If you are here, there would be a reason you want to get certified. If not, find because its not sensible to spend the money only to fill certificates in your resume. I have been working as a software engineer for 6 months and my team uses Java as the primary programming language. I had the freedom to pick up any professional certification that my organization would pay for and I wanted to experience how is it to appear for a professional certificate and my mentor in office suggested me to go for it. I found it to be a good decision before writing exams for certificates for AWS/GCP and so on.
I had already studied Java during my undergraduate years. First, I had a personal tutor for 2 months (my first experience with object oriented programming) following which I had OOP through Java as a subject for my 3rd semester.Though I preferred C++ for coding practice, I had hands on experience of Java due to small academic projects and my job. So I wouldn’t be commenting on how much time a person who is new to Java might need for writing this exam.
Preparation stage 1:
I started preparing around the fist week of April and scheduled my exam on 29th April. Going through all the online blogs and preparation guides you’ll come across the three main resources:
I picked up the book(linked) by Mala Gupta and planned to go through it and appear for the exam.
Link to the eBook: OCAJ SE8 Pragrammer I Certification Guide: Mala Gupta
In the middle of this, I got 4 of my teeth extracted and by 22nd April I had skimmed only through 3 chapters out of 7. That too without the practice questions. So I rescheduled my exam on 20th May, 2019 ( a Monday to get Friday, Saturday and Sunday solely for preparation)
Preparation stage 2:
By 10th May I had gone through all the chapters and made quick notes for myself. I got my braces on 4th May. Once done with that, I did the twist in the tale questions for all chapters. I came across another quite famous book(linked) by Jeanne and Scott but it was too late to pick up another book as I had to plans for rescheduling again. Its better to have less resources and study seriously than drown yourself into too much knowledge.
Link to eBook: OCA Study Guide, Jeanne Boyarky, Scott Selikoff
Two simulator were mentioned on all blogs, Enthuware and Whizlabs. For me the costs of them were as follows:
I tried the free sample test of Whizlabs and failed it and realized this isn’t going to be a joke and going through the theory wouldn’t be enough. So I bought the Whizlabs test. I did chapter wise tests that broke my confidence.
So I went through the chapter summary and review notes from the book and chapter wise sample exam question. I attempted the Mock test at the end of the booked and scored 62%. Then I attempted all the mock tests. My scores were as follows:
Final result: 85%
Interface description: The Whizlabs interface was pretty interactive, in actual test you cannot jump from 1st question to 70th. Only consecutive moves are allowed unless you have marked any question for review which you can access from the list of a marked questions. I had the habit of quickly attempting the test once in an hour and then revising all questions. The exam portal was not as fast as the Whizlabs one either and I felt I ended up wasting a lot of time in jumping from here to there than actually reading them patiently. Anyways as much as I wanted to get 90+ score, I am glad I passed it.
Java 11 exam got released on 13th March, 2019. I had it planned since February so didn’t look around later for the update. The pattern is a bit different so have a look at the official site.
PS. Any questions are welcomed
Whizlabs pack: https://www.whizlabs.com/ocajp-scja/