I have 3 years of Java programming and I'm studying for the SCJP test right now. The best book I've found is: "A Programmers Guide to Java Certification" by Khalid Mughal and I'm thinking about purchasing the Whizlabs software. It's worth it to pass the first time, so put it the study time and buy some cert. books at the very least. Even if you are an experienced java developer you could fail the test if you don't study for it. The test hits on things you don't use everyday and really gets down to the fine details of java.
My question is.. do you need to take the sun training to be able to take the certification test or can you take the test w/o the sun training?
I don't know of anyone that passed the exam without studying. You will certainly have to study.
The JavaRanch has a page full of SCJP study guides. My book became available earlier this week, so you can only buy it from the retail web site of the company that prints it. If you would like more information on it, then please click on the link in my signature.
The K&B book is very popular. More experienced Java programmer like the Exam Cram book, because it is a little shorter.
The last step of your preparation should be to try the mock exams by Marcus Green at jchq.net. My exams are best used as a workbook earlier in the preparation process. The same is true of my book; it's really a workbook.
Dan Chisholm<br />SCJP 1.4<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.danchisholm.net/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Try my mock exam.</a>
I learned Java primarily by studying for the exam using the study guide from Osborne. While I did pass, it was only by a few points. Though the score is not available to employers, they might ask. I have not found the Programmer certification useful. You probably will want to continue on with the Developer or Architect certification.