I am delighted to let you know that I passed the OCMJEA certification and am a part of the elite 1% certified java family(as per Oracle).
It took me around 2.5 months to pass all the three parts and it was a great learning experience . I am a silent member of this forum and this is my first post.
Here it goes about my certification experience (hope it helps) :
Part 1: (took me around 35-40 days) The materials that I referred to are:
1)Cade's SCEA book - just as a reference with nice sample questions.
2)Head First Design Patterns 3)Sun Documentation on various J2EE patterns - I did not read the J2EE design patterns book recommended for the exam, instead I referred to the Sun's documentation. I have prior experience with most of the design patterns at work, so it helped.
http://java.sun.com/blueprints/corej2eepatterns/Patterns/index.html 4)Java SE and EE 5 documentation - for topics like Security, JSF, Internationalization, EJB, Internationalization.
5)Online Reading - This forum helped me understand a lot of concepts that I had doubts about. (searched extensively for previous posts and also links in those posts helped me a lot). Apart from that various blogs about this certification (by Jeanne Boyarsky, Gaurav Tripathi etc) provided good guidance.
6)The sample questions online (and in this forum) provided good insight into the kind of questions in this part.
Part 2: (took me around 35-40 days) I downloaded part 2 couple of days after I passed part 1. It took me a couple of days to read the essay problem (4-5 times) and understand the details of the essay requirements. I followed Cade's SCEA book as a bible and it worked , especially the component diagram.I had about 25 components in the component diagram and I did not show details within a component.
My class diagram was simple, again similar to Cade's example, and it did NOT have the Integration layer classes (like the DAO's and Web Service Client classes). As far as showing Integration layer classes in Class Diagram (as far as the exam is concerned), it is totally upto the test takers discretion. If you search for previous posts in this forum there are many of them who passed this certification with both approaches(showing / not showing Integration layer classes). Hope it helps .
Regarding Sequence Diagrams, the assignment had 4 use cases and I had a total of 7 sequence diagrams for them. I split one of the use cases into two sequence diagrams and had two extra sequence diagrams which were supportive of my design.
My deployment diagram was close to Cade's book but with some additional details. I did talk about Cloud in my deployment diagram notes for UAT. I also specified the hardware and software requirements for production environment (all as per Cade's recommendation).
Part 3: (Took me a day of preparation apart from my Part 2) Part 3 was straight forward with questions on Design patterns used, security related questions, etc. If you do the assignment yourself, it should be a cake walk.
Do write me with any questions that you have and I will answer them within a day or two (discussions must adhere to the java ranch forum rules though )