7 Tips to Answer Java Certification Exam Questions

Tips For answering questions on the Java Certification Exam

Taking the multiple choice questions based Java certification exams is not easy. Many students know the concepts well but still fail the exam. It is specially heartbreaking when a candidate fails only by a few points. Losing concentration while answering a couple questions makes the difference between passing and failing the exam.

While training students for the certification exams, we have identified a few simple non-technical things that will either keep you from making a silly mistake or help you in picking the right option(s) even if you are not sure. If you keep the following 7 points while answering Java Certification exam questions, you may easily gain a few points and increase your chances of passing the exam.

  1. Mark and Move - You have to answer a fixed number of questions in a fixed amount of time. For example, for OCP Java 11 Part 1 1z0-815 exam, you have to answer 80 questions in 180 minutes. That means, you have about 2 minutes (135 seconds, to be precise) to answer each question. So, one approach could be that you move to the next question after every 2 minutes. However, this is not a very good approach. The exam has easy as well as tough questions. Some topics (such as loops) are, by nature, very hard and require a lot more time to answer. Further, you never know which type of question will you get at the beginning of the exam. If you get a few time consuming questions at the start, you will start feeling time pressure and that will affect your answering ability on the subsequent questions. It is very easy to answer a simple question incorrectly when you are under pressure.

    A better approach is to take a quick look at the question and judge whether you can answer it quickly with confidence. If not, just mark the question (there is a checkbox for marking a question on top right corner) and move to the next question. This way, you will be able to answer all easy and less time consuming questions without being stressed. The goal here is to make sure that you don't trip on the easy questions. Once you are done with the last question. Go to the Review screen and start solving the "marked" questions. You will now have enough time to solve the tough and time consuming quesions because you never took full 2 minutes on the easy questions. Even if you are not able to answer a few questions at the end, you know that they were tough questions and you had a high chance of answering them incorrectly anyway.

  2. Answer all questions - Never leave any question unanswered. Even if you don't know the answer, pick an option. That way you have at least some chance of getting the right answer. Some people pick the same option (say, option C) for such questions. Since there is no negative marking (i.e. no penatly for answering a question incorrectly), there is no point in leaving a question unanswered.

  3. Eliminate wrong options - This is related to the above tip. If you are not confident of an answer, you can at least eliminate a couple of "obviously wrong" options. You can right click on an option to strike it out. Pick the option(s) randomly from the remaining options. If you are able to eliminate even one option out of 5, your chances of answering the question correctly increase from 20% to 25%.

  4. Read All Options - Sometimes, one feel so confident about an option that they select it believing it to be correct and move on. However, the questions and the options in the certification exam are very tricky. The options are designed to fool you and therefore, it is absolutely critical to read all options even if you feel you have found the right option. Take a moment to rule out the rest of the options.

  5. Ignore minor/trivial errors - Although all information given in the question is important, you may encounter a question with an obvious typo or mistake. It is best to ignore such errors because the exam doesn't test you on such typos. The exam is tough but not unfair. For example, if you see System.out.println mispelled as Sytem.out.println, ignore that mistake. You should also not worry about missing import statements (unless the question is clearly about import statements.), Java file name, location of the source code, etc. Assume that all such things are valid.

  6. Must/Cannot/Never/Always - You should be very careful about selecting an option that has such strong words because there is almost always an exception to a rule. If you see two options where one says you "cannot" do X, while the other says, you "may" do X, and if you have no idea about the topic, select the second option because there is a a high likelyhood that a workaround to do X exists.

  7. Do not fight the question writer - Questions are developed by humans and it is possible that you may find a question to be ambiguous or incorrect. You may also feel that more than one options are correct. In such situation, pick the option that you feel is the best. Do not go with the option that you feel may be correct in an obscure situation. Go with the most common scenario.

All the best!