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Java OCA 8 Exam 1Z0-808

 
Ben Pittens
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Hello,

I am new here, I am preparing for examen 1Z0-808. Sorry for my bad English.

I have read the book from Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff OCA Study Guide. and I did a lot of excersises too. I looked okay so I even scheduled my exam for next week at Pearson VUE.
Next, I looked at coderanch and people advised Ethuware.
So I bought Ethuware and did some test exams. And guess what: I realy did a bad job. Score just about 40%, but some tests where less.

So I rescheduled my extam from next week to next month.

So the Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff book is a very good and easy to read book for the basics but it is certainly not enough I think.
I have to do a lot of practising again to become better.

Some people at this forum reference to K&B Java. Does anybody knows what that means? And where I can get/buy that, and is it also for Java 8?

Do you have more tips for me for studying?

Thanks in advance

Kind Regards

Ben
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ben,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

What score did you get on the three practice exams from the book?

I recommend going through the end of chapter exercises a lot of times until you can get them almost all right and explain why. The key is to do this before taking any more mocks so you don't waste them. Supplementing with the Enthuware exams is a good idea. Also note the Enthuware exams (and our questions) are harder than the exam. So you are probably really close to (barely) passing right now. And yes, practicing is a really critical piece of preparation as we note in the appendix. This is both practicing writing code and practicing with mock exams.

K&B is the Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates book. It's for Java 7. For the OCA, most of content is the same between 7 and 8 so you could buy that too.
 
Felipe Kunzler
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Hi there,

I'd recommend going a second time through the same book, not necessarily reading every single word once again, but the key points and gotchas that are important, plus all exercises.

I had read Jeanne/Scott's book once, then right after I took the sample Enthuware test, got 59%.

So I did exactly what I mentioned in the first paragraph, and took Enthuware's foundation test and got 82%.

One tip that I'll give to you is: check the wall of fame's stories.

The guys that passed always give plenty of details about their preparation, tips and everything.

Here is the link: http://www.coderanch.com/how-to/java/OcajpWallOfFame

All the best!
 
Roel De Nijs
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Hi Ben,

First of all, a warm welcome to CodeRanch!

Ben Pittens wrote:I have read the book from Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff OCA Study Guide. and I did a lot of excersises too. I looked okay so I even scheduled my exam for next week at Pearson VUE.
Next, I looked at coderanch and people advised Ethuware.
So I bought Ethuware and did some test exams. And guess what: I realy did a bad job. Score just about 40%, but some tests where less.

People often think they are ready for the actual exam, but are in for a (big) surprise when they take a few Enthuware mock exams. And the reason is fairly simple: Enthuware mock exams are commonly considered to be (a bit) harder than the actual exam and to pass the actual OCA exam you really need a good, solid understanding of Java and OO basics. So being able to write a Java application is really not enough to pass the exam.
You mention having done lot of exercises. Which kind of exercises? Did you create plenty of code snippets to experiment with? And if you did, do you use an IDE? When preparing for the OCA exam I always recommend not to use an IDE while preparing for the certification exam. You should use your favourite text editor, javac and java. Here you can read different opinions (with pros and cons) about using an IDE in your certification exam preparation.

Ben Pittens wrote:So the Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff book is a very good and easy to read book for the basics but it is certainly not enough I think.
I have to do a lot of practising again to become better.

The OCA (and OCP) study guides (like the one by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff) are dedicated to pass the exam, so they definitely prepare you for the exam. But as mentioned before, you'll need a (very) good, solid understanding of all the concepts. People often think they read the book, do some coding exercises and they are ready to pass the exam. Unfortunately that's not the case at all! There's nothing wrong with reading a study guide more than once. And you could also purchase a complementary study guide and/or another resource (e.g. the Oracle Java tutorials). Write boatloads of code snippets using your favourite text editor and javac/java. Each code snippet can then be the starting point to do plenty of experiments. Preparing for a certification exam (and learning a programming language) is like driving a car: you don't learn to drive a car by reading a book, you have to get your hands dirty.

Ben Pittens wrote:Some people at this forum reference to K&B Java. Does anybody knows what that means? And where I can get/buy that, and is it also for Java 8?

K&B refers to the study guide by Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates. The most recent version of the study guide is for Java 7 (referred to as K&B7). It is especially written to pass the OCA7 (and OCP7) exams. Most of the exam content between OCA7 and OCA8 is the same, here you'll find a mapping between the exam objectives of both exams. So you could buy this study guide as well and use it as a complementary resource.

Ben Pittens wrote:Do you have more tips for me for studying?

Like already mentioned (and as you have experienced yourself), the OCA8 exam is a tough exam. So many people struggle with passing this exam and ask for advice in this forum. So using the search function of this website, you'll find plenty of topics which have excellent advice to study and prepare for the OCA8 exam. Here is one, here you'll find another one and a third one can be found here.
In the OcajpWallOfFame you'll find experiences about other ranchers having already passed the OCA exam. So these experiences and stories could also be very useful. And finally, follow (and participate to) this forum. Whenever in doubt or if you have a question, don't hesitate and simply create a new topic and share your questions/doubts with this awesome Java community. You are very likely to get a response with excellent explanations and illustrative code snippets. You might even get some free mock questions (in this topic you'll find some about method overloading).

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Ben Pittens
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Thanks,

I didn't do yet the 3 practice exams ons Sybex site. I want to keep these for last. I did the memory cards test at Sybex website with no problem at all. So that went good.
I practise all the chapter exercises of the Boyarsky/Selikoff book and read and did the exercises also on my own system in notepad. (to really learn also coding). And to understand the explanation.

At this moment I copy past every question of the Ethuware test 1 to 3 in Eclypse sometimes in notepad(for compiler exceptions) and look what is hapening and why this is hapening to exercise.
I also have to become faster because I ran out of time in the ethuware test.

I will also look at the wall of fame, thanks for that.

Glad to hear that the Ethuware tests are not so difficult as the real test.
Thanks.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Ben,
Ah. Then you probably would have encountered that "ah ha" moment with the first mock exam in the book. Remember to try them one at a time and study between each.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Ben Pittens wrote:I practise all the chapter exercises of the Boyarsky/Selikoff book and read and did the exercises also on my own system in notepad. (to really learn also coding). And to understand the explanation.

At this moment I copy past every question of the Ethuware test 1 to 3 in Eclypse sometimes in notepad(for compiler exceptions) and look what is hapening and why this is hapening to exercise.

Another useful tip: every mock question, code snippet, code exercise,... you encounter is an excellent starting point for a experimenting and twiddling (change access modifiers, make it final, make it static,...). The more you'll practice (experiment), the easier it will get to analyze code and spot (compiler) errors and/or runtime exceptions. So the first step is of course trying to understand the explanation, but that's definitely not the only thing you should do with these exercises. Each code snippet offers a gazillion possibilities which just a few small adjustments (as illustrated in this topic).

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel
 
Ben Pittens
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My goodness, if they ask at the real exam this kind of questions.....

Does this compile?
b1 and b2 are booleans and false.


It doesn't, like you know I guess?
Off course if you put in Eclipse you can see it, but if I must answer such a question on the exam? ...Zero points

Maybe it is a "aha" again.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Ben Pittens wrote:My goodness, if they ask at the real exam this kind of questions.

Don't worry! Such questions will not be on the exam.

But just for fun you can add a pair of parantheses or add another = to the condition expression and see if this changes things

Hope it helps!
Kind regards,
Roel

PS. Always use code tags when posting code to the forums. Unformatted or unindented code is extremely hard to read and many people that might be able to help you will just move along to posts that are easier to read. Please click this link ⇒ UseCodeTags ⇐ for more information. Properly indented and formatted code greatly increases the probability that your question will get quicker, better answers. I've gone ahead and added the code tags for you. See how much easier the code is to read? If you want to see a few usage examples (and which options you can use), have a look at the Using Code Tags section of the Ranch Guide.
 
Ben Pittens
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Roel De Nijs wrote:
PS. Always use code tags when posting code to the forums. Unformatted or unindented code is extremely hard to read and many people that might be able to help you will just move along to posts that are easier to read. Please click this link ⇒ UseCodeTags ⇐ for more information. Properly indented and formatted code greatly increases the probability that your question will get quicker, better answers. I've gone ahead and added the code tags for you. See how much easier the code is to read? If you want to see a few usage examples (and which options you can use), have a look at the Using Code Tags section of the Ranch Guide.



Yes, I just found out how the Code tags works and also the quotes and some other nice features of this site.
Next time I wil use them.

Roel De Nijs wrote:
But just for fun you can add a pair of parantheses or add another = to the condition expression and see if this changes things


Thanks, Yes I have my Eclipse editor open and learned a lot today with making changes/variations of the Ethuware exercise . I noticed that my problem is I do not yet have enough stable knowledge of theory in the book Boyarsky/Selikoff to use the theory in practice.
So like Jeanne told me I have to practice more and evaluate the practising with the theory in the book.
 
Roel De Nijs
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Ben Pittens wrote:Thanks, Yes I have my Eclipse editor open and learned a lot today with making changes/variations of the Ethuware exercise.

It would even better to close the Eclipse editor and have your favourite text editor open to experiment with little changes and variations

Ben Pittens wrote:I noticed that my problem is I do not yet have enough stable knowledge of theory in the book Boyarsky/Selikoff to use the theory in practice.

True! Your knowledge of theory has definitely to be solid as a rock. Because you need to use this knowledge into practice and you have only a limited time per question, so there's very little (or no) room for doubts. On the actual exam you probably are a bit nervous and that might make you more susceptible to doubts as well, so you really should have a firm and steady knowledge of all exam objectives/concepts.
 
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