My main question is wondering how close within reach the java certification would be and how useful it would be to students. From what you said, the value of having the cert is very good. But, I’m still wondering about how much additional work will be required to achieve a good result. I understand your point about needing study materials etc,- that’s all a given and something that today’s students are very used to doing (PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, CLEP, etc.). But, do you expect that generally an AP Computer Science course would provide the foundational info needed to pass the test, and then the student just needs practice to be proficient and quick?
- Exceptions – checked exceptions, throw/throws, try/catch block
- byte, char, float and long
- Wrapper classes
- Importing other Java packages
- Garbage collection
- Overloaded methods
- Java 8 date/time
- Java 8 lambdas/predicates
- Plus a few things that I’m not clear as to whether they are on the AP
- Ternary operators
- Switch statements
All of these is easily learned through a study guide so I think a student preparing for the AP exam is in good shape to pick of an OCA certification study guide.
Plus it is likely the student’s class is using a book which was not intended for the narrower scope of the AP exam. Which means the student would have come across some of the above anyway.