Technical Consultants of Flushing” as a testing center for anyone.

 
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1. double-sided (erasable?) whiteboard x1 and marker

2. can mark questions

3. moving back and forth one Q at a time. Able to jump to specific Q at the every end in the review section (before submit)

4. no survey

5. have count down clock .. tick tock

6. bio break, got to go if you need to

7. within 10min leaving the test center through email saying login to CertView bla bla bla (just didn't get it immediately like in the good old days)

8. success kit need to request it through Oracle customer support, not automatically mailed (also 48 hours after you got the passed score report before CertView shows the new credential)

9. drinks, depending on test centers, the one I used yes (cup, bottle)
 
K. Tsang
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Paweł Baczyński wrote:7. Something about 15 minutes. I had to check on certview.



For the results thing, the screen states "30 minutes" but usually the email comes sooner. Probably as soon as you step out the testing center.
 
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I took the OCA7 exam on March 26 and don't remember everything but here are some points:

1 - I was giving a whiteboard and dry erase marker. The dry erase marker dried out and stopped working. I panicked but it was close to the end and I didn't want to waste time going out of the area, not sure if I was allowed to or if the clerk would be at the desk anyway. Afterwards they said I should have asked. This definitely impacted my score.

2 - Yes, could mark questions & return.

3 - Yes, move freely without restrictions.

4 - Don't remember about surveys.

5 - I knew how much time was remaining so there must have been some timer or clock.

6 - I didn't know if I was allowed to take a break or not.

7 - Got results on the drive home.

8 - I don't know if I even ordered the hardcopy.
 
Andrea Black
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I forgot to say: I was NOT allowed to take a drink in! One of things I brought with me was a bottle of spring water. The attendant insisted I lock everything I had, including the water, in a locker.
 
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Hi,
Congratulations! I'm so looking forward to reading K&B7!

I took OCA in November 2013. I can remember the following:
  • There was a locker where I had to put all my belongings before entering the testing room.
  • The testing room was very small (~10m²)
  • The testing room was kept under surveillance by a camera.
  • I got locked inside the testing room. If I had a problem or because I finished the test I needed to wave at the camera and the supervisor personnel arrived within a minute.
  • The testing room contained two test terminals. It's very likely you are not alone doing the test.
  • There was an incident at which my terminal screen froze for several minutes. The delay just vanished afterwards and fortunately the timer did also freeze .
  • A picture of you is being taken for the certificate. I'm not sure if before or after the test.


  • Regards,
    Bernhard
     
    Andrea Black
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    I have been putting off studying for the OCPJP7 for a long time. I am so glad it's coming. Should we pre-order from Amazon or is there a better way?
     
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    First of all congratulations for your almost finished work, we are all waiting for it!
    I took the OCA 1Z0-803 during last March.

    1 - What kind of writing devices did they give you? pencil and paper? whiteboards? nothing?
    I got a one side whiteboard with a marker, quite difficult to erase once written I must admit. I explicitly asked for paper and pencil without success

    2 - Were you able to mark questions and return to them later?
    Yes, the exam software allowed to mark questions so that you could return easily just to that set later. Very useful feature, imho

    3 - Were you able to freely move back and forth between questions? Were there any restrictions on returning to questions you'd previously seen or answered?
    Yes, there were no restrictions at all

    4 - Did you have to do any surveys in addition to taking the test?
    No, once I clicked on start the exam begun and when the time was over the software ended

    5 - Did the software have a clock to tell you how much time you'd spent and how much time was left?
    I do not recall whether there was the idication of the time spent, for sure there was the one on the time left

    6 - Could you take a "bio-break"? Just one?
    No "bio-break" was allowed. I had been explicitly asked whether I needed or not to go to the bathroom before entering the room where I had to sit for the exam because once inside no break was allowed

    7 - How quickly did you get your test results?
    Got an email within half an hour approximately

    8 - How quickly did you get an actual hard copy certificate?
    About one week after having made the request. Very fast delivery

    9 - Were you allowed to take a drink in with you?
    I don't know as I did not ask. Don't know whether it matters or not but I had to leave my packpack in a security lock outside the room, no mobile phone, no papers, books, etc were allowed to be brought in.

    For what it counts I must say the room was quite silent and no noise came from the offices outside. This is a very important aspect in my opinion to let the candidate concetrate better on the exam.
    There were two seats in the room but fortunately for me the guy at the second pc finished its test like 10 minutes after I started mine and no one entered the room until I ended my exam.
     
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    1 - What kind of writing devices did they give you? pencil and paper? whiteboards? nothing?
    On one test center they gave me pencil and paper, on another they gave me whiteboard marker and small whiteboard.

    2 - Were you able to mark questions and return to them later?

    Yes

    3 - Were you able to freely move back and forth between questions? Were there any restrictions on returning to questions you'd previously seen or answered?

    Yes, and no restrictions. At the end there were an overview of what questions were marked by you, that you then could go directly to.

    4 - Did you have to do any surveys in addition to taking the test?

    Not during the test (right before and after on the computer) but I had to fill in on paper some information (occupation, work title etc.) they also used this to mark what kind of ID i had used)

    5 - Did the software have a clock to tell you how much time you'd spent and how much time was left?

    Yes

    6 - Could you take a "bio-break"? Just one?

    No, on both centers I went to they specifically mentioned that I had to do my "bio-breaks" before the test, and could not do them during the test and continue the test afterwards.
    On the first center I had to remove my watch, and on both i could not have with me even a bottle of water.

    7 - How quickly did you get your test results?

    Within 15 minutes of finishing - I got an e-mail that my test results were ready. First time I took the test, I thought I would get it on the computer right away. Were releaved that I could go to a more isolated place and check my results =)

    8 - How quickly did you get an actual hard copy certificate?

    I did not (OCA test), Actually, I have not recieved one after I clicked the link on oracle site that said that I could request one. They give you a digital one on your "page".

    Most important thing to remember is to bring to pieces of ID. after that, just remember that you do not get the message of fail/pass right away, so relax when pressing the "Done/submit" button.
    Also, skip the questions that you see will take more time on, mark them, and go back to them. Do the easy ones first. That way you don't have to worry about not having seen/answered all the questions.

    -Mikael
     
    Greenhorn
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    1 - What kind of writing devices did they give you? pencil and paper? whiteboards? nothing?
    A small whiteboard, pen, and tissue to wipe the board with.

    2 - Were you able to mark questions and return to them later?
    Yes. It had a review option, so you could look at what you hadn't done.

    3 - Were you able to freely move back and forth between questions? Were there any restrictions on returning to questions you'd previously seen or answered?
    Yes, no restrictions.

    4 - Did you have to do any surveys in addition to taking the test?
    No. Though I was photographed this time (not when I took the SCJA exam). And that photo appeared on the email saying I'd passed.

    5 - Did the software have a clock to tell you how much time you'd spent and how much time was left?
    Yes.

    6 - Could you take a "bio-break"? Just one?
    No.

    7 - How quickly did you get your test results?
    The lad in the test centre printed out a form from Oracle saying "within 30 minutes you'll get a result". In reality
    I looked on my mob. phone and it was about ten to fifteen minutes later. But I didn't have the password to hand, so
    had to wait until I got back home.

    8 - How quickly did you get an actual hard copy certificate?
    From passing on 4/8/2014 (the email said six to eight weeks). The certificate turned up two weeks later from Oracle Ireland
    to the UK.

    9. The Water Bottle.
    No. That wasn't allowed. In fact it was watch off, empty pockets, handkerchiefs and everything removed from your
    person and locked up before taking the test.

    Anything else about the actual test taking you'd like new tell new candidates?
    1. Stick with the one K & B book - don't keep trying to "give yourself the edge" by buying everything under the sun - it isn't there.
    2. Scan the questions first. Look for syntax errors and scope flaws and all the other
    little "gotchas" they throw in and once you've done a couple of these, that'll build your
    confidence up in the exam.
    3. If you don't pass, don't worry about it. Remember what was missing and retake it.
    Errm....that's it.
    Johnny B

     
    Bert Bates
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    Thanks for all this feedback guys! It seems like things are pretty consistent across the testing centers - I'll add the few variations in the intro. McGraw-Hill tells me the book will go to the printer at the end of the week - then I guess 4-8 weeks before Amazon has it? I'll ask.

    We're sorry it's taken so darned long, it's been a monster, and for a long time Oracle kept shifting the objectives around.
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Bert Bates wrote:McGraw-Hill tells me the book will go to the printer at the end of the week


    Congratulations!
     
    Bernhard Goetz
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    Bartender
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    I know the K&B deadline has passed, but I feel this thread has some great value continuing on it's own. Therefore, I've added my feedback. Passed the OCA with 86% today.

    1 - What kind of writing devices did they give you? pencil and paper? whiteboards? nothing?
    I was given a laminated legal piece of paper, a dry tissue paper to erase, and an oversized dry marker.

    2 - Were you able to mark questions and return to them later?
    Yes. It had a review option, so you could look at what you hadn't done. Layout was very similar to the Enthuware software.

    3 - Were you able to freely move back and forth between questions? Were there any restrictions on returning to questions you'd previously seen or answered?
    No restrictions. Questions that I left incomplete, were listed under a separate option from the questions I explicitly marked for review

    4 - Did you have to do any surveys in addition to taking the test?
    No

    5 - Did the software have a clock to tell you how much time you'd spent and how much time was left?
    Yes.

    6 - Could you take a "bio-break"? Just one?
    Yes

    7 - How quickly did you get your test results?
    After submission, the screen said, "Results are not available at this time". I was pretty worried that was their way of saying, "You failed, but we won't tell you until you leave in case you go postal". However, by the time I signed out and retrieved my phone from the locker, I had the email. And it said I passed.

    8 - How quickly did you get an actual hard copy certificate?
    Don’t know. Haven’t ordered. Is there any value in ordering? Like, is it big and cool and I can frame it? Or, is it just a print out?

    9. The Water Bottle.
    No water. No gum. No wallet. Nothing. Everything had to be left in a secure locker.

    Cheers!
    Chris
     
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