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Need advice for Part 1 of OCMJEA (1Z0-807). Failed three times now.

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Hi everyone,

This is really embarrassing, and I wouldn't have wanted to ask for this here, but I have no idea where else to turn to.

I've taken the multiple choice exam a couple of months ago and failed miserably with 55%.
I admit I wasn't fully prepared for it during that time, as I didn't review much.
I have several years of design and development experience, and it got to my head. I got overconfident.

A few months after, I decided to review using the OCM Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Exam Guide by Paul Allen and Joseph Bambara.
I was able to finish and understand most of the book. I was also able to do several practice tests, and was able to pass each one.
I retook the exam, and bam, I failed again with 70% (71% is the passing).

A few weeks after that, I decided to skip part 1 and went ahead and registered for part 2; the master assignment.
After about 3 months of working on the assignment, I went ahead and submitted it, and registered for the essay (part 3).
Funny enough, a few days later, I got the results, and I passed (145/160).

Fast forward to about a month ago, I decided I'd finish the certification process by beating my arch-nemesis; ;1Z0-807.
So I reviewed my book again, only this time, I added a couple more, like Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for Java EE Study Guide by Mark Cade and Humphrey Sheil.
I also read the Java EE 6 Tutorial, along with articles about GoF Design patterns, as well as J2EE (<1.5) and JavaEE design patterns.
Even read through some review materials of some of the passers who were generous enough to share them online.
But when I retook the exam, I got the same score I got before, 70%, still a fail.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong and I feel like I really hit a wall this time.
I compared the feedback from my last two attempts, and noticed something funny; I remember one question asking about the advantage of 2-tier over 3-tier.
In everywhere I've read, the only advantages of 2-tier are performance and security.
Based on the feedback I got, it seems the exam is expecting availability as the answer (due to lesser single point of failure).
I find this odd, and am now double guessing if I should trust what I've learned so far, or just try and figure out what answers the exam is expecting.

I hope someone out there can give me some advice on this.

Thank you,

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Welcome to the Ranch. Sorry to hear your result.

From the feedback, you should able to identify which areas you are weak at. Missing 1-2% just means getting those 1-2 questions correct.

I personally didn't take the v6 exam but material is pretty much the same as v5 (except the patterns are newer).

Did you do the mandatory training yet? Maybe you can use that to polish your concepts.
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Hello Abdhul

I can't believe what I read when I saw your post. My first feeling was how sad is this and can this be true? Yes, I'm sure that this one can be true, I have also missed my first "shot" and I'm now preparing for a second try. I think it is important to stop now not, just continue. As you have already written you did a great job at the other parts, so I'm sure that you are close to reaching your goal.

What where the topics where you increased your knowledge between those three different tries and which areas (beside 2- and 3-tier architecture) find you hard to answer?

I'm currently going through the posts of the last 5 years to update my study notes. Currently I can just share a list of potential useful links that I want to read. May be, some of them can help you:
http://mycollectivematerial.blogspot.ch/2009/03/scea-50-exam-questions-5.html (1-5)

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Hi Abdhul,
It is very unfortunate to hear about your 3 attempts. I have cleared this exam, and I have the following advice for you. I am sure this will help you clear the exam:

You mentioned that you have gone through the following study materials:
1. Allen/Bambara book
2. Java EE 6 official tutorial
3. Cade/Sheil book
4. GoF and JavaEE Patterns related materials.

After going through the above study materials, please go through the following mock exam packages in full detail:

1. OCMJEA Practice Guide book by Amritendu De. This is available on Amazon.com (Remarks: recommended. Helpful. But the breadth of the topics covered is not extensive)
2. Whizlabs online full package (Remarks: Extremely helpful; best among the lot; questions were truly in same standard as that of the real exam. Questions were difficult, and covered all required topics. This package showed me what all I did not know. I had to put in good amount of effort to learn all those things that I had missed out. But overall number of questions was moderate. Could have been more.)

The above mentioned two mock exam packages are not that costly. Fairly cheaper than the cost of each attempt of the real exam. I am suggesting these 2 mock exams, because you have not mentioned about them.
I have no link or affiliation to any of them.
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Abdhul, I am sorry to hear you failed three times.
I failed myself too, I get 70% with passing score 71%.
But on second attempt I was more successful, got about 80%.

I recommend to add to your reading list these books:
  • Adam Bien - Real World Java EE patterns (sorry, cannot recall which edition, 1st or second)
  • Kent Beck - Implementation patterns

  • In general, I can say questions are sometimes ambiguous. Try to think the same way how exam creator thought, i.e. try to answer what he expected. I understand that there could be different justified opinions on some decisions, so there could be not a single answer, so try to pick the option which exam creator expected from you  

    Good luck !
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