EJB3 In Action is a great book. It's well-written, very enjoyable to read. It is not written specifically for the exam, but it contains most of the necessary needed knowledge. Beans, transactions, security, interceptors, JPA... Everything to get started.
I decided to buy Pro EJB 3: Java Persistence API to get a bit more hands-on on JPA. This is also a great book, but it goes well beyond the exam's content. It goes deep into JPA, showing all kinds of mappings and how they get reflected in the database. I've only seen basic questions at the exam, so I think that EJB3 In Action's JPA part is enough. But anybody interested in JPA should read it.
I bought Enthuware to fill in the blanks. I failed the first two tests, and barely passed the others around 60%~70%. After each test, I checked all right and wrong answers, read every explanation given by the soft. Most of the time, the simulator tells which part of the specification to refer to, so I read those parts and took some notes of the things I didn't know. This simulator is a great help.
All in all, I think that "EJB3 In Action" + Enthuware is enough to make you pass.
Contrary to SCBCD1.3 which was a real pain in the neck to study, I felt that studying for SCBCD5 was rather fun. I think that's the whole difference between EJB2.x and EJB3.
Thanks to all SCBCD ranchers for your tricky questions, and good luck to future challengers.
Congratulations on passing the exam ! I am sure it was a lot of hard work and must be rewarding. I saw your posts on this forum and it is great to see you are so generous with your time. The Java community at large needs more people like you. I hope you will continue to be engaged with EJB 3.x in some shape or manner. If you don't have the time, I am sure you will be sorely missed.
Do feel free to drop me a note if you need anything (sent you my contact info in a private message ).
Cheers , Reza
Independent Consultant — Author, EJB 3 in Action — Expert Group Member, Java EE 6 and EJB 3.1
Had there been questions that go beyound the scope of "EJB 3 in action" ?
I would not say beyond the scope, but some questions are really close to the specification. For example, you have to know about the responsibilities of each EJB roles (Bean Provider, Application Assembler...), you have to know about operations allowed in the methods (constructor, dependency injection methods, PostConstruct...) of a bean... Reading the book is not enough. That's why I bought Enthuware too.
Did you study the specs, too ?
Not all of them. Only the parts referred by Enthuware (quite a lot actually), and the things I didn't understand well. (I passed the upgrade, so I was already familiar with a lot of notions)
Can you suggest how many chapters we have to read from EJB in Action for SCBCD?
When I buy a book, I like to read it completely You'll need to study at least Part 1 to Part 4. I had a question on web services and a question on EJB2.X/EJB3 interoperability, so you won't waste your time studying part V too. Learn at least how to use EJB2.x from EJB3 and the opposite. The last chapter about Spring can be skipped.
1) did you all time practiced the code or you just did the oral learning?
I didn't practice all the time. I made a couple of beans, experiences with exceptions and interceptors. EJB3 are so much easier to use than EJB2.x that I didn't feel like spending too much time checking everything. I spent most of the time practicing entities and JPQL.
2) when you read the book second time, did you just read the highlighted notes?
I've read it a second time because after the first read I became very busy at work, and I had to stop studying for a while. So I reread it all over again.
3) did you read the whole specifications or just read the spec. as just mentioned in the EJB3 mock exam..
As I said above, only some parts. The simulator insists on some parts like "You must read this" or "It is very important to remember that".
About the "EJB in action" did you try also the examples ? If yes how much you insist on them ?
As I said above, not all of them. I usually try those I don't understand fully, or those I'd like to experiment.