Tuesday morning at 10:00 am (local time) I took the exam and passed with 98% (59 questions correct out of 60). I missed 1 question in the "API contents" section.
Ingredients for the success:
k&b book for scjp6
a little bit participating in the javaranch scjp-forum
code experiments as much as needed (when I had any doubt about some code, I just played a bit with it)
took the SCJD exam earlier this year (which is great for your threading capabilities)
have 6 years of experience as a java developer (professionally)
Time to prepare: 4 weeks. I read the complete book a 1st time. After each chapter I read the 2 minute drill again before taking the self-test. During the next 10-11 days I tried to study 80 pages each day and again after each chapter I did the self-test. On the last night before taking the exam just a quick revision of my study notes.
It was the 3rd time I took a SCJP exam, so I knew what to expect. So I had toughened me up for another battle, but I was a bit amazed about the difficulty level of this exam: it was by far the easiest one. Maybe it was because I had completely mastered the stuff you need to know, but it seemed to me I was given an exam containing the easiest questions from the huge questions database (maybe as a Christmas present ). And to prove how easy it was, here some facts about it:
no questions at all about regex (can be hard to answer)
from the bunch of threading questions (which I always experience as the hardest) there was just 1 "what will the output be"-question (and that one really was a no-brainer in my opinion because of the possible answers), the other ones just theoretical (name the 2 static methods from the thread-class,...). also no questions at all about thread interaction.
a whole lot of the "what will the output be"-questions turned out to be "compilation fails" or "runtime exception". and the compiler failures were so obvious: especially (1) the direct call to the constructor by the classname instead of using a call to this/super at the end of another constructor of that class (2) a code snippet with an if-else-finally structure
after approx 60-70 minutes I already had answered all the questions. and I have to be honest: if I submitted without revisioning I would have made a few more mistakes, because I changed 4-5 answers after a 2nd and 3rd revision (including a tricky question where a method was invoked on an object reference variable which was null, so obvious runtime exception; But after a 2nd and 3rd look I noticed a final method being overridden, so had to change to "compilation fails" of course )
There was 1 question where I had real doubts about and that one turned out to be my only mistake. It was a question about formatting a float with b as conversion char. I thought something like that would result in a runtime exception, but that was not an option, I had to choose between true or false and I chose false, which is wrong according to the javadoc:
If the argument is null, then the result is "false". If the argument is a boolean or Boolean, then the result is the string returned by String.valueOf(). Otherwise, the result is "true".
I'm a bit disappointed such question is on the exam, because throughout the whole scjp-book you learn an int (long, short, float,...) can not be used as a boolean (java is not c or c++) and then suddenly you can convert a float into a boolean This is such a little trifle and a huge important thing (which is used regularly in many different other languages) as regex was not tested at all. I'm curious to know how many people know about this behavior and use it during their development? The ones who really use this, should be <insert really scary thing>
But don't get me wrong: I am really happy with my score and glad I passed this exam, but I expected a bigger challenge. Maybe my expectations were too big after completing the difficult (but wonderful) journey called SCJD
Finally a thanks to Kathy and Bert for another great book (3rd time I used their book, because never change a winning team )
And for everybody: happy holidays and a peaceful, creative and prosperous 2010 !!
 all edits were just about changing misspelled words or rephrasing some sentences