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SCJP: A professional programmer's perspective

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Today, I passed the SCJP with a score of 84%, a result that I am pleased with considering how little study I did for this exam.
I am a software engineer and have a reasonable amount of experience with programming in Java.
While preparing for the exam I found myself questioning the relevance of some of the material tested on the exam (eg. honestly, who needs to memorise constructors? That's what the API docs are for!). On the other hand, it was also a valuable learning experience, and as a result I have a new appreciation for some subtlties of Java that I hadn't given much thought to before.
My preparation consisted of reading RHE once, and reading a couple of chapters in Exam Cram (on AWT stuff). I also made use of the Javaranch resources to help me get a feel for what to expect on the exam. I did two mock exams - one of Marcus Green's exams and Brogden's "hardest questions". These helped me pick up a few tricky things I had missed. I also did the Javaranch Rules Roundup (gotta love that applet!).
The total amount of preparation I did amounted to about 2 days.
I found the exam itself to be clear, straightforward and very fair. There are no traps or surprises here. I found that the mock exams I took often deliberately try to trip up the candidate - this does not happen on the real exam. That said, you do still need to be careful when reading the code samples.
To add to the confusion that seems to abound about how long the exam is, I got 90 minutes to do the 59 questions. This was quite adequate - I did not need to rush and had plenty of time to review my marked questions.
So do not be put off by those who report that the exam is very hard - it isn't that bad! I feel the certification is well worth doing, if only for the learning experience - so for all those who haven't done it yet - go for it!
Good luck and may the source be with you!
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Congratulations Rob!.. SCJP in two days is an achievement indeed!
Best wishes,
You showed up just in time for the waffles! And this tiny ad:
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