Passed part 1 with 71% on Monday. Initially had mixed feelings about the mark I got. Was a bit disappointed since I scored in the mid to top nineties on all the practice tests I did. But overall I am happy because I think the test maintains a high standard and I did think that the practice tests were 'quite easy'.
I owe a lot of gratitude to this forum which is without doubt the best resource for SCEA. All this while I have been a silent observer but hop to be more of an active member adding my two cents worth
If any one is interested here is a list of resources I made use of:
1. SCEA Architect for J2EE by Cade and Roberts - this is for the older version but helps keep you focused.
2. MZ - particularly for security - this a a fantastic resource
3. Mastering JavaServer Faces - Bill Dudney et al - chapter 1 for architecture overview
4. Head First Design Patterns - didnt read this specifically for the exam but the rubber ducks and pizzas always stick in my mind :-)
5. EJB3 in Action - again this was some time ago back dipped back into this for reference
6. JEE tutorial - specifically JAX-WS, JAXB and Persistence
7. practice tests by Whizlabs - over simplified. only the final mock test comes anywhere close to the standard. marking is wrong as well (partial marks for partially correct answers - so you need to do manual check to get the correct picture)
8. Sun practice tests - 2 tests - the second one is closer (but still not as hard as) the real thing
Few obervations from my experience:
1. If you have been actively involved with Java/J2EE for more than 5+ years, you are halfway there already. A lot of stuff is obvious if you have 'been there and done that'. SO if you feel you have depth and breadth you will do well.
2. Although you are not expected to know code or remeber API calls, the test does ask these questions in a round about way.
3. Do not expect direct questions on patterns (my favourite area) - but the key thing is that the answer is clearly there in the scenario described. You may have to re-read and read between the lines but there will be some key words that point to a particular pattern and if you know your patterns and can extrapolate you will ace them - after all that is the job of an architect.
4. In general I felt there was more than enough time
Thanks to all the ranchers for helping me and all the best for anyone taking this - it is a great experience not only bacause you learn so much that you should know in the business but also corroborates the fact that you already knew quite a bit without realing it.
I spent about 90 mins a day for 2 - 2.5 months. I didn't do any work on weekends. The most amount of time spent was on patterns due to the sheer volume (GOF + J2EE). Hope this helps and good luck to you.
I would say that you need a good overview knowledge of all these - make yourself familiar with the material in the JEE tutorial. Although a lot of people mention that they got a lot of questions on Web services I didnt get much - probably an exception.
There are no free tests for the JEE edition but a couple for the previous edition which are still good - apart from EJB and WS, most of the other aspects remain the same in the current version. Try these: