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Urs Waefler
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I prepare for Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer. I read the book by Jeanne Boyarski and Scott Selikoff; everything is fine. Also I am allready a Sun Certified Java Programm. I did the certification almost ten years ago. These days I use Enthuware's software, it is just frustrating. Psychologically it is the worst thing I have ever seen. Have a look at this question:

For what command line arguments will the following program print true?
Explanation:
All the wrapper objects are immutable. When you do i++, what actually happens is something like this: i = Integer.valueOf( i.intValue()  + 1);  As you can see, a different Integer object is assigned back to i.  However, to save on memory, Java 'reuses' all the wrapper objects whose values fall in the following ranges:  All Boolean values (true and false) All Byte values All Character values from \u0000 to \u007f (i.e. 0 to 127 in decimal) All Short and Integer values from -128 to 127 So ==  will always return true when their primitive values are the same and belong to the above list of values.  Once catch, however, is that when you create a primitive wrapper using the new keyword, a new object is created and a cached object, even if available, is not used. For example: Integer i = 10; //Wrapper created without using the new keyword and is, therefore, cached. Integer j = 10; //Cached object is reused. No new object created. Integer k = new Integer(10); //New object is created. Cached object is not reused. This implies that i == j is true but i == k is false.  Note that the following will not compile though: Byte b = 1; Integer i = 1; b == i; //Invalid because both operands are of different class.

Such questions will probably never be on the exam. Maybe there are some exams, where there are two or three questions like that; that is all. If you miss these question, you still score around 96 %.

Enthuware does not at all understand the exam. The exam is not about details, it is about (basic) concepts. Of course there might be some details to remember, but again, that makes 10 % of the exam. There is no need to waste a lot of time by studying all those details.

The bigest problem with Entuhware is its statistics. If you do a test, then you can evaluate it. Enthuware shows you if you failed or passed. That is a big mistake, Enthuware does not decide if you fail or pass, Enthuware is not Oracle.

I can recommend Entuware not at all, I prefer the book by by Jeanne Boyarski and Scott Selikoff. Ago ten years I did it exactly like that, there was no Enthuware and I passed the exam. There is no need for 100 %, to me 70 % is fine; I am an economist and not a programmer.
 
Paul Anilprem
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Hi Urs,
I do understand your frustration. Here are a few points that I would like to bring to your attention -

The question that you've quoted relates to the official exam objective, "Develop code that uses wrapper classes such as Boolean, Double, and Integer".  So I am not sure what you imply by the following:

Such questions will probably never be on the exam. Maybe there are some exams, where there are two or three questions like that; that is all. If you miss these question, you still score around 96 %.

Enthuware does not at all understand the exam. The exam is not about details, it is about (basic) concepts. Of course there might be some details to remember, but again, that makes 10 % of the exam. There is no need to waste a lot of time by studying all those details.
 

There ARE details on the exam. Yes, it is possible to score 70% without spending time in learning all the details that you might find frustrating. But then are you suggesting we should not cover them at all? When you say,
"Enthuware does not at all understand the exam. ", do you mean to say that you did not find any questions that helped you learn a concept or was not useful in anyway towards passing the exam?

It is true for any exam that you can get passing score by putting minimal efforts but every increment thereafter requires substantially more effort. Effort required in going from 70% to 80% will always be substantially less
than in going form 90% to 100%. Are you suggesting that any study material that is specifically meant to prepare a student for an exam, should not provide all the material that is needed for a person score 100%?

Different users have different goals. If your object is to just get the passing marks, you can decide not spend time in learning about details that you might find frustrating. If your objective is to score 100%, you will not want to leave any stone unturned. We try to make sure that one can appear in the real exam with confidence after preparing with our material.


The bigest problem with Enthuware is its statistics. If you do a test, then you can evaluate it. Enthuware shows you if you failed or passed. That is a big mistake, Enthuware does not decide if you fail or pass, Enthuware is not Oracle.

This is true for all mock exams. Mock exams are just that. Mock exams scores are obviously not the real scores but just an indicator. They cannot be 100% accurate. But would you rather have an indicator that builds a false sense of confidence by presenting easy questions instead of an indicator that tells you to work a little harder?

I agree that it does get frustrating when one scores a bit on the lower side on first couple of tests, but usually it does get better and the end result almost always makes the effort worth it


HTH,
Paul.
 
Urs Waefler
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Dear Paul,

forgett your software. It is just rubbish. Enthuware does not issue certificates, thus it is impossible to fail. I saw comments on amazon.com where users "failed" all tests at Enthuware, in the exam they scored above 80 %.

I became a Sun Certified Java Programmer in India ten years ago. I did not one mocke exam, I had a private teacher. He told me: "We can not predicate the result." He was right. Also I can say that I did a lot nod understand in India, nevertheless I succeded. Nowadays it is just OCA and I feel much more confident.

You do not know how to ask. You do not understand to the official exam objectives, for instance "Develop code that uses wrapper classes such as Boolean, Double, and Integer". There are several ways to test this objective. You can belive me, Oracle tests it just in a fundemantal way, there is no need to do first a Ph.D. Oracle wants to issue as many as possible certificates; it does not issue the certificate for you, it issues the certificates for itselve. It is just marketing. Of course it should not be too easy, otherways the certificates worth nothing.

I deleted your software; never again. Thank.

Regards, Urs
 
Paul Anilprem
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Urs Waefler wrote:Dear Paul,

forgett your software. It is just rubbish. Enthuware does not issue certificates, thus it is impossible to fail. I saw comments on amazon.com where users "failed" all tests at Enthuware, in the exam they scored above 80 %.

I became a Sun Certified Java Programmer in India ten years ago. I did not one mocke exam, I had a private teacher. He told me: "We can not predicate the result." He was right. Also I can say that I did a lot nod understand in India, nevertheless I succeded. Nowadays it is just OCA and I feel much more confident.

You do not know how to ask. You do not understand to the official exam objectives, for instance "Develop code that uses wrapper classes such as Boolean, Double, and Integer". There are several ways to test this objective. You can belive me, Oracle tests it just in a fundemantal way, there is no need to do first a Ph.D. Oracle wants to issue as many as possible certificates; it does not issue the certificate for you, it issues the certificates for itselve. It is just marketing. Of course it should not be too easy, otherways the certificates worth nothing.

I deleted your software; never again. Thank.

Regards, Urs


All the best to you 
 
Dor Burd
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Hi Urs,

I disagree with your assessment of Enthuware. I passed the OCA last September and my real exam was *very* similar to the Enthuware questions, far more so than the questions in the K&B7 book and CD. There were also at least 4 or 5 "trick" questions in the exam, and by that I mean the kind of thing you know because you've written a lot of code which hasn't worked because you've made a stupid error. Tiny little things you have to work to notice especially when you're doing it at speed. It's not just about knowing the content, it's about being exam fit - I see an Interface, I check access variables on the implementing classes, that kind of thing. If you know what to look for, you'll have more questions for the questions involving complicated loops, or the ones which ask you which of these bits of code when inserted at line *whatever* will produce *this result*.

The exam is not just about basic concepts any more.

For what it's worth, my Enthuware OCA average was 80%ish, my scores ranging from 69 - 87%. Real exam score: 85% (and I got one question wrong due to nerve-induced stupidity. I will facepalm about it for the rest of my life).

The Enthuware is not perfect; I find it manages to be pedantic and ambiguous at the same time, but that frustration with the question bank helps me to remember things and there is every chance I'll run into an overly pedantic or ambiguous question in the real exam too.

As somebody who has passed the exam, I urge you not to dismiss Enthuware just yet. Of course, I may be back in a fortnight to complain I've just failed my OCP and Enthuware is a rubbish preparatory tool. ;)

Yes, it's disheartening when you get a poor score on the mock, but I'd rather be disheartened than have to pay 220 euro to resit the thing.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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While I think this particular question is harder than the exam (knowing that wrapper objects are cached), that is going to happen sometimes with any practice materials. Oracle periodically changes the scope of the exam, so practice materials are a bit tougher to make sure you are ready. Also, the real exam sometimes throws in extra questions to see if they should put them on the exam, so you could still see something harder and best not be unnerved.  While I'm glad you enjoyed my book, there's things in it too that are unlikely to appear on the exam for the same reason.

Just because you passed a different exam with a book many years ago, doesn't say anything about Enthuware's product. Different people have different study styles and need/prefer different levels of preparation. I think its great that there are lots of alternatives out there.

Have you passed the OCA yet? If not, how do you know what the scope is?
 
Urs Waefler
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Jeanne, I read your book twice. It is an excellent book, it covers all the topics; I like your book. It is an excellent book!
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I'm glad you enjoyed my book. That tells me your learning style is probably books ;).

Other people have a learning style that focuses on software. Either one is fine. Doesn't make the product terrible either way.
 
Urs Waefler
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Your book is excellent! I think there are only few mistakes in it, for instance maybe on page 214. In the code at the end of the line 10 there is an arrow; it seems to be a formatting character, which maybe should not be there.

Enthuware is based on statistics, that is a main problem; never trust a statistic. Further it distinguish between fail and pass, that is absolutely not acceptable; Enthuware does not issue any certificate.

I decided to do the rest with the book, I passed every exam at university like that. In software engineering I got the highest grade, I have been the best.
 
Junilu Lacar
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I haven't used the Enthuware software but I think I can safely say that in no way does the percentage score it reports imply that you'll get similar results in the actual exam.  If such a claim is made, then the criticism would be valid. However, I doubt that claim was explicitly or implicitly made.  I think it's reasonable to interpret the percentage reported at face value: that it's the ratio of number of questions in the practice test that you answered correctly versus the total number of questions in the practice test. To say that your percentage results in the practice test should closely match what you get in the actual test is tenuous at best.
 
Urs Waefler
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I fully agree with you. I just said it is a bad product; and it is. The percentage is not the problem, the problem is the judgement. I have seen comments about Enthuware, the student failed all tests, according to Enthuware he is a looser and should not take the exam. He took the exam and got a score about 84 %. At the moment I am such a looser too. Forget about the exam, according to Enthuware I have no chance, better to go on holidays than to take the exam. On the otherside maybe I am such a student like the one I mentioned: A loser at Enthuware's tests and a winner at Oracel's exam.

There is one more thing about Enthuware: It judges the difficulty. Myself I was somtimes right on the "very though" questions and sometimes I was wrong on the "very easy" questions. I really did not understand the world. What is wrong with me? I am good on the "very though" questions and I can not answer the "very easy" questions correctly. Am I fool?

The best thing is a book, probably I bought the best book on Java® SE 8 Programmer I. Thank you, Jeanne!
 
Paul Anilprem
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I would like to clarify a few things -

1. Our question bank is a collection of questions categorized into various mock exams. As is the goal of any mock exam, it lets you judge your level of preparation. You can't do that by just reading some text. One way to do that is to attempt solving the problems presented in a question/answer format (whether packaged with a book or in a purely mock exam s/w). The concept of mock exams is not new. People have been using them in the same manner in schools and colleges since forever. Of course, one may not need to or want to judge their level of preparation in this manner before attempting the real exam. It's a choice.

2. When you take a mock exam, you get a score. How much importance you want to give to this score is up to you. But based on our experience, we claim that if you score passing marks in our mock exams, you are ready for the real exam. We don't claim anything about what happens if you score less than the passing marks. We do suggest that one should study a bit more before attempting the real exam in such a case. This is essentially the main purpose of using mock exams. So all this talk about being a loser if you fail in a mock exam is complete nonsense. No one is claiming that.

3. Our mock questions and their explanations are developed by experienced people. They rate the toughness of a question based on their experience. This is not an exact science and is obviously a subjective assessment. What is tough for one person could be easy for another. If you disagree with the rating, you can either ignore it or challenge it. No one is claiming that you are a fool if you missed an easy question.

4. We don't claim that the score that you get on our mock exams is what you will get on the real exam. We just show the average scores on our mock exams and the average score received on the real exam as reported by the users. We believe it adds a lot of value to the product. No other product does that.  If you take any other mock exam, you will have no idea where you stand vis a vis the real exam no matter what you score. One can find numerous posts where the reader is asking about his chances in the real exam after getting such and such score on so and so mock exam.
But one is free to ignore this data.


We are always interested in knowing how we can improve our product and we sincerely appreciate all feedback.

thank you,
Paul.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Paul,

Thank you for your clear, comprehensive, and completely professional response. This kind of even-keeled response in the face of withering and perhaps even unfair criticism certainly exceeds the bar for "being nice" here at the Ranch, so please, have another cow on me.
 
Paul Anilprem
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Thank you, Junilu!

I replied quite late in the night yesterday and forgot to mention an important point that makes the main issue raised by OP moot. My colleague reminded me of that today. Our simulator lets a user attempt the questions in Leitner mode. This mode has no concept of score at all. One can use this mode to attempt the questions without getting into Pass/Fail or Easy/Tough business altogether.

Attached are some self explanatory screen shots.

thank you,
Paul.
leitner1.png
[Thumbnail for leitner1.png]
Use Leitner mode instead of Mock exams
leitner2.png
[Thumbnail for leitner2.png]
Try to move all the questions from Unlearned to at least Level 1
leitner3.png
[Thumbnail for leitner3.png]
Set the criteria for attempting questions.
 
Dana Ucaed
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Urs, is your option to buy a software or not.

Paul Anilprem said that you had money back guaranteed.

It is bad to throw mud if you don't like something.

I buy Enthuware tests and I was content with these tests.

The tests from my certification book was a few and don't cover many situations.

 
Richard Hayward
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I have to agree with Dana here.

Although I have yet to take the exam, I'm finding the Enthuware test suite, in conjunction with a study guide, an extremely useful preparation tool. The questions drill into interesting details and are accompanied by clear explanation supplemented with a discussion forum if the given explanation doesn't satisfy you.

Not to mention the low cost.
 
Piet Souris
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There have been many positive to very positive reactions to the Enthuware software on this site. I too praised it very high. Now we have one person who is dissatisfied (for what seems to me very strange reasons, but who am I to judge), and we all group around Paul, as if it were all for one, one for all. Come on folks, one OP is dissatisfied, so what?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Piet Souris wrote:Now we have one person who is dissatisfied (for what seems to me very strange reasons, but who am I to judge), and we all group around Paul, as if it were all for one, one for all. Come on folks, one OP is dissatisfied, so what?

Piet: He's allowed to be dissatisfied. If the original post was "I didn't like Enthuware because...", I think this thread would have turned out very differently. The thread started out saying Enthuware doesn't understand the exam. Then it was called rubbish.
 
Viktor Logwin
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I make my certifications because I want to learn more / something new, not because I just want to have a PDF file with a nice red Oracle logo on it.

EnthuWare covers all the exam topics and if it even has some more information in its questions, even if they would not appear in my real exam questions set (which is 80 random questions of... 2000 maybe), I learn something new with it and I'm grateful.

It's a question of motivation. If I'm frustrated sometimes, it's not because a software is bad or a book is bad - it's because I have forgotten, why am I doing this. Please think about.

I have used three mock exam software products, including EnthuWare and I can tell you, that the EnthuWare is the best of them. Because its interface and questions are really close to the real exam. The questions are tougher, but the design and the coverage of the exam topics are at least the same.
 
Junilu Lacar
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@Piet: I don't think it's a matter of circling the wagons and protecting one of our own. Besides both of us being long-time contributors to these forums, I have no other connections to Paul or Enthuware nor have I ever used the software. I am, however, interested in balance and fairness. As I said in my first comment in this thread, if some of the claims against Enthuware were true, then the criticism would be justified and I would think it only fair that the Enthuware folks own up to it. However, as Paul so calmly explained the Enthuware side and pretty much convincingly refuted OP's criticisms, it's only natural that people would empathize with Paul and give their own opinions in support of Paul's explanation.

I think this shows that our membership has a general sense of right and wrong, of what's fair and unfair, and those who responded are simply showing that, either consciously or unconsciously. Even your response is a call for fairness and balance, and shows that you, too, are a good guy at your core.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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