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Advice - The bare minimum preparation you need to pass. Passed OCEJWCD 6 with 77% :)

Saurabh Patil
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Posts: 48
Eclipse IDE Java
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Hello Ranchers!
I passed the OCEJWCD 6 Exam yesterday!! Hoorrray!!

My Story and some advice -

The Bare Minimum You Have To Prepare To Pass The OCEJWCD 6 Exam

There is really no reason why you should listen to someone who has scored just 77% in this exam when you have people who have scored 98% and the like... UNLESS...
- You wanna know how much effort is need to just clear this exam.
- You want this certification but don't have time to slog for months and months for this.

I managed to pass this exam
- Without solving a single mock exam. That's correct. Forget Enthuware.. Heck! I didn't even solve the free mock at the end of HFSJ book. (Sorry Kathy and Bert )
- Without knowing how many questions I would be facing, I thought there would be around 67-70 questions, there were only 57.
- I sincerely studied for 2 months. Total time put in: 90 hours.

Are you like me?

I was very keen on upgrading my knowledge and especially learning about Servlet in a 360 degree fashion (Security aspects for example), so I decided to write this exam. Even before I started studying for this exam having some experience of the sort of questions they ask I was sure that I cannot score high in this exam. What sort of questions I'm referring to? The syntax centric question where they expect you to know the 'exact' name of the method! I hate such questions because I believe in understanding the concepts, I have google and the IDE to help with remembering the syntax! So if you're like me you'll naturally hate such questions. This is one of the reasons I myself question the strength/credibility of these exams. One of the question was about the exact method name in the interface HttpSessionListener sessionCreated( ) or sessionInitialized( ) - seriously? Is this a test of memory or understanding? May be this is not a good example expressing my frustration as this is an important interface and you can argue that everyone should know the exact signature of these methods but you get the point. If you ask me in real world programming scenario I would only remember HttpSessionListener and then google to find out the exact name of the method, what I cannot google is when/where/what circumstances should I use such a listener? I would rather like to have a question which would challenge my understanding of the scenarios when to use HttpSessionListeners in my web application. So if you're like me then may be you won't score high in this exam, rather than cramming and memorising you can put that time to better use and be satisfied with average/lower passing score.

My preparation material

95% : Head First Servlets and JSP 2nd Edition.
5% : Googled articles about Async processing, pluggability, annotations, web fragments etc.
+ http://www.coderanch.com/t/659723/Wiki/SCWCD-Hints

I sincerely studied all the 14 chapters of HFSJ 2nd edition and took notes too, that helped me revise all these chapters later 2 days before the exam. Working full time it wasn't easy to put in all the effort but managed to put in 1.5 months of good effort and revised everything 2 days prior to the exam (took 20 hours or so with 10 hrs/day). Also solved the questions at the end of every chapter once again.

Not that easy
I'm already working in the industry since a couple of years and I already knew servlets/jsps/struts/spring/MVC, some design patterns etc so kinda understood everything conceptually right in the first reading. This may not be true for you, so a word of caution, you may need a little more effort. I got over interested in the Session Management chapter and coded a small shopping cart myself, to understand how the user sessions are handled and destroyed. This greatly improved my confidence in the Sessions related concepts.

I think this is the bare minimum one should do to clear the exam (apart from coding the application). I wonder if anyone studies less than this would be able to clear the exam.

Okay enough of this.. who's gonna join me for a beer!!?

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