I did it! This is such a relief! I was required to do it by the end of October (Halloween ). The score, even though is not as flashy, as some of those posted on this forum, is very good for me. I have no prior Java experience, just a several-weeks class with a couple of labs. And then studying for the exam on my own. I started with "Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2 Study Guide" by Brian Bagnall and Harold Cabrera. Being such a greenish-green(green,green)horn, I really liked that book. It gives a lot of clear explanations. Full of typos though (even I could see it). Then I went through "The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide: Programmer's and Developers" the third edition, it helped me with some points, but I still think the first one was the best in my situation. Then I discovered JavaRanch! I did a lot of mock tests. Special thanks to Dan Chisholm for all the fine points, I would not be able to get without his questions (I never scored higher then 30% on those ). Thanks very much to Marcus Green for his 3 mock exams, I scored around 80% on those. I was also trying to read "A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification" by Khalid Mughal, because it is so highly recommended by many of the ranchers, but I did not like it at all. For the preparation for the exam I mean. I practiced with J@Whiz, it helped me a lot. I asked a lot of questions on the preparation forum here, and read through even more posted by others. A very, very, very special to Kathy Sierra for thorough answers to all the questions I could think of, and even more so for the moral support . These notes are pretty good: http://www.geocities.com/technofundo/tech/scjp/scjpnotes.html My problem was though, that I keep reading tem till the very lust minute. By the time the exam started I was worked up so much, I am surprised I even did that goodJ And I could not sleep the night before. My major advice is, try to have some rest before the exam. It is not easy, I could not do it. But I know it affected my score more then anything else. So, thanks much to JavaRanch and all the ranchers! I am going to stick around. P.S. Where, did you say, those donations go?