Two years ago, I took the OCA/OCAJP 7 Java programmer I exam and wrote about my experiences. I took the exam this time as part of writing the Java OCA 8 Programmer I Study Guide.
What’s new in version 8?
As you can see from the OCA/Java SE 8 Programmer I official exam page, most of the objectives are the same on OCA 7 and OCA 8. There is a mapping by objective title/number on CodeRanch. The new topics were:
- Running from the command line
- Compare and contrast the features and components of Java such as: platform independence, object orientation, encapsulation, etc.
- Wrapper classes
- Java 8 date/time classes
How did I study?
As I got a 98% on the previous version of the exam, I didn’t really need to study. [edit: I got a 91% of the OCAJP 8 and a perfect score on all the new Java 8 topics]. It was more of review. Plus writing a book on the topic really gets you ready. I “studied” by doing all of our review and practice exam questions within a week of the test. This also served as a nice sanity check that the questions we wrote prior to taking the beta were decently in sync. (It’s interesting when writing a cert book that you are writing the questions without seeing the exam. This is good as it prevents accidentally mirroring the questions of the moment in the book. As Oracle changes questions over time, it is better to be learning the topics/tricks from a book and improving your skills/test taking ability.)
To learn the Java 8 in the first place, I read two books:
- Java 8 New Features for the Really Impatient (my favorite)
- Java 8 New Features: A Practical Heads-Up Guide
Oracle has some tutorials:
I also wrote a bunch of practice code. And wrote lots of lambda expressions in other languages.
- The exam software claimed that if you pressed the control key, it would cross out an answer so you could remember which ones you eliminated. That’s a good idea. Unfortunately, pressing the control key did absolutely nothing and clicking merely selected an answer I wanted to rule out as correct. I hope they fix this as it is a nice feature.
- When I took the OCA 7, I had all the time in the world. On this exam, I had enough time to do the questions, but not enough to review them all. The beta gives you just over a minute per question. The real exam gives more time.
- I went back to my usual exam center. They gave me an “erasable notebook” with 9 pages and an eraser. This meant I could write as much as I wanted. I probably filled about 4 pages as I went. It’s not the same as the paper/pen they used to gie, but is perfectly sufficient.