I read through Head First EJB twice. I did all of the exercises and "sharpens" both times. I took the end of chapter tests, but not under a time constraint. I only read the spec when forced to ;-) because that was the only way to find out why an end of chapter question's answer was like it was. One thing I'll say about the mock tests... I spent more time researching why an answer was right or wrong than taking the test. Even questions I got right, I'd make a note if I was unsure of something, and look it up.
Besides the AdviceGuy, I worked with an example program that used Entity Beans (it had a few relationships, a few EJB-QL's). It didn't help much; EJB-QL was one of my worst showings on the test. But I think that it helped a lot in the DD memorization because correcting the mistakes I made there cemented some of those very similar and hard to remember DD element names.
Also, I made a personal 'cheat sheet' format that contained the list of methods for each bean type, and what they were allowed to access, the list of methods on the home, on the component, on the context, what was not allowed for portable EJB code, what was supported by EJB, what the top elements of the DD are, and some of the more important elements in the detail levels. I had the ability to, on a blank sheet of paper, write down a whole lot of facts, but this memorization turned-out to be NOT very valuable on the test. It might have been because as I went from blank sheet to filled-sheet over and over again in practice, I learned enough to not need it. But I think actually it's more that the kinds of questions on the test didn't lend themselves to being solved by memorization.
Finally, I was fortunate enough to win the WhizLabs simulator right here in this forum. I took some of those tests, which turned-out to be a bit frustrating because, for one reason or other, quite a few questions were impossible. But it gave me practice at working under the clock (I used every second available when taking the WhizLabs mock tests, whereas in the real test, I had 25 minutes of time to review). And I took the final mock exam (73%) in HFE the day before the real test (87%).
I didn't have a set schedule for finishing, but figured I'd better get it done or start forgetting stuff. I decided to schedule it at the same time as my kid's 'end of grade' tests (a way to emphasize that learning is never over). But the point is that I spent about two months on it.
One more thing I used was the cheat-sheets from this link. These proved to be very accurate. Once you study each, and link the data there to what's in the book, you can use these to find facts quickly where you are confirming stuff, making your own cheat sheet, or whatever. If you print it out in black and white, you do need to get out your highlighter, but that only serves to reinforce your learning. [ May 20, 2004: Message edited by: Dale Seng ]
Hi, I too am looking forward for SCBCD exams. Well, i learnt that HEAD FIRST EJB is undisputed book for the exam. However, i would like to kow one thing, which application server is used to develop,deploy and test the beans. I would appreciate your help. regs Dez Max
The book has one example that's based on Sun's reference implementation (free download). The exam doesn't test anything vendor specific, so if you want to experiment, you can use any environment you want, but you need to make sure you know what the vendor has included outside of the spec, and what is in the spec.
As for me, I read the HF EJB exactly twice... I'm now reading the book the second time and currently at chapter-8, which is about Message-driven beans... I guess I can finish the second time reading on coming Friday... And I'll be doing all available mocks that I have and going for the exam on Sunday, 30th May...
Just my 2 cents...
Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0