I was a bit unsure how I would do, but had purchased my voucher when Sun extended the 'free retake' offer so I decided to take it today and at least see how I was progressing. I'm very relieved to have passed, but the best part is not having to study tonight!
I don't get to program in java much so I pretty much started from scratch. First I read a Java 2 a beginners guide book by Herb Schildt. It was a great book to give me a foundation to start from. Next I got the SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 5 - Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates .. this book was truly incredible. I read it once all the way through then had to re-read the Generics and Collections chapter (and rescanned the Strings and formatting chapter).
I printed out all the self test's and took them. I avg'd about 34% so I studied the tests... trying to understand why I got answers right and why I got them wrong. Next I took the first Master Exam and got 51%. I studied the questions in quiz mode to see what I could learn from my wrong and right answers. Then I retook the self tests.. printed them out again I avg'd in the high 70's or low 80's.
I was encouraged at this point.. but it didn't last long. The next day I took the second master exam (the one you get when you register the book. I only got a 49%! This was yesterday, the day before my test!! I considered rescheduling but held to my plan. I went through the master exam in quiz mode and felt like i made lots of very small mistakes and understood the material for the most part. So I was very happy when I got my results.
The real exam is much much easier than the master exams.. I didn't take any other practice test's so I don't know if that's the case for all mock exam's or not. [ October 31, 2007: Message edited by: Derek Hall ]