After taking two intro-level college programming courses (one utilizing C++ and the other utilizing Java, with much of Deitel's Java How to Program book as the text for the class) and working through Head First Java, I am now going through the K & B Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 textbook specifically for the purpose of taking and passing the SCJP exam.
For the sake of full disclosure, I do also work on the Cattle Drive Assignments and write lots of small programs on my own which test and demonstrate different things I'm learning.
A couple chapters into the book now, I find that I have been spending A LOT of time highlighting and re-reading the text. At some points I am practically (if not litterally) highlighting entire pages. This has got me wondering if I wouldn't be better off tossing the highlighter in the trash and just reading the text and the Two-Minute Drills (and of course also doing the self-tests at the end of each chapter). It seems that the Two-Minute Drills are essentially intended to hit those key points that a reader would otherwise highlight--at least if they weren't an over-highlighter like I seem to be.
So, I am wondering which method (or perhaps something completely different) has worked for others that have used the K & B book and done well on the certification test, or, if you haven't yet taken the test, done well so far on the self-tests and mock exams. Did you highlight key points in the text and/or take notes, or did you just read the text and Two-Minute Drills?
Well going through the book is no pain and actually can get through the book in 5 days(2 chaps per day) which will be quite helpful to get the concepts in and being within limits of our brain's potential to absorb the information. The book is organized in a very good way. The 2 minute drills at the end are more like for remembering the monstrous information that was there in the chapter. After reading the chapters, solving the Examlab and Masterexam is more than enough for the prep of SCJP6.
[ SCJP 6.0 - 90% ] , JSP, Servlets and Learning EJB.
Try out the programs using a TextEditor. Textpad - Java 6 api
It seems that the Two-Minute Drills are essentially intended to hit those key points that a reader would otherwise highlight
Yes, I also feel the same way, most of the things that one might want to highlight are given in the two minute drills. Highlighting entire pages is not a very good practice according to me. What's the use of it. Just highlight any key details that you think you might forget. Other things are just normal information which you'll not need to remember, it will be in your practice when you code so no need to highlight everything...