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what do you write down during exams?

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I like seeing discussions (and not just Q&A) during book promos, so I'm trying to start some.

What do you write on paper/the whiteboard during the exam.

My answer:

In one area, I write down the question number of any questions I am unsure of along with which answers I was torn between. I also write down the topic/key fact I am unsure of. This is helpful because sometimes another question gives that information. For example, suppose I forget whether a method name is "find" or "grep". If another question uses "grep" and doesn't ahve any choices about not compiling, I have my answer.

In another area, I keep "temporary" information. This is where I trace variables, eliminate answers, etc. This section is temporary and I know I can erase it any time.
 
Scott Selikoff
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My Answer:

I like to write a lot, especially if I have scrap paper (instead of a whiteboard). I'll scan the question looking for obvious answers but if I can't find any off the bat, I'll write down the answer letters and proceed to cross them out. Temporary space is also excellent for counting iterations of the for() loops and temporary variables. I find exam centers that offer whiteboards and not paper to be tough, though, since I can't go back to review my previously eliminated choices later on. Overall, I find paper/whiteboard quite helpful, as it gives me a more concrete feeling of working out on the problem then reading the text alone.
 
Roel De Nijs
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That's an easy one! I use paper/whiteboard to work out complex questions. I think 85% of these questions are complex loop where you have to monitor the values of a few variables. The other 15% could be anything: how many objects are eligible for GC at line7, index operations on an ArrayList, String or StringBuilder,...

When I doubt about a question I wrote down the question number with all possible answers. The wrong answers I was confident about, I already crossed them out. So when I reviewed that question later on, I knew which answers I had to focus on. Now the exam software is improved and you can (on a windows computer) right click on an answer to cross it out. So I don't need to write it down anymore. It's a nice improvement!

Back at high school (and college as well) we got scrap paper as well. I mostly used that paper to write down things I had difficulties with to study/remember. So I repeated them just before going into the classroom and from the moment we got the scrap paper I wrote them down. Still using this technique when taking my certification exam

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Roel De Nijs wrote: Now the exam software is improved and you can (on a windows computer) right click on an answer to cross it out. So I don't need to write it down anymore. It's a nice improvement!

I'm looking forward to that! The feature existed, but was broken when I took the beta.


Roel De Nijs wrote: Back at high school (and college as well) we got scrap paper as well. I mostly used that paper to write down things I had difficulties with to study/remember. So I repeated them just before going into the classroom and from the moment we got the scrap paper I wrote them down. Still using this technique when taking my certification exam

That's a good one. I did that with the OCPJP for the things that were hard to memorize.
 
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