today i passed the scjp 1.4 exam with a score of 67%. I know, that�s not as much as most of you have posted here (i always see scores about 80% or higher), but i knew that i wouldn�t make a �Highscore�. One reason for that may be that i took the exam in english and i my english was falling asleep when i started preparation(but i think there were only two questions i misunderstood/couldn�t exactly translate). By the way, when i left the test-center i forgot my score-report... but it was not a problem to go back and receive it 3 hours later. Funny, isn�t it ? You prepare for a very important thing, and when you get it you forget it....
What i did do right during my preparation: I read the book of Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates about three times. Some chapters more often, i made all self tests about two times and i made �personal learning cards� with questions and infos of their �two minute drills�. At the morning of the exam i read all two minute drills again. I think this book was the most important thing during my preparation. It was very easy to understand, even if english is not your main-language.
I read the book of Khalid Azim Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen. This was hard stuff, sometimes i had problems to understand (language specific) what they mean. And it was much more than you�ll need for exam. That doesn�t mean that it isn�t a good book, i will keep this book and use it, but for preparation it was too much. Do not make the same mistake as i made. I kept the mock exam for the last evening before the exam. I was in panic when i only got 48%.
I read Dan Chisholms book and started the mocks. I was running out of time, so i only made half of the book. Very hard stuff. Sometimes i thought that i was a Java-Newbie. I think this book could be great fun at work. You think you are good in Java ? Then answer me this (just a random question of D.C.) question ;-) I recommend this book for two kinds of people: 1) the ones who want to make very high score in the exam (i bet if you practice with this book a lot you�ll make easy 90% - 100% (and if they would give bonus-points you would get more than 100%)) 2)The ones who like to hurt themself.
I made a 30 days subscription at javacertificate.com. I really recommend this. My average progrees score there was very close to my real exam score. If i had a question i got answers very soon. When i take the scwcd exam next year, i subscribe again.
I printed out three Marcus Greens` mocks and did one each day before i had my exam. The scores where a little bit lower than in real exam, but maybe i had old versions (or are that awt and i/o questions still in his mocks). Thanks Marcus.
And last but not least: JAVARANCH.COM. I know, i didn�t write much (i still do not know if everybody understands �my� english), but i read a lot. Most questions and answers were very helpfull for me. And the few times i had a question i received an answer very fast. THANKS.
What i did wrong: I always read that it is important to drink enought before the exam, cause of dehydration. I think i drank too much, after the first hour i needed a toilet very soon...
I waited with a few tests til the last day before exam. I think it will be much better to do each test a few times. So i could avoid the panic i got with Khalids exams.
I was very nervous. But i think i can do nothing against it.
What was new for me: This button called �EXIBIT� was new to me. When i practiced i had to scroll. It was strange, that the question was about a result, and i didn�t see any sourcecode. But after the second question i realized that it was very important ;-). (And now i know what exhibit means in german ;-))
I hope the experince i made and wrote down, will help some others, who are still preparing for the �big day�.