This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
I completed the SCWCD last friday and got a score of 80% (ok, Sun say 79% but it was really 79.7 so i will say 80% ;)
For those of you who plan to take the test, I will give a summary of my preparation experience, hopefully there will be some information I mention which will be of benefit to you. First off thanks to all the users of this forum, this is an excellent resource. In particular to Frederic Esnault, Fritz Walraven for their excellent notes and the people at Enthuware.
I am relatively new to Java - I started learning about a year ago and got the SCJP 6.0 6 months ago. Here are the resources I used
Head First Servlets & JSP This book was my main resource. I read it twice, and on the second iteration carefully made portable glance cards (roughly 80) of all the main points in the book. I was totally new to Java EE, so this book was a terrific introduction. If you are a seasoned Java web developer, you may be able to skim some of it, but it is definitely a good exam guide for everybody.
Frederic Esnault Notes These notes mirror the above book very closely, so rather than read the book a third time, I used these.
Official Exam Mocks from Oracle I paid for these the week before the exam, on completing the order I was told it would take three working days to process my order. The order was never processed and I never received them It did not matter however because...
Enthuware Mock Simulator These mocks are very close in difficulty to the actual exam. I did 6 of them and my results were: 70, 62, 68, 67, 81, 81 - so quite close to my actual score. One thing I think it is very important to note about these - although it tests you extremely accurately on the subject matter, I found the real exam questions to have more "scenario text" or longer phrased questions. In the real exam it takes you a little while longer to "decipher" what is actually being asked. I was able to complete the Enthuware mocks confidently in 2h 15m, but the real exam took 2h 45m. Please factor this possible delay into your mocks when you are using Enthuware! The more of these simulations you do, the more you learn, the more confident you become, and the better you will do in the exam.
General Comments I am relatively new to Java and in particular Java EE. I was approaching this exam as a student and not as a developer. After reading the books and notes I was confident I knew almost everything. However, I found that more practical experience would have helped me to achieve a higher score. For some of the questions, just having general development experience/practice will help you greatly. I felt slightly hindered by my lack of real world experience. However - I plan to put my knowledge into LOTS of practice now - but it is definitely a good idea to get as much practical experience as you can prior to the exam.
That is pretty much everything I think. Thanks to everybody for their help, and good luck to everybody sitting the exam in future!!