How to sort ArrayList using the Comparator?


This question already has an answer here:

  • Sort ArrayList of custom Objects by property 23 answers

I have a Class Student that Implements a static method

public static Comparator<Student> getCompByName()

that returns a new comparator object for Student that compares 2 Students objects by the attribute 'name'.

I need to now test this by sorting a students ArrayList by 'name' using my function getCompByName().

Here is my Comparator method in my Student class.

public static Comparator<Student> getCompByName()
 Comparator comp = new Comparator<Student>(){
     public int compare(Student s1, Student s2)
 return comp;

And Main where I need to test

public static void main(String[] args)
    // TODO code application logic here

    //--------Student Class Test-------------------------------------------
    ArrayList<Student> students = new ArrayList();
    Student s1 = new Student("Mike");
    Student s2 = new Student("Hector");
    Student s3 = new Student("Reggie");
    Student s4 = new Student("zark");

    //Use getCompByName() from Student class to sort students

Can anyone show me how I would use the getCompByName() in my main to actually sort the ArrayList by name? Im new to comparators and having a hard time with their usages. The method returns a comparator, so Im not sure how this will be implemented. I know I need to use getCompByName() to sort, im just not sure how to implement it.

Use the Collections.sort(List, Comparator) method:

Collections.sort(students, Student.getCompByName());

Also in your code it would be good to use the List interface when declaring the List:

List<Student> students = new ArrayList();

You could also tighten up the code by using a Student[] and passing it to the ArrayList constructor:

public static void main(String[] args) {
    Student[] studentArr = new Student[]{new Student("Mike"),new Student("Hector"), new Student("Reggie"),new Student("zark")};
    List<Student> students = new ArrayList<Student>(Arrays.asList(studentArr));
    Collections.sort(students, Student.getCompByName());

    for(Student student:students){

Here is a Gist of the full source.