It's been more than two years since my last visit/post here. How time flies! But it does not stop me feeling warm and comfort here no matter how long I've been absent, just like the feeling of home.
I got my 2nd certificate, Oracle Certified Expert Java Web Component Developer 6.0, passed this Tuesday, with a score just over the edge. Based on my time and effort committed to this exam, and my unstable status, I think this is a fair result. Before I took the exam, I got a lot of good staff to chew here, and in return, I would like to share my experience on how to prepare this certificate in a fast and efficient manner.
Head First Servlet and JSP 2nd Edition is the only book I used. The first round of reading through this book took almost a year (Don't be scared! Just my job and life desperately distracted me.) I've zero experience in J2EE, and probably in overall MVC web development before. So it turns out that I forgot everything I tried to REMEMBER. The 2nd round started before Christmas last year, which went surprisingly well. I got to UNDERSTAND the concepts and implementation, partially because I've learned to KNOW everything in the 1st round, and partially because my on-job's web developing experience adds up and help demystify a lot of used-to-be confused parts. However, I did continue with a 3rd round in a few days to pick up forgotten content and summarize the key points.
The book does not cover the new staff added from Servlet Spec 3.0. It's recommended to look through all chapters (Actually Head First book is just an explanation version of this specification), but if your time is tight as me, here is a must see list:
188.8.131.52 Asynchronous processing
3.2 File upload
8 Annotations and pluggability
13.2 Declarative Security
15.5 Annotations and Resource Injection
Like any other test, mock exam plays an important role. Even though you might understand the technology pretty well, it's still highly likely to fail the exam since there are all kinds of tricks in the questions not just the happy path. I finished all chapter questions and final mock exam in Head First book. Also, I did two exams from Enthuware's mock test suite. That's it. I did not take a huge number of tests, but after each one I completed, I spend much more time to review the questions I was uncertain or answered incorrectly and tried to find out the failed reason and the testing point, so that I wouldn't be stumbled by the same stone twice.
The last but not least, be careful and carm when taking the exam, holding the belief that no matter what the result will be, you have already been a winner in learning a new technology and the big ideas behind it.