Written by nitinpai on July 10th, 2007
SCWCD – The 3 Steps to Success!
After my completion of SCDJWS I had written about the 3 steps to success in SCDJWS which has helped many who were new in the web services domain to help them get prepared and confident about preparing for the big exam! Following the same foot steps I am now presenting in front of you 3 steps to success in SCWCD. I scored a 90+ in the exam and so I take a a pride to provide you the guidance of how to get a 90+
Why are there always 3 Steps to success?
This probably would be the same doubt on the lines of why do we say “Ready…Steady…Go” and also the countdown of a start of a timer in “3..2..1“. Well, the 3 steps are same everywhere, only their definition changes. Similarly I always make it a point to divide my preparation routine into particularly 3 steps to make it sound quicker and much systematic. Finally, its the enthusiasm that counts that you put in each of the steps.
Stop all that blabber… How do I go about preparing for SCWCD?
Okay..okay. SCWCD (exam code – CX 310 081) is aimed particularly for the web developers and it takes into consideration that you must have developed web applications in the past and now want to try out with JSP/ Servlets. So there wont be any questions about how and what are the intricacies dealing with what a web application is, but concentrates on how would you build web applications using the web components that SUN provides.
SCWCD – The preparation
The 3 steps for success in SCWCD are:
Step 1 - Head First Servlets & JSP
The Head First Series have become a kind of bible series in whatever they have released their books. In case of JSP / Servlets , its remarkable to see how easily the concepts can be grasped from their way of story telling. Some people would find their books very nonsensical with all those cluttered animations and text written like a scratch pad. Even I had felt the same before reading their first chapter. I did not even come to know that I had finished a total of 3 chapters even though I had the intention of reading just one.
You should mark my words “Every beginner must use the Head First Series to grasp the concepts quickly“. Ever since I have read this book I have become a fan of the authors! This book would even be handy to pass out of the exam if you were actually acquainted with working of JSP / Servlets. Solve all the questions at the end of each chapter.
Step 1 - SCWCD Exam Study Kit – Hanumant Deshmukh
For a beginner in the world of JSP/ Servlets the Head First Series is enough. But for people who have worked for some time in this technology would find the Head First Series a no brainer. Instead I would suggest such people to get a copy of this book. First of all, its a no nonsense book. It goes strictly with the exam topics and covers almost everything that is required to pass out of the exam.
The language is very lucid and is devoid of any jargons. The quizzes at the end of each chapter should be solved only after you have read the entire book since it would be like a revision of all the concepts. I especially liked the quizlets in the midst of the chapters which act as brain teasers. It even gives you a quick revision section where in you can just flip through the pages and have a quick briefing of all the important aspects for the exam. It does not have a mock test as HFSJ does at the end of all chapters.
Step 2 – SCWCD Study Companion – Charles Lyons
SCWCD cannot be aimed for a 100% if you have not referred to the API documentation or the JSP and Servlet Specifications. But would you really like to go through such humongous documentation within a short span of time? I hear many no’s cried out loud. But what if I say you would get a compact series of chapters and exam wise listed topics with the API information just perfect for the exam and Specification filtered out with only the exam relevant aspects then this the book to go for. I woudln’t have been able to score a 90+ score seriously speaking without this book.
Charles Lyons has prepared the book with a lot of efforts of perfectly scanning upto the API level details and also packaging it with the specification information so compactly that you don’t get bored reading it. He has maintained the flow so accurately that your questions will immediately be answered just as they get raised in your mind. Don’t try to read through the chapters in between because the flow of the chapters will be clear only when you start it from the beginning. I assure that reading this book wont make you touch the specifications nor the API documentations at all. Even I didn’t!
The best part of the book is it acts not only as a SCWCD study companion but also as a Reference book for future use since it has additional chapters for the updates that have happened in the recent past in JSP and Servlets.
The one thing I would reprimand in using this book is don’t try to solve tests provided at the end of each chapter since they are literally tough! You need to have your brain super charged to solve the tests since they cover an amazing depth of knowledge. But on the lines of SCWCD you won’t get such difficult questions so it is better if you stick to the tests provided in the earlier 2 books.
Step 3 – Test yourself with the JWebPlus Simulator and the HFSJ mock test
Finally when you are exhausted with all the reading you would need some time to practice. Till now I have not said about practicing! This is because I believe that it is better if you first understand all the concepts clearly before practicing. So after all your theoretical concepts have been cleared try to practice on the basis of mock tests! This is a unique way of clearing your doubts.
The JWebPlus Simulator is the best simulator, provided by Enthuware, which perfectly mimics the original exam environment. I haven’t tried the Whizlabs since they don’t replicate the same sense of depth as the exam provides. They are more tough than the actual exam and I don’t want anyone to feel disheartened when they get a low WhizLabs score.
After your reading is over try to solve 1 or 2 tests. In each test note down which are your strong and weak points. The exam results provide scores topic wise. The strong points dont need to be tried out since you obviously have the knowledge of them. But you definitely need to try out the weak points.
If you ask me I had failed in the first 2 tests and my weak points were mainly tag libraries and EL(Expression Language). But when I realized that I had the theoretical knowledge but did not know about their practical aspects then I tried it out myself and each of the trials clarified my doubts and I felt more confident. I sincerely feel this is a good approach rather than practicing out each and every thing. Some things can be just learnt from the books.
The JWebPlus Simulator has a total of 7 mock tests and 3 categorical tests namely – easy, tough and very tough. By carrying out the step in the fashion as I mentioned I started getting 84% in the later tests and my confidence was sky high.
The ultimate test I would advice you to give is the HFSJ mock test. Altough after solving so many tests you don’t actually have to solve this one, but as the saying goes “Nothing is impossible” you should try to solve it out too. The only challenge you would face here is that the multiple choice questions haven’t been stated as to how many you have to choose. Rather it is mentioned “Choose all that apply” which is somewhat irritating. But you should accept it as a challenge and prove yourself that you are an expert now! I took the challenge and scored an 81% in the mock test.
The battle begins!
So now that your 3 steps have completed, you are armed and ready to conquer the test of the time. The final SCWCD (CX 310 081 – remember this!) and the moment of celebration will be just 2 and a half hours far from you! So get armed with these 3 steps in mind and jump the bandwagon of conquerors as I shout out loud “Ready…Steady…Go!“