On my 2nd attempt today, I finally passed SCJA with 86% (my first attempt only missed the mark by one question, at 66%). I am a total newbie to Java and programming, so I had to study and practice coding a lot. Here are the steps I took:
1) I read through the first couple of chapters of Deitel's Java: How To Program book, and coded some examples from there (I think this could be done with any good intro to java book though, just to get your feet wet).
2) Sun Academic Initiative was free through my college, so I went through their modules WJ-1101-SE6, WJ-1102-SE6, WJ-1103-SE6 and did all the hands on coding in the labs they included (I think this part is essential in order to get any useful knowledge out of SAI).
3) Then I finally started reading the primary Cameron McKenzie Study Guide (it didn't really make sense to me before doing the first 2 steps) and I still referred to Deitel's Java book a lot when I needed to.
4) I also got Cameron's Mock Exam questions book and tested myself on all the questions at least twice, until I was scoring at least 80% in each area. It's very important to carefully read the answer explanations in this book (even if you get the right answer) because the author throws in lots of other details not covered in his white Study Guide book that were very helpful to me in passing the test on my 2nd attempt (I hadn't finished the black book before my 1st attempt). A few of the questions had errors though, in both books, so be aware of those.
5) I also kept a list of the actual exam objectives handy at all times until I really knew what was expected on the test.
Of course I also spent some time in this forum and studied the UML pdf until it made sense. Hopefully this will help launch me in the right direction to eventually break into the development industry.
I got your email, but shortly after you said you'd already taken the exam, so I couldn't get back to you in time. Sorry about that. But obviously, you managed to do it all on your own. Congratulations, and I'm glad that my books could play a small part in your success.
I'm going for my exam at the end of July, I've worked my way through Head First Java (great book there btw - can't recommend it enough - the HF approach really works for me) and I'm halfway through Cameron's study guide, with the mock exam book to come.
Anyway, the real thing I'm posting to ask is "where can I get my hands on the uml pdf?" I have tried a few places but all seem to be broken links