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OCAJP7 exam cert away from graduating

 
Jason Hodges
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First I would like to say hello, my name is Jason. I have read a lot around the ranch but haven't posted anything. I have been attending WGU since Oct 2012 and all that stands between me and my diploma is the OCAJP7 exam. I had the class that requires passing this exam back at the beginning of the year and my first attempt was horrible. I really rushed myself to take the exam before that term ended and I know now that I should have been more patient. The first time around I read the Mala Gupta book and used the Enthuware tests. I enjoy Java and really want to get a deeper understanding of the language, when time allows. Right now I am on a personal deadline to successfully pass the exam by September 11, 2015 so that I can attend the fall graduation ceremony and be done with school. This time around I am using the K&B7 book, course mentor 'teach back' sessions and trying to write as much code as I can. I have mapped out a timeline of a full week per chapter of the 6 chapters in part one of the K&B7 book. I will also be having 2-one hour sessions per week with a course mentor to go over the material and teach back what I have reviewed. I work as a web developer during the day, come home to a wife and 2 boys and then study the remaining part of the evening once the kids are in bed. If any of you have any ideas, suggestions or encouragement you'd like to share, I will gladly accept. Thanks in advance

j
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Jason,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

I think you have a solid plan and enough time to pass. As you reading, do post here if you have any questions about what you are studying.

My only suggestion that you didn't mention is to make flashcards and bring them places. There's downtime periodically like during lunch which is good for reviewing small facts.

Good luck on your upcoming graduation!
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Jason Hodges,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Jason Hodges wrote:If any of you have any ideas, suggestions or encouragement you'd like to share, I will gladly accept.

If you browse through and/or search this forum (and/or this site), you'll find very valuable information about all aspects of getting certified: which resources you could use, how to prepare, exam taking techniques, time management, encouragements and advice after someone failed the exam, and so on.

Let's see if I can provide a set of useful links to other threads. First of all, you'll have the OcajpFaq which provides useful information about the OCA certification exams. You also have the OcajpWallOfFame: everyone who passed the OCA exam can add their name and some of them have shares their experiences (which can contain useful information about their journey).

This thread contains an up-to-date overview of all available resources. You have mentoned you are using the Mala Gupta book, K&B7 and Enthuware. That means you are already using the best resources on the market for OCAJP7. Further you mentioned you'll be writing as much code as you can. That's a really good approach, because you don't learn a language by just reading a book (and answering some questions), you have to get your hands dirty I'm a true advocate of not using an IDE but using your favourite text editor and javac/java to compile/run your programs. In this thread you'll find some different opinions (including mine) about using an IDE or not. On the OcajpWallOfFame you can read sometimes the experiences about switching from an IDE to a text editor (e.g. here).

You'll find some great advice in this thread, this one and another one.

And finally, I totally agree with Jeanne's advice:
  • if you have some questions and/or doubts while you are studying/reading, just post here (and you'll almost guaranteed to get an answer)
  • use flashcards (and/or something similar like a summary of each chapter, much easier to bring places than a complete book)


  • Hope it helps! Best of luck!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Thank you Jeanne and Roel. I appreciate your kind words. I have been working in the terminal and BlueJ only for any coding. I have access to all the main IDE's but I don't want the assistance and I don't like all the bloat when I just want to quickly get some idea out and tested. I have started a little 'Monster' game? if you will so I can work on different classes, interfaces, inheritance and everything else as I go through the studies this round. I also picked up a notebook and note cards so that I can write note and draw diagrams, doodles, etc to help solidify the concepts. I like to visualize things so I am trying new techniques this time to help so or create an image of the various components in Java.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:I have been working in the terminal and BlueJ only for any coding. I have access to all the main IDE's but I don't want the assistance and I don't like all the bloat when I just want to quickly get some idea out and tested. I have started a little 'Monster' game? if you will so I can work on different classes, interfaces, inheritance and everything else as I go through the studies this round. I also picked up a notebook and note cards so that I can write note and draw diagrams, doodles, etc to help solidify the concepts. I like to visualize things so I am trying new techniques this time to help so or create an image of the various components in Java.

    Sounds like an awesome battle plan! One which almost guarantees you victory

    Best of luck!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Jason Hodges
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    **UPDATE** I have scheduled the exam for August 24th. I am finishing up Chapter 6 of the K&B book this week. I have been doing 'teach back' sessions with a mentor from school, covering the material from each chapter. I haven't spent any time on practice exams yet because I wanted to finish reviewing all the material first. I also did not want to risk spending too much time on the mock exams that I start 'learning' the answers and questions before becoming intimately familiar with the objectives. Naturally, anxiety and a sense of unsureness is kicking in. Do any of you have any advice for dealing with the last minute nerves and preparation? What tips would you have to solidify the confidence that I am prepared to take the exam? (scoring great on the mocks, obviously ) I think I definitely have a better understanding now than I did back in the spring when I attempted the exam but I also second guess myself a lot. Thanks guys!
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:Do any of you have any advice for dealing with the last minute nerves and preparation? What tips would you have to solidify the confidence that I am prepared to take the exam? (scoring great on the mocks, obviously ) I think I definitely have a better understanding now than I did back in the spring when I attempted the exam but I also second guess myself a lot.

    If you have finished the last chapter of the K&B study guide, it's definitely time to take a mock exam. You could use the ones from the study guide as practice mock exams and use the Enthuware mock exams to monitor your current knowledge and get a good indication of your readiness for the actual exam. Because the Enthuware mock exam software is a very good simulation of the actual exam software, you'll also get more familiarized with the real deal These first scores will give you the needed confidence or could be a disappointment as well. But there is nothing wrong with the latter: it's better to know before the actual exam that you are not ready for it than when you are in a class room taking the actual exam So we are now eagerly waiting for your first test scores

    On this forum many great tips and advice are given to pass the OCA exam with flying colours. You'll find some great advice in this thread, this one and another one.

    And finally, if you don't feel confident about your level and knowledge, you should simply postpone your exam. You can reschedule your exam for free. According to the Reschedule Policy of the Oracle Certification Program Policies there's just 1 restriction: you must reschedule at least 1 business day prior to your exam appointment.

    Hope it helps!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Mark Justison
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    I can attest that if you start working more with the exam questions (be they from the enthuware suite, the K&B book software or the Mala Gupta back of the book exam) you'll gradually start getting used to how the questions are formatted. I wouldn't worry too much about question memorization as long as you aren't retaking the same test every few days. It not only helps build confidence but it helps build a strategy to take the tests; how much time to devote to each question, how to sense what you can answer quickly and what you can't, how to start spotting gotchas a lot sooner. My first couple tests I struggled to complete on time. I no longer have to worry about getting through 70 questions in 120 minutes. I may not yet have the scores that make me feel like I'm ready to take the test, but I feel as if I know what to expect.
    The long and short is, you're ready to start taking the mock exams. Don't let them intimidate you, after you do it a few times that anxiety will dissipate and you'll simply know what you need to do.

    -Mark
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    And I almost forgot the best possible advice ever: Just keep calm, select the correct answers and you'll pass the test with flying colours
     
    nick woodward
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    Thought i'd chime in because I'm planning on taking the exam at around the same date as you and might be able to help!

    +1 to the above - The enthuware exams cannot be stressed enough imo.

    I've read both mala's and the K&B book, and dipped in and out of a few others. However between finishing one and starting the other, enthuware kicked my arse and reminded me that practice is the only sure fire way to know all the topics inside and out. I'd finish one chapter and get rusty on the previous, rinse, repeat.

    Even after finishing both books, and getting 8s and 9s in chapter tests, my enthuware speed was terrible and several topics had me stumped too. going back over the answers has provided me with no end of clarity.

    I guess my point is that nothing prepares you like going over and over and over and over the subject material. And with 6 * 70 questions, and a need to review all of them in detail, the enthuware stuff is in my opinion the peak that you need to be working towards. I wouldn't worry about learning the questions - its over 12 hours of content - and way more than that if you review all the answers.

    Hope that helps!

    Nick

     
    Jason Hodges
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    Thanks for the tips guys. So I took the standard test 1 in Enthuware. My score was 34% which shocked me because I felt pretty confident going through it. My time was in good shape I feel, I finished with 4 questions marked and about 10 minutes left. Mind you, it was extremely late when I took the mock. I am doing my best to not let this first score get me down. I am reviewing each question, sorted by objective and coding the problems of others similar, also sorted by objective (eg. package obj2;). I am going back through the end of chapter test in the Mala book each night during dinner. The pressure of needing to pass in order to attend graduation ceremony in September isn't making it any easier. I'll keep you guys updated
     
    nick woodward
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    Jason Hodges wrote:Thanks for the tips guys. So I took the standard test 1 in Enthuware. My score was 34% which shocked me because I felt pretty confident going through it. My time was in good shape I feel, I finished with 4 questions marked and about 10 minutes left. Mind you, it was extremely late when I took the mock. I am doing my best to not let this first score get me down. I am reviewing each question, sorted by objective and coding the problems of others similar, also sorted by objective (eg. package obj2;). I am going back through the end of chapter test in the Mala book each night during dinner. The pressure of needing to pass in order to attend graduation ceremony in September isn't making it any easier. I'll keep you guys updated


    my first run through i got 43% after reading K&B7, and having recently finished mala's book i got 70, so i wouldn't worry about it too much. repetition helps a huge amount. it just probably isn't fresh in your mind, and the questions are designed to trick you in many cases.

    reviewing the answers and coding problems is a great way of doing things, one that i should've done more religiously (i tended to write notes, only coding when i get really stuck). RE the enthuware answers - they aren't always the best to be fair, undoubtedly because the author knows the topic area very well, but that kind of helps. if you can't understand what he is getting at, or can't see your own mistake, then you know its a topic to look over.



     
    Jason Hodges
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:

    And finally, if you don't feel confident about your level and knowledge, you should simply postpone your exam. You can reschedule your exam for free. According to the Reschedule Policy of the Oracle Certification Program Policies there's just 1 restriction: you must reschedule at least 1 business day prior to your exam appointment.


    Thanks Roel! For whatever reason I hadn't really looked at the retake policy until last night. 14 day waiting period before you can purchase the voucher and register for retake. This doesn't help my stress at all
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:14 day waiting period before you can purchase the voucher and register for retake.
    Probably to prevent you from taking the exam 10 times in 1 week and pass thanks to memorization instead of knowledge.
    Jason Hodges wrote:This doesn't help my stress at all
    Let me give you some stress relieving advice
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    Jason Hodges wrote:The pressure of needing to pass in order to attend graduation ceremony in September isn't making it any easier.

    Is attending the ceremony that important? Or do you have to pass the test before the ceremony, or else repeat the course? If you're currently making below 80% on Enthuware, any confidence you do have is false confidence. You might know the material well enough, but using that to find the issues in the test question code takes practice. I thought retake time was 1 month minimum but you might be right. Also, I think Roel said you can only take advantage of the discounted price one time.

    If it was me, I would take one shot at it, pushed as close to the ceremony as possible, and work hard to get over 80% on Enthuware consistently. That is how to get confidence; rather than steeling yourself somehow.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Guillermo Ishi wrote:I thought retake time was 1 month minimum but you might be right.

    No reason to doubt about that, just read the Retake Policy of the Oracle Certification Program Policies. It's stated as the 1st bullet point:
    Retake Policy, Oracle Certification Program Policies wrote:Candidates must wait 14 days before retaking a failed proctored exam. (Registration will be allowed on the 14th day)


    Guillermo Ishi wrote:Also, I think Roel said you can only take advantage of the discounted price one time.

    I can't remember saying something like that. The closest I can remember, is that discount is only applied to one exam if you try to book two (or more) exams in one order. All info related to the 20% discount can be found here.
     
    nick woodward
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    i'm not sure my previous message is being reviewed by a mod (having removed an acronym), and it's worth you reading that I went from 43% to 70% quite quickly, so here it is. Hit those mock exams, and answers, hard. Anything you don't understand, look up in K&B7, Mala, here, the enthuware forum, your tutor, hell, send me a 'mooseage'. I'm checking this forum fairly frequently now and know the questions that i've struggled/am struggling on. would be happy to help, as everyone else is! don't sweat it just yet!

    my first run through i got 43% after reading K&B7, and having recently finished mala's book i got 70, so i wouldn't worry about it too much. repetition helps a huge amount. it just probably isn't fresh in your mind, and the questions are designed to trick you in many cases.

    reviewing the answers and coding problems is a great way of doing things, one that i should've done more religiously (i tended to write notes, only coding when i get really stuck). RE the enthuware answers - they aren't always the best to be fair, undoubtedly because the author knows the topic area very well, but that kind of helps. if you can't understand what he is getting at, or can't see your own mistake, then you know its a topic to look over.
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    Pretty sure it used to be 1 month. The link to it in this thread was from a timed out session so was going to let someone else double check if need be.
    Good to know about the coupon. Thought you meant it could only be used once.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Guillermo Ishi wrote:The link to it in this thread was from a timed out session so was going to let someone else double check if need be.

    I noticed this as well and fixed the links!
     
    Jason Hodges
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    I wasn't sure where to post this but figured since I started this thread and this is related to my studies and prep I would go ahead and post it here. To get some more question answering practice in I have been going through the end of chapter quizzes in the school provided material I have access to. The material is uCertify but also list McGrawHill and Enthuware inside the actual quiz engine. I really am not sure how much input Enthuware has had because I have come across some possible answers that DO NOT seem on par with the standard I've come to trust with Enthuware. For example I had a question earlier on topic with inheritance which had a possible answer of 'super duper class'. I just had a question on topic of Exception Handling that asked about new features of Java 7 which list a possible answer of ''try-with-riches' feature and a possible answer of the 'boomerang' feature. This, in one way, makes me chuckle. In the other way it makes me skeptical of the quality of school provided material. Anyway, just had to take a break and share that...maybe someone will get a laugh
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:For example I had a question earlier on topic with inheritance which had a possible answer of 'super duper class'. I just had a question on topic of Exception Handling that asked about new features of Java 7 which list a possible answer of ''try-with-riches' feature and a possible answer of the 'boomerang' feature. This, in one way, makes me chuckle. In the other way it makes me skeptical of the quality of school provided material. Anyway, just had to take a break and share that...maybe someone will get a laugh

    The possible options in a multiple choice question could make the difference between a very easy question or a hard one. You won't of course have these kind of answers on the actual exam. But some of them are really funny. I assume the "boomerang feature" is actually the diamond operator <>, that's really a good one

    That reminds me about the theoretical driver exam. Some of the possible answers could NEVER be correct, because it's simply impossible/dangerous/ridiculous/... And for other questions you simply had to select the longest possible answer, because that's likely to be the correct one. So if you don't know for sure, pick the longest answer
     
    nick woodward
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    you're right to be skeptical. feel free to post an example, but i'm pretty confident in saying that i would stay away. happy to be proven otherwise

    useful to know though, as I just started the Finegan liguori study guide, and noticed in the preamble that they recommend some very dubious resources (out of date SCJA practice exams, and the Ucertify stuff). I tried some of the free resources, and they were definitely not relevant. UML, .net package, etc. definitely the sun style exam. Does anyone know if that reflects the standard of the book itself? would seem odd as it's an official oracle study guide, and everything else is up to date!

    If the Ucertify stuff is useful I'd love to know, because I'll grab it as soon as possible.

    Anyway, I'm buying this off amazon if it helps: Java Practice Questions: Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer (OCAJP).

    Found here:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Java-Practice-Questions-Certified-Programmer-ebook/dp/B009YP2Y2Y/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1439677346&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=Java+Practice+Questions%3A+Oracle+Certified+Associate%2C+Java+SE+7+Programmer+%28OCAJ%29+by+Esteban+Herrera

    If you come across anything good, please let me know and I'll do the same!
     
    nick woodward
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    The possible options in a multiple choice question could make the difference between a very easy question or a hard one. You won't of course have these kind of answers on the actual exam. But some of them are really funny. I assume the "boomerang feature" is actually the diamond operator <>, that's really a good one

    That reminds me about the theoretical driver exam. Some of the possible answers could NEVER be correct, because it's simply impossible/dangerous/ridiculous/... And for other questions you simply had to select the longest possible answer, because that's likely to be the correct one. So if you don't know for sure, pick the longest answer


    NO TIME FOR JOKES ROEL

     
    Jason Hodges
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    So would you use the ''try-with-riches" to catch an exception thrown by an operation utilizing the "diamond operator"?
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    nick woodward wrote:useful to know though, as I just started the Finegan liguori study guide, and noticed in the preamble that they recommend some very dubious resources (out of date SCJA practice exams, and the Ucertify stuff). I tried some of the free resources, and they were definitely not relevant. UML, .net package, etc. definitely the sun style exam. Does anyone know if that reflects the standard of the book itself? would seem odd as it's an official oracle study guide, and everything else is up to date!

    The Amazon score is 3.3 (out of 5), so it seems to be a study guide of average quality. And if you read the reviews, the opinions are very different. That might be dependent on your Java knowledge and experience level. If you are a novice, you want a book with as few errors/errata as possible. But that's really hard for a study guide (technical book). So you want to have an up-to-date errata list, but if you look at the official web page of the study guide, the last update of the errata list is almost 3 years ago ("Errata Sheet (Revision 1.2.0 - 12/18/12)"). So I won't use it as a primary resource, but it might be useful as a complementary resource to another study guide.

    nick woodward wrote:Anyway, I'm buying this off amazon if it helps: Java Practice Questions: Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer (OCAJP).

    Based on the Amazon reviews that seems to even be worse. Last errata update 2.5 years ago. It's only a few dollars, so it would not be a big deal if it happens to be poor quality. Before really using (and relying) on these mock questions and explanations), it might be wise to have a quality assessment first.

    Hope it helps!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:So would you use the ''try-with-riches" to catch an exception thrown by an operation utilizing the "diamond operator"?

    No, I would use the "try-with-riches" if that "boomerang" feature hits you right in the face!
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    nick woodward wrote:NO TIME FOR JOKES ROEL


    Sorry about that! But I'm one of those weird people who like taking (Java) certification exams and do it just for fun. So I'm really enjoying myself here in this forum
     
    nick woodward
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    nick woodward wrote:NO TIME FOR JOKES ROEL


    Sorry about that! But I'm one of those weird people who like taking (Java) certification exams and do it just for fun. So I'm really enjoying myself here in this forum

    I'm about 7 beers past being able to review those books, so maybe I'll look again tomorrow. but in all honesty, and with as much respect as i have for mala gupta's book (4/5 amazon in comparison), errata wise it was pretty poor.

    and yet it is a great book.

    RE: The Finegan errata, it maybe updated poorly because it was initially accurate, or it may just be poorly updated! Hard to know, but worth looking into, thanks!

    Having said that, I'm not sure I even need another book, just to work through more examples.

    PS NO FUN ALLOWED.


    Nick
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    nick woodward wrote:Having said that, I'm not sure I even need another book, just to work through more examples.

    I already mentioned in your other topic: you might benefit from reading a book on Java first (rather than re-reading a certification study guide). But let's continue this discussion and advice in that other topic (instead of hijacking this one).
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Nick, another thing you could do to test your Java knowledge is join hacker rank.com and work through some of the problems in the Java track. I've done this is some free time and it will make you think and not having a solution stored in memory will forc you to seek out a solutions, in return learning new valuable information.
     
    nick woodward
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    Jason Hodges wrote:Nick, another thing you could do to test your Java knowledge is join hacker rank.com and work through some of the problems in the Java track. I've done this is some free time and it will make you think and not having a solution stored in memory will forc you to seek out a solutions, in return learning new valuable information.


    yeah, i was using codingbat a fair bit a while back. will check that out, thanks.
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Starting the week off frustrated. After studying each question in the Standard Test 1, I have attempted Standard Test 2 tonight only to score 36%. I have to do something different. I don't get why the knowledge isn't sticking, I am studying Java every free minute I get.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:After studying each question in the Standard Test 1, I have attempted Standard Test 2 tonight only to score 36%.

    And is your score on Standard Test 2 similar to the one on Standard Test 1? And did you study a lot between taking both standard tests? Or did you just studied each question of Standard Test 1 before taking Standard Test 2?

    Do you see any pattern in the questions you answered wrong? Is it actually some problems with content (e.g. overloading/overriding, ArrayList, not spotting compiler errors) or is it more about test taking techniques (e.g. time management per question and having to rush at the end)?
     
    Jason Hodges
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    Jason Hodges wrote:After studying each question in the Standard Test 1, I have attempted Standard Test 2 tonight only to score 36%.

    Roel De Nijs wrote:And is your score on Standard Test 2 similar to the one on Standard Test 1?

    The score was identical. I had posted last week that my first attempt score was 34% but it was actually 36%, same as my Standard Test 2 score.


    Roel De Nijs wrote: And did you study a lot between taking both standard tests? Or did you just studied each question of Standard Test 1 before taking Standard Test 2?

    I studied each question in the Standard Test 1 and tried reviewing the concepts I didn't feel confident on.

    Roel De Nijs wrote:Do you see any pattern in the questions you answered wrong? Is it actually some problems with content (e.g. overloading/overriding, ArrayList, not spotting compiler errors) or is it more about test taking techniques (e.g. time management per question and having to rush at the end)?

    I didn't feel as good on time for the Standard Test 2 and I did taking the Standard Test 1. I don't know if I just had more distraction, was thinking into each question too much or what. One thing I do know is that I am missing a lot of the multiple answer questions by one answer. This in itself is frustrating because you feel so close but I know no one wins by almost making it to the finish line.

    I am trying not to let it get me down, though I am questioning if my mind is constructing a sort of mental block because I've been studying the material so much. A co-worker suggested I take a break and work on some fun project and my school mentor suggested I take a night off. I just can't bring myself to do this. I can't give up. I plan to try another technique for the little parts that need locked into memory. I have a voice note app on my phone that I will be recording important statements into that I can then loop through headphones while at work or driving.

    In response to an earlier reply from a fellow coderanch member, attending graduation is important to me. I am 34, married, proud father to two boys. This school is the 6th school I've attended post high-school yet due to life roadblocks I never attained a degree. This certification will mean a lot to me but finally getting my degree will mean more. I have all intentions of continuing to learn and develop with Java but right now I am so close to being done with school and that is my goal at the moment.
     
    Emmanuel Ekweanua
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    Jason Hodges wrote:Starting the week off frustrated. After studying each question in the Standard Test 1, I have attempted Standard Test 2 tonight only to score 36%. I have to do something different. I don't get why the knowledge isn't sticking, I am studying Java every free minute I get.


    I am also a newbie to this great forum, hopefully with time I will get use to the slang . I plan writing mine late September. If you don't take note, please do because it proves to be very effective while studying. Don't make it too wordy, just points you feel are really important and try as much to understand the basic concept behind every questions and code a lot.

    If you feel deep down your heart you may not scale through, it is okay to do the needful until you feel very prepared(as reflected in your mock exams) to take it.

    Yesterday, while studying Mala gupta, I felt overwhelmed and even discouraged but today I feel so motivated since I am understanding the basic concept. I plan going through sierra too (started with it first though before picking up Mala)

    Success.
     
    Jason Hodges
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    I have a question regarding the advice given for judging preparedness with the Enthuware exams. Roel, you had wrote this on another thread
    Roel De Nijs wrote:why do you take the OCA exam if you fail 3 Enthuware tests in a row Second and third attempts don't count!

    So what is the advice if you fail the first Standard and second Standard Enthuware mock? I get that studying and coding a lot is beneficial but how does one go about getting the test taking experience and speed if it is advised to not push forward with the Enthuware exams? Thanks
     
    Guillermo Ishi
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    Jason Hodges wrote:So what is the advice if you fail the first Standard and second Standard Enthuware mock? I get that studying and coding a lot is beneficial but how does one go about getting the test taking experience and speed if it is advised to not push forward with the Enthuware exams? Thanks

    My pair of pennies is that if you re-take the test and you remember some answers, it doesn't matter as long as you understand the question and answer. If you understand the question and answer, then you would have gotten the question right even if you hadn't remembered the answer, right? Personally, I actually can't remember the answers. Some others have a similar experience. The last couple of tests you can save to be a final check, not having taken them before.

    How are you doing on the tests now, and how's the schedule looking?
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jason Hodges wrote:I studied each question in the Standard Test 1 and tried reviewing the concepts I didn't feel confident on.

    You definitely need to study between taking mock exams, certainly if you fail these exams. Sometimes you see people taking one mock exam after the other, failing on each of them and wonder why they don't improve. Just taking mock exams can only improve your score with a few points, because you get better in spotting compiler errors or in assessing code snippets, but if you don't have the solid understanding and knowledge on every objective your scores won't improve drastically by just taking more exams.

    Jason Hodges wrote:One thing I do know is that I am missing a lot of the multiple answer questions by one answer. This in itself is frustrating because you feel so close but I know no one wins by almost making it to the finish line.

    That's probably an indication that you already have a good understanding of the exam objectives, but you still have to step your game up a little. On the positive side: you are almost there And are these questions you miss by one answer specific to one objective (e.g. method overriding, method overloading,...) or does it happen on (almost) all exam objectives.
    And do you go over each of the possible answer options and explain to yourself why you think that answer option is correct or wrong? That's a technique I use myself as well (even for the no-brainers).

    Jason Hodges wrote:I am trying not to let it get me down

    I can imagine it's hard to have put a lot of effort in preparing for a mock exam and then having a bad score. But don't give up, just keep studying and writing code snippets. I'm sure you will be able to improve your knowledge and test taking techniques to the required level to pass the mock exams and finally the actual exam. And then you'll feel king of the world!

    Jason Hodges wrote:A co-worker suggested I take a break and work on some fun project and my school mentor suggested I take a night off. I just can't bring myself to do this. I can't give up.

    Taking a night (or even a few days) off is not giving up. It could indeed be a good thing to do. But if you don't feel comfortable with doing nothing, you could just limit yourself to just 15-30 minutes per day and use this time to e.g. repeat your review notes.

    Hope it helps!
    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Hi Emmanuel Ekweanua,

    First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

    Emmanuel Ekweanua wrote:If you don't take note, please do because it proves to be very effective while studying. Don't make it too wordy, just points you feel are really important and try as much to understand the basic concept behind every questions and code a lot.

    You could indeed make some flash cards or simply take notes using bullet points (no need for full sentences). It is much easier to have these flash cards and/or notes with you when you're on the go than a study guide (so you can repeat your review notes when you are in the waiting room). And coding a lot is also an excellent thing to do, preferably using a text editor and javac/java (instead of an IDE).

    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
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