This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide 1Z0-808 and have Jeanne Boyarsky & Scott Selikoff on-line! See this thread for details.
I just cleared SCBCD with 81% a few moments ago. It's not an outstanding score, regarding the time I spend on it and the number of materials I used (uCertify,Whizlab, Enthuware, MZ notes, Oreilly, ejb3 in action, core specs, persistence specs). I takes me 4 months of study, not very regurlaly studying, because I have a job and no holiday to prepare the exam. I started from scratch and I used too much materials to prepare, probably because of lack of self-confidence. Here is how and how much time you should prepare for the exam, if, like me, you are working and have no idea of what EJB3 are.
Step 1 : code a minimum of EJB, but code it anyway. As said earlier by others ranchers, there is no need to spend a lot of time on it, but MUST do it, else studying it will be painful. Go to the MZ Study tutorial website, don't read it yet, just go to the tutorial at the end of the study notes. You won't waste your time doing it, because everything is explain in great details. You can also do it without understanding it because it's like that : "click here, click here, and you see, this happens." So do it twice if you did it the first time without understanding the concepts. Then take the "EJB3 in action book", there are downladable EJB3 applications linked to each chapter. Build and run the 5 applications of the 5 first chapter. I did it with Eclipse+JBoss. This first step should not take more than 15 days.
Step 2 : Now that you have an idea of what EJB are, you have to have a more depth knowledge of what it is. If you already read the 5 first chapter of "EJB3 in action", then read the chapter number 6,7,8,9,10. It is really a pleasure to read that book, and it is also very quick and understandable. So I highly recommend it. This second step should not take more than 15 days also.
Step 3 : link your knowledge to the exam objectives. Understanding just a book is not enough, but to the opposite, read the wholes specs is too much (and boring too). Here is what I should have done : read the MZ notes, and read twice or thrice, it's an excellent compilation for the exam. Unfortunately that's not what I did. I first bought the uCertify prepkit and read the study notes, it's well presentated because the study notes are directly linked to the exam objectives, but they are too "light" also. I read MZ notes quickly once, and it was a mistake, probably the reason why I scored so low. Spend 3 weeks if needed on this step.
Step 4 : you MUST use the Enthuware simulator. I'm sorry to be so categoric, it sounds like I am an employee or shareholder of Enthuware but I am not. Don't be afraid to spend time on this prepkit, especially, read the specs section they say you have to read. That's the only time I went through the spec. Read every question and after each test, read every answer carefully. If you didn't score more than 60% average on the 4 first exams, do NOT try the "last day test". Re-read MZ notes, buy another prepkit (whizlab is ok, it's easier too), then redo the 4 first exams AND finally try the "last day test". I scored 69% on this last day test 2 days before the exam. I unfortunately used Enthuware too late, I should have work on it 15 day long, not just a week. So, say 2 to 3 weeks for this step.
Step 5 : have a good sleep the night before the exam, and don't panic during the exam, because time is more than enough. You will see that some exams question are, not exactly (so pay attention), but very close to the ones of Enthuware.
Here is my personal review of the resources I used :
the javaranch forum : wow! I live in France, so, when I post a question and go to bed, I know that I will have an answer during the night. G�nial!
uCertify prepkit : interesting study notes for the very beginners, but unfortunately not cheap, and, contrary to what they said, buying the prepkit and scoring high to their mocks is not enough to go to the real exam.
Whizlab prepkit : interesting questions, pertinent questions. If you feel you need to train a lot with mocks, you can buy this one, you will progress.
Enthuware : as I said, THE one you have to buy to pass confidently the real exam.
the Sun Fre Assessment for SCBCD. 30 interesting questions. the answers are in this forum. Do this exam at the end of your preparation, not at the beginning.
EJB3 in action : excellent! a pleasure to read, but more a tutorial than a reference book. You will understand a lot of notions by reading this.
Oreilly Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0 : an excellent reference book, but boring to read word by word, chapter after chapter.
MZ study notes : excellent reference "book", so as excellent compilation for the exam.
Final words : the good news is there is no problem to pass the exam, even if you start from scratch. I learned a lot of stuff with this exam, and I have the good feeling that I really improve my JEE knowledge. My future exam is SCJD but after scjd it's SCDJWS, and I am really afraid of this exam because it's a new version, there is no real good resources for it, no good MZ neither Enthuware to help you pass the exam. So I wonder how I will do...
Good luck to all for SCBCD!! enjoy
SCJP 5, SCWCD "5", SCBCD 5, SCJD with java SE 6, SCDJWS 5