I am now re-reading KS and BB's book but to avail. I did the first chapter again and more attentively and actually scored less than my previous attempts. Did not above 20% for the whole book so I am distraught at the moment. Everyone mentions that if you are studying SCJP one should do a lot of hands on coding but for the life of me I do not know where to find any examples or tutorials. I also want to understand why certain code breaks (to teach me to recognise problems and to fix them) and just to get it to stick in my head. I feel like I am wasting my time studying this as I can't even get the answers right in the book. Could anyone please help me with advice. Thank you very much!!
You don't necessarily have to seek out examples online. If you want to understand a topic type in an example from the book and then start changing it to see what happens in different scenarios.
Something I used to do in the past was to copy and paste a program that someone had posted in this forum to see for myself what happens when the program is run. And again, start changing the program to see how different methods work, what happens if you try running the program with different data in the variables.
You could also try buying exam prep software like Whizlabs.
I get the access modifiers mixed up. I don't fully understand how it works properly, I read the questions at the end of a chapter and get 2/9 and I am quite off on this. I am assuming that if you know access modifiers by heart it becomes easier to get the questions correct. I read that its not good enough to just know flow control or threads, the logic of the code can be correct and print out exactly what you think it must but if the access modifiers are not right then nothing will work, therefore I want to know this section very well because the K&B says look at you access before you look at the rest of the code, if the access is wrong then don't worry about the rest. Am I correct in assuming this, obviously I will study all the other sections properly but this is a main trick from Sun?