I am preparing to take the 5.0 version of the test. After reading through some of the topics here, it seems that most think it is best to take the 5.0 version rather than the 1.4 version. I've read the one book that is out for 5.0 certification preparation, and I got the whizlabs 5.0 simulator. After taking the diagnostic test, I just barely missed passing. The reason was, mostly, the book that I had read did not have some of the classes in it that were in the test (such as Pattern and Matcher, for example), and, in addition, the coverage of generics was too sparse and did not prepare me for a number of those questions. There seems to be adequate information on the net to help with preparation for generics.
What I am mostly concerned about it the classes that we need to know, and how much detail we must go into for them. Some of these classes are huge! On this site, I noticed a lot of people spoke highly of the SCJP tiger study guide here: http://java.boot.by/scjp-tiger/
This looks more thorough, when you follow the various links it gives descriptions of the classes such that you don't have to know the ENTIRE class, it just gets most of the good details covered. But is it adequate?
I know that Kathy and Bert are coming out with their 5.0 book soon, but I don't feel like I can wait till then to take the test, if I can help it at all (I am unemployed at the moment, and these certifications help with that, as I am told). I did read their 1.4 book and I feel well prepared for the topics that it covered.
Any information anyone has regarding best techniques for API preparation would be greatly appreciated. If anyone knows if that SCJP tiger study guide should cover most situations, that would be great, too.
I was told I might be hired if I passed the SCJP and the Web Component test. So, I started to study for the 5.0 test. It is a lot of new stuff, and, though I feel like a fairly competent Java programmer, I am not all that familiar with java.io and java.util. I am more familiar with the stuff on the 1.4 test, so I changed course yesterday. To me, it will not matter which one I get. The 1.4 qualifies you to take the higher exams, and you can always upgrade if you feel the need. I wouldn't bet that the average human resources person would make the distinction. My two cents: if time is of the essence, and 1.4 is more familiar, then take the 1.4.