This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP forum. We're giving away four copies of Programmer's Guide to Java SE 8 Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) and have Khalid A Mughal & Rolf W Rasmussen on-line! See this thread for details.
Though I did take a long time in preparing for the exam, finally I am relieved that I passed 667 with 63%. I had worked on a SOA project with IBM solution stack that helped, tracing theory to practice. Preparing for the exam I gained a lot of knowledge, After OOPS I love SOA with all the complexity. I studied the following books, order in terms of importance for the exam.
1. SOA Compass - A must read and a good reference book for years.
2. SOA Redbook Case studies - Will get you used to the questions style of the exam. Also you gain a good know on IBM products.
3.http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/patterns/b2bi/ - Good knowledge again, and important to understand the vocabulary, since some question will be based on them.
4. Various articles mentioned in SOA Compass and Developer works SOA site.
5. IBM PDF's from SOA cert yahoo group - read selectively.
6. Few Trial exams.
7. Executing SOA - Dry but recommended.
8. SOA Principles of SOA - Great Great book, I must say, I enjoyed reading it.
9. SOA Foundations - Knowledge of IBM Products, plus these books, display where the rubber meets the road.
10. IBM Websphere Integration Primer - Knowledge of IBM Products, plus these books, display where the rubber meets the road.
11. Applied SOA - A great Read, the title means it.
Knowledge of IBM products is a must. This is a long list of study for just 63%, but I gained a lot lot by reading them, honesty, also got confused, but finally pieces came together and I was able to demystify the concepts to a level. The quest for knowledge still continues. You need not read so much for the exam. I want knowledge and a new Job, hence I read so much. Preparation time depends on you, I suck at giving exams and I am embarrassed to tell how much time I took. But finally you need applicable knowledge and, not do chamatkar like chattur.