UML Fundamentals Exam. A few tips on passing..

I just recently passed the OMG UML fundamentals exam with 81%.

Here are some tips :

  • Make sure you can decipher a sequence diagram with asynchronous messages that cross over each other (ie. are not parallel to each other). A number of combinations of message sequences are possible (the UML books all use this !p p? r! r? notation), and I came across a few questions asking what sort of combinations are possible. The general rule I use is that the start of the message must come before the end of the message (obvious!), and the events occuring in a lifeline must occur sequentially downwards.
  • Understand what a General Ordering is in sequence diagrams, and how does that restrict combinations of message sequences in sequence diagrams?
  • A particularly mean question came up which was testing knowledge of Use Cases relationships. Easy up to a point, but then you have to know if there is an ‘s’ at the end of the name. ie is it extend or extends, and is it include or includes
  • Some other questions were also a bit mean, where they assumed you understood the textual positioning in symbols. Ie. You should know if the text goes above or below the symbol for things like Use Case, Class symbol, and Actor.
  • Rectangles in activity diagram. Understand what the different rectangles mean. What do they mean when they sit on the boundary of the activity? What do they mean when they sit between two actions? And how does that relate to pins that you sometimes see on actions? Do they mean the same thing?
  • Understand the Metamodels. As boring as it sounds, you really need to have a good idea in your head as to how UML is defined in the metamodels. I think its impossible to memorise all the diagrams, but try and take something away from each diagram. For example how does the Use Case metamodel and the Class metamodels overlap? Why is RedefinableElement in both?

Here are a couple of good links which make a nice adjunct to your Wilkiens/Oestereich certification book :

Good luck!

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