I'm not sure about the SCWCD 5. But with the SCWCD 1.4, I'd say yes it is easier than the SCJP. Basically with the SCJP certification, you have to think and answer. But in the SCWCD I found out that from my experience, you have to remember some of them which demands more of recalling your memory.
Ranchers what about your suggestions and experience on this?
What is easier to one person is not necessarily easier to another -- that might sound cryptic so let me try to explain the differences between the exams so you can decide for yourself.
The SCJP exam has for a long time been about understanding the core concepts, learning a few (but not too many) API details and spotting key things like difficult-to-spot compilation errors, operator precedence, deadlocks, more recently generics etc.
The SCWCD 1.4 and earlier exams were heavily biased towards candidates recalling API and web.xml details, so memorising those parts of the specs was guaranteed marks. Of course there were other questions based on spotting compilation errors too, but none so tricky as in SCJP questions. In some ways this isn't a surprise: the Web tier is so complicated that all its servlet, filter and custom tags functionality is exposed through APIs alone, so knowing the classes and methods is important.
The SCWCD 5 exam has moved towards more "performance based" questions -- so while you need to know the APIs, you also need to be familiar with how it all fits together to actually build an application. While I haven't sat this new exam myself, I imagine a question which previously focused only on the RequestDispatcher may now focus on both a servlet and JSP and require you to know how the RequestDispatcher works to get between those two resources, for example. Anyone having sat SCWCD 5 will be able to enlighten us further (without revealing any actual questions).
Personally, my memory isn't fantastic, so I prefer questions which challenge my ability to write decent code and not remember perfectly the API. After all, when on the job, I have the API or IDE at hand to help me! Others find memory recall easier, though that's then no excuse for not having a solid understanding from which the rest then follows...
Charles Lyons (SCJP 1.4, April 2003; SCJP 5, Dec 2006; SCWCD 1.4b, April 2004)
Author of OCEJWCD Study Companion for Oracle Exam 1Z0-899 (ISBN 0955160340 / AmazonAmazon UK )
For SCWCD you need prepare at least 3 months. But my suggestion is first read Head First SERVLETS & JSP. As my concerned SCWCD is much easier than SCJP. I passed SCWCD exam within one month after SCJP exam. any way all the best for you. [ August 05, 2008: Message edited by: Christophe Verre ]
SCWCD 5<br />SCJP 1.5<br />path for Sun Certification: SCJP / SCJD -> SCWCD / SCBCD -> SCEA
Although it will depend upon how much you understand when you read. But HFSJ is a good book and 6 hours everyday should be fine. Follow this, if it makes sense to you. 1. Read the chapters for the first time one by one and if you score less than 60% in the questions at the end of the chapters read that chapter again. 2. Once you are done with all the chapters for the first time. Read all the chapters again from start to end for the second time. 3. Now give the mock exam at the end of the book, and see what all chapters you should consider reading again thoroughly for the third time, and just skim through the remaining chapters for which you score well. I think this is what will fit well in a months time of 6 hours/day. You should be scoring around 85%. Good Luck.
Since you don't have any work experience I would suggest read Head First once to understand the basics. Don't spend too much time in reading HFSJ book twice or thrice instead give mock exams. Then read Charles Lyons book which will help you even after you pass the certification for reference. Then start giving mock exams Enthuware is pretty good.You should be all set to give the exam in 1 month