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New OCA exam questions & time factor OCA vs OCP

 
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Last Wednesday I passed the OCA exam. I have learned everything thanks to the OCA Study Guide by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff. For me this was an excellent way to prepare, combination of theory and practice.

Two surprising questions on the OCA exam
Two things were slightly surprising on the exam: (1) a question about the instanceof operator, and (2) a question about the ArrayList method "iterator()" - if I remember well. Initially I thought that there would be no questions about the instanceof operator on the exam. Fortunately I had taken a look at it, just to understand the idea. About the method iterator(), this one was new to me.

Should I continue for the OCP exam?
First of all I like coding Java. Thanks to the book I came to understand all the concepts that I needed to know for OCA. I didn't get the feeling that the level was too high for me.

For me the trickiest part of the OCA exam was the limited amount of time of 150 minutes for 70 questions. I ended up literally gambling the final 10 questions within one minute of time. Within this context, should I even think of taking the OCP?

I have read here that OCP is considerably harder than OCA. What makes it harder? The level of the material, the amount of the material, or is it perhaps the time factor that makes it particularly tough? If it's mostly about time, then I am not sure if it's smart to continue.
 
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Harold,
OCP 8 is harder because more content to study and harder topics. While it takes longer to study for the OCP, I feel like there is less time pressure on the actual exam. The reason being more questions are about APIs and less about syntax. If you see this code, you either know that it throws an exception or you don't. But puzzling over it for a long time isn't going to make you figure it out. [This code throws an exception because it doesn't call rs.next()]

 
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Harold Bean wrote:. . . I passed the OCA exam. . . . .

Congratulations. I presume that was OCA8. Please add your name here.

Apart from knowing the API, as Jeanne said, make sure you have lots of practice writing good code. When you have written lots of database access code, you will think, “Where's the rs.next() call?” out of familiarity with the code.

And welcome to the Ranch
 
Harold Bean
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Thank you very much for sharing this insight Jeanne and Ritchie! For me it is comforting to know.

Indeed, it was OCA 8. Seems like my Java journey is going to continue    
 
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