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Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary
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Hello everyone. let me get straight to the point. I was preparing for the exam and its been 3 months, I have read the book OCA SE7 Programmer I study guide by Edward & Robert, practiced a lot of code, watched a lot of tutorials whichever concept I wasn't clear with then I have started Enthuware Mock tests, after having the standard test, Test-1 and Test-2 and their results were 33%, 23% and 21% respectively. I am totally disappointed. I have booked the exam 3 months ago for 15th of June 2015, I have studied everyday for 3 hrs. Now I am thinking of changing the exam date. any suggestion will be very helpful.

Regarding Enthuware, more than 50% of those questions has 3 to 4 options to choose, I have noticed that most of my answers were correct such as it has told me to choose 4 options and i chose 3 correct and sometime I had to choose 3 options but i have chosen 2 correct.

Regarding more practice I am thinking is there any specific book (I have not read Mala gupta yet but started) or even website that I can try or you can recommend for me such as small code practices on methods, inheritance etc.

Thank you all in advance for the answers.
 
Liutauras Vilda
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Well, lets see what well experienced guys will suggest you, but from my perspective I think the way simpler. If you need to practice for the exam, it indicates 1 thing - you're not enough experienced. Experience usually comes along with practice. So, the logical step would be to practice on some real cases as projects. I could be wrong about all this - it is just my opinion.
Lets wait what well experienced guys will comment on that.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary wrote:I have booked the exam 3 months ago for 15th of June 2015, I have studied everyday for 3 hrs. Now I am thinking of changing the exam date. any suggestion will be very helpful.

With these Enthuware mock scores, you certainly must reschedule your exam appointment and postpone it with another 3 months. No doubt!

Secondly you should probably use another study guide. You could use OCAJP 7 study guide by Mala Gupta or K&B7. Maybe you could even buy both and use them as complementary resources. If you plan to take OCPJP7 (after passing OCAJP7), I would definitely purchase K&B7, it's probably the best study guide on the market for OCAJP7 and OCPJP7.

Do not waste Enthuware mock exams! Meaning don't take any other Enthuware mock exams in the next days/weeks. Now you should study and prepare yourself. If you want practice, you can use the mock exams you already took (the standard test, Test-1 and Test-2), mock questions and exams of your study guide (e.g. Mala Gupta and K&B7 have questions after each chapter, Mala Gupta has 1 mock exam and K&B7 has even 2 mock exams for OCA exam). Use the unattempted Enthuware mock exams to monitor your progress and current level. So after having studied 3-4 weeks, you can take another mock exam.

Write lots of code snippets without using an IDE! You mentioned you have practiced a lot of code, which is certainly a good thing. But you didn't mention if you used an IDE or your favourite text editor (and javac/java). If you used an IDE to write lots of code snippets, get rid of the IDE and use Notepad, Notepad++ or any other text editor. To compile your Java code use javac and to run your programs use java. I strongly advice against using an IDE while preparing for a certification exam, certainly if you are a junior Java programmer. The reason is simple: the IDE takes care of certain tasks for you (detecting compiler errors, code completion,...), but on the actual exam you don't have an IDE and you are completely on your own. I'm convinced you'll be able to spot errors more quickly in a given code snippet when you don't use an IDE. But this is just my opinion, here you'll find different opinions about using an IDE while preparing for a certification exam. Here and here you'll find experiences from other ranchers who stopped using an IDE while preparing.

Here and here you could find some other advice to improve your level and Java knowledge.

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Definitely reschedule it for another three months out. And 3 months from then, you might have to reschedule again. With 30% right now you haven't got any chance. Don't wait until the last minute to reschedule since you have to give them some advance notice or they won't let you.

The Enthu tests you've already taken, you can click at the top of the columns to get the missed question all together for easier review. Work hard to understand why you missed the questions you did. That will probably be as good as any book. Take advantage of the 'discuss' button at the bottom of the questions to go to the Enthu site, to a page devoted to discussion of that question. If you find you're missing questions that you actually knew the answer to, you need to learn concentrate more and pay attention to detail of the question.



 
Blake Edward
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I can relate to this post. I really struggle with OCAJP test preparation. I changed careers three years ago and 2.5 years ago started studying Java. I had as my goal at my new job this Java certification. Where I work, these goals are taken seriously and are used for raises/reviews. I was pushed by my company's calendar to take the test when I wasn't prepared and I failed it. That is a lot of money for nothing.

I shied away from test preparation for almost a year but I kept my nose in the code by making an Android app for my phone and a few small projects. At work, in three years, I went from beginner/job changer in a highly technical environment to Tech Lead. Most of what I did was related to HTML, CSS, JS.

I recently got put on another project where I inherited a SQL database and an old Java program written in Java 5. None of the code had been maintained for 3 or 4 years and the program no longer works. Anyway, it's an opportunity. I can talk to people about Java, and might even know more about the syntax and the basics than many of the back end developers that sit near me, and I can look at the code I just inherited without confusion. But, I don't know if I can pass this test. I scored about 50% on my first two Enthuware mock exams last winter after months of study for the test. Very disappointing. I have not taken test three yet. Stopping and starting defeats you.

I am back at it again but still have much doubt. I am very persistent, catch on quick, but have trouble with these kinds of tests. Like you I would get 3 out of the 4 answers right then goof up the last one. When I read the answers to missed questions it seems so logical I can't believe I missed it. I reread these study books, make small code snippets, don't use an IDE... but it's hard, and some people are just wired differently.

My bottom line with the test is that I won't take it unless I think I can score an 80 or better. There are some days when I think I could get a 63, I could pass it, but I really want to do well.

Push your test dates back and give it another three months. I know how you feel. I am also frustrated and the special beer I had stowed away in fridge for celebration is getting old. (Hey Roel, it's a Stiegl from Austria.) But I know with persistence I'll get it done. You to will succeed. It's not a namby-pamby test. It'll mean a lot to pass it.

Good luck and keep plugging away.
 
Stuie Clarky
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Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary wrote:Regarding Enthuware, more than 50% of those questions has 3 to 4 options to choose, I have noticed that most of my answers were correct such as it has told me to choose 4 options and i chose 3 correct and sometime I had to choose 3 options but i have chosen 2 correct.


To me this sounds like you may be rushing your test to get through all the questions. By doing this, you are not reading the instructions carefully enough. Look back at those questions, if you had put in the extra answer you had missed, would you of got the question right? I did this a lot when I was preparing for mine, so I made a conscious effort to slow down and really read what each question is actually asking you, not what you assume it is asking you. The little details can and will catch you out in the exam, so look for them!

When I did my exam, I think I finished the questions with a half hour to spare, which was time enough to go back through from question one and double check my answers. I realise what I've said is more about exam technique than actual Java knowledge, but you are doing an exam - so bring your best exam technique
 
Blake Edward
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I think what he means is that he supplied four answers when it required four, and supplied three when it required three. But each time one out of those three or four answers was wrong. In the case of questions that require four choices he's getting three out of the four correct, but his fourth choice is wrong. He's frustrated because he knows 75% of the answer and that 25% he doesn't know or isn't sure of makes the entire question wrong.
 
Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary
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Thank you all for your kind reply and priceless advices.. Today I have postponed the exam date to 28th of August. by Mid August I will Try 2 of the Enthu Tests if I am getting a good outcome I will take the test, if not then will postponed it 1 more month.. but I am trying hard. downloded a lot of different tutes. Yes You were right that I was using Eclipse, from today I have started with note++, which seems okay, and command line reminds me the old days, so which is not bad either. I am doing this certification not for any job or my resume. I work as retail Manager for a sports company. I am learning Java for myself as I dont know why I find java more interesting then any other language. Hope I can achieve that.

Thank you all again.
 
Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:Definitely reschedule it for another three months out. And 3 months from then, you might have to reschedule again. With 30% right now you haven't got any chance. Don't wait until the last minute to reschedule since you have to give them some advance notice or they won't let you.

The Enthu tests you've already taken, you can click at the top of the columns to get the missed question all together for easier review. Work hard to understand why you missed the questions you did. That will probably be as good as any book. Take advantage of the 'discuss' button at the bottom of the questions to go to the Enthu site, to a page devoted to discussion of that question. If you find you're missing questions that you actually knew the answer to, you need to learn concentrate more and pay attention to detail of the question.




I can reschedule the exam date only giving a 24hr prior notice. Thanks
 
Roel De Nijs
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Blake Edward wrote:and the special beer I had stowed away in fridge for celebration is getting old. (Hey Roel, it's a Stiegl from Austria.)

Although I'm from Belgium, I don't drink any beers at all (I even do not drink alcohol). So I am completely clueless about that Austrian beer If you score really good, try to get yourself a Duvel. And for a perfect score you truely deserves the best beer of the world, Westvleteren 12

Blake Edward wrote:But I know with persistence I'll get it done.

That's the spirit! Best of luck!
 
enrique davis
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I'd like to add to this topic

I'm studying for the OCA and I'm at chapter 4 but I don't remember what was in chapter 1 and 2
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to pass this exam

My problem is to find time to study, I only study one or 2 nights a week.

Can someone suggest a working study strategy

Thanks
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi enrique davis,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

enrique davis wrote:I'm studying for the OCA and I'm at chapter 4 but I don't remember what was in chapter 1 and 2

Which study guide are you using?

enrique davis wrote:Can someone suggest a working study strategy

First of all, take your time while preparing. There's no need to rush! Depending on your current Java knowledge/level it might take 6 months or longer to get prepared, but that's ok.

Secondly, just 1 or 2 nights a week is not enough! You should really try to study every day in the week. It doesn't have to be for 4-5 hours each time, even 30 minutes would be ok (you could repeat some flash cards or important notes or get some coding practice,...). If you study every day you'll remember things better, because you force your brain to be busy with Java every day. So have 3-4 days in the week where you study for as many hours as you possible can, and on the other days try to study for 30-45 minutes.

And finally: study hard, repetition is always an excellent idea and try to write as many code snippets as possible, preferrably using a text editor (and not an IDE). You won't learn Java by just reading a study guide once (or twice), you need to get your hands dirty!

If you are completely new to Java, it might be better to read and study from a Java text book before using a certification study guide (some examples of Java text books: Head First Java, Thinking in Java, Core Java, Deitel & Deitel, and so on)

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
enrique davis
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Thank you Roel

I wrote a dozen of small projects in Java and I'm getting better and better at it.

I'm using the study guide by Scott Selikoff and I think it's a good book. I think the gaps in between the study sessions are my problem
by the way all my test code is written in notepad++ and I manually compile it and run it from command promt


 
Blake Edward
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enrique davis wrote:I'd like to add to this topic

I'm studying for the OCA and I'm at chapter 4 but I don't remember what was in chapter 1 and 2
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to pass this exam

My problem is to find time to study, I only study one or 2 nights a week.

Can someone suggest a working study strategy

Thanks


Are you able to study at work? I had always separated my studies from my job, even though it will greatly benefit my employer. I am so busy (family, friends, other ventures) outside of work that eventually something will derail me. I had put hundreds of hours into learning this language and studying for this test on my own time. Just last week I began to carve out two hours a day at work to study. I still get my work done, I meet my deadlines, and no one seems to notice or care. Now I don't have to go home and do it. Like I said previously, I inherited a Java program at work to fix and maintain, I have no mentor, no scrum team, no one with BKM's helping me, so study is now part of the job.

I to feel like I will never pass this exam. It's funny because I still give encouragement. I also know that I CAN pass it, but it takes a slightly deeper knowledge than I have and also a dedication to keep studying, non-stop, until I can pass it. You have to get on a roll. I really like the K&B book. The study questions are well thought out and unique enough that the concept lingers after you have gone over the questions. If there is something I don't understand I do one of two things: throw the code in TextMate and play with it and/or get out the paper and pencil and write it out, drawing lines and making notes until I get it.
 
Roel De Nijs
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enrique davis wrote:I'm using the study guide by Scott Selikoff and I think it's a good book.

Great choice!

enrique davis wrote:I think the gaps in between the study sessions are my problem

That's indeed your main problem. That's why you should really try to be involved with the certification each day of the week. Even 30 minutes in bed repeating the important notes of the chapters you already have studied will do the job.

enrique davis wrote:by the way all my test code is written in notepad++ and I manually compile it and run it from command promt

Excellent! You will definitely benefit from this approach.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Blake Edward wrote:Are you able to study at work?

That's always a big advantage if you can develop in Java at work. It gives you many, many hours of practice and experience. And you can quickly do some little experiments: what happens if I remove the public access modifier from this class, can i assign a float to a long without a cast, can I add an abstract method to a concrete class,...

Blake Edward wrote:I to feel like I will never pass this exam.

Sure you will! You should always believe in yourself. And never forget: Perseverance pays dividends! Always!

Blake Edward wrote:If there is something I don't understand I do one of two things: throw the code in TextMate and play with it and/or get out the paper and pencil and write it out, drawing lines and making notes until I get it.

That's definitely a great approach. And if you still can't figure it out, you can de a third thing: create a new topic in the OCAJP forum and share your questions and doubts
 
Travis Roberts
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enrique davis wrote:I'd like to add to this topic

I'm studying for the OCA and I'm at chapter 4 but I don't remember what was in chapter 1 and 2
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to pass this exam

My problem is to find time to study, I only study one or 2 nights a week.

Can someone suggest a working study strategy

Thanks


You should definitely try to study every day, even just 15 minutes is better than nothing.

If you cannot study at work then make index cards to bring with you to review throughout the day. I did that with the A+ and Network+ certifications and it worked wonders! The human brain requires repeated exposure to new information over the span of days/weeks. You cannot study something one day and expect it to still be in your mind weeks from then. When you learn new information your brain is laying out new neurological paths in your brain and you need to continue using those paths to strengthen them... at least that's what I read.
 
Mohammad Bappy Chowdhary
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enrique davis wrote:I'd like to add to this topic

I'm studying for the OCA and I'm at chapter 4 but I don't remember what was in chapter 1 and 2
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to pass this exam

My problem is to find time to study, I only study one or 2 nights a week.

Can someone suggest a working study strategy

Thanks


I totally understand your point, I am working 7 days per week, have family but still trying my best as I have interest in Java. try this website, so far its the best for the beginners Java Tutorial. you can even try one code snippet per day, will take no more than 5 minutes. I am trying and I think you should try as well. Never give up hope. good luck.
 
Jain Amit
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Hello all,

I read/scanned both K&B7 and Mala Gupta in about 10-14 days putting 1-2 hrs on weekday and 3-4 hrs on weekend. I did this to get a feel of things. As I am comfortable in C for me it was getting to know Java syntax, OO, reference variable, objects, exceptions etc. Attempted Mala Gupta mock exam (it's pretty easy) scored 73%. I plan to revisit K&B7 again in next week. K&B7 is great book for OCA and Mala Gupta complements it. I won't rely on Mala Gupta solely though.
I know I can clear OCA but my target is > 90%

I tip which I have followed diligently is from K&B7:-
Tips on Studying for the Exam
One easy technique to use in studying for certification exams is the 15-minutesper-day effort. Simply study for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. It is a small but significant commitment.

I strongly recommend this to everyone.

Thanks
Amit

p.s.
I have 2 small kids, a wife and a full-time job in C to take of. But I am committed to JAVA now (instead of my wife :P ) for next few months. I try to squeeze my time during daily commute (I attempted Mock exam while travelling), short 10 - min breaks from work or whatever time I can find.

 
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