i have started with java in november 00 with beginning java2 by ivor horton(wrox) and in january (after an interview) i decided to try to get certified. while working as an asp/vb programmer, i spent around 1-2 hours every day, read MUG 4 times carefully (chapters 1-14, 18), took a few mock exam and passed on 1. try. i mainly concentrated on chapters 1-9, nonetheless, this was the parts of the exam where i did worst (decl.&control, flowcontrol). there were a lot of questions concerning threads (about 10), very tricky questions concerning post-/prefix ++, interface definition, access modifiers and more than 5 questions about inner classs. a few days before the exam, i passed MUGs exam (end of the book) with 75%, and the real exam did not seem easier to me. in some cases, it was a great help to know, how many answers should be checked. it took me about 110 minutes (of 120) to go through all the questions.