I am working towards my OCAJP 7 and my work will be paying for it an the materials. I have read through Programmer Level I Exam on Oracle's site. I am now going through the Enthuware exam and having mixed results.
While my second exam attempts are good, I am worried that I am only learning to pass the practice exams instead of learning the material. As of about an hour ago I started thinking about getting the Manning book to use as a study guide. I have been using Java at work for almost 3 years now.
I think I am on the right track, but I am starting to have serious doubts. I am asking for your advice on the topic.
To be honest: I would expect better results at 1st attempt for someone who has already 3 years of Java experience. Because this certification is just about the basics of Java (and object orientation).
Besides that you are the only one who can give the reason why 2nd attempt scores are much better than with the 1st attempt. Is it because of (part of) memorisation of the answers or because you have a better understanding about the different topics.
Score on second attempt is highly misleading. It is actually better to go through the explanations of the questions in an attempted test multiple times than to attempt answering that mock exam again. IMHO, your scores are too low to attempt mock exams. Please see this to make the best use of available mock exams. Once again, do not judge your level of preparation based on your score on second attempt.
I have purchased the Manning book to use as a study aid and it's really solidifying my knowledge. I'm glad that your software allowed me to realize that my knowledge was not complete enough to take the test. Your software has already saved me the price of a failed test, because I would never ask my employeer to pay for a test that I didn't pass.
Glad you passed the exam. I hope to emulate that success soon myself. I had similar Enthuware 1st attempt results myself on the first two tests (I did not re-take the tests). I've also taken a couple of mock exams that came with the Oracle OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide. My general impression is that the Enthuware exams are much harder than the Oracle mock exams (I've scored better on Oracle). The Enthuware exams had more code problems which took more time and seemed to be trickier as well. I wish they were a little more indicative of the actual exam's difficulty, because I imagine the Oracle mock exams to be the same difficulty as the actual exams.
I've looked around for other mock exams but not found much without having to pay a significant amount (uCertify - $119). I guess I'll stick with my remaining Enthuware mock exams, and if I get into the 70+ percentile on them, then I'll feel more confident about taking the actual exam.