I have cleared SCBCD today at 87%. HFE from Kathy and Bert certainly saved me a lot of time and effort. Thanks a lot, Kathy and Bert !
I went through HFE three times before taking the final mock exam at 74%. Then, I went to www.ejbcertificate.com to check out my readiness of preparation. My final exam from this web site was also 74%. I was pretty sure that I could get much higher than 74% in both cases if I was informed of the number of correct answers. So I was very confident that I was ready for the exam.
The exam actually was not smooth. The prometric center where I was taking the exam was not ready for me and it took them half an hour to fix the simple problem (the seat number has to be correct). I was kind of pissed off since I pointed out to them there was a problem of seating based on the message, but they still would like to try the other seat !!!
During the exam, the first two questions on EJB-QL was puzzle-like questions. They really shattered my confidence. I decided to come back to them after I spent pretty long time without satisfactory answers initially. After I finished the rest of the exam, I was able to fix the two puzzles with plenty of time to review all the questions.
One thing I would like Sun and Prometric to improve is the problem to display the answers for some type of questions. It requires you to redo it to show the answers you already gave. That is stupid. The specific case is for pick and match type of question.
By the way, I only refered to the specs when I could not found details in HFE. This is especially true for transaction and exception handling.
I only read some of the chapters. But I think the specs is worth reading.
If you read some of the topics/chapters, you probably start to like the style. For example, the tables / listing on exception handling scenarios for BMP, CMP is concise and easy to remember after you read the lenthy explanation from HFE. I also think the seven types CMP relationships in the specs is complete and easy to understand. I felt HFE spent too little on it. But again, the certificate does not require you to be an expert on every subject. I also think it is not a good idea to spend too much time in the specs if you need to a pass the exam in a short time frame. You will have plenty of time to enjoy reading the specs after you pass the exam.
If you just want to pass the exam, HFE alone is enough.