It is, indeed a relief to have finished the OCPJP exam, and to get such a high score (95%). However, it is not that hard, when you really want to learn java, and you have a place like this. Thank you all; those who ask questions as well as those who answer questions on this forum. Here I learned a lot about how to be "empatic" with the compiler, how to try to think like it. The result of the exam just confirmed the state in which I am on this pleasant journey!
Moreover, without the books of Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates, Khalid Mughal & Rolf Rasmussen, the journey wouldn't have been that pleasant and efficient. Complementary both in style and information, the two works were the perfect combination for me.
Another life-saver was, of course, Devaka Cooray's Examlab. It was indeed useful to get acquainted to the exam's interface.
And, of course, also found on my prayer list are the people who maintain sites like those on this list:Mock tests
Now, the story goes this way:
I read KS&BB twice and then KM&RR once. I tried almost everything on my IDE and, towards the end, only with the javac command...
Meanwhile I took almost every exam found here I took the Exam Lab tests as a preparedness test (although they are much more than that). I got a more than complementing average (D:72%, E1:75%, E2:77%, E3: 77%, FE: 86%)...
Unfortunately, I didn't learn well the APIs (here I lost 2 of the 3 questions).
I didn't sleep well last night. I was nervous.
I went to the testing site. The monitor they put me in front of was, probably, older than me, having a refresh rate that I thought it would be giving me a head ache.
I had the time to pass 2 times through all the questions and 3 times through the tricky ones.
I pressed "End" and, like Pavlov's dog, I waited for the print certificate to appear on the screen (like it does on Exam Lab)
It didn't, of course. I had to hold my breath for a couple of minutes more.
I still made a T-shirt. I took the liberty of changing the title of the exam from "Sun Certified Java Programmer" to "Fun Certified Java Programmer". I even striked out "Sun" and wrote above "Fun". (Yes, I am a geek, and I am proud of it!)
It is a wonderful experience. I recommend it to anyone!