I wrote my exam today and passed with a 91%.
In short, I credit my success to the following:
1. Reading HFEJB twice; once as a gloss over and once to reinforce material I didn't understand during the first pass. It's important to apprach it this way considering that many of the concepts can't be fully grasped until transactions and environment are understood. I suspect some editing happened pre-publication, and shifted those chapters out of their original sequence.
2. Taking the EJBPlus simulator test
, and failing on the first try. This was the biggest eye-opener on where I was weak, and it allowed me to focus on HFEJB to strengthen my understanding of those weak areas.
3. Taking all of the standard EJBPlus tests and passing them all with successively better marks each time. Note that I was taking each new test, so I was still getting a mix of new questions. The questions I had gotten wron in previous tests were now burned into my memory.
4. Writing the mock exam at the back of HFEJB. It was here that I really focused on the specs; for every answer I got wrong, I read the specification for that area.
5. Creating a cheat-sheet from Mikalai Zaikin's web site on areas that I felt could trip me up. I also printed out all the PDFs from some guy's web site that had the deployment descriptors, bean life cycles and exceptions well document. I can't remember where I found it, although I do recall I found it here, at JavaRanch.
The exam was a lot simpler and straight forward than the HFEJB questions. It was almost identical to the EJBPlus exams. I took my time and finished in about an hour. I only review the 10 or so questions I had marked, and I refrained from changing the answers I originally put. They were logical guesses or they "felt" correct.