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Which book now?

 
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Hi guys.

I'm new here at the javaranch, and have recently finished a preparation course at the university for taking the SCJP certification. Course is done, and I'm pretty sure I nailed the exam, and although I felt like I should do more preparing before taking the SCJP exam, after reading both on this forums and some other places I feel like the extra preparing i need to do might be more than I first thought. As such I also feel like I should purchase another book for it, and I've seen alot of comments and understand that the most recommended books are

SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide by Katherine Sierra and Bert Bates (K&B)
A Programmer's Guide to Java SCJP Certification: A Comprehensive Primer by Khalid A. Mughal and Rolf W. Rasmussen

The book we used in my course was called "Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide, 5th edition" http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Java2-Certification-Study-Guide/dp/0782144195/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1295456774&sr=8-2

First off I'd really like to hear any opinions about the book we used in my course, be it good or bad. I am aware it only covers java 1.5, but I was told there were basically just 2 topics that were missing (Navigable collections and something else...). What are your opinions on this book, cus personally I really liked it but I have no idea how in-depth it is compared to others.

Secondly I am really at lost which of the other two books I should obtain. Now this might sound a bit silly, but the format of the book does matter to me, because I like to lay down when I read. I had another book in another course called "Introduction to Java Programming, by Y. Daniel Liang", which is some rough 1300pages, and in my personal opinion this was one useless buy if ever there was one. I think I've opened it two or three times, and only because of the inredibly unpractical size of the thing!

Any tips at all regarding which book to go for, and information about how (un)practical its size is, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

// Andreas
 
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Andreas Svenkson wrote:
SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide by Katherine Sierra and Bert Bates (K&B)



I passed the OCPJP/SCJP exam yesterday and that was the only book I used (together with various mockexams). Youll also get some Mock Exams with it that are good.
Regarding the format... The book is pretty big, roughly 800 pages, but i read it lying down in bed with no problem .

Best thing about the book in my opinion were first of all that it is well written, it is fun to read and easy to understand. It points out important topics for the exam and it is easy to look up a specific exam objective in the book that you need to study more. The questions in the book are also good.

Have no opinion regarding the other books you mention.

Good luck on your OCPJP/SCJP journey!
 
Andreas Svenkson
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Malte Wannerskog wrote:

Andreas Svenkson wrote:
SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide by Katherine Sierra and Bert Bates (K&B)



I passed the OCPJP/SCJP exam yesterday and that was the only book I used (together with various mockexams). Youll also get some Mock Exams with it that are good.
Regarding the format... The book is pretty big, roughly 800 pages, but i read it lying down in bed with no problem .

Best thing about the book in my opinion were first of all that it is well written, it is fun to read and easy to understand. It points out important topics for the exam and it is easy to look up a specific exam objective in the book that you need to study more. The questions in the book are also good.

Have no opinion regarding the other books you mention.

Good luck on your OCPJP/SCJP journey!



Congratiulations on getting your certificate then! Man I can't wai til I can say the same thing... :P

About the book I feel like I've decided to go with the very same one you did, it just seems to have had good feedback anywhere you look so it would feel wrong not to go by that. Thanks for your input though, hopefully I'll get by laying down with it too =)

// Andreas
 
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Yeah, I'll second the opinion about the K&B SCJP book. You can't go wrong with this one. The presentation is good and the questions at the end of each chapter will kick your a**, whether your reading it laying down or not....

Best of luck.
Gary
 
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Here are my thoughts on the two main books you mentioned:

K&B SCJP
The book is a hard back, so reading in bed is not a problem. When I first started the book I wished the chapters were divided into smaller sections with more review or exercises in between. However, the type is fairly large and there is a lot of spacing, so the pages go by quickly. So it didn't really turn out to be a problem. The first few chapters are long and cover some of the more boring (to me) parts of Java. So, I skipped ahead until I got some momentum and then came back to those chapters. I guess people with limited Java experience should go in order, but you mentioned you already took a Java course, so not a problem. This book along with practice exams seems to work for most people.

Programmer's Guide to Java SCJP (Mughal, Rasmussen)
Mine is a soft cover and I wouldn't try to read it lying down. This book is very dense. By that I mean it has a lot of information in a very technical, no-nonsense style. The chapters are divided into sections with review questions after each section, then a final review at the end. It has lots of sample code and exercises with solutions. I think this is a good book, but it's not much "fun". It's kind of a chore to work through, at least for me.

I use the K&B as my main study guide and then delve into the Mughal for more in depth study or just for a different perspective.

The bottom line, as many have said, if you can only choose one book make it the K&B SCJP book.
 
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