Guys. I had been a silent observer on the forums for about 2 weeks now. Today i had my SCJP Certification exam, and i am happy to announce, I cleared with 91 %. Thought this could be the best way to start my career on JavaRanch.
Now my long and boring podium speech.
First of all, I would like to thank Java ranch. Most of the doubts I had were also present on these forums. In fact even if I googled a doubt, it many times pointed me back here.
It took me 3 weeks to prepare for scjp. actually 2 1/2 out of which the last week was extensive. But for those who want to take a test, at least give a month to be on the safer side, more if you dont have good knowledge of java or prior experience. You can match your profile with mine if you want to calculate the time required.
I have a masters in computer science(almost done with just a small part of my thesis left to write), with most of my academic projects done in java and c#. I have arnd 1 year of industry experience. I worked as an intern in two companies to achieve this part. My work was almost that of a full time programmer, but not quite. So if you have that much experience working as a full time programmer, you might be better off than me.
My major problem was mixing of C# and java concepts. I am currently on my second internship. The job right now demands a lot of c# and sql programming. so I had to balance both. I normally get around an hour long lunch break where in I used to cram up my java and then end up confusing myself for another hour after lunch.
For tests, I used Enthuware. and some i found on javacertificationlinks. I used the free tests and once i felt confident(arnd a week back).
In my mock tests, my highest score was 72%. Surprisingly again in the one i gave around 5 days back. in The test i gave yesterday morning(enthuware), i got 53%. and 67 in the one i gave at the night. I was very nervous.
I mostly read sierra and bates. Also a few other scjp titles i could find for free in barnes and nobles and our college library.
Enthuware taught me a lot. Especially things i took for granted. I read my enthuware answers just before the exam to prepare. I found the final exam much simpler than enthuware. Where i struggled to get the passing mark on enthuware even a day before my exam.