Finally got that monkey off my back.
Been studying off and on the past couple months for this test, which I considered to be the obvious logical next step after completing the SCJP.
First off let me say that I am more than thrilled with my score. After consistently scoring 60 - 70 on JWebPlus, I went into the exam with a lot of uncertainty and was nervous as hell. I could have always pushed the test date back. But considering I already did that several times before today, I decided to draw the line here. Phew.....150 bones is a lot for a full-time college student, but it was well worth it.
My studying aides were:
Inside Servlets by Dustin Calloway <-- Good book for beginners in servlets and JSP
JWebPlus <---Excellent testing tool, I highly recommend it
Ken's Notes <---- absolute necessity
J2EE API Documentation <---- excellent reference tool
Tomcat 4.0 <----- best way to learn servlets/jsp/tags/beans is to develop them yourself
Allaire Kawa <----- cannot believe Allaire discontinued this excellent Java IDE
Sun's Tutorials on Design Patterns <--- though I hardly understood them
Javaranch and Saloon BBS community <--- going for suck up points
Off the top of my head, I remember there being around 5 questions on design patterns. Knowledge on DAO, MVC, Business Delegate and Value Object are a must. I remember the multiple chocies to these questions included a lot of design terminology I didn't recognize, including something to do with Facade. So I wouldn't limit myself to the design patterns mentioned above.
For custom tags, it is important to know valid return types for the methods of the tag handlers and what happens when returned. Also, and obviously, familiarize yourself with the tag library descriptor.
As far as javabeans are concerned, know the valid attributes (and combinations thereof) for useBean, getProperty, and setProperty. For example:
<jsp:useBean id="test" class="com.Test" beanName="com.Another" scope="application" /> ....would be invalid because the beanname and class attributes cannot coexist.
Really know your listeners. One of my questions involved identifying the single method of an event class passed to an object implementing one of the listener interfaces. How you like dem' apples?
Everything else is basically straightforward.
Know your web.xml elements, basic servlet api, servlet life cycle, jsp implicit objects, directive tags, and jsp actions.
All in all, Ken Zobrok's notes does an excellent job in weeding out what you need and don't need to concentrate on in your preparation for the exam.
If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Until then, good look on your respective exams.
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
Sun Certified Web Component Developer for J2EE <--- I am so digging my new sig