The Java SE Exam
There are many approaches to studying for an exam. The most common one is to read through the entire nearly 1000 page subject matter book in which you are assumed to no absolutely nothing when you begin. The next level up from that is the 400-500 page study guide, which still tries to teach you all of the topics but doesn’t spend much time with the very basics. Hence the reason that the book is about half of the size. If you are in a hurry to get certified and don’t really care about actually learning anything for your job, then there is the far extreme of buying practice tests and just memorizing the answers.
The Rule Book much shorter (about 20-25 pages) is more to the point and sits in the middle of learning and cramming for the exam. Just like with any sport, you can’t play until you know the rules of the game. The Rule Book is a collection of what you should know before sitting down in front of the exam. Once you know the rules, you can easily spot the answers that don’t belong.
How To Study
If you’ve ever found yourself studying and cramming for an exam, only to forget most of it minutes after the test is over, your not alone. It happens to all of us. I bet you can remember certain traumatic experiences that happened many years ago like they just happened yesterday. But yet, you can’t remember (with much clarity) what you just read yesterday. Here are the 12 Brain Rules from John Medina read more at brainrules.net:
My intention here is to develop a formula to optimize learning in order to learn, retain, and take tests easier and faster.
You Can’t Multitask, your brain is a serial processor. You can literally only focus on 1 thing at a time. Due to context switching you incur a 50% overhead tax. So even though you can study, have facebook up, reply quickly to incoming emails and text, queue up the next song, “because it helps you study,” and let the dog outside. You do those things 1 at a time, but you can switch between the mindless things fast, right? However, when you return to studying, you find yourself saying, “Okay, where was I?” And you end up re-reading the last thing you thought you were looking at. Time spent and error rates go up to 50%
The 10 Minute Rule. If you are listening to a lecture or an audio book or reading something that seems boring, but you have to get through it, stop every 10 minutes and do something to spark some emotions. Then return for another 10 minutes.
Repeat to Remember. You need to repeat things in timed intervals if you expect to remember them. The pathways in you brain are like muscles, every time you recall them the pathway gets stronger and you can more easily recall info stored there.
Use at Least 2 Senses. Memories stored using multiple senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) at the same time are to easiest to recall. What I do is record myself reading notes on a section and then later listen to it as I walk somewhere outside. This way I’m looking around, listening to info, there are certain smells being taken in, etc.
Vision Wins. When it comes to learning from your senses vision is most always the winner. In the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” it’s totally true. Reading 450 pages of just text isn’t nearly as effective as taking that text and mixing in pictures to help you understand all of those words. When reading try to draw what they are saying, like you were teaching someone from a whiteboard.
Exercise Boost Brain Power. Humans were not meant to sit in a cubical all day. We were meant to survive outdoors in the wild and traveling vast distances to hunt and kill food. From the above 10 minute rule, I try to do something energetic in between the 10 minute blocks of time, even if it is something as simple as just walking around the block.
The Sections in Gingsoft’s Java Rule Book that pertain to the Java SE Exam 1Z0-803:
- Section 101 – Packaging, Compiling, and Interpreting Java Code
- Section 102 – Programming with Java Statements
- Section 103 – Programming with Java Operators and Strings
- Section 104 – Working with Basic Classes and Variables
- Section 105 – Understanding Methods and Variable Scope
- Section 106 – Programming with Arrays
- Section 107 – Understanding Class Inheritance
- Section 108 – Understanding Polymorphism and Casts
- Section 109 – Handling Exceptions
- Section 110 – Working with Classes and Their Relationships
Java EE Topics
These sections go beyond the Java SE exam and head into the more advanced Java EE world:
- Section 200 – CDI and Bean Validation
- Section 201 – Persistence