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Merilyn Stuck

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since Dec 23, 2018
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Recent posts by Merilyn Stuck

To anyone who may have already taken this exam, I am not asking for any information about the actual content, but I am curious to know whether Enthuware or WhizLabs practice exams are closer to the real thing. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Good day all,

This is my first post on Code Ranch, and I hope I can come to be as helpful as many others seem to be here. I am studying for the OCAJP 8 Exam. I started studying Java in January of 2018, when I took a semester-length (~5 months) class at my college in Java. Then, I read the prep book by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff twice from front to back. The first time I went over everything in detail and did the end-of-chapter tests. The second time I re-studied the bits I struggled with over and over. Then I spent about a month studying with the video series from Whizlabs, and doing their chapter tests too. I again restudied the things I struggled with most from that series. To supplement all of this, I have also researched individual topics I struggled with online, and I've done some minimal one-on-one tutoring with a peer who is much more experienced in Java.

This all being said, I have been studying/preparing for about a year now, and I am nowhere near ready to take the exam. I have no trouble postponing, as I will not be taking it until I am ready. The question is, when will I be ready? What more can I do to prepare, given that all I have done so far has done relatively little for my exam readiness?

When I took the shorter tests/quizzes (10-20 questions) that came with my study materials, even on the first time, I would usually get 50-65%. Not a passing rate on the real exam, but at least getting close. When I take an exam-length practice test (I am using both Enthuware and Whizlabs), I am scoring around 20-35%. This isn't even close to passing for the real thing.

Two things that seem to be tripping me up the most are this:

1. I get the principles and rules that are taught about a topic, but when I take a practice quiz or practice test, I get caught by these one-off, special case scenarios. How do I prepare for these on the real exam?

2. I do at least a little okay on the shorter quiz materials, but when I attempt an exam-length practice test, my scores get cut in half. The questions on the exam-length tests seem much, much more complex, and I often find myself getting totally lost on a complicated test question, to the point where I have 0 idea what's going on, and my mind goes blank. It's like being caught in an avalanche, where I'm totally disoriented and I have no idea which direction is up or down. How can I overcome this? I try to read the explanations for the test questions, especially the complicated ones, but I can't even understand the explanations in most cases, no matter how many times I re-read the explanations or try to re-study the topic at hand.

I apologize for the lengthiness of my post, but I would really love to hear any feedback anyone might be kind enough to share. I am frustrated to the point of tears every time I sit down to try and prepare for this exam, because it feels like no matter how much more time and effort I put into this, I am getting no better on the practice exams. What can I do differently? At this point, should I walk away from this and stop wasting my time?

Thank you so much.