I'm planning to take up SCJA and I have some concerns about it as well as I would like to hear some recomendations from you ranchers.
What is the best way to prepare for this exam, I am thinking to follow a tutor assisted learning program like eJavaGuru or to do it by myself reading some books, like the McKenzie's which I've heard here are really good.
If I undertake an online course, which one is trustful?. I'm thinking to follow this option as I always start doing something and then I always give up easily, so I need the assistance of somebody else.
I think you need to know your own learning modalities. You definitely need some type of resource to guide you through, and my books have indeed been helpful in getting people past the post with regards to becoming a Sun Certified Java Associate.
Courses can be expensive? Why not go online and schedule a sit date? Give yourself a hard date for which you've got to be ready? Perhaps that will give you not only a goal, but also put a flame under your behind and get you motivated.
I just passed my exam a little over a week ago, and here are my tips:
Get Cameron's books. Both of them. They seriously cover most of what you need to know for the exams, and the mock exams are striking similar to the question types that the actual exam asks. Even if you don't get a direct question from Cameron's books that deal with the exam question you are on you shoudl be able to work out the logic through some of the other knowledge you picked up from the books.
I'd also recommend Whizlab's SCJA mock exams. They provide some good practice, along with some great learning tips. While I felt it was slightly harder than the real exam, by the time I started using it I had already been studying pretty hard.
My final tip is to not memorize definitions. Try to understand concepts behind those definitions. If you just memorize what a stateless session bean is, what a stateful session bean is, and what a MDB is you might get some points but if you understand WHY they do what they do you will be much better off.
I like to apply the "grandmother" principle to my learning. Want to know if you understand something? Can you explain it to your grandmother and have her understand? Note that this rule doesn't apply if your grandmother did something crazy, like, say, invent C++.
When I die, I want people to look at me and say "Yeah, he might have been crazy, but that was one zarkin frood that knew where his towel was."
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper