First of all I want to say that I am an economist and I had had two years experiences of working with java when I started preparing for the certification exam. Everything began after buying “OCA: Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-808” by Jeanne Boyarsky & Scott Selikoff (later it will be mentioned as SYBEX ). My English level was not good enough and first days I managed to read only 1 page per hour by using dictionary. I spent 7-8 hours to study and was able to finish reading only ~8-10 pages in a day. I wrote all code examples written in the book again in IDE/notepad in order to learn topics well.
I took “Assessment Test” before starting Chapter 1. I could answer 3-4 questions hardly, and didn’t know others. Everything was difficult for me when I was a newbie. I was afraid that I would not be able to pass the exam. Sometimes I gave up, wanted to stop studying and thought that I did not have a potential to pass the exam. However, it was my goal to get the certificate and I had promised myself that I would do it. Despite the fact that my fears, uncertainty continued for a month, gradually I started to believe in myself.
I spent a lot of time on answering questions. I couldn’t get used to code format of questions. At the exam I would have ~2 minutes for each question and because of that I had to learn how to manage my time effectively. After reading some recommendation I started using Notepad instead of IDE (applied it from chapter 4). I found this technique very helpful. First days it was very hard to me but then I enjoyed it. Finally, I could keep in mind that length belongs to array and length()to String. It was very helpful for me to use notepad and javac/java.
The book recommends you to read the chapter again if your score of review questions is less than 80%. All my results were less than 80% so I had to read the whole book again. But I decided to do some more tests before revision to find out which parts confused me most so that I could know which topics I had to focus on.
After finishing to practice tests, I started revising SYBEX book and decided to take notes. At first I wrote my notes in a copybook but then I changed my mind and took my notes in a word document (in my native language).
Then I bought Enthuware questions bank. I read the explanations of all questions regardless I had answered them correctly or incorrectly and sometimes I learned new things from explanations which I didn’t know so far. When I couldn’t understand the explanation of some questions, I clicked “discuss” button and looked at forum discussion. Sometimes I couldn’t understand discussion because of my english, in these cases I read the posts over again and again.
I registered for actual exam after finishing Standard Tests (except for Last Day Test). A week before the exam I started going through my notes. My notes were about 150 pages and I took Enthuware Objective–wise Tests after finishing each chapter. I finished all preparations 2 days prior to the exam. I took the last Standard Test on Saturday. I had a rest on Sunday and went to the exam on Monday.
At the beginning I couldn’t overcome my exam anxiety and as the first questions were difficult they made me more nervous. However, an hour later I was able to concentrate on the exam. Most of the exam takers say that the actual exam is easier than mock exams but I didn’t feel it. The most of actual exam questions looked like simple, but in fact they were tricky. Therefore I checked each question at least twice and it took too much time. When I finished answering questions after first attempt (except for 4-5 questions as I got right answers at second or third attempt), I had 25 min left. I was able to finish the test 30 seconds before the end of the exam.
You will not get your result just after exam. 15-20 minutes after exam I got email regarding my result:
- Actual Exam – 94%
Although my goal was to get score above 95%, I am still satisfied with this result because my exam anxiety could have led to much poorer exam performance. Thanks God! Finally, I achieved my goal after a long hard work.
In addition I want to note that I have had a lot of difficulties to get information when I wanted to start preparing for Java Certification exam. I didn't know:
- which exam I should take?
- which study guide I should buy?
- which test banks I should use?
- where could I take the exam?
- how to register for the exam? etc.
After passing exam I had decided to create a blog and share these information for beginners who wants to get started exam. And I created a blog some months ago and shared all steps from the beginning to the end of exam.
With kind regards,