It took me 6 months to prepare for the exam but that's because I'm also busy in my work so I have little time reviewing for the exam.
But if I'll estimate my total time reviewing for the exam it would have been just around 2 months.
That said here's what I did in preparing for the exam:
- thoroughly read Head First Servlet & JSP 2nd Edition -> it's really a nice book to get you started even though it's for EE5 version of the exam
-> most of the topic are covered here except for the new servlet topics like asynchronous servlet and annotations but still an invaluable resource for the exam
- thoroughly read the Servlet 3.0 specification -> this cover the new topics for the exam so reading this is a must
-> pay attention to asynchronous Servlet and Annotation related topics (alternative for web.xml)
- familiar myself with the APIs in javax.servlet, javax.servlet.http, and javax.servlet.jsp package
-> take your time in reading the APIs for the classes that really matters like Servlet, Filter, ServletContext, ServletConfig, GenericServlet, HttpServlet, ServletRequest, ServletResponse, their subclasses, the different listeners and their respective event objects, etc.
- bought the mock exam from Enthuware -> this has 9 standard mock exam, 3 practice mock exam, and a mock exam dedicated for each major objective
-> cover pretty much everything in the exam to the point that some of the questions in the mock exam are almost exactly the same in the real exam
-> my average score for the mock exams were in 87% - 90% which is pretty close to my real exam score so it does really imitate the difficulty of the exam
-> cost $20 but I will tell you it's really worth it, this mock exam really does its thing, I would have not scored this high if it weren't for this.
What I didn't do:
- didn't read the JSP, JSTL, and EL specifications
-> the Head First book cover pretty much everything that you have to know about the above topic so reading these specs are just overkill
- didn't answered the final mock exam of Head First
-> although it's ok to answer the final mock exam but I prefer the mock exam from Enthuware as they imitate both the difficulty and format of the real exam (plus it's a simulator so it's like answering the real exam)
- I have read another book but midway to it I stop, I just don't think that reading another book would help me, Head First has it all so just stick to it (besides the other book that I have read are full of errors)
Day of the exam:
- I arrive 15 min before my schedule
-> do all the pre-exam formalities like filling up forms and taking pictures
- I started taking the exam
-> most of the questions are same in difficulty and format as the mock exam from Enthuware so it's pretty much a cruise for me
-> some of the questions have a grammatical or formatting error so please be careful on this
-> all are multiple choice, there are no drag and drop or fill in the blank questions
-> I finished the exam in 1 hour and 5 minutes, the exam is good for 2 hours but thanks to my preparation I managed to answer it this quick
- after clicking the finish button my score was immediately displayed to me, I got 91%
The preparation tips that I mentioned above are pretty much the only thing you need to pass this exam with flying colors.
Just take your time reviewing, don't cram. There are a lot of things to memorize for the exam so its takes time for all the info to sink in but don't wait too long because you might forget some of the things that you already reviewed.
This exam is more of knowledge based than application, so most of the questions will test your knowledge of the API and specs. (It's more of "by the book" exam in contrast to "tracing" type of exam like in java programmer exam)
I would have to say that this exam is easier than the Java SE 6 Programmer exam.
Good luck to those who are planning to take the exam.