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I Failed The 1Z0-829 (Java 17)

 
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Unfortunately, after buying all the study guides of Wiley on 1Z0-829 and studying ruthlessly for 1 month and a half, and using enthuware mock exams, and solving 100s of problems on Wiley, I failed today with few marks difference.

Just want to share here a bit of context/info.

I've been a Java Developer for 5+ years. I'm a bit new to Java 17 but I'd say most of the topics are not that hard or difficult for me to understand.

On the mock exams, I was scoring somewhere in the mid 60s' which given the real exam should be harder, I thought I might be able to make it. However, my gamble didn't go well, and I failed. Contrary to what another user on the forum posted, scoring in the mid 60s on Enthuware doesn't mean that you'll definitely pass on the real exam.

Out of 50 questions, 5 questions on my attempt got removed from the score which is ridiculous since that means you have less space for making errors/mistakes.

My advice is, take your time, do not rush the exam. Optimally, only go for the exam when you are able to pass the mock exams consistently and do not rely on luck. Unfortunately, I will have to retake the exam because I got fed up of companies and interviewers trashing me just because I do not have the certification.

To add more fun to my story, when I tried to reschedule the exam 2 days before the exam date, Oracle's site was malfunctioning and all my reschedule attempts failed and unfortunately, there is no one to reach out to in Oracle. They ask you post a ticket that you get a response "Maybe" after 2-3 days and their online technical support are not very helpful, they only will guide you on how to make payments, but not actually answer specific questions.

It's sad since I managed reasonably to cover almost all the questions.

Conclusion:
The study guides and mock exams are not a golden pill. If you don't spend sometime writing code and experimenting with the stuff that are taught by the study guide and have a perfect comprehensive understanding of how they work, better do not take the exam. Of course, that doesn't mean the study guides and mock exams are useless, they are very helpful but I'd say, maybe you will have to spend an average of 3 months or more just studying and mastering the topics before attempting the exam or you'll waste all the money you paid in vain.

P.S.
Given how badly Oracle's certification site is running and possibility that they won't allow you or enable you to reschedule the exam even if you meet their reschedule exam policy, do not pay or schedule an exam until you're actually ready to take it 100%.
 
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Welcome to the Ranch

I shall move you to our exams forum.
It is very useful to hear from people whose marks weren't good; we learn much more than from people who did well.

Unnamed Dev wrote:. . . studying ruthlessly for 1 month and a half, . .

Most people take about three months for revision (I think).

I've been a Java Developer for 5+ years. . . .

Why were you sitting the exam? The only reasons I can think of are that you wanted to test your knowledge of the new Java17 features, or your employers told you to.

On the mock exams . .  the mid 60s' . . .

Doesn't that mean you were getting some marks on Enthuware below the pass mark? I think most poeple like to get well overr 70% on Enthuware.

Contrary to what another user on the forum posted . . .

Please post a link to that assertion, so we can all see it.

you'll definitely pass on the real exam.

There is no such thing as, “definitely.”

Out of 50 questions, 5 questions on my attempt got removed from the score . .

Those must have been “experimental” questions; there are often some of those. They are “new” questions which have not yet been validated; if most people get them rright, they will be added to the regular question bank. It does not mean your exam was marked more stringently than anybody else's.

. . . take your time, do not rush the exam . . . only go for the exam when you . . . pass the mock exams consistently and do not rely on luck.

Couldn't agree more.

. . . companies and interviewers trashing me just because I do not have the certification.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! So that is why you felt you had to sit the exam.

. . . tried to reschedule the exam 2 days before the exam date, Oracle's site was malfunctioning . . .

Can you prove that? Can you get Oracle to do anything about it?

Degree exams are usually more straightforward than cert exams; you will be asked to produce a piece of good code. But their schedules are stricter; an hour late and you can lose 40%. On the other hand, if the University know the problem is their fault, they will do all they can to help.

Conclusion:
. . . do not pay or schedule an exam until you're actually ready to take it 100%.

I would agree with most of that [edit]your conclusions[/edit], but think you should show hard evidence of problems with the website.
 
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Sorry to hear that you failed the exam.  It is indeed a tough exam even for experienced Java developers.

Not sure if this happened with you but we have observed this happening with some people who focus too much on getting the mock questions right by repeatedly attempting the same questions instead of learning about their mistakes by reading book(s) and writing test programs before moving on to the next mock test. Rereading the study material and writing test programs ensures that your score increases with subsequent mock exams and you are well prepared for the real exam by the time you reach the last few mock exams. Since you mentioned that you were scoring in mid 60's I was wondering whether your score was actually increasing with each mock exam or not. If not, then I suspect that your learning might have plateaued and the tests weren't too helpful.

Oracle's testing process seems to be in a state of flux. Everyone is facing some or the other problem, unfortunately.
 
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Welcome to the Ranch, Michael and my condolences. Better luck next time.

As Campbell noted, if you have long-term employment experience in Java, your need for a formal cert is minimal in most cases. I personally don't place a whole lot of credence on programming certs because they're not indicative of competence, but more of an abilility to cram-and-regurgitate and they spend an extreme amount of time on seeing if you can pick out nuances that if I found in real-world code would cause me to go after the original author with a cudgel. With nails in it. After which, I'd completely trash the offending code and re-do it in a more maintainable style.

Now there are places where certs are highly valued. Bet that a large number of the people at Oracle who provided you with your, ahem, "experience" are certified. Body shops like to wave them around as selling points, even if they have to make up a few to gain the contract.

I won't say you've wasted your time and I'm sure at least a little of what you studied stuck. But again, with a few exceptions, most certs are just wallpaper to me and I've got a few myself. Though none of them relate to Java.
 
Michael Popovisky
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Paul Anilprem wrote:Sorry to hear that you failed the exam.  It is indeed a tough exam even for experienced Java developers.

Not sure if this happened with you but we have observed this happening with some people who focus too much on getting the mock questions right by repeatedly attempting the same questions instead of learning about their mistakes by reading book(s) and writing test programs before moving on to the next mock test. Rereading the study material and writing test programs ensures that your score increases with subsequent mock exams and you are well prepared for the real exam by the time you reach the last few mock exams. Since you mentioned that you were scoring in mid 60's I was wondering whether your score was actually increasing with each mock exam or not. If not, then I suspect that your learning might have plateaued and the tests weren't too helpful.

Oracle's testing process seems to be in a state of flux. Everyone is facing some or the other problem, unfortunately.



To be honest, I only did 2 standard tests from the Enthuware exams and 3 practice exams from Wiley's practice tests books.

The other posts were correct that Wiley's tests are a bit off the road and more difficult since they rely a lot on tricking you with how a question is worded but not really as close as Enthuware's mock exams to the real or actual exam. Actually, my score on the real exam was exactly the same as my Enthuware's mock standard tests that I did (don't know if it was just luck or really my actual level).

For your info, I didn't redo the same tests, I just saw my mistakes and went back to Wiley's study guide to better understand the concepts before proceeding to do the next ones.

I found that my scores on Standard Test 1 & 2 were pretty close to the averages posted on your site (~65).

To be honest, I tried to brute force my way to passing the exam by attempting to study everything within 1 month because I was hoping I could be done with the exam before my vacation ends. I studied everyday and did practice questions,etc... . Therefore, this strategy of condensed study didn't work well because it does take time to absorb all the commands and syntax that we never had to memorize before (basically we just googled those or checked Java's documentation). For example, it's apparent that Oracle wants us to go really deep into their Streams and Lambdas which by the way I haven't seen many Devs using them either because they are focused on OOP or because they didn't find any tactical advantage of using Streams except for simple stuff like printing contents of a list or something like that. Other than Lambdas and Streams, I might have struggled a bit with remembering which classes throw what exceptions. However, I'd say if the question told me whether it was checked or not, I'd do well.

Anyways, it is true as per others who posted about the 1Z0-829, each question is like a whole page so you need to be quick and read the question quickly aside from understanding what the code is doing. It is hard for me to tell where did I screw up or why or if it's caused by the exam coming suddenly harder than usual or if it's because my lack of preparation (which I suspect the case is).

I have bought another exam attempt, but I'll give it the long shot and will do each time a new standard test to determine my areas of weaknesses, study, do the next test, rinse and repeat; but I won't consume all the standard mock tests, I'll try to do them only once I feel super confident one by one till I see my score improving and finally doing the unique tests.

Based on what happened to me, I'd say that Enthuware's mock tests are actually quite close to the real exam. I'd recommend doing them but to your point, it's about also going back to the study materials and making sure that we understand the core of the topic as well as all the edge cases.

I think ideally, people should take their time studying and doing practice questions and writing some code and not worry too much about doing the exam.
 
Michael Popovisky
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Tim Holloway wrote:Welcome to the Ranch, Michael and my condolences. Better luck next time.

As Campbell noted, if you have long-term employment experience in Java, your need for a formal cert is minimal in most cases. I personally don't place a whole lot of credence on programming certs because they're not indicative of competence, but more of an abilility to cram-and-regurgitate and they spend an extreme amount of time on seeing if you can pick out nuances that if I found in real-world code would cause me to go after the original author with a cudgel. With nails in it. After which, I'd completely trash the offending code and re-do it in a more maintainable style.

Now there are places where certs are highly valued. Bet that a large number of the people at Oracle who provided you with your, ahem, "experience" are certified. Body shops like to wave them around as selling points, even if they have to make up a few to gain the contract.

I won't say you've wasted your time and I'm sure at least a little of what you studied stuck. But again, with a few exceptions, most certs are just wallpaper to me and I've got a few myself. Though none of them relate to Java.



Thank you Tim for the warm welcome (as well as others).

You are absolutely based!

Really, the only reason I'm doing the certifications is just like a "Nice to have"; but like you, I don't see the benefit in real life of having multi level inheritances to begin with in a clean code architecture.

To your point, I did benefit from learning few things related to records, text blocks and the new features of Java 17 which to be honest, some of them do make life a bit easier.
 
Michael Popovisky
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So an update, Oracle confirmed that initially, the reason I was unable to reschedule the exam was due to "System glitch". This is for information. I think if anyone runs into such a situation, better do not take any chances, open a ticket with screenshots to reschedule your exam and keep backup of screenshots (proves) in case the exam happens to be before their ETA for tickets' response.

Better do not take schedule the exam unless you're actually ready.
 
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