This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
Before I registered an account I already spent some moments on this website while I was preparing for my SCJP 1.6 exam :-)
I read and used the well known book of Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates for my preparation. And I also used the ExamLab simulator. At the moment I did my first practice exam (Diagnostic exam from ExamLab) I ended up with a score of 45%. This was about 2-3 weeks before the exam. I was a little disappointed with that score. But then I read in the simulator that these questions were much harder than the real exam and there was no need to worry. That left me with a feeling "I have no idea how well I'm prepared now for the real exam". So I continued my study by reading and practising. I just took my IDE and tried some things out. What works and what doesn't? To my opinion this can be very useful, for sure for things in which you have less experience. I hardly used enums before, so I just practised somewhat with them. This will help you in the exam questions, because you're more confident with the code you read (works better than just reading about enums, when you never used them before).
I also made a small API summary (necessary constructor + methods, including what they may throw) for about 45 classes and read that about three times. This will prevent uncessary mistakes. file.renameTo("new_file.txt")...hmm nothing wrong right...or? When you read the API you won't fail on these in principle easy questions.
In my last week before the exam I made the three exams from ExamLab. Although I failed them all three, my score was consistent: 55%, 58% and 54%. I knew that my preparation was already quite good. I almost knew all the things I was expected to. I started to make practise questions here and there and those were much easier.
Yesterday I made the Final exam from ExamLab and ended up with a score of 65% At least I passed that difficult exam and read on several forums that the real exam would be easier. So I was satisfied with that and went to sleep.
Today was the big day. The real exam. The first thing I noticed was the amount of questions. I expected 72, but I got 60 (which is also stated on the Sun website). But nothing wrong with that .
But the exam was much easier than I expected. I cleared it with 88%.
And now I started looking which exam is next. In the near future I also want to do SCJD and SCWCD. SCJD is just nice because you have to code. How difficult is the SCWCD exam compared to SCJP?
Dennis Grimbergen wrote:And now I started looking which exam is next. In the near future I also want to do SCJD and SCWCD. SCJD is just nice because you have to code. How difficult is the SCWCD exam compared to SCJP?
I passed the SCWCD two weeks ago. It was easier than the SCJP 5 exam I took last year. My preparation for the SCWCD mainly consisted of reading HFSJ (2nd edition) and the SCWCD practice exams I bought from Sun. As a developer certification, I guess SCWCD is probably the easiest one to obtain.
BTW, qualifying as an SCJD takes more than coding. You have to design and build a small client-server system. You also have to provide javadocs, user documentation and a text file in which you document your design decisions. After uploading your work you have to take an essay exam which requires you to answer a few questions about your assignment.