This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
When I have been preparing for the 1Z0-803, I really missed threads regarding what to expect and what are the best practices. Today I have passed the exam 95% with ease (even left 55 mins earlier (not recommended )) and therefore I would like to share my experience and the path that I took for preparation.
Once I bought the exam voucher I ordered OCAJP7 study guide by Robert Liguori & Edward Finegan. I read whole book a, made all the tests, rechecked the mistakes, done them again, after book completion I took the tests from the CD, received ~90% all the time and then I thought that I am fully prepared. Then I thought that I need to try a few more tests and found a mock test of enthuware, then found in forums that enthuware is really recommened. Then I thought why not to invest ~7 euros on it just to improve the result. Guess what - on my first attempt I didn't even reach 60% Then I tried every single mock test of enthuware (there were ~18 of them), only once I reached 80%, though I tried to compile each snippet where I answered mistakenly on my own. Even my "last day test" was 72%.
Yes, psychologically it was quite hard to believe that you are well prepared when you have not failed only once out of nearly 20 times in mock exams, but once I began the real examination, ~70% questions were covered by enthuware, ~20% was right from the study guide by Liguori and Finegan and 10% were situational questions (e.g. pros of encapsulation, bad practice of exception usage etc.)
All in all, I would say that a study guide was really mandatory to get on the right track and grasp some theory, even though I am sure it is not enough to be able to achieve a good result. Enthuware did really help to achieve the result.
Good luck everyone, if you are preparing right now, practice makes it perfect.
Your questions are welcome.
P.S. I have been learning Java for ~1.5 years, have ~1 year working experience as a developer. Note: exam is quite far from practice