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Take Free Online Java Practice Tests (And You Might Win A $100 Amazon Gift Card)

 
Rob Schipull
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We have just built a site that has approximately 300 unique multiple choice Java questions for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced developers. Each form is split into 50 questions and takes around 20 min. or so to complete. We are hoping to have between 250-400 responses for each question for a research project we are working on. We are not selling anything, and the only emails you will receive from us will be the initial email with the link to the test you signed up for, and an automated email that provides with the total number of questions you answered correctly. I'm hoping a few folks who complete the test can respond to this thread and confirm this for me so we can remove any skepticism from other potential test takers. This is a great way to practice your Java skills and help us out in the process. Here is the link for all those interested: www.testcodeskills.com

Let me know what you think, and feel free to pass this link along to all of your fellow Java coders. Thanks for your help and participation.


If you participate to at least one test, you might be lucky and win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. You'll find the rules for the Gift Card drawing in this post.

rob
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Rob Schipull,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Rob Schipull wrote:We have just built a site that has approximately 300 unique multiple choice Java questions for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced developers.

I had a look at the website. How does a user know the level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) of a survey? Because a name like "Java FT001" is not very meaningful.

Rob Schipull wrote:We are hoping to have between 250-400 responses for each question for a research project we are working on.

I'll move this topic to other forums which are much more active than this one. So you'll probably get more response.

Rob Schipull wrote:the only emails you will receive from us will be the initial email with the link to the test you signed up for

How long should it normally take to receive this email? Because I registered for 2 surveys 5-10 minutes ago and still didn't get an email with the link to complete the survey. I checked my spam folder as well but nothing (or at least no mails from testcodeskills ).

Kind regards,
Roel
 
Rob Schipull
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Roel,

Thank you so much for replying back and moving my post to a more appropriate area on your site. My responses to your questions below:

I had a look at the website. How does a user know the level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) of a survey? Because a name like "Java FT001" is not very meaningful.


Yes, we did that one purpose. FT stands for Field Test. We have the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced questions mixed throughout each Field Test. We have predetermined what we think are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced questions and have linked all of those questions together in order to statistically identify which questions are in fact easy, intermediate, and advanced after the user's responses have been recorded. Based on the answers to the questions, we can determine if we in fact identified the question's difficulty correctly or not. Does that answer your question?

I'll move this topic to other forums which are much more active than this one. So you'll probably get more response.


Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

How long should it normally take to receive this email? Because I registered for 2 surveys 5-10 minutes ago and still didn't get an email with the link to complete the survey. I checked my spam folder as well but nothing (or at least no mails from testcodeskills ).


Argh. We are having a really odd thing happening with our email server, which I currently have a ticket in for. For some reason, an automated email is not being sent out to a small number of folks. I actually had this issue when I was testing it a few weeks ago. I tried it the following day and everything worked fine, and has worked fine since. My response to folks that do not get the email off the bat is to send me an email at test_admin@testcodeskills.com to let me know you're having issues. We should hopefully have all of that taken care of over the next few days. Please try it tomorrow morning and let me know if you are still having issues. You should receive the email in less than 1 minute once your register.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Rob Schipull wrote:Yes, we did that one purpose. FT stands for Field Test. We have the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced questions mixed throughout each Field Test. We have predetermined what we think are Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced questions and have linked all of those questions together in order to statistically identify which questions are in fact easy, intermediate, and advanced after the user's responses have been recorded. Based on the answers to the questions, we can determine if we in fact identified the question's difficulty correctly or not. Does that answer your question?

Yes, it does! I assumed I could pick a Beginner level survey and only get entry-level questions. But each survey is just a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced questions.

Rob Schipull wrote:Please try it tomorrow morning and let me know if you are still having issues. You should receive the email in less than 1 minute once your register.

I'll give it a try tomorrow and if I don't get a mail I'll send you an email.

One final question: which Java version did you use to create all these questions? Java 7 or Java 8 or maybe it's version-independent?
 
Phong Tran
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Hello Rob!


Mind if I ask what this research is used for? Is this part of a project for a class or is this something just for fun? A little curious.
 
Rob Schipull
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Roel,

We picked questions from a variety of categories within Java in order to get the best representation possible. For example we grouped the questions into some of the following categories:

1 Language Fundamentals
2 Classes and objects
3 Aggregate
4 Exceptions
5 Concurrent Programming
6 Annotations
7 Designing user interfaces
8 Reflection
9 Advanced topics

We also added in some from the new Java 8 and JEE so there is a nice variety of content to pick from.

rob
 
Rob Schipull
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Hello Phong,

We are doing a psychometric project where we are trying to identify certain characteristics from the responses to the questions. We need between 250-400 responses to each question in order to measure certain statistical differences between what is considered a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced question.

Plus, it's kind of fun anyways, but I'm kind of a stat nerd I guess .

rob
 
Ryan Gabriel
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Okey, I see that your intention is good and it may helpful I will give it a try, As an Intermediate I may (Or I hope ) get a good score.
but as "Roel De Nijs" said -
How does a user know the level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) of a survey? Because a name like "Java FT001" is not very meaningful.


This could make make beginners a little uncomfortable and uncertain about themselves.
 
Rob Schipull
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Ryan,

Thanks for your post, and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. I hope you get a "good" score too. More importantly, your participation will allow us to identify which questions are in fact a good representation of what a beginner, intermediate, or advanced Java programmer should know.

I definitely see the point that you and Roel are making on potentially being intimidating to a Beginner level Java programmer. I would like to underscore that having a proportional number of Beginner programmers take this is extremely important so we can make that distinction between Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. If everyone got a perfect score, then our research would be pointless ;-)

After you've had a chance to take 1, or more, of the tests I'd love to hear your thoughts.

thanks again,

rob
 
T Ade
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Hi Rob I have 2 question about your website testcodeskills.com :

Rob would it be great to use test code skills as a way to practice for specific exams?
Is there a book, ebook, or online document that supplements or teaches the information on the exams?

Thanks for your time.
 
Danilo Fava
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I tried right now the site and it doesn't work. infinite loop.
 
Tim Cooke
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Having never obtained nor studied for a Java Certificate I'm not that familiar with the context free, borderline ambiguous, trivia style of questioning such as this. But, I had a go at the first set of questions all the same.

I can indeed confirm that you get a single email on sign up, and another email on completion of a section. I don't appear to have been signed up to a spam list, not yet anyway.

The problem I have with this style of questioning is that they can almost all be answered in a couple of minutes live code experimental testing, or a quick look at the JavaDoc. Therefore I feel it's completely pointless to have to commit this stuff to memory. It's just not helpful. Whether these question banks are in anyway useful as practice for a Java Cert I cannot say, but I'm sure Roel and others with Java cert experience will be able to provide a better opinion on that.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi T Ade,

T Ade wrote:Rob would it be great to use test code skills as a way to practice for specific exams?
Is there a book, ebook, or online document that supplements or teaches the information on the exams?

I'm not Rob, but I can answer these questons for you. These Java tests do not contain practice questions for a specific certification exam. They are intended (as Rob stated in one of his earlier posts) for a psychometric project. So if you are looking for mock exams and mock questions, you should look at Enthuware or any other mock exam provider/software.
And if you are looking for resources to prepare yourself for one of the OCA exams, you should have a look at this thread. There you'll find an up-to-date overview of all available resources (study guides, mock exams,...) for the OCA 7 or 8 exams.

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Rob Schipull
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Danilo Fava wrote:I tried right now the site and it doesn't work. infinite loop.


Danilo,

Sorry if you experienced an issue trying to log on. Give it a try again and let me know if you experience the same issue. I have not, or have not heard of anyone else, experiencing an issue with logging onto the site so my hope is it was just a minor glitch.

rob
 
Rob Schipull
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Tim,

Thanks for your post, and for taking the FT001.

The questions are actually arranged in a very specific way to cover a broad spectrum of Java topics while maintaining a mix of our predetermined categorization of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced labeling on each question. Just wanted to point out that although they may appear random a lot of thought went into how those questions are arranged in order to complete our objective.

Thanks for confirming the receipt of a registration email and completion. I can assure you that there will be no spamming

Based on previous responses, it looks like the average time to complete one of the Field Tests is between 15-30 min. Just wanted to throw that out there for others thinking of taking one of the tests.

thanks again.

rob
 
Rob Schipull
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T Ade wrote:
Is there a book, ebook, or online document that supplements or teaches the information on the exams?
Thanks for your time.


T Ade,

Roel just addressed this but thought I'd chime in and say that what he says is absolutely correct. These questions in know way represent any material on any certification exams.

I do see these questions as a way for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Java programmers to exercise their brain in a variety of Java topics.

rob
 
Tyson Lindner
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Rob Schipull wrote:
I do see these questions as a way for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Java programmers to exercise their brain in a variety of Java topics.


I think it would help if you provided explained answers to questions. It would give people more incentive to participate since its also a learning experience.
 
Rob Schipull
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Tyson,

Your comment is definitely a valid one, and one that has been posed to us a few times over this past week or so. Unfortunately, we can't release the answers, at this time, because it would compromise the integrity of our project by giving future test takers the answer key. Our hope is Java programmers view this as a fun exercise to test their Java knowledge, and help us validate our questions in the process.

Thanks again for your feedback. We'd be very interested to hear what you think of the Field Test once you've had the chance to go through one.

rob
 
Tyson Lindner
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Rob Schipull wrote: Unfortunately, we can't release the answers, at this time, because it would compromise the integrity of our project by giving future test takers the answer key.


I think you're lacking a little faith in humanity if you think people will share test answers with their friends of an online programming survey that they receive absolutely no benefit from cheating on.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Tyson Lindner wrote:
Rob Schipull wrote: Unfortunately, we can't release the answers, at this time, because it would compromise the integrity of our project by giving future test takers the answer key.


I think you're lacking a little faith in humanity if you think people will share test answers with their friends of an online programming survey that they receive absolutely no benefit from cheating on.

It has nothing to do with having faith in humanity or not. From a scientific point of view, you can't share the answers until the project has finished, because that could compromise the data you are collecting. I assume Rob and his fellow co-workers on this project want absolute objective data and providing the answers could bring this goal (and the whole project) in jeopardy. And if you have worked hours, days, maybe even weeks on this project and creating these questions, I don't think it's a risk you want to take

Maybe it could be a good idea to send every participant an e-mail for every survey one took with one's correct and wrong answers once the project is finished.
 
Rob Schipull
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Tyson,

Roel said it perfectly. We are trying to take as objective, and scientific, a view as possible about collecting this data for our project. We actually spent several months writing the questions (we have over 800 in our question bank, but are testing about 300 unique questions on testcodeskills.com), devising the categories, formulating the initial classification of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced designation for each question, figuring out how to link all of the questions together in such a way that each Java subject is statistically represented appropriately, etc. We are definitely open to figuring out better ways to make this a more enjoyable experience for all of those taking the test, so all suggestions are welcome. You can email us directly at test_admin@testcodeskills.com, fill out the contact form on our website, or post your question on this forum. My preference is actually this forum because I've found it to be a really positive experience thus far, but I will respond to your emails too.

Our goal is to collect roughly 250-400 responses, for each of the 300 unique questions. We actually have 6 Field Tests with 50 questions each, but each Field Test has some duplicate questions in order to link the Field Tests together statistically. You can take any of the Field Test in any order. Our only ask is for you to complete the entire 50 question test, since we won't be able to measure incomplete tests.

Another nice feature we added was the ability to save your progress and come back later. If you sit down and start one of our Field Tests it should take you between 15-20 minutes to complete, on average, if you're just going through and answering the questions. We are not interested in gathering response data on someone who spends 2 hours researching the answers, or building a simulation where they can test the code snipets. We actually end up tossing those responses out. We are interested in what you know as a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced programmer and what it takes for you to complete our Field Test in 15-20 min. So I guess the moral of the story is: sign up, complete the entire field test, and know you did your good deed for the day

If anything my faith in humanity has grown exponentially, given the fact that so many of you folks on coderanch.com have taken the time to take one of our Field Tests. I couldn't be more thankful to all of those who have taken the time to answer our questions

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to provide some additional info. out to the group.

rob
 
Roel De Nijs
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Rob Schipull wrote:My preference is actually this forum because I've found it to be a really positive experience thus far, but I will respond to your emails too.

That's the preference on these forums as well
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Roel De Nijs wrote:From a scientific point of view, you can't share the answers until the project has finished, because that could compromise the data you are collecting. I assume Rob and his fellow co-workers on this project want absolute objective data and providing the answers could bring this goal (and the whole project) in jeopardy. And if you have worked hours, days, maybe even weeks on this project and creating these questions, I don't think it's a risk you want to take

The thing this is least likely to be is a research project.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:
Roel De Nijs wrote:From a scientific point of view, you can't share the answers until the project has finished, because that could compromise the data you are collecting. I assume Rob and his fellow co-workers on this project want absolute objective data and providing the answers could bring this goal (and the whole project) in jeopardy. And if you have worked hours, days, maybe even weeks on this project and creating these questions, I don't think it's a risk you want to take

The thing this is least likely to be is a research project.

Maybe you should read the OP more carefully...
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Roel De Nijs wrote:
Maybe you should read the OP more carefully...

Maybe you should not believe everything you read...
 
Roel De Nijs
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:
Roel De Nijs wrote:
Maybe you should read the OP more carefully...

Maybe you should not believe everything you read...

That's what you get if you have a little faith in humanity...

Luckily it doesn't matter if it's a research project on Havard or MIT or just something a group of friends are working on just for fun. If you don't want to participate, you don't take a survey. Nobody forces you to participate!
 
Rob Schipull
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Guillermo,

Is there anything I can do to alleviate any concerns you might have?

rob
 
Roel De Nijs
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I took the FT001 survey today and scored 79%. Based on the questions I encountered in this survey, I added this topic to a few other forums as well.

And I can confirm all the promises made by the OP You only get two mails (one with the link and another one with your score), it's a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced questions and it takes no more than 20 minutes to complete a survey.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Tim Cooke wrote:Whether these question banks are in anyway useful as practice for a Java Cert I cannot say, but I'm sure Roel and others with Java cert experience will be able to provide a better opinion on that.

After taking the first survey, I can say that these questions are not useful as a practice for any Java certification. But as the OP already mentioned a few times: it's not the intent of these tests to prepare you for any Java certification exam.
 
Rob Schipull
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Roel,

Thanks for taking the time to complete one of our surveys, and thank you for validating that the test takes about 20 min. and we are not spamming anyone who signs up.

Also, thanks for posting our link on other Java forums. In order to increase our response rate we've discussed offering some monetary incentive to folks who complete the test. This is in response to Tyson's reply about offering more incentive to individuals. Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out to the forum to see if that is of interest, or if there's any other ideas. Regarding the details, we were thinking something like: For each completed Field test you would have 1 entry into a random drawing for a $100 gift card. We could do 3 random drawings after we've successfully acquired between 250-400 responses in 2 completed Field Tests (we have 6 total Field Tests available so you could potentially have 6 entries for the 3 $100 gift cards). Everyone who has completed a Field Test thus far would also be eligible. If there's something other than a gift card that is of more interest, like a Java training course, or Java training guide of similar or equal value, then that might be a nice incentive too.

Thoughts are definitely welcome.

thanks,

rob
 
Roel De Nijs
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Rob Schipull wrote:Regarding the details, we were thinking something like: For each completed Field test you would have 1 entry into a random drawing for a $100 gift card. We could do 3 random drawings after we've successfully acquired between 250-400 responses in 2 completed Field Tests (we have 6 total Field Tests available so you could potentially have 6 entries for the 3 $100 gift cards). Everyone who has completed a Field Test thus far would also be eligible.

I like that idea! But there might be some practical issues. Probably many people eligible to win a gift card are not from the USA. So it won't not only be very hard to send the gift card, but e.g. here in Belgium I can't do anything with dollars (we have euros). And if you exchange $100 to euros, you'll probably lose some (a lot of) money on currency conversion and other costs.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Roel: Amazon credit?

Rob: I took the first one. It has a few English typos, but nothing bad (like filed vs field). I like that you change background color on every other question. And that it includes more than just core Java (Sprint, EJB, Servlets, NoSQL). Do you want people to take more than one? If so, exam #2 or a different one at random?

 
Roel De Nijs
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Roel: Amazon credit?

That could be a great alternative. But I wonder if this credit can be used in the Amazon stores in the different countries. Because I prefer using the Amazon Germany store, because it's free delivery to Belgium and I don't have to pay customs. So for me that's a much better (cheaper and faster) choice than Amazon US.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Yeah. I wanted to give one of the mods in India a thank you present. After mailing something that never arrived, we talked and decided an e-book was best. Because there was no shipping.
 
Rob Schipull
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Probably many people eligible to win a gift card are not from the USA. So it won't not only be very hard to send the gift card, but e.g. here in Belgium I can't do anything with dollars (we have euros). And if you exchange $100 to euros, you'll probably lose some (a lot of) money on currency conversion and other costs.


Roel,

I think if we just keep the amount $100 US and not worry about exchange rates, that'll keep things easiest. I'll work on putting together some basic rules for the drawing and post those tomorrow morning.

rob
 
Rob Schipull
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Rob: I took the first one. It has a few English typos, but nothing bad (like filed vs field).


Jeanne,

I'm so glad you pointed out the typo. We've had several people look over the questions, but I guess when you have 800 total, a few spelling mistakes are bound to slip through . Was the "filed vs. field" the only one you saw?

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
I like that you change background color on every other question. And that it includes more than just core Java (Sprint, EJB, Servlets, NoSQL).


Thanks. Glad you noticed that detail. We tried to make the test taking experience as enjoyable, if that's possible , as possible, and to include as many different categories within Java to make it stimulating.

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Do you want people to take more than one? If so, exam #2 or a different one at random?


Yes, we definitely want people to take more than one, if possible. The ideal case would be someone takes all 6 Field Tests.

You can take them in sequential order, or at random. We have the questions ordered in such a way that we can link them across multiple field tests once we've had enough people respond to the tests. That's the reason you'll see some of the questions repeated across the field tests, so we can establish that link.

thanks again for taking an interest in the tests, and for your very helpful remarks on some of the grammar mistakes.

rob

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Rob Schipull wrote:I'm so glad you pointed out the typo. We've had several people look over the questions, but I guess when you have 800 total, a few spelling mistakes are bound to slip through . Was the "filed vs. field" the only one you saw?

There was one other, but I didn't write it down. I'll keep track when I take other exams.
 
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