Im new in this forum at the task of writing, but a lot of times use this site to read articles.
Today I passed the first part of SCEA exam and like other people im going to explain my point of view of how to be prepared to it .Maybe I can help any others
I have 6 years of experience in java and j2ee but working in tecnology about 10 my main work is training.
To pass the exam I bougth 2 simulators but with one I think is enougth ,whizlabs or epractize are good both.
For me the main problem of the exam are that the questions are very open... that good because is about architecture .But and open question can be answer very diferent depens of your point of view or maybe also depends about your understanding of the english ... grammar( Im spanish) sometimes the answer is not very clear.
So in my opinion to pass the exam is very important to answer correct the question that are close .Question like ...which type of uml diagram is this, or a Session Bean have that methods?... or the design pattern with one instance is... in resume question with clear only one posible answer.So be careful with open questions like... is you are a shop website with 3 ejbs and a customer... with... etc with tecnologies or ejbs must use.That questions are sometimes dificult to answer correct.
But question about ejb interfaces ,lifecycle,i18n,patterns and uml diagrams are very close and easy to answer.So for me that is the most important part of the exam.
Also its important to control your time 48 question in 1 hour and 15 minutes is not a lot of time to answer also is not short ... but is limited .So In my opinion is good to divide your time in 50 minutes to answer all questions and 25 to review all of it.
I used this books
Head First design patterns Head First EJBs UML Distilled Sun tutorial about JMS
Also I used my experience in the others sun certification.. I think is very important to have other java certification to pass this exam.