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.
There are very few of these reports on the SE7 exam, so I thought I would add in my two pence on the experience.
SCJP6 K&B book
SCJP Practice exams by K&B
OCP7 book by Ganesh/Sharma
Enthuware SE7 tests
API summary via flash cards
The K&B books are very good. There have been several versions already so most of the errata have been resolved. While the exams are for SE6, they are still useful for SE7.
The Ganesh/Sharma book... hmmm, I'm undecided on this book. It does explain its material pretty well, but (as has been discussed before) there were numerous errors in the version of the book I had (the later version apparently corrected these). Due to the distinct lack of SE7 books out there at the moment, you may still feel the book is still a must have. You won't pass with it as your primary study material though - I feel that you are only 60% of the way there once you have read this book.
The Enthuware tests were great. As mentioned previously, the exam closely matches the difficulty of these tests, unlike the OCA version, where the Enthuware tests are much harder.
Flash cards were the key difference for me. I think that this exam will have 80%-90% scores becoming more common going forward. This isn't because the exam is getting easier but because the key to this exam (IMO) seems to be a serious recall of the API. I am certain that a 90% score would have been quite possible, if I had been prepared to create cards for all the other SE7 items on the API and spend extra time studying it. Another point regarding the use of cards - I am a slow and thorough type of worker - I just don't like rushing. This exam requires reasonable speed. The only way to get a speed boost is to commit the core API's to memory. I managed to improve my mock scores between 10 and 20 percent, just by making up over 500 cards of the essential API's. I'm not just referring to the fact that you are aware the method exists - I mean knowing each version of the method, it's return types, the info you can derive from the values returned and the parameter options for the various method versions. Where I was struggling to finish the exams 30 minutes after the mock timer had run out, I was now able to finish with 10~ish minutes to spare. If you are like me - this may be your answer.
I finished with around 4 minutes to spare and I did wish I had another 20 to do a nice slow review. Still beggars can't be choosers. A personal surprise for me was a few OCA type questions on the day. I had 2-3 questions that dealt with VMI relating to static method shadowing and instance/static variable shadowing. I don't know how many others got a few of these thrown in, but I thought I had bumped my head on these for the last time in the OCA exam.
Hope this helps someone in their prep for the exam.