Hello everyone, I just wanted to pop in to say that I have passed the exam and to share my study experience and some exam tips:
The study experience:
I used the K&B book, this web site and the mock exams by Enthuware.
I wrote over 300 examples organised into packages named after each chapter in the K&B book with sub-packages for each topic within the chapter: com.scjp.chapter5.assertions. I also wrote lots and lots of notes in word documents so that I could read them on my android on the train on the way to work.
I used eclipse. I know that it is generally recommended that you use a text editor and compile on the command line but I found that it was too slow and inefficient. Eclipse will compile immediately the moment you write the code advising you if the code is valid or not and it will often suggest corrections if you write invalid code. The tool tips can be very useful.
The mock exams are very good and you MUST do them. They help immensely with the study and help identify areas that need more study. However be careful, the questions in the mock exams can be very very difficult and you are in danger of becoming good at answering difficult questions while forgetting to learn the basic concepts and score the 'easy' marks. This is what happen to me, I started to get as many hard question wrong as I did easy questions wrong. Learn the basic concept perfectly.
The mock exam is much more difficult than the real exam. I got an average of 64% on the mock exams and in the real exam I got 71%
Another thing that got me through this exam was that I had a high level of curiosity and always asked: what if I do this with the code and what happens if I do that. This is a very good way to learn.
The exam experience:
The exam is multiple choice 60 question in 150mins. In my exam there where two types of multiple choice questions. Ones where you can choose only one answer or must choose a specified number. When answering a question you can 'strike through' an answer to eliminate it. This is only there as an aid to help you choose the right answer and I found it very useful. Note, the Enthuware don't have this feature.
An the end of the exam you can review those questions that you have mark for review and also the questions that you have not answered. I almost missed not answering a question because I didnt see this option - be careful.
In terms of the subjects on the exam it covered everything I studied in one way or other. Lots of question based on OO concept, some questions on the API (File, Collections, Properties, Thread, Dates, Wrappers), All the basic topic where tested multiple times (OO concepts, classes/interface/abstract, primitives (conversions, wrappers), flow control and exceptions). There were also question on Generics in class and collections. Basically you need to study EVERYTHING to do the exam.
A curious thing though. twice on the exam I had two question exactly the same but with one same difference: for example one question had a method with a public modifier and the other question with a private modifier the rest of the coed the same. The answer to the question depended on that difference... Has anyone else seen that occur?
Some times one question can help you answer another, this happened once or twice for me.
I cant think of any more things to say. If you have any questions, post them to thi thread and I will answer them.
GOOD LUCK now I am off to the OCPJWSD forum to start the next phase.....