Sorry for being late. I gave the Java SE 8 OCA certification exam on 30th January and I passed the exam with a score of 90%.
It's been a long and tough journey. I prepared for the exam for approx 2-3 months (I was being too lazy at the start so I don't have a sharp date when I started preparing). But then for some reasons, I could not give the exam then (in November) and went off the track for a while. Total cutoff from programming for a month and a half. Then I came back to my objective of passing the exam and prepared (mostly revised and gave tests) for 2-3 weeks and gave the exam on 30th January and scored 90%.
At first, I prepared but when I was giving Enthuware Tests, I was scoring low. I was around 68-70% in tests which made me worried. But then I went through the book all again and gave a couple of tests and my score then was 72% and 76%. I couldn't give the exam. When preparing again, I just gave two tests and scored 86% and 90%.
Books I read are OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, and OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff. The book by Jeanne Boyarsky is very good. It covered everything and was most helpful of all.
Enthuware tests were also helpful and everyone should use such mock tests before giving exam to have an idea where they stand. I was confident that I could give and pass the exam easily but when I gave the first test I scored just 68% so I knew I need more efforts.
Lastly, I'm not much active here on Coderanch but this being here was very very helpful. Going through the problems that others had, just made me think of the cause and solution to their problems and that was a great learning experience. Thank you all!
That's most of it. One advice I'd like to give to one's preparing for the exam is: Don't rush into things. Preaparation takes time and give time to it. Nothing happens overnight. Just be regular and honest.
My next step would be either OCP Java SE 8 or CCNA. Let's see. And yes, I've already added my name to the Wall of Fame!
Congratulations champion! Great achievement Now it's time to relax a bit and have a (well-deserved) (or 2 or 3). And if you want to spoil yourself have a Belgian beer, our beers are the best of the world
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Other ranchers will definitely benefit! Have a cow!