This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
I just walked out of the examination room a little while ago, so I thought I'd post some info about the exam before my single remaining braincell purges the memory There were no questions on filters, a good five or six on the usage of Java Beans, about three on design patterns, and the rest were a relatively fair spread across all the remaining exam objectives. There were no real trick questions that I can think of, but you do need to study the code carefully to determine what the result of it's compilation and/or execution will be. I found it useful to first take a quick glance at the options and how many options need to be selected. It gives you a better idea of how to approach your analysis of the question. For instance, if a question includes an option of: "code will not compile" or "code will throw an exception at runtime", then you know to scrutinise the code for syntax or runtime flaws, otherwise you can assume that the code is syntactically correct and focus more on the actual result that the code will produce. Another tip is to re-read the question until you are confident of the context required by the question. For example, if the question states: "Is the following true of ALL servlets?", you should prepend that question before each alternative, and ensure that your answer is indeed true for ALL servlets. The same applies to phrases such as "The servlet container will...", as opposed to "The servlet container can..." You can't escape the fact that you need to have a relatively thorough understanding of the Servlet, JSP and Tag API's, deployment and taglib descriptors, JSP syntax, implicit variables, listeners, and so on. Some questions required the answer to be typed in, so you must understand the exact wording, case, and hyphenation-usage of, well, everything! All up though, it is not a difficult exam to pass with a half-decent amount of preparation. If you are new to servlets and JSP (as I am), then I can't think of a better alternative to writing a good MVC-style web application of your own, stuffing it with as much functionality as you can muster from your studies. I used Manning's SCWCD Exam Study Kit as my principle source of study and can recommend it highly. I also used the JWebPlus exam simulator which is a great way to get you into exam-writing mode (sometimes a learning curve in itself), and the style of their questions are not that different from the actual exam. If you use the Manning Exam Study Kit, they have a brilliant Exam Quick Prep section at the back of the book which, as recommended, is best read a day before the exam. Last but not least, the Javaranch Servlet, JSP, and SCWCD forums were a terrific means of helping me keep my eye on the ball. I even managed to answer some of the questions that came through, which is a far cry from simply asking them Good luck!