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Passed OCA Java 8 (1Z0-808) with 95%

 
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Hello everyone, on 26th of January 2016 I passed the OCA Java 8 exam with a score of 95%, which means that I managed to get 73 out of 77 questions right. This was the first certification I attempted so far and the preparation took me roughly 10 work days. I already had some (non-professional) experiences with Java, but the last time really worked with it was when Java 6 was new.

Here are the sources I used:
  • The Java OCA 8 Programmer I Study Guide of Boyarsky and Selikoff, including its three mock exams,
  • this forum and
  • a lot of self written example code.


  • How I studied:
    I read the chapters of the book in order and at the same time wrote sample code for every non-trivial behaviour the book mentioned, but also for corner cases I was wondering about. I also tried to understand behaviour I encountered which was not on the exam, see for instance this thread. After every chapter I solved the end-of-chapter questions as if they were an exam (i.e. without checking any sources) and on average got about 85% right, with a nice 100% in chapter 2 and a shameful 50% in chapter 6 (I let the questions really confuse myself about checked and unchecked exceptions). After that I took the three online mock exams and got 80-90%.

    Difficulties:
    The most difficult thing for me where not missing a subtle compilation problem and ambiguous text-only questions. And there was one such text-only question on the exam and another one where I missed that the following does not compile:


    Conclusion:
    I found the actual exam easier that the questions in the book and mock exams, although the questions were very similar. The exam also contained some trick questions, but they seemed on average less tricky than the ones I learned with, but maybe that was just because I now know how to handle these questions.
     
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    Congratulations! Excellent score. Keep up the good work.
     
    Enthuware Software Support
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    Congratulations!!!
     
    Ranch Hand
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    Congratulations! That's a great score!
     
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    Hi Jan,

    Congratulations champion! Great achievement Now it's time to relax a bit and have a (well-deserved) (or 2 or 3). And if you want to spoil yourself have a Belgian beer, our beers are the best of the world

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Other ranchers will definitely benefit! Have a cow!

    Don't forget to add your name to the OcajpWallOfFame!

    Kind regards,
    Roel
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jan Stückrath wrote:This was the first certification I attempted so far and the preparation took me roughly 10 work days.


    What do we need to understand with "10 work days"? Did you study for 10 working days (combined with a daily job)? Or did you study e.g. for 80 (or more) hours in total?

    Jan Stückrath wrote:And there was one such text-only question on the exam and another one where I missed that the following does not compile:


    If you only had read this thread/post more carefully
     
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    Congrats on the high score! Glad our book could help!
     
    Jan Stückrath
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    Thank you very much.

    Roel De Nijs wrote:Now it's time to relax a bit and have a (well-deserved) (or 2 or 3). And if you want to spoil yourself have a Belgian beer, our beers are the best of the world

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Other ranchers will definitely benefit! Have a cow!


    Thank you, but I will have to disappoint you, I am not that into beer.

    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    What do we need to understand with "10 work days"? Did you study for 10 working days (combined with a daily job)? Or did you study e.g. for 80 (or more) hours in total?


    My current company is paying the exam for me and also giving me the time to study. So "10 working days" are 10 days of my daily job where I could concentrate on studying and testing, of course with occasional smaller disruptions.

    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    If you only had read this thread/post more carefully


    Well, now I know better.

    Scott Selikoff wrote:Congrats on the high score! Glad our book could help!


    Thank you, I found it very helpful. I really liked your occasional comments what topics and qestions will be or will not be in the exam.
     
    Roel De Nijs
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    Jan Stückrath wrote:My current company is paying the exam for me and also giving me the time to study. So "10 working days" are 10 days of my daily job where I could concentrate on studying and testing, of course with occasional smaller disruptions.


    Most companies will pay for the exam but expect studying in your spare time. So being able to spend 10 days of your daily job to study is very nice! And your score shows you have absolutely got the maximum out of these days
     
    Jan Stückrath
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    Roel De Nijs wrote:
    Most companies will pay for the exam but expect studying in your spare time. So being able to spend 10 days of your daily job to study is very nice! And your score shows you have absolutely got the maximum out of these days


    I am really glad that I had the possibility to learn this way. My score would probably not be that good if I had only a few hours per day, and of course it would not have managed to do this within two weeks.
    Thanks a lot for your help.
     
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