Best Way to Prepare for Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Z0-808) Certification

Best Way to Prepare for Java SE 8 (OCAJP - 1Z0-808) Certification
If you are looking forward to becoming a Java programmer, a certification from Oracle is the ideal way to ensure that you stand out from the non-certified programmers in terms of knowledge and skills. Oracle’s Java Certifications are highly esteemed in the IT fraternity. Preparing for the certification exam requires a strategic approach that can help the aspirant to master the language and its features. Here is a step-by-step guide that elaborates on the various stages in the preparation for Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) Certification exam. 

Before you begin preparing for Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) Certification:

The preparations require focus, effort, and time. Incorporate the steps mentioned here a part of your daily routine by allocating a regular and fixed time spot that can be easily followed. A good knowledge of the English language is beneficial as there is a vast repository of high quality resources in this language. Unless you attempt the exam in Spanish, follow course materials in English.

The time taken to prepare for the Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) Certification exam can vary depending on your Java programming knowledge and experience. For a fresher with basic programming knowledge, the ideal time span for preparation is 2 months, if they spend a considerable amount of time in a day for the preparations. For those with a fairly good knowledge and experience in Java, this time can be reduced to one month or even 15 days, depending on your speed of learning and time allocated for daily practice. For a novice who has absolutely no idea about Java or Object Oriented Programming, the time required for learning can go up to 6 months since they have to understand the concepts of programming and then move on Java specific learning.

Steps that can help you in your journey to the Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) Certification:

1.     Understand the syllabus:
The primary step is to get the complete syllabus of the exam. This will give you a detailed insight into the topics that you need to cover within the set time frame. A study plan can be prepared based on the number of topics and time required to complete each section. The OCAJP 8 certification exam curriculum includes these main topics:
a.     Java Basics
b.     Working with Java Data Types
c.      Using Operators and Decision Constructs
d.     Creating and Using Arrays
e.     Using Loop Constructs
f.       Working with Methods and Encapsulation
g.     Working with Inhertance
h.     Handling Exceptions
i.        Working with Selected classes from the Java API
Gather information about the exam format, number of questions asked, exam duration, and the minimum percentage for passing which can help you while taking mock tests.

2.     Collect resources:
Once you are familiar with the syllabus and the topics, the next step is to gather helpful resources. These could include books as well as online resources.

Books
Books are probably the most reliable and the most sought after study material for Java aspirants. There are any numbers of good guides that can help you learn the various aspects of the topics. Before you spend thousands on Java books, it is crucial to identify the most relevant ones. The right books can enhance your knowledge of Java.
Certification guides are the most useful resources for those who are preparing to take the Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Z0-808) Certification exam. These comprehensive study materials cover all the topics discussed in the syllabus. Once you have finished the certification guide, you can refer other books and resources for in-depth learning on individual topics. The most recommended book for Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Z0-808) Certification exam preparation is:

·        Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-808, by Jeanne Boyarsky, Scott Selikoff

If you are looking for a simple and concise study material that focus on core topics, this guide can be the best choice.

Some other popular guides that you can refer include:
·        OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Certification Guide, by Mala Gupta ( a more detailed guide with plenty of examples)

·        A Programmer Guide to Java SE 8 Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), by Khalid Mughal

·        OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide (Exam 1Z0-808) (Oracle Press), by Edward Finegan, Robert Liguori

Books that discuss particular topics in the syllabus can also be referred to fine tune your understanding of the various aspects of the subject.

Follow a systematic method in reading the guides and other books. Write down notes as you read them. Make a list of the important points in each topic discussed. These can be of great use when revising for exam. Answer the practice questions at the end of each chapter. 

Other than guides a number of books offering practice tests are also available. The most sought after one is:
·        OCA/OCP Java SE 8 Programmer Practice Tests, by Scott Selikoff, Jeanne Boyarsky

Online resources
The internet is a mine of information for those looking for study materials for the Java certification exam. Some of the useful online resources you can refer include:

There are also many other online resources that provide useful tutorials for the Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) exam. Before taking any online tutorial, make sure that the classes are for the latest version of the exam. 

3.     Coding, coding, more coding
As they say, there are no shortcuts on the path to be a programmer. Daily coding is the key to success for a Java aspirant. ‘Read, code, read, code’ must be the motto of your preparation strategy. The more you code, the more it helps in improving your skills. Write a code, run the Java program, and check the result. Experimenting with codes and analyzing the changes when one line of code is changed can help you to capture the basic concepts of coding more efficiently. As soon as you have learned a concept, test it out by writing code and running the program. Knowing the theoretical aspect of a concept from a book and understanding it in depth from practical application mutually reinforce learning. Daily coding not only helps in developing the coding ability; it also enhances code reading that helps in solving Java puzzles.

4.     Join Java forums and communities
It is always a good idea to join a popular forum or community where you can post questions and doubts and get them answered by the experts. This will also help you to get new ideas and practical solutions and tips that can be of great assistance while taking the mock tests and the certification exam. You can also read blogs by community members.

5.     Practice mock tests
As important as daily coding sessions are the practice tests. It is only by taking as many tests as possible that you can master the technique of completing the actual exam in the prescribed time. Almost all guides have practice tests that you can solve by timing yourself. Other than these, there is a plethora of online sites that offer mock tests for the aspirants. Free tests are available on many sites.

You can also buy exam simulators like Whizlabs. These offer tests that are similar to real exams. Their questions are generally tougher than the actual exam questions and provide a platform for the exam takers to apply their knowledge and skill in practical situations. If you are able to score more than 80% in the mock tests, you can be sure of cracking the certification exam with good score. If you do not score well enough in the mock tests, you need to improve your preparations until you are able to score above 80%. Do complete all the tests provided and answer all the questions. This will give you an idea about the time you can take for the questions in the real exam.

6.     Revision
The ultimate step in the Java SE 8 (OCAJP – 1Zo-808) Certification exam preparation is revising the lessons. You would not want to waste precious time by going through all the books that you have covered in the last few months. Revision simply means remembering the main points of each chapter. It is here the notes and tips you have prepared become handy. Recap all the important points, practice coding, and take mock tests until the last minute.

These steps are just a guide for your preparations. Learning strategies can vary as per personal preferences and time required for mastering a concept. Prepare thoroughly, stay calm, and take the test confidently. 

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