Originally posted by casper_olsen: ... How long will it take to do a self instruction to scjp??
A good estimate is somewhere between 2 weeks and 2 years.
The wide range is because it depends on so many variables: How much experience you have with Java and/or some other language, your general aptitude, how much time you're able to devote to preparation, what resources you use, etc.
For example, if you're an experienced programmer that's been working in Java for the past few years and are able to prepare fulltime for the exam, then you could be ready within a couple of weeks. On the other hand, if you're brand new to programming and can only spare a few hours a week... Well, that's going to take some time.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
The Premise of SCJp in a nutshell is that given a code snippet of varying difficulty you can understand what is going on and determine the right output. What it wont give you is the ability to translate software requirements and specs into a working software application as this is something that requires actual hands on experience.