I took SCJP on 4th of March and cleared it with 90%. I am so happy to say " I am Sun Certified now". I would like to express my gratitude to all the JAVA RANCHERS who helped me when I was perplexed with JAVA concepts. I would also like to give a special thanks to KATHY AND BERT for writing such a fantastic and I will say relevant or focussed material. Well After I cleared the exam I analyzed my self and I found below flaws and good deed in my preparation, I am mentioning them below with a hope that It will help those who are preparing: Do: 1) Read the K&B carefully. Every line is worth to read. In the exam you will encounter question from every topic. Every means EVERY, If you miss one topic, then its sure you will miss some questions. In My case EXAM was a nice blend of question from all the sections.
2) Do a lot of mock exams, Talking as a third party member with no personal benefit, i would mention two website: 1)http://www.onlinemockexams.com/
Five free test are available, with two attempt to each test. Test are quite good and difficulty level is same as that of SCJP Test.
Now this is really a bliss to all JAVA buzz s, Register on this website, n number of test are available. They have a belt system there. If you are able to get a Orange belt there,then dont waste time, just go and take the SCJP exam. you will clear it with more than 90%. Altho' I was at the boundary to get Orange belt before I took the exam. But literally This is the best website. For me getting a good belt here is worth more than a SCJP. Difficulty level is bit higher than real exam.
3) Revise K&B book atleast two times and do all the questions given at the back of exercise.
If you studying specifically to get Certification then dont read here and there. Whatever is given in the book if sufficient and more than enough. Dont waste time.I did the same mistake.For eg: I read Concurrency from somewhere else. This was actually good and made my concept really strong. I was able to solve every question on thread. Actually I get an extra Over confidence on that and I accept that. Due to this confidence i did not read the K&B book Concurrency Chapter so I paid plenty for that. I got 12 question on concurrency out of which I was able to solve 9 of them. So My recommendation would be,Even if read any concept from somewhere else, Do read the same from K&B, Because K&B have written that from exam point of view and you have read that concept point of view. Just before the exam's day, it is always tempting to cram the things, But make concepts. Do not learn things. Learning can make you clear the exam but it is the concepts which help you to score. There is always a difference between passing an exam and scoring in an exam.
About the exam: First of all forget that exam is easy. IT IS DIFFICULT, well in my case I found 25 questions were so easy to respond with in a second but rest were need re consideration. But exam is not that much difficult that you wont be able to solve the questions, Overall i can say that: More easy the concept, More difficult the question and More difficult the concept is, more easy the question. if you have time after attempting all the questions, please have a look once again. In my case i was feeling so hungry so that I did not have a re look. It might help you.If you have not practiced enough via mock exam you will find exam a bit difficult. So Please do a lot of mocks.
Thanks to all of you..!! Dean, I have an answer for you, The reason why i did not opt for JAVA 6.0.
1) Currently in Industries, Specially in banking domain ( As far as far as i am concern to ) we are using Java 1.4. So Initially I thought that I should go for Java 1.4,but later i found that it seems outdated so I started to prepare for JAVA 5.
2) I started my preparation at Dec 2006, At that time, JAVA 6.0 was not launched.
3) I studied K&B till April or May ( Well I don't remember) As that time I was a fresh graduate and Since I did my engineering in Electronics so I was completely unaware of OOP and JAVA. I have never ever studied programming language in my curriculum except few basics of C. All Credit goes to my University and the people who decided my curriculum syllabus. So I was finding very very difficulty to understand JAVA 5.0 as I directly started studying K&B, no other book and then I got so much of work in office so i have to leave my study at that point.
4) My project completed at Nov 26th. Then again I started learning JAVA, Now I was having two option Either JAVA 5 or JAVA 6 but at that time I was having a very good experience on JAVA due to my project.
5)At that time I thought that its better to go for JAVA 5 as i was having material regarding to that and also In industry the next incoming java version would be JAVA 1.5 not Java 1.6.