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Passed SCBCD 5, sharing experience

Ashraf Fouad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2001
Posts: 80
First of all Thank GOD, I have passed SCBCD 5 on 30-May-2007 & I would like to share my expereince with all ranchers, I will try to make the posting like questions & answers (I have seen frequently posted in the forum, and I was asking myself these questions too).

What will be mentioned here is totally my opinion and based on my experience which differs from person to person. I have passed the exam with 73% score, which for me is accepted after studying for 2 months (2 - 4 hours per day, 5 or 6 days per week). I have handson project experience with EJB 2.0 & Hibernate 3.1, a total of 6 years experience in Java, and I never did any proramming with EJB 3 except one hello world sample as I didn't believe EJB 3 is that much easier than EJB 2, 2.1. I welcome any criticism that will be posted on reply for this posting, as I hope that differnces will benefit everyone here in javaranch, & also may correct my opinion so everyone will benefit

Question 1:
Is really EJB 2.0, 2.1 that different from EJB 3.0?
Yes, they are much different, EJB 3.0 is realllllllllllllly much easier in development, code is much cleaner, utilize J2SE 5 annotation making developer life much more simpler, and other beautiful features. Lots of concepts has been changed, new POJO based ORM is introduced -more likely related to Hibernate-. The bottom line EJB architect took the decision to enhance for a lot of drawbacks in EJB 2.0

Question 2:
"TO SCBCD 1.3 OR TO SCBCD 5", that's the question!!
It is all based on what you want, if it is all technical decision, what I expect is that EJB 2.0 will die soon ( 2 years maximum ) unless you are maintaining old code or product. EJB 2 has a lot of drawbacks thats why it changed a lot in the new version (Although EJB 3.0 still supports backward compatibility).
If you just need a SCBCD logo on your CV, go for SCBCD 1.3 and just study EJB head first book.
If you never made any EJB programming and looking forward to use it in your career, I think EJB 3.0 is the best choice for you.

Question 3:
How long it takes in preparation for SCBCD 5?
Most posting says around 4 - 6 months, and I agree for this period for new comer to EJB.

Question 4:
What is the recommended study methedology?
For new comers:
Start reading about EJB 3 not for the exam but to educate yourself, and have handson this technology as, EJB in general is new concept to any Java developer who didn't work with distributed objects before. So, start by navigating the Internet looking for EJB 3 tutorials, they are lots and easily reachable, if the tutorial site doesn't mention how to prepare your environment, just go for having step by step to build your environment. I think this step will take you 2 months with 3 hours daily studying. If you need a book - I have made a look at 2 books only "Mastering EJB 3.0 4thEdition (free)", and "OReilly Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0 5th Edition" - from my opinion Orielly is better, but none of them is targeting the exam, they are targeting EJB 3 is general, thats why you will find sometimes more information than exam requires in certain topics, and sometimes less information than exam requires. I think other books for EJB 3 is there in the market and you can just view the reviews in amazon for each book before buying one to use.
When you pass this period for studying, check if book is available for the exam, as till now there is not , if it is the case, use "Mikalai Zaikin" notes to be basis of the study instead of reading all the specs -I'm not saying i covers 100% all the topics as some sections are empty, but it is enough to pass with high score-. While studying from notes, please take your own notes asside to be the basis of your study in the last 2 days before your scheduled exam, as the notes itself is around 235 pages needing more time to review before exam.

Question 5:
What it takes to pass the exam?
a) Handson EJB 3.0
b) Specification, or "Mikalai Zaikin" notes (

Question 6:
What are available books, notes, & mock exams?
Books: All available books are for EJB 3 in general, none exists for certification (The exam 310-091 officially announced March 2007), all people are dreaming for "Head First EJB 3.0" and they are right; anyone read Head first for any series not just the last SCBCD 1.3 will enjoy the study time, and expected to pass with high score
Notes: best is "Mikalai Zaikin" notes -I really admire this guy- the notes is mainly collecting from specs the needed sections only for exam which minimize your effort in reading ( 562 + 256 + 59 pages for the specs to 235 pages for the notes some sections are missing denoted by EMPTY, if you want you can discover the rest for yourself, but these sections are few.
Mock exams: I didn't find till the moment I go the exam, the only samples I could get is the free 10 sample questions officially supplied by SUN the free edition.
You will find some other posting telling you that ( Transaction, Exceptions, Security, Message driven bean ) are same as EJB 1.3 and you can use head first book for this, I will agree with only 50% to this; as most of exam use annotations which is not found in EJB 1.3, also I sometimes find some few changes in these topics thats why I don't recommend this way as might cause confusion.

Question 7:
What is the type of questins?
a) Single choice (radio buttons)
b) Multiple choice ( checkboxes ), the real nice thing is that, the questions tells you how many answers are right, by saying "Select 2 answers", or "Select 3 answers" rarely found "Select 4 answers".
c) Some question have button to open new window having some long code, but this happened once for me.
d) I have seen some posting saying, drag & drop, but I didn't have any in my exam.
e) Number of choices for a question ranges from 4 to 6

Question 8:
What was the question pattern (how many questions per area) in exam?
You will find old postings for the SCBCD beta exam with some pattern, but I tried the real exam it is nearly distributed over all the objectives, and I really had too many transaction questions, for me entity were few, although posting for beta exam says that nearly 50% about entities. Maybe SUN was collecting more info about Enities as new POJO concept and needed to collect more info. The bottom line here is to cover all topics.

Question 9:
What is the difficulty level of exam?
I was really expecting the exam to be harder, but if I to rate the exam (low 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 high) based on difficulty, I will guess between 3 & 4

Last words,
I really thank Mikalai Zaikin for his notes which cut short my way to this certificate, and I hope him all the best.
I hope Head First series starts quickly to supply a book for new SCBCD 5 certificate ==> it will sell like lightning

I will try to monitor this posting for the coming this month June 2007 trying to answer any question or reply on any comment that will be posted.

Thanks for your time in reading.

Ashraf Fouad
Raghavan Muthu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 3381

Howdy Ashraf Fouad,

First of all Congrats for the score

Nice reading through your experiences and suggestions. I am sure it would be of some help to the people who prepare for SCBCD exam.

Great going...

Party time!!

Everything has got its own deadline including one's EGO!
[CodeBarn] [Java Concepts-easily] [Corey's articles] [SCJP-SUN] [Servlet Examples] [Java Beginners FAQ] [Sun-Java Tutorials] [Java Coding Guidelines]
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3322
Wow !!! Congratulations, Ashraf !

And so detailed report !!!

Thanks for your kind words, I am glad my SCBCD 5 study guide helped you.


Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 Web Services Developer Certified Expert Exam Study Guide and Quiz
Exam 1Z0-810: Upgrade to Java SE 8 Programmer Study Guide and Quiz
Napu Sun
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 33
Thanks for your posting
Khaled Mahmoud
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2006
Posts: 361
Congratulations and thanks for the wonderful detailed explanation.
Best luck

Life is the biggest school
Nik Arora
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 652
Congrats!!!.It would help lots of ranchers. Good work.

SCJP 1.5
Shivani Chandna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2004
Posts: 380
Hello Ashraf ,
First Congrats and Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Ranchers.

I too am working on the preparation right now - if I just focus on O'Reilly and the Specifications - would that be sufficient (As in i skip reading Mastering EJB book?)

Thanks again.
[ June 02, 2007: Message edited by: Shivani Chandna ]

/** Code speaks louder than words */
Ali Gohar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 18, 2004
Posts: 572
Many congrats Ashraf
Ashraf Fouad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2001
Posts: 80
Dear Shivani,
Yes this would be enough, me too I quit reading mastering as it was not asgood as Orielly.

Hope you all the best.
Edisandro Bessa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2006
Posts: 584

I'm planning to take SCBCD 5 sooner so I'm going to bookmark this thread right now.

Well done !
Congratulations !
[ June 07, 2007: Message edited by: Edisandro Bessa ]

"If someone asks you to do something you don't know how to, don't tell I don't know, tell I can learn instead." - Myself
Andor Nemeth

Joined: Jul 06, 2007
Posts: 16
Hi ashraf or anybody with some information,

could you please tell us how "deep" questions could we expect on the SCBCD 5 exam?

For example: I've just understood how interceptors work. Should I memorize also the deployment descriptor tags, or it's ok if I know what can I do and where?

I just wanted to download the 10 sample questions from Sun but they aren't available right know

Should we expect source code snippets? What kind of?
Any info would be appreciated!

Thanks for your long post! It's very valuable!

SCJP 5<br />SCBCD 5 (next target)
emmanuel raj
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 10, 2007
Posts: 89
Congrats Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

SCJP 1.4,SCWCD,SCMAD,ITIL V3 ***** "I am not afraid of a fighter who knows 10000 different kicks , but am afraid of a fighter who has mastered one kick 10000 times" - BRUCE LEE
Arun Bhardwaj

Joined: Oct 29, 2005
Posts: 13
hi ashraf
First of all congrt for you..
and thank you very much you spent your time with us to tell your exp..
i was also thinking abt selection of EJB.. but after reading i have clear vision, that what should i do...
Thanks buddy..
and again congrt..

Arun Bhardwaj<br /><br /> <br />SCJP1.4<br />SCWCD <br />SCBCD
Chetan Raju
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 109
Hi all,

Can anyone please clarify the difference between SCBCD 1.3 exam and SCBCD 5.0 exam. Both seem to be testing on EJB 3.0.

Hanuma Deepak Muvvala
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 20, 2005
Posts: 158
SCBCD1.3 tests EJB2.0 while the other is EJB3.0.
Tony McClay
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 22, 2003
Posts: 33
Still a very good post. I too recently passed the SCBCD Test and concurr with the original post.

If I may add, the Sun e-Practice Tests are now available for $75

Great Post!


Tony McClay<br />Architect / Developer, SOA and Jave Enterprise Edition 1-5<br />---------------------------------------------------------------------- <br />Sun Certified Enterprise Architect, Enterprise Edition 5 (Step 1 of 3)<br />Sun Certified Web Component Developer, Enterprise Edition 4<br />Sun Certified Business Component Developer Enterprise Edition 5<br />Sun Certified Programmer , Standard Edition 5.0
Vassili Vladimir
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2007
Posts: 1585

Vassili ...
SCJP 5.0, SCWCD 1.4, SCJA 1.0
Bhaskar Dhawan

Joined: Jul 20, 2007
Posts: 1
Congrats dude,

well i have done SCWCD last month, now started for SCBCD 5.
Have started with the Mastering EJB 3.0 book.
What i want to know is practically what i need to do.
will the book's code examples enough to practice on the system or some more to it is needed.
I don't have any prior experience in EJBs

Rahul Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
Congratulations Ashraf Fouad.

Rahul Bhattacharjee
LinkedIn - Blog
kathir vel
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2007
Posts: 92
Hi ashraf ,
Congratulations!!!Thank you for sharing your experience of your prepration and examination.
I am also starting to do SCBCD 310-091.I think you also did write 310-091.Can you send me the links for EJB 3.0 "Mikalai Zaikin notes " ?I can get only EJB 2.0 links.If you have links for EJB 3.0 Please send it to me.

[Christophe : Removed request for illegal materials. And do not duplicate threads. Wait for answers in your original thread. Thank you]
[ August 01, 2007: Message edited by: Christophe Verre ]
Chai Chamsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 04, 2006
Posts: 37
Congratulations and thank for informations.

SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4<br /> <br />My native language isn't English ,I'm sorry if my post is incorrect grammar(or more)
Vilas Lawande
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2006
Posts: 127
Ashraf Fouad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 07, 2001
Posts: 80
For Andor Nemeth:

Question 10:
Could you please tell us how "deep" questions could we expect on the SCBCD 5 exam?
For example: I've just understood how interceptors work. Should I memorize also the deployment descriptor tags, or it's ok if I know what can I do and where?
Depth of the questions, as I answered in Question 9, difficulty between 3 - 4 ==> Only important DD should be memorized, i.e. don't think they will ask about the some not commonly used tag with some attributes, usually the common, and it is not that much in exam

Question 11:
I just wanted to download the 10 sample questions from Sun but they aren't available right know
Should we expect source code snippets? What kind of?
Code snippets is expected in lots of questions, but not for you to write, but as a case and you are asked question regarding this code snippets.
Regarding the sample 10 questions, they should be available, and I recommend while you are taking them to take a screenshot for questions and answeres for all the 10 question to return to them whenever you want.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 10031

Congrats! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience

SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 - Hints for you, Certified Scrum Master
Did a rm -R / to find out that I lost my entire Linux installation!
Awishek sinha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 24, 2007
Posts: 62
Hi All
I am new to the EJB world and i am planning to give certification on SCBCD
so i have few doubts EJB 3.0 is till in beta phase would the specification be about to change ?

2.what would be advisible to give exam on spec EJB2.0 or EJB 3.0 as most of the enterprise application still runs on EJB 2.0 so it would take some ammount of time to get the reconiztion for certified SCBCD EJB 3.0 ?

Awishek Kr Sinha<br />SCJP 1.4<br />SCBCD 1.3
Stein Vom
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2005
Posts: 78
Here i would like to ask is that after seeing the SPEC, ejb3.0 spec seems to be of very less pages (around 100). Whereas the ejb2.0 spec consists of around 600 pages. Can we say that ejb3.0 is not that difficult(here i mean less time consuming)?
Camilo Morales
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 92
EJB 3 Specs:

Core = 562 pages.
Persistence = 256 pages.
Simplified = 59 pages.

It is a lot longer than 100 pages.


Camilo Morales<br />SCJP 5, SCBCD 5
Stein Vom
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2005
Posts: 78
Thanks Camilo... I saw that.
Abu Rami

Joined: Dec 04, 2007
Posts: 1
Hello guys,

First I wanna thank Asharf in specific for his input, it really guided me to passing this exam.

I have very good experience in enterprise computing, especially with j2ee, but not EJB 3. So preparation for the exam took me much less than what Asharf proposed, around 2 weeks of extensive study (6-8 hrs/day). I passed with a good score (75%), you need 59% to pass. I have no idea what the median score, so if you have it, please let me know.

I can say the 70% of the questions are reasonable (medium level), and if you have the experience, you should get most of them correctly. But there are around 30% were advanced questions, and you need to think it through and prepare.

I used ALL RESOURCES that Ashraf suggested, and they were helpful, however, I wanna emphasize the following:

- Do no neglect Head First Book even though it is for an earlier version for EJB. It covers good topics about transactions, exceptions, security, MDB, and SFSB and SLSB.

- Beside head first, also I gained from P.Sanghera - SCBCD. CX-310-090 Exam Study Kit. Java Business Component Developer Certification for EJB. 2005.

- O'Reilly's book, I suggest using it for annotation, persistence, Session Beans, web services, but that is it. Use other books to cover Exceptions & transactions. In general, for new comers to EJB3 I found the codes examples with JBoss very helpful, especially from persistence.

- I agree with Ashraf, there were many transaction questions, but for me they were reasonable. Where I did very bad was with exceptions and entity operations (you need to know exactly how to use **merge**, find, refresh, remove, ..etc.).

- Pay attention to difference of persistence.xml file in SE and J2EE, especially for default values, how to supply mapping files.

- I got more than once questions about EntityManagerFactory.and @PersistenceUnit, review those.

- Pay especially attention to how security could be overridden in deployment descriptors, there were couple of questions on that. But fairly easy if you use your intuition.

- Very little questions came about Deployment descriptors tags, but pay attention where they are relevant, especially for interceptors & security. So you need to know all annotations in general, they do not ask detailed parameters to those annotations, but general.

- I got ZERO questions about Web Service, all I got was that they ONLY apply for SLSB, no MDB or SFSB.

- Know the services that a container provides, such as mail, jndi, WS support, security, ...etc.

- Regarding MDB, you need to understand the basics very well, such there is no client, so there can be no security assigned, no application exceptions.

- There were couple of question about from where in the life cycle call back methods you can call other EJB, understand those very well.

- I had couple of tricky questions about QL, especially related to fetching associations, and another with updates. Study Persistences exception well and their impact on transaction.

- Have general understanding about JTA how the container uses it.

- For me time was good. I finished 45 minutes before the time limit.

-I suggest if you do not know the answer, start eliminating the other ones, and USUALLY it boils down to one or two possible answers, and your chances are better than one out of four!

- There was one drag and drop question (very simply), do not panic.

- I had ONE question that had 3 answers, but I had over 10 questions with two answers. However, in general the questions that have more than one answer are fairly easy. I found them easier that one answer question.

- All questions were clear except for two questions, so who ever wrote this exam made sure that there is no ambiguity.

Again, I wanna thank ashraf for his help, and I hope you find my notes helpful, and good luck.

Abu Rami,


[ December 04, 2007: Message edited by: Abu Rami ]
[ December 04, 2007: Message edited by: Christophe Verre ]
I agree. Here's the link:
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