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itgal
Junior Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9

Lightbulb Passed the UML Exam!!!!!

I just passed the OOAD with UML yesterday. I passed it with a 75%. This exam was pretty tough!

EXAM:
Questions - 55
Duration - 2 hours
Passing score - 70%
Cost - $175 US dollars

EXAM STRUCTURE
Section Title % of Test
Development Process 12%
Requirements Modeling 18%
Architecture 12%
Static Modeling 22%
Dynamic Modeling 24%
Design and Implementation Techniques 12%

EXAM TIPS:
This exam was about 75% on diagrams and processes. The exam is mainly built around 1 main case study (ie: point of sale system, university registration system). I recommend that you take a case study and do everything from inception to delivery to transition (you don't have to code the system, but know the basic concepts):

1. Read a case study and gather requirements from it. Know how to extract classes, methods, attributes. Remember, nouns are likely to become classes. Verbs are typically methods.

2. Write the use case from the case study.

3. From the use cases, draw the Interaction diagrams. Know what the diagrams are for and do. Know what each object of the diagram do. IE: What does the line in the Sequence diagram mean? It is the lifeline. Etc. Know both Sequence and Collaboration diagrams.

4. Be able to look at some code and figure out what is missing (a class diagram will be provided for that)

5. Know how to deploy and roll out a system.

6. Be able to know what OOAD artifacts you need for each diagram.

7. Make sure you know every single detail about diagramming. Know the definition, what's needed to create them, know what they do, what it's created for, what can be extracted from it. Know all the following diagrams:
a. Class Diagram
b. Activity Diagram
c. State Diagram
d. Sequence Diagram
f. Collaboration
e. Use Case Diagram
g. System Sequence Diagram
h. Conceptual Model
j. Object Model/Diagram
k. Deployment Diagram
l. Package Diagram
m. Component Diagram

8. Know your UML notations

9. Other than 1 major case study, there a few question on other smaller case study.

10. They are multiple choice questions, some with more than one answer to select.

Good luck everyone! Thanks for everyone's responses and comments!

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Old Post 12-22-2001 11:34 PM
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Stephen Hosking
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 54

Thanks itgal - excellent post

Thankyou, and thanks to all who have done the exam and posted their results, whether passing or not. Your experience is a great help to all of us.

Does this mean you will be leaving the forum itgal? If so, goodbye, and best wishes. Happy Christmas also.

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Old Post 12-23-2001 08:45 AM
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Stephen Hosking
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 54

And I nearly forgot - Congratulations

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Old Post 12-23-2001 08:51 AM
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fundoo_pc
Junior Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 2

Going to take the test tomorrow

Hi,

I have been going thru this board and have seen all the listings...it has been a great help. congatulations to itgal for passing the certification. hopefully i will also pass tomorrow

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Old Post 12-23-2001 04:00 PM
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itgal
Junior Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9

Thanks

Thanks for the congrats. I just want to help out as much as possible b/c this exam was a rough one. I did not come from an object oriented background, however, I've learned object oriented before. I have over 3 years in development and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). I've done UML on a couple of projects. I studied for this exam for about 2 months now while working.

I will probably be visiting this site less frequently as I have already passed my exam. However, I will still check back to answer some questions and comment on others. ONE thing that I did find lacking was HOW the exam was structured in these postings.

Happy Holidays

===========
ITGAL
MCSD, UML
===========

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Old Post 12-23-2001 08:48 PM
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fundoo_pc
Junior Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 2

Cleared the certification

Yahoooooo.... Just cleared the certification with 81%.

I think 50 hrs (or 12 days) of studying is good enough ( that's how much effort I put in) . The Larman book is the one to know. ICE tests are good for getting a feel of the exam. Fowler can be used as a beginning book.

Best of luck to all u uncertified guys out there

Merry christmas

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Old Post 12-24-2001 07:38 AM
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oobeginer
Junior Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1

More about ICE tests

Congratulations for passing UML exam.


I am beginer to OOAD. I am preparing for UML exam also. Kindly
let me know more about ICE tests, which really gives some hands on experience for actual exam. Your help is much appreciated.

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Old Post 12-27-2001 05:47 AM
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tman191
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 35

Congratulations. Some other advice - if you are a person that likes to review all the questions before you click FINISHED on the actual exam, you must leave yourself extra time due to the amount of diagrams.

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Old Post 12-27-2001 01:20 PM
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Stephen Hosking
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 54

I passed the exam - more tips

I got 90% in the ICE test a couple of times, so went in for the real exam yesterday. 72%. A pass (relief), but only just. I think I had a bad day (not firing on all cylinders), and could have done a lot better.

I concur with what others have said about the real exam. These are my extra comments.

The real title of this exam is "OOAD with UML, according to Larman and Fowler, as applied to business systems"

There are many approaches to UML, and many areas of application. If you want to pass the exam then forget the rest and remember the real title.

Fortunately, Larman and Fowler are both outstandingly good books.

Fowler - read and understand all of it. Pay particular attention to Chapters 3 to 8, and his excellent Appendix A. Fowler uses an intelligent subset of UML notation. It is the subset you need for the exam.

Larman. This is a big book, and you can't aim to remember all of it, but you will have to understand a lot of it. To filter your work, be guided by the exam content, as posted by IT Gal. 76% of the exam content is process, requirements, static and dynamic modelling. Larman's emphasis is on explaining each of these separately, and on tying them together. By the end of Chapter 26, you'll have enough for the exam. You'll also have a lot of details you don't need - check the IBM content checklist before spending a lot of time on some details (eg. you won't be asked "What are the artifacts of elaboration"). You also must know Chapter 30 - Architecture and the Layers pattern.

Obviously, do the ICE practice test, and research any difficult questions in Larman and/or Fowler, and on this forum.

Tips for experienced OOP/OOAD programmers
My own background is ten years OOP, 3 years Booch OO, and 2 years UML. You would expect that would be enough to roll over this exam. It wasn't. I found from the practice test that my depth of experience had given me biases, and blind spots, which were very hard to eliminate. I had to "unlearn" a lot of my own experience, and learn Larman's and Fowlers. I do not regret this - I have learn a lot.

My background is real time, aerospace systems. This background emphasises algorithms, dynamic interactions, and software structure. L & F emphasise data structures, domain modelling, and the external view of the system (ie. use cases). This is the emphasis you need for the exam.

I would expect that anyone with years of experience of systems programming in C++ would find it very hard to give up their software point of view, and move up to the business system point of view. You might keep seeing UML as just a high level notation for C++ programs.

Tips for non-OO programmers
My feeling about this exam is that it is mostly about business modeling and the UML process. There is not much which requires advanced OO techniques, but you will require a basic understanding of an OO language. Java is definitely the preferred language - learn enough of Java to be comfortable with Classes, subclasses, interfaces, and static methods and variables (in that order). If you have that, and a strong background in in commercial databases, then I expect you'll have enough to start Fowler and Larman. You might want to code and compile some of the designs, to get a better feel for implementation. On the other hand, if your own experience is, for instance, C programming in system software, then you are really going to have to put in a lot of work, and change the way you view software developement.

Overall - the weaker your background in OO or Business Systems, the more attention you will have to pay that side of it. Particularly, work examples in the areas of you weakness.

How much effort does it take
It has taken me about 5 months, part time, to prepare for this, however there were some wrong turns along the way. From the time that I started focusing on Larman and Fowler, I would say I have spent about 80 - 100 hours.

How hard is the exam?
Don't be frightened by what I and others have said about the exam. I would say that if you know L & F, then you will find 50% of it easy, 40% hard and 10% very hard. The practice test is a good guide to the exam content and style, but in terms of difficulty it is does not have as many easy questions, and the hard ones are not as hard as in the exam.

Exam conditions
I don't know if there is anything you can do about this - but be warned. The Prometric test system is a slow computer with a 15'in monitor. Several of the questions involve a diagram which is about 4 times the size of the physical screen, so you have to scroll it to see the whole diagram, and it scrolls slowly. This is a very, very frustrating waste of time. Also, many of the questions offer two exhibits - a main exhibit which is the subject of the question, and a second exhibit with extra information to "help". You don't have time to look at both of them - because of the lousy viewing method. If you can answer the question from the first exhibit, then move on to the next question.

This is a tough exam (because of time, not because of the number of hard question) and exam technique may be the difference between passing and failing.

Good luck everyone. I'll come back in a few days to have a look at some of the questions in the forum which have still not been tied down.

Stephen Hosking
SCJP
OCSD - JDeveloper

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Old Post 12-28-2001 10:11 PM
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tman191
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 35

Congratulations.

Stephen,
Did you go-through/review the entire exam 1 last time before you clicked "FINISHED", or did you only mark questions of concern and go over only your marked questions?

I did the second, and I feel that I may of passed if I would of gone through the entire test 1 last time before submitting my answers. I did not want to go through all the diagrams a second time. Will do next time though.

Thanks

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Old Post 12-29-2001 01:36 PM
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Stephen Hosking
Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 54

Thanks, tman.

When I got to the end, there was only ten minutes left, so I just revisited a couple of marked questions. You're right - there just isn't time to look at all the exhibits again (those &*^%$ exhibits!). What I did was spend a little extra time on the first and only time I saw each question, and as well as picking an answer which I thought was correct, I thought about why the others were wrong. This gives less time to look at the hard questions - but every right answer is worth exactly one mark. All you need is 69%.

Good luck for next time. I agree with your comment in other thread about GRASP patterns. Looks like you are on the right track.

- Steve

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Old Post 12-29-2001 10:47 PM
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