Uncountablly many thanks to Ranchers on this forum. You guys rock!!
Special mention of Barry Gaunt, Douglus Chorpita, gowher amin naik , Henry Wong, Keith Lynn, marc weber,Naseem Khan, wise owen - for their posts which helped me develop keen understanding of various concepts.
Added thanks to KS&BB for such a wonderful book. Your book is well-focussed, it covers everything that is there for the exam, and it gives correct advice, specifically for the exam ("Exam Watch"es are too good).
Tips for those who want, others please ignore
[ Note : All the code-examples in the following discussion are purely originated from my brain and bear no resemblance to the exam questions that I have answered. DONOT ask me for the exam questions.]
(A) How to Study :
1) K&B book is very well written and you will be safe even if you refer only K&B. The only text I referred (for exam) was K&B. However, along with K&B, I regularly referred the online API reference and I am sure it helped me.
2) CODE CODE CODE. PROGRAM PROGRAM PROGRAM. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
And when I say "write the code", I don't mean just copy the code from K&B and see if it works. Try to write your own code using your own imagination.
For example: What happens if, while writing code for Serialization, you write public void writeObject(ObjectOutputStream oos) instead of private void writeObject(ObjectOutputStream oos)?
Another example : what would happen if we use a generic type as the second operand of instanceof? something like l instanceof ArrayList<String>? What if l is actually of type ArrayList<Integer> ?
Moral of the story : Extend your imagination and try to write code snippets that will help you make your concepts more clear.
Remember this : "I read the code, I forget" "I see the code, I remember" "I write the code, I understand" ( "I debug the code, I go to sleep" :roll: but thats not relevant here)
3) I prepared my own notes while studying and referred them later. Also, I highlighted important points from all chapters in K&B and I referred only them in the last week. That helped me a lot and I am sure this will help others too. You will certainly find notes available online, but IMO, if you type or write your own notes with your hands, it will help you to a great extent in remembering them.
4) Two minute drill - A must read for last 3 days.
5) Participate on this forum - NOT for asking questions but for answering questions asked by others. Believe me, you will learn much more if you answer other's questions. And before you ask a question, make sure that you have coded the issue, tried to compile and/or run, seen the error, thought over it, and looked the API documentation. This will help you gain confidence in yourself. Also, even if you can't answer, make sure to read EVERY post for around a month before the exam. It generally happens (As I observed) that almost every topic is touched in a month's time. Further, there will be certain subtle issues that you will learn if you read the posts and write the code and see.
6) Mock Exams : There are ample 1.4 mock exams available online. 1.5 exams are comparatively less in number. At least take 3 exams which are free : The Whizlib diagnostic test, and the two master exams that come with K&B. Marcus green's exams are good though they are for 1.4. Try atleast 4-5 exams. List of mock exams
8) Solve the self-test of each chapter a day or two before the exam. This will help you understand areas that you are weak at.
(B) About the exam :
1) The exam was a bit simpler than the SCJP mock exams. HOWEVER, I am sure you will misinterpret this statement. What I mean is, the exam was a mix of easy and difficult questions. The easy questions were easy (and yes, some of them were absolutely silly), but the difficult questions were REALLY TOUGH. Important : DO EXPECT some very tricky questions - scenarios that you would have never thought. (That�s why I emphasized on coding using your own imagination.) In other words, don't be under the impression that all questions would be easy. In my case, some of the questions were as tough as the SCJP master exam questions. The overall/average difficulty level was lower, however.
2) DONOT put anything for option. Study EVERYTHING that is in the syllabus (or that is in K&B).
3) As everybody has pointed out, beware of "reviewing" the D&D questions - the older answer will get erased.
4) I lost maximum marks in the multithreading. Expect some totally out-of-the-way questions in multithreading. (Out of the way doesn�t mean outside the syllabus. The questions will be very well in the syllabus, but they will be somewhat complicated.)
(C) After the exam :
do I need to write this too?
D) A Request To the SCJP Mock exam creators (KS, BB, Whizlib exam creators and others who plan to create mock exams for scjp 1.5)
One thing I loved about the actual exam was its UI. Extremely simple, yet very effective. I am sorry if it hurts, but the UI of K&B's both master-exams Sucks. The exam cannot even be made in "maximized" mode. On the other hand, the Whizlib exam's UI is unnecessarily fancy. The best part in the actual exam was - not even a single question out of the 72 questions had a scrollbar !!. The code snippets were such that they could perfectly fit in the code window. (BTW, the actual exam has a separate window in which code was shown. This is a popup window separate from the question's window. This helps to keep the question-page clean). So exam creators, if your question needs a scrollbar which will force the user to scroll down to see the entire code snippet, then you are designing a bad question. Remember this.
All in all, a big post. Thanks again all the ranchers. You are best. [ August 21, 2006: Message edited by: Neelesh Bodas ]