I passed SCJP 5.0 yesterday. It was very close, I got a 60% (59% is passing). I expected that I was not going to do so well and I went to the test knowing that it would be borderline. Im glad I made it out ok.
The test is difficult and a bit tricky but not impossible to do very well on. I never took the SCJP 1.4 test so I have no way of comparing both tests.
So let me give you some idea of how I prepared for this. I studied Java in my undergradute courses (I am a Comp. Engineering major so I only took about 3 java courses). I haven't taken those courses in more than 3 years and I only recently started using Java at my job.
I decided I was first going to get certified about 1 1/2 months ago and began studying for the 1.4 test. Two weeks into that I decided that 5.0 was the way to go. So in total I had about 1 month to study for 5.0
Here are the materials I used: 1) Head First Java, 2nd Ed. - I just can't say enough good things about this book. I would put it down at night and say "Where were you when I first started learning programming". This is a great book for a novice to semi-novice Java prog. 2) Complete Java 2 Certification by Heller & Roberts - This too was a very good book. I used the included mock exams alot although my one complaint is that there are 4 bonus exams but it seems like all 4 have the same questions with just different wording and variations. All 4 seem very similar. 3) MZ's notes - MZ i know you read this forum and I really wish your notes were completely developed because the few sections that are complete are a tremendous help. 4) Marcus Green's Examulator(Trial/Guest Mock Exam) - This was by far the best mock exam I saw although I did not sign up for the membership. I highly recommend.
That was it and as everyone else has been saying "A Pass is a Pass!"
First of all let me congratulate you on passing JSCP 5.0 . A PASS IS DEFINITELY A PASS. I have few questions. Just like you I am also computer engineer and last time i used java was few years ago. Recently I decided to make a career move and starting programming in JAVA and thats why I would like to pass JSCP . My question is what made you switch from java 1.4 to 5.0. Is java 1.4 not in demand anymore. What is the deal there? and Second question is did you have any technical difficulties at the testing center. I heard from many people about their bad experience.
Congratulations on passing Andrew, a pass is a pass is a pass. Thanks for the name check and kind words Andrew. My JDK 1.5 mock exam includes approximatly 60 publicly visible questions that can help with studying for the real exam. They are a teaser/taster to pursuade people to part with a little money $US15 for access to the full database, but they can easily be used as a free resource to add to any other materials you might use. (Is this blatant advertising?)