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OCP Java 6 SE Programmer Certification Achieved ! - 98 %

Suhrid Karthik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 31, 2008
Posts: 58

Thanks go out to all the study guide and the official Java tutorials authors and the good folks here at JavaRanch.

Here's what worked for me :

Preparation material: The Sierra and Bates book, the Sierra, Bates Practice Exams book , the Mughal and Rasmussen book and the excellent Official Java SE tutorials. Sierra and Bates is the more readable and "fun" book. If you are buying just one book - this would be my choice. However, some of the topics are covered sparingly, for e.g. Enums and Generics. (Note: I had the older Sierra/Bates Java 5 Exam Guide). I understand that the authors are trying to focus on the content only from the examination point of view, but in case you feel that you need in depth coverage - then Mughal,Rasmussen is your bet. This book delves into all topics comprehensively and sometimes focuses on the API level stuff, the writing style is dry, but overall a great book to supplement Sierra,Bates. I would also highly recommend the official Java tutorials in case you don't find the books good enough. The Regular Expressions tutorial is especially good.

Preparation Technique: I went through Sierra,Bates completely more than once and used the Mughal book only for the topics I wanted more practice on. I made notes for all things that I felt were important to remember or were tricky. In the week leading up to the exam, I more or less looked only at my notes for revision.

If you are interested, they are available at :

I also wrote a lot of practice code using the Eclipse IDE. Sierra, Bates do not like using IDE's - but I found it very useful. If not for Eclipse, I dont think I would have written as much of practice code as I did. Eclipse's continuous compilation means you can keep experimenting without wasting time on the command-line. Of course the command-line javac/java/jar, classpaths etc needs to be practiced outside the IDE.

Mock Exams: I took all the exams in the separate Sierra, Bates Practice Exams book. I would highly highly recommend that you take all these exams and analyze your performance. I averaged between 70-80% in these exams. The questions are slightly tougher than those in the real exam - but they do a fantastic job in preparing you for the real thing. I also did the full mock exam in the Mughal,Rasmussen book. Finally, I did an online mock which Pearson offered me when I booked the OCPJP exam. If you get a chance, do take this - because it mimics the real exam interface closely and the difficulty of the questions are somewhat similar to the real exam.

The Real Exam: The real exam covers all the exam objectives well, the questions are well designed and the exam interface is excellent. Many exam takers have said that the questions are "easier" than those in the mock exam. I would say that yes, while some questions are a little easier, on the whole the questions do a good job of thoroughly testing your knowledge of the exams objectives and I did find some tricky ones in there as well.

Overall: Make sure you study all the objectives well, code a lot, take notes, take the mocks and analyze them and you'll be certified in no time.

Cheers !
Jan Cumps

Joined: Dec 20, 2006
Posts: 2531

Amazing score, Suhrid.
Thank you for posting your experience.

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Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
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Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3376

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ravisankar sankar

Joined: Jul 22, 2011
Posts: 29

hI Suhrid Karthik

Congrats many,

I great to see your preparation, Your notes are excellent, that do you designed in Mediawiki thats great.
I have been preparing for the exam 1 month. Garbage collection and regex and generics are my weak areas. Iam preparing now.

Please add your preparation technique in these areas.[GC, regex, Generics]

Ankit Garg

Joined: Aug 03, 2008
Posts: 9327

Congrats Suhrid

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Suhrid Karthik
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 31, 2008
Posts: 58

Thank you all.

@ravisankar: Regarding GC - The best way I think is to draw diagrams with references pointing to objects. For Regex, read the official Java tutorial and use the test harness program described there to practice different regex patterns. For Generics, I think the material in Sierra, Bates is good enough from the exam point of view - for better understanding try : official Java tutorial on Generics or the Effective Java book's chapter on Generics. (PDF)
ravisankar sankar

Joined: Jul 22, 2011
Posts: 29

thanks Suhrid Karthik for your valuable suggestions/guidance
arulk pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3319
Congrats and keep up the good work

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Rajasekhar Karanam

Joined: Sep 18, 2011
Posts: 15

Thanks Suhrid! You made me more ambitious in taking the test. I am planning to take the test within 5 months.
Nilkanth Ghogare

Joined: Nov 17, 2011
Posts: 1
Congrats Suhrid.
Minii Rio

Joined: Jun 13, 2011
Posts: 5
Congrats Suhrid...
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: OCP Java 6 SE Programmer Certification Achieved ! - 98 %