The test was not as difficult as I had anticipated it to be. Sure there were wordy questions, but if you took note of the key words in the scenario, it was not very difficult to point out the correct answers.
Most of the design pattern related questions were fairly straightforward. However, they don't ask you what a particular design pattern is used for. Know the consequences of a design pattern selection
Beware of one thing. The prometric test software displays a long Sun license agreement at the beginning of the test that you have to agree to. However, I noticed the top right corner of the screen and was horrified that the clock had already started ticking downwards even before the first question was displayed and the license agreement was still on the screen. In my mind, I was screaming WTF?
Some of the questions require you to select multiple 3 or more correct choices. I had one question that required me to select 5 correct choices out of a total of 7.
Time was not an issue for me. I did not spend more than 2 minutes on any question in the first pass. When I had answered all 64 questions, I still had about 35 minutes left. Managed to review twice and changed only one answer during the review.
Time taken to prepare for the test
I took approximately 6 weeks to prepare for the test, out of which 4 weeks were serious preparation (2-3 hours a day and 4-5 hours on weekend). The other 2 weeks was casual preparation.
My prior experience and the Javaranch forum helped a lot in the preparation.
SCEA Study guide newer version by Mark Cade/Roberts - Read multiple times
SCEA Study guide Paul Allen and Bambara - Speed reading once (not cover to cover reading)
GOF Book - Speed reading twice. - Did not like the fact that the examples are all C++
Various free mocks available through the Javaranch links
Did not buy any paid mocks. If the mocks are not written by a certified person, they are likely to mislead the candidate instead of helping. So I chose to avoid paid mocks.
My main goal when I went to the testing center was to ensure that I got my 37 correct answers and that I did not flush 300 dollars down the sinkhole. However, by the time I was attempting the 50th question, I knew that I had made it. The rest of the questions were just buffer to ensure that there was absolutely no doubt in passing.
The folks that prepared the questions have a sense of humor. Without going into the actual question in keeping with the spirit of the forum, the question said something like this...
You are trying to architect a web application to replace a legacy system which is not maintainable and has several problems. The legacy system is built using Active server pages and runs on the .NET platform.
and then went on to ask the actual question.
Now for part 2 of the assignment. I am not so much worried about the part 2 assignment since in my prior job, I used to create client proposals based on vague RFPs all the time. Part 2 is very similar I think to the creation of a proposal based on an RFP, however on a much smaller scale.
Since Oracle is yet to make part 2 available, it gives me an excuse to chill out and have some fun till then.