I am preparing for Part 1 from past 2.5 weeks. And now I have reached reading EJB (Mastering EJB). In this forurm most of the people are talking about Head First EJB which I did not even buy till now. So, I would like to know whether I can continue with Mastering EJB or should I buy Head First EJB for the benefit of the exam score? Please suggest me which one is the best for covering exam objectives or I would also appreciate if you have any other alternative reference. And also I wonder whether I have to read the whole of GOF patterns from Design Patterns book by Gamma or can I go through some other quick references (like SCEA study guide from Mark cade) and read the Design Patterns book for better understanding of some patterns. My questions are only from examination point of view. Ofcourse I also agree that going through many references helps to understand the subject much better. I am not an experienced java programmer. I cleared by SCJP two years ago with 82% and I have some understanding of EJB already.
First of all, this SCEA does not test coding EJB. In other words, you will not see any code segments during the exam. However, they will test you on the interface required by EJB, and lifecycle methods (like when the methods will be called by the EJB container).
I find mastering EJB a very good starting books because it helps me understand how to use EJB. To prepare for the exam, I suggest you start to look at successful people's notes. From that, you can draw some conclusion if mastering EJB is enough or you should head for other EJB books to learn more about certain topics that may not be well explained by mastering EJB.
For the design patterns, understand and remember all the definition of patterns explained in the GOF books, especially when to apply those patterns. Again, of course, through mock exams, you can kind of predict which patterns appear more frequently during the exam. You can focus your attention on those patterns more.
Note. I did not pay too much attention to those UML implementation of the patterns (like remember exactly how to create those drawings). Those just suggested way that you can implement the patterns. Always during real life circumstances, you are required to make some minor adjusts to adopt those patterns into your design. Therefore, treat those as reference implementation.
Test Simulator 1) http://www.javacoding.net/certification/scea/studymaterial.html 2) Whizlab SCEA Simulator (This is not free). This has about 400 questions. **** Note: you need to be careful when using the simulators because some of the answers from the above 2 simulators are wrong, but the majorities are fine. Therefore, pay special attentions to every question that you got wrong.
Books 1) Design Patterns by Erich Gamma, et al 2) Applied Java Patterns by Stephen Stelting and Alive Maassen 3) UML Distilled by Martin Fowler
I agree with the previous posts, that this is NOT about coding EJB, but I found understanding some of the details help me to better understand the big picture and their application in ways that I could not have if I didn't dig deep.
I used the Mastering EJB book by Ed Roman (...read it twice). I read the O'Reilly EJB book (...don't recall the name), one time and I read the Sun Java EJB Specification twice after I read the books (...made more sense then. :-))
I felt I benefited from reading overlapping material because each author had a different approach and having it explained in different ways was helpful and each reinforced the other.