WOOOOHOOO I JUST got home from writing the SCJP exam. I only got an 88 (52/59) but i am still pretty happy about it. I personally (note: everyone will find it different) found it quite easy. It seemed to me that the majority of the questions were based on flow control and the basics of the language (but i guess thats what it is supposed to be about). I kinda ignored EventHandling, and some of the more advanced Thread questions, difficult IO, Components and Painting (please excuse the direct reference to the RHE Table of Contents) the last couple weeks, and I was only asked one question that I really didnt have a clue about. ******MOCK EXAMS****** I purchased the Sun Mock Exam and although it is a lousy learning tool, I found it to be a very fair representation of the exam. The interface is similar and I am sure that helped. I scored 90% on it both times I wrote the exam(all 236 questions). As far as recommending it ??? I am not sure. If you have the money to blow (I certainly don't), then buy it. It was the closest thing to the real exam that I found.
I also purchased JQ+. JQ+ is an excellent tool, and as everyone else does, I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone serious about the exam. It does cover much more then the actual exam and I found it to be signifigantly more difficult. I kinda let it stress me out a bit up until a couple days ago. Then decided not to worry about it and make sure that I concentrated on the fundamentals of the language. Marcus .... I cant thank enough. His mock exams are so similar in difficulty to the real exam it is scary. I wrote all three of his exams in the past 24 hours and scored within one mark of the real exam on all three. I would advise NOT TO question the difficulty of his exams (I was convinced that they had to be too easy,they are right on the money) ******BOOKS****** Probably like many people, when I orginally got the idea to write this exam i went and looked over certification books. I started studying for the exam in the fall with the "All-In-One Java 2 exam guide". I got sidetracked for a while (DB2 exams)and then got back into it after Christmas. After pouring through this book several times I didnt understand why I got so many of the questions wrong on the mock exams. After reading through the javaranch forum I decided to buy the RHE book. Complete Java 2 certification This book was really the core to my studies (along with a little experience). This book is perfect. If you are going to study for this exam, in my opinion buy this book. It covers all you need to know (any maybe a little more). I read through the K@M book while at Chapters (canadian bookstore) one day and found it not as clear and concise as the RHE.
Last but definitely not least JAVARANCH. Awesome. This is THE site for studying and learning. Valentin and the other bartenders and sherrifs (I am not sure if this is your primary job, i dont know how it could not be), thanks for all the responses and thanks to all who have contributed useful posts. It is pretty cool to see an International community such as this banding together to help each other.
Even though they are simple , READ the Campfire stories. I found them simple but effective for hammering in the some of the basics you need (for me in particular the InnerClass and the Cat and Mouse games). Not all of us here on the site are human compilers and this certainly helped explain some of the sematics of the language to me in a language I could more then understand. Thats about all for now (sorry about the acceptance style speech , i just wanted to ensure that I got my own experience and advice added to the forum). For those preparing for the exam, remember it is only an exam, it can be written many times. As cheesy as it sounds, the most important thing to be gained from the exam is a better understanding of the knowledge, not the certificate. I will continue to float around on Javaranch, perhaps not making record numbers of posts, but contributing whenever I feel able to.