I studied for 8 months. I don't know if that is a lot, but I'm a busy person: full-time job, one hour commute each way, and a child. So that's how long it took me.
I used Enthuware and Boyarsky/Selikoff Study Guide and Practice Book
My Enthuware results were(chronological):
Test 1: 60%
Test 2: 69%
Test 3: 64%
Test 4: 80%
Test 5: 61%
Test 6: 76%
Test 7: 73%
Test 1: 87%
Test 2: 91%
Test 3: 83%
Test 4: 91%
Last Day Test : 79%
- Make an appointment early: The center in my area only gives the exam 3 times per month, and it was pre-booked for an entire month.
- Speed: When I practiced the exam, I didn't time myself. A busy life means it's impossible for me to sit down for 2.5 hours and practice. I did my practice tests here and there, sections at a time. My family would distract me and the Enthware timer would always run out, of course. I didn't know you really need to be moving pretty quickly. When I was one-third complete I checked the time and realized I had less than 2 minutes per question and I started to seriously panic. I had to "use the force" on questions, meaning, I was not being thorough and it was quite uncomfortable considering the exam is deliberatly misleading and every question should be double-checked.
- When my work performance review came around, I added this certification to my goals for the year. After doing that I realized that I could actually study a little bit at work. Sweet! On the flip side, it also meant that my boss knew I when I was going to take my test and that's where the source of my panic came from halfway through the exam. I started having terrible thoughts that I wasn't going to pass and everyone knew I studied for 8 long months, and *still* didn't pass. Geez. It was a horrible feeling, and distracting. I probably won't do that for OCPJP. I'd rather be discrete. If I fail, I can take it again without everybody knowing.
- Best advice: Don't read the book too quickly. Type up and compile all the examples. Be sure to understand it all before moving on. Be patient. Use flashcards for review/Enthuware questions you get wrong. I read through the book once, without taking notes. It was fine at first, but halfway through it started feeling daunting and I regretted it. The second time I read it I did take notes, but I didn't like looking at my handwriting(not nearly as pleasant as printed text). I read it a third time and I used flashcards. I think that was the key because once I was done studying, the idea of using 2.5 hours of my life and taking another practice test for review repulsed me. But I whipped out flashcards and went over them twice the morning of the exam.
- If you make flash cards, be sure to change the class and variable names so you don't recognize answers when you re-take a practice test
- Taking the test: See if the answer has "Does not compile" or "None of the above". If so, scan for compiler errors before wasting time calculating tricky nested loops and such.
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!