I wrote IZ0-803 a few days ago,and i was surprised when i ended up scoring 96 % .Am writing this because this forum helped me a lot while studying for this exam.
my background:Non Computer (Electrical Engineering). I started with java exactly a year ago.I started studying for the exam about 2 months ago.
• I used oca java se 7 Programmer I Certification Guide: Prepare for the 1Z0-803 by Mala Gupta as a study reference.This provided me with sufficient knowledge about the basics of the language and required concepts.This was pretty much a stepping stone for further study.
• However after reading the book,I started writing mock tests and realised where I stood(33% on the first one).
• I know Ms Mala Gupta is a regular on this forum, so I would address this to her:
• I loved reading your book for knowledge purpsoes,however it would be really appreciated if the level of questions could be increased.the Exam tips are a very help inclusion in your book and actually the at-target useful bits of advice.So more information of the same type would be really useful to tackle the exam.
I followed the book reading/working out excercises ,with mock tests. I was confused between ETS and Whizlabs so I ended up taking both of them.
• Really good set of questions with detailed well thought out explanations
• They were the most helpful componenet of my preparation.The ETS viewer was quite easy to use and i really appreciated the fact that it was jar which made it platform agnostic(I use linux).
• The progress reports helped me target areas to study well
• The questions were really good and helpful.
• Apart from that though,I find several flaws with it
• They have onlyl a web interface(completely php based i think?) becasue of which I spent atleast 5~6 seconds after each question waiting for the next page to load.I use a 15 mbps broadband connection.
• They tests are 90 questions each and 150 minutes long.Although i appreciate the greater number of questions,this is not the ideal test environment.Because completing 90 questions in 150 mins is easier than 70 in 120 minutes.
• Questions regarding the same subject are often bunched together.
• Yes I know that there is a lesson to be learnt out of the bunch of questions but that again does not qualify how questions come in the exam.Solving 4~5 questions on the same code snippets with minor code changes is not only exhausting but also makes you reconsider your answers in the previous questions.Although as exam-takers, we need to inculcate the habit of not dwindling on one question for too long,this is not an ideal way to teach such a habit.
Amongst both the test sets,there were several repititive questions.Infact Whizlabs had questions repeating in consecutive tests too.Please make sure the questions are unique.
JLS and stack overflow:
• Often I would come across questions which would stump me logically.
• JLS is the one stop to go solution for such issues .
• JLS was the best source I had for determining dead(unreachable) code compilation failures
• But sometimes JLS is too confusing, like for example in the questions and concepts which involved Operator precendence and Operand Evaluation
• At those times Stack overflow came to the rescue.
java and javac:
• Keep testing and experimenting with the code you write. Because this is will give you a Boolean answer to your query which is backed up by you. This was helpful when you want to test several scenarios/doubts which arose because of a certain new concept introduced to you like the scope of variables within a switch statement.
These are my reviews and 2 cents on the materials that I used.I have also taken a bunch of notes(self written in the most horrible manner) .But nevertheless they cover several important points which came up in the exam. f any one would appreciate such a collection of notes,please let me know.I use workflowy and can make that link public.
And all the critiquing aside, I thank Mala Gupta,Enthuware and Whizlabs for helping me study for the exam.