Finally, I passed this exam with the score I was looking for (90% to 100%). I am going to share my experience because maybe it will be useful to someone in the same situation.
In November 2007 I gave up my job. I was working in a European project and I realized that my English was terrible, actually it was worse. Yes, English is not my best subject . So I went to Australia to improve it. In that moment I had almost 3 years of experience in J2EE and I had passed Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform 1.4 with 73% (2006).
With this scenario, I was in Australia for 2 years and a half. The global financial crisis was there too, and with my visa it was impossible to get a job in IT. So I came back to London in September 2010 and tried to get a job in IT as a Java Developer but it was quite difficult too, my knowledge about Java platform was not clear. For this reason I decided to pass this exam to have my Java Core knowledge up-to-date.
Last year I have been working, not in IT, and preparing this certification. I have studied quite hard to get this score. I am not a genius, this score is the result of a lot of effort. Frankly, I was obsessive about getting this mark. I used two books:
- SCPJ6 - Study Guide (310-065) - Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
- SCPJ 6 - Programmer Practice Exams - Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
This upgrade 1Z0-852 exam has 46 questions and 150 minutes (August 2011). You need 58% to pass. I always thought that this exam would be more difficult than the 1Z0-851 because it is for certified Java programmers. Honestly, I would not say that the exam is easy, but for me it was. I finished all the questions in 80 minutes and I had doubts in two (about cohesion, coupling and encapsulation). I used the rest of the time to review, review and review and try to answer these two questions. I did not change any of my answers and I answered those questions. Probably, I could get this score few months ago, but in June I found the ExamLab exams and I got in the first exam 71%. I was really upset with myself. I could not believe it. I thought that I had everything under control and that score shocked me. So I started to repeat all questions in the K&S Study Guide, Whizlabs and ExamLab simulators. The problem was that I had memorized many of the questions. So I got K&S Programmer Practice Exam book and when I started to get around 90% to 100% in all these mocks exams (that happened the second time I did the exams), I went to pass the certification. It sounds crazy I know, but I learnt a lot, much more than someone needs to pass this exam. Now I have a solid knowledge about the Java language and the core API’s. I have to say that the ExamLab and K&S Programmer Practice exams are much more difficult than the real exam.
And this has been my experience. Now, I would like to find a job and at the same time I prepare the Oracle Certified Expert, EE 6, JSP and Servlet developer.
I would like to thank everyone in these forums who spends their time to help us. Also to K&S, they wrote a good books for passing this certification, and also to the ExamLab team, they have a good simulator, quite hard, but really good.