I don't post often on the ranch but use it often, so Iwanted to let anyone who is studying know things that helped me. I ended up scoring 91% which I was very pleased with, but it took lots and lots of effort so my advice (in a HF comic strip style) ~
As the tides are you must be ! -- consistency is the key, use the 15 min rule i.e. prepare everyday and if you feel like doing nothing just do 15 mins ( 9 out of 10 times you'll do more without even knowing it)
Wax on \ Wax off -- practice makes perfect, make sure you download Tomcat and go through the content first hand by writing out and testing the code. If you're like me you will have plenty of head scratching frustrating minutes(hours!), but they will stand you in good stead as they burn in the do's and don'ts
Patience is a virtue -- basically don't rush into the exam until you are scoring consistently well in mock exams, its easy to reschedule so don't take it til you are ready
Variety is the spice of life -- Don't limit yourself to only one source of learning re. sources I used below.
My preparation for this exam consisted of~
Going through HFSJ chapter by chapter, implementing the examples, making notes and doing each end of chapter exam.
Once I had been through the whole book like this, I skim read each chapter again and did the coffee cram exams again.
I then went through the Marcus green content at MarcusGreen Exams, reading the content and completing the exams.
After this I did the HFSJ final exam (scoring only 60% which was worrying at the time)
After this I was into almost pure mock exam mode and used the following resources
1) JavaRanch Mock Exam 2) JavaPrepare Questions 3) J2EE Cert Exam (Quite tough this one)
Additional material I used was SCWCD Hints at JavaRanch (these were very useful and concise) and another link I can't find on JavaRanch which identified the listeners which did or didn't need DD configuration.
The final thing I did, inspired by some of the rhymes in the SCWCD Hints page was to make up a few of my own...
Life Cycle of a JSP: Tom Carrol Left It In Sams Desk
JSP Implicit Objects ARed Robin Swooped Perfectly Evading the Cats Outstrecthed Paw
General Tag Lifecycle Life In Cycle Pleases All Bike Drivers
Context (Page of Jsp depending on tag type setJspContext / setPageContext)
Do (doTag / doStartTag)
Even with all this I was finding new stuff right up to the day before the exam and even on the exam itself so I'd say its pretty hard to know everything!
Anyhows good luck with it and I hope this helps,
Thanks Niall for sharing your journey with us...
I am also preparing for scwcd.The Hints thing is a great idea.I too have come up with a couple of my own.They really help a lot.
I would request you to please share more hints of yours.It would help me a lot.You can start a complete new thread for it.I'm sure it'll turn out to be one of the hottest threads around on the ranch.