I "originally" started looking at getting certified about 2 or so years ago. I had some "slack" time so rummaged around, found all the information, read lots of news posts, found lots of great web sites. I sat some of the mock exams ... oh boy did those wake me up to where my weaknesses lay !!
Now all was going well, I had a couple of books, made a ream of notes and was plodding through it all at a healthy pace.. as you may be about to guess this is where my certification path got frozen into the ground
A combination of lots of work coming in and having to do crazy hours there and the birth of my daughter (
) soon took up that "slack" time of mine ..
* time passes to present day *
I was sitting at my desk just wondering what to do when it suddenly hit me !! I had the books, some notes and a renewed desire to get that first certification under my belt !! With a new rigour I set about making more notes re-reading the 2 books I have reading posts on here and taking mock tests. Then a golden piece of advice from a friend "just book the exam then you have no choice but to study". Knowing that I tend to procrastinate when doing things on my own time I thought this was a great idea. After ringing Sun and speaking to a nice lady who got me my voucher all sorted, I booked the date for the exam. It was at this point the reality hit me .. what had I done !! Was I crazy, would I be ready, what about the topics I was weak on .. EEEEEEEEK
Well to cut a growing story short I got stuck back into my revision ( between singing songs on the tweenies and dancing with my daughter ) and sat the exam.
Now to the bit that might .. or might not .. be of some use to other people .. when I took the test .. I had read quite a lot of information about actually taking the test, and I think that some of the most important points for me can be distilled into the following:
1) Try not to panic and keep calm, if your tense then you "might" make mistakes you wouldn't otherwise.
2) There's MORE than enough time to sit the exam. I actually did all the questions twice ( sometimes getting different answers sometimes not )
3) Read ALL the code in examples thoroughly, take your time and always check for the "obvious" ones, classes having the correct accessibility, overridden methods having the right signature and return type etc.
4) If you need to use the paper they give you to make notes on then do !!
5) Don't let the "pre test" questions that are there to determine your background in JAVA etc. put you off, they aren't part of the test so keep relaxed and just fill it in.
That's about it really. I think that the exam is mainly in the preparation, make sure before sitting the real thing that you do plenty of the mock exams.
After going through the questions twice I clicked the button to end the test.. then clicked the print button.. then wandered off to find out what had happened.. WOO HOO I passed
I had a grin from ear to ear for the rest of the day I must admit.
Now all this has been a long road and I wanted to thank as many people as possible for the information the advice and the general atmosphere they have created.. so in no particular order:
Thanks "The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide" by Simon Roberts, et al
Thanks "Java 2 Exam Cram, Second Edition (Exam: 310-025)" by Bill Brogden
Thanks Marcus Green - Test exams and web site
Thanks JavaRanch - Everything from the rules roundup ( which I still play just to see those cows move
) to the forum groups where people are always helpful and ready to offer advice.
To anyone who I've missed THANK YOU FOR THE HELP as well