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Failing Java SE 8 Programmer I

 
Wouter Jetta
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Dear All,

As part of a traineeship I am preparing for the OCAJP 8. I have used Certified Associate Java® SE 8 Programmer (Sybex) by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff.
The parts I found difficult I have also read in: OCA/OCP Java® SE 7Programmer I & II by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates.
Study Guide

I have now failed the exam twice. First time was 42%, the resit today was 55%.
One might say (and myself including), that I took the exam too early, but there was a pre-planned schedule I had to follow.

At the time of my resit (which was today) I had passed my 2 last test exams from enthuware with 69% and 68%.

You might think that my motivation is low and that I am burning out on studying, but I am not. I really want to pass this exam.
I want to focus on a new approach and continue. I will pass the exam next time I take it and I want to pass it 75%+.

Since I have used all the practice tests from enthuware, I was wondering whether there are any good alternatives to enthuware.

Additionally any advice on how to go from here is welcome!
I am not failing on one particular subject, I know a lot about everything but definitely not thouroughly enough.
One of the things I am considering is to study all the set rules by heart by subject. Being able to dream every single one of them, for example in leitner sort of learning style before attempting test exams again.

Lastly, I will be going on holiday for two weeks, I cannot bring my laptop but can bring my smartphone.
I want to enjoy my holiday but I also want to see if I can repeat some knowledge for at least 45 minutes a day during my holiday, so that I do not lose touch.

Any tips on what or how to continue studying during my holiday with only a smartphone as tool to study?

I hope you guys can help me out! This time I am in this to win this :-)


 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Wouter Jetta,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Wouter Jetta wrote:I have now failed the exam twice. First time was 42%, the resit today was 55%.
One might say (and myself including), that I took the exam too early, but there was a pre-planned schedule I had to follow.

Sorry to hear you have failed the exam already twice. But don't be too disappointed, the OCA certification exam is a hard and tough exam, it requires a good and solid understanding of Java and OO basics. You can perfectly be able to write working Java programs and still fail this exam.

Wouter Jetta wrote:At the time of my resit (which was today) I had passed my 2 last test exams from enthuware with 69% and 68%.

If you would have posted these scores before taking the exam, I would probably recommended you not to take the exam. Although the Enthuware mock exams are considered to be harder than the actual exam, you should aim for +80% (or maybe +75%) to very likely pass the actual exam. Of course only scores on a first attempt and with time limit applied should count.

Wouter Jetta wrote:You might think that my motivation is low and that I am burning out on studying, but I am not. I really want to pass this exam.
I want to focus on a new approach and continue. I will pass the exam next time I take it and I want to pass it 75%+.

That's the spirit!

Wouter Jetta wrote:Since I have used all the practice tests from enthuware, I was wondering whether there are any good alternatives to enthuware.

In the OcajpFaq you'll find an overview of free and commercial mock exams. But Enthuware is probably the best mock exams provider currently on the market offering an amazing value for money.

Wouter Jetta wrote:Additionally any advice on how to go from here is welcome!
I am not failing on one particular subject, I know a lot about everything but definitely not thouroughly enough.
One of the things I am considering is to study all the set rules by heart by subject. Being able to dream every single one of them, for example in leitner sort of learning style before attempting test exams again.

You didn't provide much details about your personal situation (e.g. prior Java knowedge) and your preparation. You only shared which study guides you are using and those are excellent to be well prepared for the exam. Did you write code snippets during the studying process? Did you use an IDE or not? But you already didn't follow my primary advice: do not rush your preparation to take the exam This thread is about another rancher who struggled with the OCAJP7 exam but finally passed it. So it's probably worth reading!

Wouter Jetta wrote:Any tips on what or how to continue studying during my holiday with only a smartphone as tool to study?

You are using the OCA8 study guide by Jeanne & Scott. They have created online flash cards, so you could use these on your smartphone. And you could create your own flash cards as well of course. And there are (free) online Java compilers as well available if you want to write some code. Probably not very user friendly when using a smartphone, but probably very useful to quickly verify some code snippet you are doubting about.

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Wouter Jetta
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Hi Roel,

Thank you for your quick response.

Regarding the following:

Roel De Nijs wrote:
You didn't provide much details about your personal situation (e.g. prior Java knowedge) and your preparation. You only shared which study guides you are using and those are excellent to be well prepared for the exam.


I have a business background and I am currently in an integration consultancy traineeship. As part of the traineeship we have to get certified in OCAJP 8. I did not have any prior Java or OO or coding experience.

Roel De Nijs wrote: But you already didn't follow my primary advice: do not rush your preparation to take the exam


At least half of the trainees manages to get certified after 4 weeks of full time studying without any former Java, OO or coding experience (there are strict iq tests and intelligence requirements in place, as they expect us to learn at high pace, which I find very challenging in a positive way).
This might seem very strict, but they are not pressuring me to pass or fire me if I don't. They just want to set dates on which you should at least attempt the exam so that there is some time box, as this can motivate while studying.

Roel De Nijs wrote:
Did you write code snippets during the studying process? Did you use an IDE or not? But you already didn't follow my primary advice: do not rush your preparation to take the exam This thread is about another rancher who struggled with the OCAJP7 exam but finally passed it. So it's probably worth reading!


I have written several code snippets to test, especially for example on polymorphism, I tried to test basically everything that came to my mind. Most the snippets I wrote were in an IDE (Eclipse). Yet I have coded snippets in NotePad++ as well!
When I wanted to tested several things I usually used an IDE.

Again, thanks for all the advice, I will keep going and ask all the questions I can :-).
I still very much enjoy studying Java and I also really to practice and be able to actually code stuff.

Best regards,

Wouter





 
Wouter Jetta
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While reading other topics, the first thing I decided to do while starting again is de-installing Eclipse :-).
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Wouter Jetta wrote:Lastly, I will be going on holiday for two weeks, I cannot bring my laptop but can bring my smartphone.
I want to enjoy my holiday but I also want to see if I can repeat some knowledge for at least 45 minutes a day during my holiday, so that I do not lose touch.

Thi is a good idea. You'd forgot stuff after not studying at all for two weeks. As Roel suggested our flashcards are available online. I recommend creating your own flashcards on Anki. That way you can really reinforce the facts you keep forgetting.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Wouter Jetta wrote:I have a business background and I am currently in an integration consultancy traineeship. As part of the traineeship we have to get certified in OCAJP 8. I did not have any prior Java or OO or coding experience.

Without any prior Java, OO or coding experience it's definitely not a disgrace to fail this certification exam.

Wouter Jetta wrote:At least half of the trainees manages to get certified after 4 weeks of full time studying without any former Java, OO or coding experience

I didn't say it's impossible to pass the certification exam after a month of full-time studying. But often people come here with just one question "how can I get the OCA certification as soon as possible?". I always advise against this approach and give my personal opinion: Give yourself enough time to prepare. Don't rush! The journey becoming certified is much more important than that piece of paper itself. If you take your time to prepare, you'll become a much better developer with a good understanding of Java and OO basics. You'll get much more out of your certification than someone who's preparing to just pass the exam. No doubt!
 
Roel De Nijs
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Wouter Jetta wrote:While reading other topics, the first thing I decided to do while starting again is de-installing Eclipse :-).

That's definitely one of the best decisions you have made the past weeks

I always advice ranchers (no matter which level or experience) who want to take the OCA certification exam to not use an IDE while studying/preparing. And the reason is very simple: the IDE does a bunch of things for you. One of the most obvious ones: spot compiler errors. But on the actual exam there is no compiler to assist and help you, you are completely on your own. So if you can't use a compiler on the actual exam, you should also not use one during your preparation. Just use your favourite text editor, javac (to compile) and java (to run). At first you might struggle a bit and it could be harder to compile and run your code snippets. But after a few days your Java knowledge will improve much faster.
And I know what I'm talking about: although for another reason (very old pc), I used the same approach during the Java course at university. In this thread you'll find different opinions about using an while studying for the OCA certification exam.
 
Wouter Jetta
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I passed the exam 2 weeks ago with 85% :-)!!!
 
Roel De Nijs
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Wouter Jetta wrote:I passed the exam 2 weeks ago with 85% :-)!!!

Congratz! (I'll reserve the fancy congratulations for when you have shared your experiences Because you have failed the exam twice, your experiences will be very useful for other ranchers)
 
Scott Selikoff
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Congratulations! I agree with Roel, what did you do differently this time?
 
Roel De Nijs
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Scott Selikoff wrote:Congratulations! I agree with Roel, what did you do differently this time?

He posted his experiences in this topic.
 
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