I was able to pass this exam today and scored 85%. I thought of sharing the experience with those interested in taking the exam.
Why did I chose to give this exam
I had passed the SCJP 1.4 back in 2005 and since then lot has changed in Java. I was interested in revising all the concepts I had learned during that exam as well as start preparing for Java 7 certification. Certifications are challenging and help to get better grasp of fundamentals as well as to stay up to date. For Java 7 I dint wanted to go via the update route. So I decided to give OCA first.
I referred to the study guide by Oracle (Edward Finegan and Robert Liguori). The book is not so great but it will help with the exam. I also referred to Herbert Schildt.
To get a good grasp of fundamentals you can refer to Head First Java for the topics required for this exam. Java 7 adds few additional topics like try with resources, multi catch etc. but they are few in numbers.
I took some practice test in last few days from Enthuware. Din't score that great in those tests but they can be helpful.
I am now looking to prepare for Java SE 7 programmer ii. Any suggestions will help.
All the best with your preparations.
Sun Certified Java Programmer v 1.4
Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer
JEE 5 Web Component Developer Certified Professional