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Passed 1Z0-808 (OCA) with 80%

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I passed OCA Java 8 with 80%.

I had hoped to sit the test in May, but found I wasn't test ready, as explained in this post...
...TLDR - I had read the Sybex book but failed Enthuware 1 with 44%.

I went on to read the MalaG book (twice). Neither book is better. I'd recommend reading both.

I re-did the EOC questions from Sybex and MalaG, then moved on to the 3 Sybex online mocks. The interface is appalling. Twice my session was somehow lost and I had to start the tests again.

To begin with, I found it very difficult/draining to focus for 2.5hours in exam conditions, but this improves over time. After each exam, I reviewed all questions (correct & incorrect) before moving on to the next mock exam. If necessary, I wrote/compiled small java programs to test concepts (I should've done much more of this as I read the books). I also read lots of stackoverflow threads and went back to the textbooks often.

My results:
Sybex mock 1 - 73%   21th Aug
Sybex mock 2 - 57%   23rd Aug  (repeated without review the following day : 70%)
Sybex mock 3 - 60%   25th Aug  (poor concentration)

Next, I sat the MalaG (Java8) mock from the book
Mala Gupta mock - 27th Aug 74%

Then I went back to Enthuware. So much time had passed since I first sat Test 1 that I thought it ok to sit a second time. For each exam, I reviewed every question and used the Enthuware forums for further clarification where necessary.
My results:
Enthuware 1 - 31th Aug (2hr25mins / 80 questions) 61%
Enthuware 2 - 3rd Sept  (2hr12mins / 80 questions) 64%
(I was aware that the exam was currently 70 questions, but the mocks were setting tests with 80. I found an update link within the Enthuware software and received the latest question bank, and it switched to 70)
Enthuware 3 - 10th Sept  (2hr01mins / 70 questions) 70%
Enthuware 4 - 13th Sept  (2hr20mins / 70 questions) 81%
Enthuware 5 - 16th Sept  (2hr16mins / 70 questions) 70%
Enthuware 6 - 20th Sept  (1hr51mins / 70 questions) 74%
Enthuware 7 - 21st Sept  (1hr33mins / 45 questions) 64%   (two days before the exam!)
Enthuware Last Day Test - 22nd Sept (2hr05mins / 70 questions) 73%

I expect test 7 was 45 questions long due to the first two tests having 80. The last 3 exams were taken in quick succession as my Oracle voucher was due to expire on the 23rd!

To start with, I had to split the exams into 20 question chunks, stopping to make tea or have a quick walk outside before moving on to the next 20. It was a real ordeal. By mid-Enthuware, I was able to sit a whole exam much more comfortably. You really do get used to it with practice.

The exam:
The interface was visually quite different to Enthuware, but functionally similar. You can move back/forward through the questions. You can strike out incorrect answers. It does tell you how many choices to select when appropriate. The first 10 questions took 30mins as I hadn't relaxed into the process and was treble checking everything. I sped up after this and had about 10mins left after completing the final question (#70). In some of my mocks, I'd missed questions by double-clicking the next button, or I'd selected the incorrect number of answers, so I used these 10 mins to scan each question to check they all had the correct number of answers. It takes a few steps to formally finish the exam - make sure you follow them all! It was whiteboard and marker for notes. I asked for extra and was given 4 (A4 size) in total. You cannot erase, so use the space carefully.

I never received an email from Oracle. After an hour, I logged into the Oracle website and found the certview section. It showed I had taken the exam, but didn't show the result. Clicking into the detail gave a technical error. About 30mins later, the tech error gave way to my result (80%). It also showed the areas Oracle suggest I might like to review.

Towards the end of the exam, I got a boost when I realised I didn't need to spend 4 hours carefully reviewing each questions. I would *love* to do that now.

OCP next, but a break first

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Wow, congratulations E Hammond, that is a really good score which you should be proud of.

When you get a few moments please add yourself to the OCA Wall Of Fame

If you next undertaking is indeed the 1Z0-809 exam then you may want to look at the OCP Wall Of Fame
This could save you time, effort, and frustration as you can read to see what materials and resources others used and how they prepared.
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Congratulations, well done.
Enthuware Software Support
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Congratulations! Great score!!
Thank you for sharing the details of your preparation
Ranch Hand
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Congratulations champion for your success. Great Score
Best wishes for your next target.
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