Yesterday I have passed the 1Z0-808 Java SE 8 Programmer I exam with a score of 81%.
References that I have used:
-OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Certification Guide - Mala Gupta,
-OCA Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide – Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff
-Enthuware Tests JA + I V8 for OCA-JP-I-SE8 (1Z0-808)
My previous experience and preparation process:
I am relatively new to Java, a self-learner, beginning from the March of 2014. I have read a few books, including the Head First Java by Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra. I have done a few simple projects in Java.
Overall time that I had for the preparation of this exam was two months.
This was my schedule in the first five weeks of my preparation:
Eight ours approximately, almost every day. During this time I have read every chapter from the previously mentioned books, solved all the review questions, wrote some short programs to test some unclear topics. I have printed out every summary from all the chapters from these books, so I could refresh my memory with Java theory.
During the next three weeks a was occupied with the great Enthuware tests (Be sure to buy the full version). I have done the Foundation test, all six main tests, and the Last Day test. My scores were:
Foundation test (67%), Test 1 (65%), Test 2 (60% - Failed!), Test 3 (65%), Test 4 (77%), Test 5 (73%), Test 6 (86%), Last Day Test (74%). These scores were not so great, but my knowledge improved greatly after each test. The biggest problem that I had during every test was the lack of time. Two and a half hours was just not enough for me. The most important thing was that after each test, I was going through every question, reading answers and explanations from Enthuware. This way I have seen where my mistakes were, and which topics I should improve. Next, I have taken each test two more times, once before next test, once after a few days. Now my scores were above 95%. I was aware that this is not a real representation of my knowledge, but it was helpful to go through all the questions again.
Also, this summary from Mohammed Amine Bagdouri helped me to grow a solid theoretical knowledge: http://www.mediafire.com/view/07tm53oaou63rae/OCA_Summary.pdf
I was using it almost every day, in the morning, during the last few weeks of my preparation.
I was a little bit afraid of the really strict Oracle – Pearson VUE rules. My main concerns were the usage of the white-board and marker and the fact that you couldn't bring even the glass of water in the exam room. But it wasn't all that bad. At my test center, they gave me five white-boards, so I wasn't wasting time on the erasing. Pen and paper are a much better solution, but this is OK too. And the water wasn't necessary (the bathroom almost was
). I have managed to get a good night sleep, had a “by the book” breakfast (An omelet with ham and cheddar cheese) in the morning, and a Muesli snack around 11. This way, since my exam was at 12:30, I wasn't distracted by the hunger till the end of the exam. All these things don't seem so important, but I think they were.
The test itself was really similar to the Enthuware tests. The only problem was the screen resolution of the old monitor at the test center, so I wasn't able to see the whole question, and I had to scroll a lot. The questions were similar also, and I think if you get through all the Enthuware tests, you are almost sure to pass this exam. The time was again a problem for me, as it was on the Enthuware tests. I haven't answered the last question, and I have not been able to go through the all marked questions. Once I finished, I saw that in one question I have marked two answers, instead of three. If I had more time, I think that my score would be much better.
I wish to thank all the authors of the resources that I have used, and to my company for providing me the necessary time for learning. I think that now I have a much clearer picture of the Java ground rules, and I will do my best to become a good, knowledgeable Java programmer.
Feel free to post your comments and questions below, and I will try to help!